Bindlestiff Family Cirkus at Coney Island USA

Nothing minor about this minors’ carnival at the People’s Playground

The Brooklyn Paper
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These kids did not have to run away to join the circus.

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus’ Lilliputian troupe Cavalcade of Youth will take the stage at Coney Island USA this Sunday featuring all of your favorite sideshow acts — snake-handling, unicycling tricks, you name it — pulled off by pint-sized performers.

But do not let their small size fool you — these kids are highly trained professionals.

“It’s not a school showcase, it’s not a kiddie show,” said producer Viveca Gardiner. “It’s performed by kids, but it’s for grown-ups and whole families.”

Gardiner said the circus recruits only the finest junior jesters and trains them to work together to create a variety show. The Cavalcade of Youth kids come from as close as Brooklyn and as far away as Philadelphia to hone their abilities at feats such as stilt-walking, juggling, and acrobatics.

Gardiner said she helped start the Cavalcade of Youth program nine years ago as a way to let talented youngsters get extra practice and an early chance to perform on stage.

“These are the future stars of Cirque du Soleil, Ringling Brothers, and Barnum & Bailey Circus,” said Gardiner, adding that some might even make the Coney Island sideshow or television.

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus’s Cavalcade of Youth at Coney Island USA [1208 Surf Avenue at W. 12th Street in Coney Island (718) 372–5159,]. Nov. 17, 4 pm. $10 for children, $15 for adults.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at
Updated 10:16 pm, July 9, 2018
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