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Earlier this summer, the Piccadilly Circus erected their big top at the Topsfield Fairgrounds, offering a week of family fun to kids and grown-ups alike on the North Shore. Seating over a thousand people under the big top, the Blast! edition of Piccadilly Circus offers an action-packed show of comedic clowns, airborne acrobats, and a herd of dancing camels, zebras, and elephants. Unlike circuses of the past, this show features The Romanian Olympic High Bar Team, which is made up of medal-winning athletes who are catapulted through the air and also dive from the heights of the tent. The show also features what is considered to be the largest herd of performing camels in the world.

Even if you didn’t see the Piccadilly Circus while they were in town, you can still catch all the highlights from their show in Topsfield, including some behind-the-scenes portraits of the people that make up each act, including Lauren Murray, an aerial dancer who pirouettes high in the air on billowing silks; or the dynamic duo Captolinoi and Annette Mitrovich who balance the tight rope at death-defying heights; or even the reputable stars of the show: Topsy and Annette, the Asian elephants. Scroll through the photographs below and welcome to the Big Top. – Alexandra Churchill - Photographs by Sadie Dayton