Circus Vargas is an American animal-free circus based in California. It was built with the intent of bringing an old time circus to everyone; it is billed as one of the world's biggest traveling circuses still using a big top tent. Owned and operated by Katya Arata Quiroga and Nelson Quiroga, the circus produces a circus show throughout the western United States.
Using animals for entertainment purposes has fallen out of favor in recent years. The show relies exclusively on human performers — jugglers, acrobats, trapeze artists, magicians, contortionists, clowns and three motorcyclists who ride at breakneck speeds inside a giant metal sphere. “We found a formula that still entertains the entire family,” Nelson Quiroga said. The circus puts on about 400 shows a year in California, Arizona, Nevada and Washington.
In 1969, Clifford E. Vargas fulfilled his childhood dream when he raised the canvas of what was to become “Americas favorite Big Top Circus! Having been a lifelong circus spectator and fan, Mr. Vargas believed he could bring back the glamour, thrills and heart-pounding excitement of the authentic old-time circus. He was adamant that a circus wasn’t a circus if it wasn’t under the big top and wanted to make sure that every generation would have the opportunity to experience its magic first hand. He was dedicated and determined to make the name Circus Vargas synonymous with family entertainment.
For those who fondly recall the rich tradition of going to the circus under a Big Top, and for those who have never experienced the magic, this is the year to enjoy the thrill of a real Big Top circus. The “Star” of Circus Vargas was hand-made in Milan, Italy, and is the most state-of-the-art Big Top tent in use today. The theater-style tent seats 1,000 people comfortably.. The tent consists of 90,000 square feet of fabric and is supported by 500 individually placed stakes and over four miles of rope and cable weighing over 17 tons. Each set-up day, at the crack of dawn, 30 men start the seven-hour process of raising the Big Top, and each tear-down night, by the light of the moon, the same 30 men roll the tent up and pack it carefully to travel to the next town, where the process begins anew.