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Santa Claus has joined the circus! • Brooklyn Paper

Santa Claus has joined the circus!

From left, students Albert Khaimov, Emily Velasquez and Brandon Minott perform a balancing act with the help of Mike the elf during a Holiday Circus performance at PS 130.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

By Eli Rosenberg

A Kensington elementary school has found the one way to get kids to pay attention to its lesson plan — send in the clowns!

PS 130 hosted Brighton Beach’s own Holiday Circus — a roving band of rag-tag magicians, performers, and clowns who put on a special Christmas-themed show.

Mike, who is a circus elf, rides a unicycle during a Holiday Circus performance at PS 130 in Kensington.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

“It was live-action and fast moving, so it just appealed to the kids,” said Andrew Pantillo, a kindergarten teacher who also runs its events. “It gave them a chance to see clowns and performers up close.”

The show is a circus-like extravaganza set in Santa’s workshop — but this isn’t your everyday St. Nick.

“Santa was doing magic tricks,” said Pantillo. “And he was like the MC of the show. But he was also this European-style, old-fashioned Santa Claus.”

Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Holiday Circus performs at the Millennium Theater in Brighton Beach — but the event at the school was a special performance for the kindergartners, and first and second graders.

“At this age they all believe in Santa Claus,” said Pantillo. “And a lot of them may not be exposed to this kind of stuff, so it gave them a chance to have an up close and personal experience.”

The paper’s fact-checkers could not confirm the existence of Santa Claus or his ability to bring gifts to the houses of children on Christmas Eve.

Sant-astic: this Old World-style Santa not only delivers the goods on Christmas, he’s a magician too.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

The Ocean Parkway school has kids from more than 20 countries around the world, Pantillo said, so it was nice to have unifying event.
“Some of the kids are still talking about it today,” he said.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2531. Follow him at twitter.com/emrosenberg.

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