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National Harbor Kicks Off 10th Anniversary, Welcomes Big Apple Circus

March 8 – April 1

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., Feb. 21, 2018 –– National Harbor, now celebrating its 10th anniversary,  announced that Big Apple Circus, world renowned for its one-ring, intimate and artistic style, where no seat is more than 50 feet from the performers, is coming to National Harbor March 8 to April 1.  The 40th anniversary of the circus includes a full lineup of global artists and acts and features the famous seven-person pyramid on the high wire with Nik Wallenda and The Fabulous Wallendas, as well as the daring quadruple somersault attempted on the trapeze by The Flying Tunizianis—the first time in circus history that both legendary feats are performed under the same big top.

These record-setting acts are joined by Dandino & Luciana, a dynamic duo who combine speed, acrobatics and daredevil grace on roller skates; award-winning contortionist Elayne Kramer; master juggler Gamal Garcia; Jan Damm on the Rola Bola; acclaimed Risley acrobats The Anastasini Brothers (who broke the World Record for most flips on Nov. 9, 2017); Ringmaster Ty McFarlan; and circus trainer and presenter Jenny Vidbel, who performs in the ring with 16 horses and ponies as well as six rescue dogs.

“We are delighted to bring such a highly acclaimed circus to National Harbor. In honor of our 10th year, we’re welcoming several new premium events, including Big Apple Circus,” said Rachel Ball, director of events at National Harbor. “The performers with Big Apple Circus are extremely talented and it’s no surprise that they just received rave reviews throughout the east coast and currently for their show in Atlanta.”

Outside of the ring, Big Apple Circus continues to honor the essential and iconic characteristics that have set them apart for the past four decades with multiple community outreach programs and a vital no-wild-animals policy.  Circus of the Senses offers special enhanced experiences for audiences with autism, visual and auditory challenges. The special performances include ASL interpretation, assistive listening devices with live audio commentary, pre- and post-show touch therapy experiences, and a Braille program book. Sensory-friendly performances for Autistic audience members will feature lowered light and sound levels, a descriptive picture book showing the different areas and acts involved with the circus, and a “calming center” that can be accessed at any point during the show.


Tickets for Big Apple Circus are on sale at www.BigAppleCircus.com or call 855-258-0718. Ticket prices range from $27.50 – $109 for VIP Ringside. Group tickets start at $17.50.  Performances run Thursday, March 8 through Sunday, April 1.  The location is 238 Waterfront St., National Harbor, Md. 20745 (intersection of Waterfront St. and St. George Blvd.).  Parking is available in the National Harbor St. George or Mariner garages.  Special Circus of the Senses performance is on Fri., March 9 at 10:30 a.m. and Embracing Autism performance takes place on Sat., March 10 at 11 a.m.

In advance of the circus, 10-time Guinness world record-holding high wire artist Nik Wallenda will perform a warm-up act by walking completely untethered, between two 75-foot buildings at National Harbor on February 28 between 8 and 9 a.m. (intersection of Waterfront Street and American Way at National Harbor.) The King of the High Wire will be using only a balancing pole as he traverses the 230-foot span on a 5/8-inch cable the diameter of a nickel. Nik is the seventh generation of Great Wallendas who trace their roots back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1780. For Nik, whose motto is #NeverGiveUp, every walk is an expression of honor to his great grandfather, the legendary Karl Wallenda who brought the family to America for The Greatest Show on Earth. Nik learned to walk the high wire at 2 years of age while holding the hand of his mother, Delilah, who had also walked the high wire while pregnant with him.

The Big Apple Circus 40th anniversary season is directed by Mark Lonergan, artistic director of three-time Drama Desk Award-nominated physical theater company Parallel Exit, with choreography and associate direction by Antoinette DiPietropolo and music direction by Rob Slowik. Tony Award-winning Lighting Designer Jeff Croiter (Peter and the Starcatcher, Something Rotten!), Scenic Designers Rob Bissinger (Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, Legally Blonde – Assoc) and Anita LaScala (Magic Mike Live) of ARDA Studio, Inc, and Drama Desk-nominated Costume Designer Amy Clark (Heathers: The Musical, Chaplin) come together to create a most vibrant environment to fit the momentous occasion of the circus’s return.


For more information, visit www.BigAppleCircus.com.