The annual arrival of the Zoppe Circus in Redwood City always creates a stir of excitement. For me personally it feels like my family has come to visit - I love when their beautiful big top is set up in Red Morton Park - just a stone's throw literally from my home.  We were pleased that so many of our business colleagues and their families were available to join us for an evening performance.  It was a wonderful show, run by my family friend Giovanni Zoppe, who also performs as Nino the clown.  

As we gathered outside the beautiful big top, the sword swallower swallowed a sword, or did he?  Then the musicians and performers led us inside.  The show started with Carla Zoppe's dog act, which is always a lot of fun.  Dressed up poodles walking on their hind legs never cease to disappoint! This year's show included a hair-hanging artist spinning through the air, a rola bola act, and a talented Chinese troupe whose acrobatic antics awed us all.  Tosca Zoppe closed the show with her bareback horse riding act - her last trick was jumping over fire.  Laughter was provided throughout by Nino the clown. He was flawless at interacting with the audience, doing breathtaking stunts and funny skits with the other performers. Unlike many clowns, Nino is a riot.

After the show we chatted with Giovanni and his family.  I admire him very much for continuing in his family’s circus tradition.  His grandfather's horse act was brought from Italy to the United States by my great-uncle John Ringling North in 1948.  Alberto Zoppe, not wanting to leave his family's circus in Italy without a star, agreed to come only in exchange for an elephant.  Uncle John, who at that time owned Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, agreed and arranged for an elephant to be sent to Italy.  And the rest is history!

We look forward to next year.  And we hope to see many of you at the show.  In the meantime please keep this in mind: "the circus never leaves town if you keep it in your heart".

*Click here for more stories about ZOPPÉ ITALIAN FAMILY CIRCUS