Clowns, ragtime and dance come to Gainesville with a modern twist as the Two Hawk Country Circus celebrates its tenth anniversary Saturday.
The show goes on at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. at Williston’s Two Hawk Hammock farm, located at 17950 NE 53rd Lane.
Featuring Gainesville Circus Center, Dusty’s Ragtime & Novelties and Gainesville Dance Academy, this year’s event is toned down with less collaborators and attractions compared to past shows, said Corey Cheval, director of Gainesville Circus Center.
While usually a two-day event, this year’s circus will be held on one day to ensure more of a focus on safety precautions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our program has been cut to pretty minimal function over the last six months,” Cheval said. “We're just excited to be able to do what we love and share it with our community in a way that we feel is safe.”
The circus will be held outside and guests will be provided with appropriately distanced seats. Masks will be required when within a six-foot distance from others.
Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door and $5 after 5 p.m. the day of. Kids 12 and under can attend for free and a $10 discounted ticket is offered to seniors, military members and first responders.
Featured performances include the circus’ flying trapeze act and comedic clown bits. Cheval’s brother, Dustin Cottrell will perform ragtime-style entertainment on the piano along with a drummer and dancers.
Lynn Polke, a teacher and performer with Gainesville Circus Center, said the show won’t have a scripted storyline, but she thinks the performances will have an inherent theme of conflict.
The ongoing pandemic and presidential election are on the forefront of everyone’s minds, Polke said. But she thinks the circus is a form of escape and an awe of human feats.
“Obviously it’s going to rear its ugly head,” she said. “But we’re going to resolve it, darn it.”
This is Gainesville Circus Center’s second year as a nonprofit organization and is working to do more community outreach and scholarships for circus. The center teaches aerial acts including silks, acrobatics and juggling.
“These are people just in the local community that have learned to do these kinds of things through perseverance and hard work,” Polke said.
Tickets for the Nov. 14 Two Hawk Country Circus can be purchased here.
The Two Hawk Country Circus is celebrating ten years with a socially distanced show featuring flying trapeze acts, ragtime-style music and more.
Manny Rea is a journalism sophomore and the current health reporter for The Alligator. He worked as a copy editor in his freshman year before moving over to the Avenue in summer 2020. He likes to listen to dollar-bin records and read comics, and he is patiently waiting to go back to movies and concerts.