Support Local Journalism


Every kid wants to run away and join the circus. The young performers of the Wenatchee Youth Circus are living the dream.

“I hope to stay with it for the rest of my life,” said Maddy Jenkins of Ellensburg, who rides the unicycle, walks the low wire and performs as a clown, among her many circus acts.

The 62nd circus performance season arrives for set-up today. Performances are 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday at the Central Washington University Music Hall lawn, on Alder Street and Dean Nicholson Boulevard.

The young performers range in age from 2 to 20 years old, performing professional-level circus acts, including the flying trapeze, high wire, swing ladder, teeter board and trampoline. Of course there will be clowns, who will interact with audience members.

When performers turn 18, they graduate out of the program and become mentors. Membership in the nonprofit organization is open to everyone, and volunteer chaperones and young performers are from all over Washington.

Local performers

This year, six performers are from Ellensburg: Jenkins on span set, Roman ladders, unicycle; Jillian Davis as ring mistress and on Roman ladders, span set, tumbling arts; Libby Davis on Roman ladders, tumbling arts; Cole Tipton on flying trapeze catcher, double trapeze, teeter board, tumbling arts; Courtney Tipton on double trapeze, swinging ladders, single trapeze, Roman ladders, tumbling arts; and Blake Wallace on trampoline, teeter board, tight wire, high wire.

Jenkins and Cole Tipton graduated from Ellensburg High School in June, and the group will be honoring the recent graduates during intermission on Friday.

“It’s a tradition to have the graduating senior come in the center ring, and our parents can bring us flowers, and our friends and anyone who’s helped us through,” Jenkins said.

Some of the kids are third-generation circus performers, she said.

“I’ve learned that the whole blood is thicker than water thing is true,” she said. “It’s really important in the circus world, it’s a big family.”


Tickets are sold at the gate by the sponsor, Kiwanis Club of Ellensburg. Friday 10 a.m. show prices are adult $5, youth ages 3-12 $2, and toddlers and infants are free. Friday 6 p.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday’s show prices feature a family pack, two adults and four kids, for $25, adult $10, youth ages 3-12 $5, and toddlers and infants are free.

Last year, 200 to 300 people attended per show.

“It was well attended,” said Pamela Tipton, circus secretary.

The show lasts about one hour and 45 minutes.

Visit to learn more.

Staff Writer, covers K-12 education, health care, the city of Roslyn, and the arts.

Recommended for you


Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.