One of the highlights of the Christmas season in this area every year is the Sailor Circus Academy Holiday Spectacular.
This year's version, which is called "It's a Wonderful Life," is scheduled for Dec. 27-30 at the Sailor Circus Arena in Sarasota.
The shows combines a heartwarming and magical original story (unrelated to the classic James Stewart movie with the same title) and a thrilling traditional four-ring circus that features some of the world's best young circus performers.
In fact, the show features more than 100 young performers, all between fourth and 12th grade, and all serious students of circus arts who are preparing to be big top stars in the very near future.
It's designed to appeal to all ages. Circus officials describe both the show and the ticket prices as "family friendly."
The Sailor Circus is the largest youth circus in the world, and more than a million people have seen its shows over the past 65 years.
Details: Dec. 27-30, Sailor Circus Arena, 2075 Bahia Vista Drive, Sarasota. Show times: 7 p.m. Dec. 27 and 30, 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 28-29. Tickets: $16 adults, $12 children 12 and younger. Information: 941-355-9805, www.circusarts.org.
-- Marty Clear