Who hasn’t wanted to run away and join the circus at one time or another? For nearly 70 years, kids in Wenatchee have been fortunate to have that become a reality.
In 1952, Wenatchee English teacher Paul K. Pugh was asked to come up with a way to entertain the crowds during school sporting events. A circus aficionado and acting enthusiast, Pugh got a few kids together to practice tumbling routines. Before long, juggling, trampoline and tightrope walking were added to the line-up. And it grew from there.
By the early 1960s, the Wenatchee Youth Circus was the darling of the national media, receiving multi-page spreads in the Saturday Evening Post and Life magazine, interviewed by PBS, and invited to perform at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and the 2017 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C., among other gigs. Despite a two-year pause because of Covid, the youth troupe continues to inspire young people today who learn that — with determination, desire and hard work — the sky is literally the limit!
Read more about this amazing youth circus, and its beloved and inspirational leader Paul K. Pugh in a recent story in HistoryLink.org