Brazilian performers launch drive-in circus to entertain community

Emerald Pellot

We all could use a little light-hearted entertainment right now.

Rio de Janeiro artists from the Estoril Circus got together to find a way to get back on stage. After a four-month hiatus, the clowns, jugglers and performers created a drive-in circus. 

Estoril Circus is using the same model as drive-in movie theaters. Guests can pull up inside of the circus tent which can hold up to 40 vehicles — ensuring social distancing measures are enforced and maintained. For $15 to $20, audience members can honk their horns and flash their headlights instead of clapping. 

Anderson de Souza Silva, a Batatinha (little potato in Portuguese) clown, compared the circus closure to losing a loved one, according to the Associated Press. 

“Today, thank God, we are having the opportunity with the drive-in model to start the performance again,” Silva said. 

The artists are sharing responsibilities to keep the circus operating by taking on duties they normally wouldn’t. Some will sell tickets or help in the food court after performing.

“My daughter, for example — since I told her about the circus, she would ask me, ‘Is it today? Is it today? Is it today?'” Willian Cezar, a 40-year-old city councilman and circus attendee told the Associated Press. “To be in contact with culture, it’s very nice. It’s amazing, she’s loving it.”

The Estoril Circus has been in Portugal since 1898 and first came to Brazil 30 years ago. But this however marks the first time it ever performed to a crowd of cars. 

If you enjoyed this story, check out how these acrobats rehearsed a jaw-dropping circus routine in quarantine.

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