By Kristin Boza
Come one, come all to Beverly/Morgan Park’s own circus event on Sat., Sept. 29 and Sun., Sept. 30 at Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. Two shows will be held each day, at 2 p.m. and again at 5 p.m. Midnight Circus in the Parks will dazzle audiences with an array of acrobats, aerialists, clowns, contortionists, and even a dog in its Little Big Top.
Ald. Matt O’Shea was instrumental in getting Midnight Circus to Ridge Park this year. This unique event is designed to empower neighborhood parks and foster a sense of community while raising money for local park improvements. All proceeds from ticket sales and concessions are donated back to the park; since its inception in 2007, Midnight Circus in the Parks has raised nearly one million dollars for parks throughout the city. Tickets to the shows at Ridge Park are on sale for $22 and can be purchased at CircusInTheParks.org. Children ages two and younger are free, and there is a discount of $20 per ticket for large groups.
“Hosting the Circus is a big win for any park because the proceeds from the event go directly back to the park,” said Mary Jo Viero, President of the Ridge Park Advisory Council (RPAC). “This will be great for Ridge Park because the Ridge Park Advisory Council is working very hard to make improvements to the field house.” The performances at Ridge Park are among only nine bookings across the Chicago Park District this year.
The Midnight Circus bills itself as an intimate circus experience. With world-class circus performers, the event is sure to dazzle audiences. Audiences can expect to see incredible performers, some even coming from France, Canada, and Australia. The Midnight Circus cast always includes incredible four-legged acrobats, who also happen to be rescued pets that have overcome incredible odds to become well-trained fan favorites.
The 90-foot big top will be set up on the grass near the baseball diamonds at Ridge Park. No outside food or beverages are allowed, but concessions will be sold in the parking lot. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis in the bleachers within the tent; Midnight Circus advises guests to arrive 30 minutes before the show to find a seat.
Midnight Circus in the Parks was founded on the belief that community involvement is the foundation on which to build long‐term success with positive effects lasting well beyond a two‐hour performance. Performances are affordable, accessible and provide a platform for community groups to volunteer, fundraise and become active arts participants.
“I think this is an incredible opportunity for the neighborhood to go see high-quality entertainment in their own backyard. This event sells out in every other area of the city, and we hope it will sell out here too. When you purchase your ticket, you can feel good that you are supporting Ridge Park and that the money will go to improving our field house. Plus, you will have a great time!” Viero said.
To buy tickets, visit CircusInTheParks.org. To volunteer or purchase ad space in the program booklet, contact Mary Jo Viero at firstname.lastname@example.org.