South Bay residents will soon be able to witness an event which has been a staple of entertainment since the 1700s.
Whether it be acrobatic feats or death-defying acts, children and adults have long come together under a large tent for one common goal: excitement.
Yes, the circus is back.
Westfield Plaza Bonita, nestled in the heart of National City, will play host to Circus Vargas, following its return for the companies 50-year anniversary.
The approximately two-hour long show debuted on Feb. 21 and will be running at the National City shopping center through March 4.
“We’re thrilled that Circus Vargas will be back at Plaza Bonita,” said Westfield Marketing Associate Cristina Bontempo.
Circus attendees will be able to enjoy same-day discounts at participating mall retailers, including The Broken Yolk Café, Dairy Queen/Orange Julius and MiniLicious Donuts & Coffee.
The theme of this year’s show is a flashback to the past, and audience members will be treated to a nostalgic circus experience.
Rolanda Kaiser, marketing and public relations director for Circus Vargas, said attendees should expect to be brought back to, “How it used to be.”
“We wanted to go kind of back in time and so it was like the golden era of the circus,” she said. “That image that people have of when circus first started. When everybody was excited for the circus to come to town.”
Circus Vargas shows differ from the Ringling Brothers Circus, which closed its doors for good in 2017, in that they don’t include any animals.
One of the participating factors for Ringling Brothers going out of business after 136 years was long-fought legal battles with animal rights groups, according to multiple media outlets.
Circus Vargas, conversely, only features human performers, including acrobats, clowns, contortionists, daredevils and more.
Kaiser said this year’s show has been well-received by both children and adults, and attendees in the South Bay should plan to be entertained.
“I think everybody’s going to really, really, love it,” she said. “The whole feeling, it’s not just like a show, it’s kind of a story. The music is great, there’s lots of colorful characters and action so it’s just an all-around good time for everybody.”
The show’s tent is located in the parking lot near the Outback Steakhouse, and guests can choose to sit in either bleacher, arena, ringside or VIP seating areas, according to Circus Vargas’ official website.
The website advises that bleacher and arena seating is first come first serve, and anyone older than 11 will be charged an adult-priced ticket.
Guests under 2-years-old will not be charged admission, but are required to sit on a lap.