Circus Vargas 'Jubilé! An Epic World Celebration' | Photo: Courtesy
Circus Vargas ‘Jubilé! An Epic World Celebration’ | Photo: Courtesy

Illuminated by bright lights and flanked with colorful trailers, a massive blue and white tent erected at the Earl Warren Showgrounds announced the arrival of Circus Vargas in Santa Barbara. A well-known American traveling circus based in California, Circus Vargas has been touring its newest show, Jubilé! An Epic World Celebration.

The show debuted in Santa Barbara on Friday June 7. Driving down the 101 towards the venue that opening night, and for every other night until the final performance on June 17, it was impossible to miss the spectacle. The iconic big top tent was reminiscent of the old-timey circus and consistent with Circus Vargas’s unique style. The contemporary circus was born in 1969 and has since been hosting shows that pay tribute to the traditional circus experience.

Inside the tent, too, evoked a sense of nostalgia. Carnival music tinkled in the background as vendors sold popcorn, candy, and light-up toys, and other staff members dressed in vintage costumes scanned tickets and ushered visitors towards the performance area. Seats flanked the stage in a crescent-shape, overlooking the red velvet curtain that remained drawn as the performers undoubtedly prepared in the back. Audience members looked up in wonder to see ladders and ropes hung from the ceiling, alluding to the daring tricks to come.

Circus Vargas ‘Jubilé! An Epic World Celebration’ | Photo: Courtesy

Soon the room darkened, blue and purple flood lights swept the stage, and the show began. The ringmaster emerged from behind the red curtain in a sequin-bedazzled suit and top hat and introduced Circus Vargas’s cast of world-renowned performers.

The two-hour show, Jubilé! An Epic World Celebration, intends to not only entertain, but also to celebrate different cultures and nationalities. There is an emphasis on cultural appreciation and strong messaging that art and entertainment can bring people together from all over the world  

The show features an array of incredible acts. Amazing acrobatics, extraordinary juggling, mind-boggling contortionism, flying trapeze tricks — all of this and more kept the audience gasping with delight throughout the duration of the show. Each act was interspersed with a comedy duo and interactive audience bits, making the show especially appealing for young children and families.

With all this grandeur, Circus Vargas certainly captured the world of the classic circus, successfully paying homage to a bygone era marked by elaborate costumes, whimsical fanfare, and daring feats of bravery and skills. 

For those who missed out on Circus Vargas this year, don’t worry! Circus Vargas visits Santa Barbara with a new show every year!

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