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3/21/2014 10:58:18 AM

SARATOGA SPRINGS, New York (March 20, 2014) – In conjunction with the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Casino and Raceway announced yesterday that it will host the international youth circus troupe, ‘Circus Smirkus,’ on their outdoor polo field July 12 and 13. All proceeds raised by the ‘Big Top Tour’ at the casino will go directly to the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs.

Saratoga Springs will be the fifth of fifteen tour stops made by Circus Smirkus on their eight- week tour this summer. This year’s theme, “Anchors Away For Atlantis,” will bring thirty youth circus stars ages 10 to 18 and the over 5,000 square foot ‘Big Top Tent’ to the polo fields at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Circus Smirkus will perform four shows in Saratoga on July 12 and 13, with a 1p.m. and 7p.m. show scheduled for each day.

“Saratoga Casino and Raceway has long been committed to supporting our community and we are proud to be able to host such an exciting event as Circus Smirkus” stated Rita Cox, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. “Each year, we host dozens of events and are very pleased to include the family-friendly Circus Smirkus as they endeavor to raise funds that will help the Waldorf School.”

Joining Smirkus for his third summer on the tour is Saratoga Springs’ own Keenan Wright-Sanson, who is a junior at the Waldorf High School. Keenan specializes in the slack line, balance acts, and will also show off his clowning abilities. He is the younger brother of Taylor Wright-Sanson, a Waldorf School alumnus who also toured with Smirkus, from 2006 to 2010.  Rigorous auditions to be accepted into the show are held every year, and Keenan was selected again to join the 2014 tour out of over 120 applicants.

“The Waldorf School is excited to be presenting Circus Smirkus for the eighth year in a row. It’s a wonderful event for the entire Saratoga community, and we are pleased to partner with Saratoga Casino and Raceway,” said Katherine Scharff, the school’s administrator. “We are also so proud of Keenan for being accepted into the Smirkus troupe, again. It will be fun to see what tricks he’ll try this year.”
The Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs brought Circus Smirkus to Saratoga in 2007 as a fundraising and outreach event. The arts are integrated in every aspect of the Waldorf curriculum, from preschool to high school.  The school and Smirkus make a natural fit, as they share the core values of inspiring young and old; dedication and hard work; helping children realize their unique potential; and celebrating quality performing arts.
This summer’s tour marks the first time the event will be held at Saratoga Casino and Raceway.

“We always have a great time in Saratoga,” said Troy Wunderle, Big Top Tour Artistic Director of Circus Smirkus. “The Waldorf School has been an excellent partner over the years and we’re looking forward to building a new relationship with Saratoga Casino and Raceway and the potential of setting up our Big Top in the new location for years to come.”  

Tickets will be available starting May 1st, by calling toll-free 1-877-SMIRKUS or by visiting

Saratoga Casino and Raceway, located on Crescent Avenue in Saratoga Springs, NY, features over 1,700 slots, electronic table games, Vapor Night Club, two full-service restaurants with buffets, a casual dining restaurant, three full-service bars, deli and a variety of guest services including valet parking and coat check. Operating hours for the gaming facility are 9 a.m. to 4 a.m. every day. Simulcast races can be viewed seven days a week and live harness racing runs March through mid-December. For a full racing schedule and additional information, please visit or call 800-727-2990. Must be 18 years of age or older to play video gaming machines or wager on horses.  Please play responsibly.  

Circus Smirkus is a non-profit, award-winning, international youth circus founded with the mission of promoting the skills, culture and traditions of the traveling circus arts. All troupe members of Circus Smirkus are children, known as “Smirkos,” ranging in ages from 10 to 18 years old. The “Smirkos,” hail from all over the country and make up a multicultural circus troupe from all different walks of life. This year’s troupe hails from nine states and internationally from Mexico. Now in its 27th year, the Vermont-based organization has helped raise over $2.5 million for non-profit partners.

Circus Smirkus Saratoga Casino and Raceway

Circus Smirkus ‘Smirko’ Keenan Wright-Sanson shows off his handstand ability. Pictured from left to right: Rita Cox, Senior Vice President of Marketing and External Affairs; Taylor Wright-Sanson, Former Circus Smirkus Performer and Waldorf School of Saratoga Alumnus; Keenan Wright-Sanson, Current Circus Smirkus Performer and Junior at the Waldorf School of Saratoga; Skip Carlson, Vice President of External Affairs and Signature Service; Katherine Scharff, Waldorf School of Saratoga Administrator; Rich Valmore, IT Manager at Saratoga Casino and Raceway.

Media Contacts:
Tom Engle

Laura Rappaport

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logoMust be 18 years of age or older to play video gaming machines or wager on horses; 21 to enter Vapor. Please play responsibly.