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Big Apple Circus comes to Alpharetta


February 06, 2013

Daniel Cyr performs on his invention, the roué Cyr (Cyr Wheel). ABBY BREAUX.
ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Enthusiastic performers welcomed hundreds of spectators to the Big Apple Circus as they entertain through Feb. 18 in Alpharetta.

The Big Apple Circus kicked off with "Legendarium, a journey into circus' past," on Feb. 1. The Big Apple Circus will perform under a big tent at the parking lot A, accessible via the West Gate at 1775 Founders Parkway at the Verizon Amphitheatre at Encore Park.

Spectators get to experience a world of excitement taken to new heights, literally. Aerial strap artists fly as high as 25 feet into the air. A hilarious husband-and-wife clown team kept the audience roaring with laughter and interaction. Whether audiences are there to see the astonishing acrobats, flawless jugglers, soaring aerialists, poised wire acts or the magnificent horses and dogs, the circus is great for the entire family.

There are a total of just 16 rows in the tent so everyone feels apart of the excitement during the show.

Stone Mountain resident Jack Vaiden said he followed the circus to Alpharetta just to see the show.

"I enjoy coming to the Big Apple Circus every year because it's intimate and more real," Vaiden said. "I can see everything that is happening right there in front of me."

Phillip Thurston, a spokesman for Big Apple, travels up and down the East Coast with the circus and he says the Atlanta audience is the best.

"They really demonstrate the love," Thurston said. "The energy down here translates into an energetic performance."

For more information and tickets, visit

• Made by Canobbio S.p.a. in Castelnuovo Scrivia, Italy

• Created with multi-layered PVC, the tent is totally opaque.

• Diameter: 140 feet

• Height: 46 feet on the inside (to the cupola), 63 feet (to the top of the tent)

• Big Top made of four sections laced together and connected to the nearly–round cupola frame, plus one cupola cover. An innovative “hat” on the cupola can be raised to allow heated air to escape on warm days.

• Sidewall made of 12 sections, totaling 440 feet in circumference measuring 16 feet high.

• The tent has been equipped with a seating-system that can accommodate more than 1,700 people. Each individually molded plastic seat is 18 inches wide and ringside and box seats are comfortably cushioned. Made by Italian designers Carlo Anceschi and Sons, the system presents the culmination of a half-century of innovation and development in touring circus seating, specially designed for quick assembly and disassembly.

• Four masts that are raised with electric motors support the tent. Depending on the number of motors per mast (it can have one or two), a mast can weigh between 2,300 and 2,600 pounds. Masts are 50 feet long. The dodecagonal cupola frame, 50 feet across, folds for transportation in a unique way invented by Anceschi and Sons. It hangs from the masts, and weighs approximately two to three tons.

• Masts and cupola were manufactured in Rio Saliceto, Italy.

• 98 side poles measuring 16 feet high support the periphery of the tent.

• Masts and tent are tied to a total of 194 stakes.

• It takes up to eight hours for a crew of 35 to set up the tent and three hours to tear it down (not including installation of seating, lighting and sound systems and setting the ring).