National Geographic : 2003 Jul
PERU, INDIANA POPULATION 13,000 ANNUAL CIRCUS ATTENDANCE FIRST YEAR AMATEUR Cll COSTUMES V EACH SHOW: for 220 kids i KIDS WHO Hi TRAVELED FR TO EUROPE A PERFORMED ROYALTY: 18 Peru Indianapolls :13,000 )FTHE PERU RCUS: 1959 WORN IN :500-plus, n25 acts WVE OM INDIANA LND BEFORE Big-top mania even takes over downtown shop windows (top) during the July circus festival. Prepa rations begin months before. Burly guys become bases for multi-girl stacks, and flyweight acrobats flash smiles-even when hanging by their hair. Try ing a new balance trick was "sort of scary at first, says nine-year-old Ashlyn Koontz (upside down, at left). "I tipped over a couple times. But once I learned how to do it, it was really fun."