Visitors can step right up to see several live performances and take part in family activities when the Indiana Historical Society (IHS) hosts its 15th annual Circus Day celebration on Saturday, March 26. IHS will offer free admission to the popular event, as well as the Indiana Experience, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.
The Hampel Family Circus will return to headline IHS’s Circus Day, with acts such as the Marvelous Mind Reading Show and the Professor Presto Magic Show. Also returning to the History Center is the Amazing World of Animals, featuring Larry and Cheryl Battson from Wildlife Educational Services, who are dedicated to the rescue of wild animals.
Visitors can show off their own talents with kids karaoke or snap photos in several available circus scenes. In addition, guests can purchase tickets to take part in carnival activities such as face painting, balloon sculptures and games with prizes.
The Stardust Terrace Café, operated by Hoaglin To Go, will provide kid-friendly meal options for the event, and snacks will be available for purchase.
Free admission to IHS’s Circus Day, presented by Weaver Popcorn, also provides access to the Indiana Experience, which includes IHS’s newest exhibition, You Are There 1948: Communities Can! In the exhibition, guests can help a group of Muncie-area women prep their produce for canning, learn more about the process and overhear the latest news of the day in post-war Indiana.
Did You Know: Indiana’s Circus Connections
Indiana’s connections to the circus industry date back to the late 1800s, when businessmen from a number of Indiana cities assembled traveling “mud shows” featuring exotic animals, performers, clowns and human oddities.
By the early 1900s, the circus industry had grown—becoming the most popular form of entertainment in the United States. A number of the nation’s premier shows set up winter quarters in Indiana, establishing a lasting link between the circus and the Hoosier state. Today, Peru, Ind., is home to the world’s largest amateur circus and the International Circus Hall of Fame.
Circus Day visitors can learn more about Indiana’s circus connections with a special display, located in the History Center’s William Henry Smith Memorial Library.
About the Indiana Historical Society
Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving, interpreting and sharing the state’s history. A private, nonprofit membership organization and an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, IHS maintains the nation’s premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and presents a unique set of visitor exhibitions called the Indiana Experience. IHS provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups, publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; produces and hosts art exhibitions, museum theater and outside performance groups; and provides youth, adult and family programming.
10:30 a.m. | Hampel Family Circus, Magic Game Show
11:15 a.m. | Marvelous Mind Reading Show
Noon | Amazing World of Animals (Larry and Cheryl Battson)
12:45 p.m. | Hampel Family Circus, Magic Game Show
1:30 p.m. | Amazing World of Animals
2:15 p.m. | Professor Presto Magic Show
3 p.m. | Kids Karaoke
Circus Day Games and Refreshments*
Candy | 2 tickets
Bottled Water | 2 tickets
Juice Box | 2 tickets
Popcorn | 3 tickets
Snow Cone | 6 tickets
Cotton Candy | 6 tickets
Activities and Souvenirs
Circus Hats | 5 tickets
Balloon Art | 4 tickets
Face Painting | 6 tickets
*Free admission. Game and refreshment tickets are 50 cents each or 12 for $5.