Magic In The Air: ‘Zirkus’ highlights Kids Fest at Silver Dollar City

Magic In The Air: ‘Zirkus’ highlights Kids Fest at Silver Dollar City

“My mom was walking the wire still when she was 6 months pregnant with me, so circus has been a part of my life since before I was born,” says Nik Wallenda. “My parents first put me on the wire when I was 2 years old, and I’ve been practicing my art every since.”

It was a decade ago that Wallenda captured the imagination of Branson — and broke daredevil records — by dangling using only his jaw from a helicopter 200 feet over the Silver Dollar City amphitheater with 4,000 people watching anxiously from below.

This summer, he’ll be back at the theme park with his family to debut the all-new Nik Wallenda’s Zirkus June 11 through July 24.

The “Zirkus” has no animal performers. It will include acrobats, aerial stunts, human pyramids, trick bicycling, juggling and the family’s specialty, high-wire walking. The theme, he says, is “the impossible is possible.”

Wallenda’s Zirkus is part of this year’s National Kids Fest at Silver Dollar City.

“The Wallendas are incredible performers,” enthuses park spokeswoman Lisa Rau. “Much of the world knows that from so many generations of Wallenda family circus royalty performing high-wire acts that have never been done elsewhere. Nik himself is a master of mixing showbiz with inspiring messages coupled with daredevil acts of courage — the kind that won’t let you breathe while you watch, but you can’t look away!

“Over the years, Nik has remained in close contact with Silver Dollar City leadership,” Rau explains. “He has forged many a new path since he was here a decade ago, including working on directing and producing other circus-like shows. He told us he wanted to do his own production — a Wallenda family show that would bring to audiences not only entertainment but inspiration. We were sold at ‘go!’”

“My family’s history is in Germany, and Zirkus is German for circus,” Wallenda picks up the story. “Circus is really a passion for me, so the opportunity to put together a show, and work alongside my family — and even give opportunity to the next generation of circus performers — is really exciting for me.”

While Wallenda himself has broken 11 Guinness World Records and is known for his walks over Niagara Falls, over an active volcano and above the Grand Canyon, he remembers clearly those early days when the back yard at his parents’ house was “filled with practice wires, trapeze and other circus rigging. When friends came over after school, that was our playground!” And he says his “most heart pounding” stunt was “definitely when I proposed to my wife from the high-wire in Montreal in 1998!”

“A lot of [stunts] are inspired by family,” he says. “The jaw hang over Silver Dollar City was actually inspired by a photo in my grandmother’s house of her hanging by her teeth below a bicycle on the high-wire. I wanted to pay tribute to my grandmother, but also take it to a new and exciting level, so I decided to do my stunt below a helicopter.

“One of my favorite parts of the show are the acts that take something ordinary and turn it into an extraordinary art,” he adds. “The audience is going to see people that are truly passionate about their art, and I know they will be inspired when they leave to pursue their own passions and dreams.”

Wallenda will perform three times a day at the Silver Dollar City Opera House, but the new show is just the beginning of National Kids Fest.

“There’s an all new Chuggington,” Rau enthuses, “a terrific new immersive activity for preschoolers who take to the rails in their own ‘Chugger’ trains. There will be dramatic lights, music and a DJ conductor, all inside the Chuggington Adventure Depot. It is an interactive playland adventure that brings the hit animated TV series from the UK to life with characters, locations in a Chuggington village and more.”

Of course, all the longtime favorites are still part of the fun.

“Silver Dollar City is announcing 2022 as ‘the biggest entertainment year ever’ at the park,” Rau says, “featuring 10 world-class festivals and events and an entertainment playbill of hundreds of shows and performers. [But there are still] 40 rides and attractions, demonstrating artisans, the great Marvel Cave and much heralded, creative home-style cooking.

“And summer concerts include legendary names like The Ozark Mountain Daredevils and Newsboys.”

Rau says visitors can’t miss her favorite thing about Kids Fest: the energy.

“I love the energy of Kids Fest! There’s nothing like the cacophony of excited voices from the ticket yard below my office. The way the kids can’t wait, the sounds of laughter and anticipation. But, as I say with a chuckle in the evening, when guests exit, those voices are tuckered out!”



National Kids Fest

WHEN — June 11-July 24

WHERE — Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo.

COST — Starting at $79




Silver Dollar City

2022 Festivals

Moonlight Madness

July 23-Aug. 7

Silver Dollar City’s world-recognized roller coasters soar into the night skies, accentuated by nighttime fireworks.

Southern Gospel Picnic

Aug. 25-Sept. 5

The Ozark hills fill with the joyful harmonies of the nation’s most notable Southern Gospel groups throughout the day, plus nightly performances in Echo Hollow Amphitheater.

Country Music Days

Sept. 8-11 and 15-18

Featuring a series of country music concerts. Watch for upcoming announcements.

Harvest Festival

Sept. 21-Oct. 29

With a major expansion scheduled for 2022, “Pumpkins in The City” is a highlight inside the Harvest Festival. At sunset, tens of thousands of pumpkins — carved, sculpted, life-sized and themed — illuminate the night sky, accompanied by a lively, blacklight dance party every night in Pumpkin Plaza. A daytime dimension includes hundreds of demonstrating crafters, plus cowboy lore and music throughout the streets and stages. And culinary experts create specialty seasonal foods with sweet and savory pumpkin flavors and hearty soups.

An Old Time Christmas

Nov. 5-Dec. 30

In an unprecedented five-time title streak, Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas is America’s Best Holiday Theme Park Event, claiming the designation from USA TODAY 10Best Reader’s Choice Awards. The city’s “Citizens” create a dazzling parkwide wonderland with 6.5 million lights, A Holly Jolly Light Parade, an eight-story animated Christmas tree, Christmas in Midtown spectacular, Joy on the Town Square light show, Broadway-style shows, roller coasters at night and gourmet holiday foods.

Categories: Family Friendly