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Circus aerialist Lexi Powell performs during the opening day of Venardos Circus on Wednesday in Longmont. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)
Circus aerialist Lexi Powell performs during the opening day of Venardos Circus on Wednesday in Longmont. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)
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Venardos Circus, or the “Little Circus that Could” as Ringmaster and producer Kevin Venardos calls it, delighted spectators Wednesday and took them down memory lane and nostalgia, all while having no animals in its acts.

“I’m so excited, so excited,” 6-year-old Verona Murphy said. Her 11-year-old brother, Daman Murphy said, “I’m really looking forward to seeing what the circus has to offer, and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun for our family.”

Leona Allick, 9, leans against her mother, Julie Allick, as they wait in line during the opening day of Venardos Circus on Wednesday in Longmont. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

Their mother, Val Murphy said, “We came to the circus because it seemed like it was going to be an exciting, new and fun experience for our family and so far it has not disappointed.”

Longmont residents heading to the nearly sold-out shows during the next two weeks can expect to see vaudeville-style comedy from the non-traditional acrobatic clown, Eric Allen, of Shelburne Falls, Mass. Don’t be fooled by his aloof fun on stage; he has a hidden talent that is sure to excite more circus-goers later this week.

From Rancho Cucamongo, Calif., lyra ring extraordinaire Lexi Powell is one tough act to follow and highly recommended not to try at home, as she spins, twirls and dangles high above the crowds on her ring in an energetic choreographed performance.

Spectators will event step back in time with a performance from New Orleans bottle walker LadyBeast, who also successfully performed Harry Houdini’s straightjacket escape while hanging above the audience by her feet.

Audience members react as Manuel and Ilenay Acosta perform during the Venardos Circus on Wednesday. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

The circus sweethearts from Havana, Cuba, Manuel and Illenay Acosta, spices up and brings the Latino flare with incredible acts of hand balances and acrobats.

“I loved it all, all of it, every part of it,” 9-year-old Heather Smithson said as she jumped excitedly next to her father, Tony Smithson. “I want to see it again and again!”

“You know, for me, this circus is very well done, it really does take a lot of us ‘older folk’ back down memory lane,” Smithson joked. “I did not expect it to be as good as it was, but it was.” Smithson noted the perfect blend of adult humor in a family-friendly way as his favorite part about the entire circus.

Laurie and Kelly Steele said they brought their children and grandchildren to the Venardos Circus because “it’s great family fun — a wonderful way to reminisce and also see how the circus has changed.”

Circus performer Lexi Powell performs Wednesday during the day of Venardos Circus in Longmont. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

Kelly Steele joked that he was there because “my wife made me” but also said he was just enjoying the time with his grandchildren. Laurie Steele said the best part was that it was animal-free and smaller than the typical arena-size circus she remembered.

“Dreams can come true, and this circus — ‘The Little Circus that Could’ is doing just that,” Vernardo said. “It’s my hope that people are inspired by this circus to make their dreams come true also.”