Families can step right up for free admission when the Indiana Historical Society (IHS) continues its circus tradition. On Saturday, March 25, IHS will host its 16th annual Circus Day celebration, featuring family-friendly carnival activities, live performances and the Indiana Experience. Circus Day runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center in downtown Indianapolis.
New this year, guests will meet and learn about rescued animals with the Amazing World of Animals show featuring Paul Venckus with Hedgehog Hannah. In addition, live performances include the return of the Hampel Family Circus.
Carnival activities include face painting, balloon sculptures and games with prizes. In the afternoon, kids can show off their talents with karaoke, and circus-themed photo ops will be available throughout the event.
In addition, guests are invited to take full advantage of free admission by visiting the Indiana Experience, including IHS’s newest exhibit, You Are There 1943: Italian POWs at Atterbury. As one of IHS’s most moving exhibits to date, it introduces visitors to Italian prisoners of war in the chapel they built at Camp Atterbury during World War II.
The Stardust Terrace Café, operated by Hoaglin To Go, will provide kid-friendly meal options for Circus Day, and snacks will be available for purchase. Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Circus Day Schedule:
11:00 a.m. | Hampel Family Circus, Magic Game Show
11:45 a.m. | Amazing World of Animals, Paul Venckus with Hedgehog Hannah
1 p.m. | Hampel Family Circus, P.T. Barnum’s Lost Magic Collection
1:45 p.m. | Hampel Family Circus, Magic Game Show
2:30 p.m. | Kids Karaoke
CIRCUS DAY GAMES AND REFRESHMENTS*
Candy | 2 tickets
Bottled Water | 2 tickets
Juice Box | 2 tickets
Popcorn | 3 tickets
SnoCone | 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.
About Indiana’s Circus Connections
Indiana’s connection to the circus industry dates 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, Indiana, is home to the world’s largest amateur circus and the International Circus Hall of Fame.
About the Indiana Historical Society
Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller™, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing the state’s history. A private, nonprofit membership organization, 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 experiences called the Indiana Experience. IHS also 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 programs. IHS is a Smithsonian Affiliate and a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.