Come one, come all, the circus calls

By REBECCA SOARES

Behind the curtains at the door, a circus awaited.

Guests who attended the Night Circus fundraiser at Idea Exchange’s Queen’s Square branch on March 3 were in for a real treat.

“This whole night, I’d forgotten this was a library. It truly felt like I was stepping into a circus,” said Miranda Espanola, a Cambridge resident.

The idea for the Night Circus fundraiser came from the book Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. In the novel, there is an array of spectacles for the guests to witness throughout the circus, which is what Idea Exchange tried to recreate.

Throughout the event there were scheduled performances and entertainers spread out among the two floors of the library to give guests the Night Circus experience everywhere they went.

“When you go to a circus there’s things going on all around you,” said Gabrielle Clermont, Idea Exchange’s community engagement specialist. “We didn’t want to have just one main performance at a time, we tried to ensure there was something going on everywhere for the guests to enjoy. It really seems like everyone is enjoying the performances too, which is what we hoped for.”

Guests who ventured upstairs found an Escape Room, sinfully sweet baked goods and circus games available to be played at the leisure of the guests. The second floor also had a section reserved for performances by local dance groups ONEmovement and Valizan.

On the main level, there was a dance floor that featured the Wishing Tree in which guests could light an LED candle, and place it on the tree while making a wish, a variety of foods that tantalized your sense of smell, a reptile petting zoo, fortune tellers, card readers and more.

There was also a stage that featured various performances including beautifully played piano music and daring fire performances.

“I had issues deciding what I wanted to do most,” said Espanola. “There was so much going on and I wanted to experience it all! I was never really able to experience a circus before and the very fact that Idea Exchange created a circus right in my neighbourhood is remarkable. I got to witness someone dance with fire and juggle it like it was nothing, I saw belly dancing, was taught how to juggle. It isn’t a typical circus but it’s everything I could have hoped for.”

Clermont said, “Not only are the guests having a wonderful time, but we’ve raised a lot of money for Cambridge Art Galleries.”

It may have seemed hectic with so many different acts in one building, but the atmosphere was filled with euphoria as guests witnessed magical and mystic performances before their very eyes.
The Night Circus fundraiser went from 8 p.m. to midnight and was packed with guests all night long.