Photos by Cameron Flaisch
“Circus Incredible” promises to dazzle audiences and lift spirits at this year’s Coosa Valley Fair.
This year’s Coosa Valley Fair, to be held on October 2-6, 2018, is special not just because it’s the 70th anniversary of the fair, but also because it promises to feature an amazing show, the likes of which have not been seen at the fair since 1970: an act called “Circus Incredible.”
This show features the brilliant aerial and acrobatic skills of husband and wife duo Simon Arestov and Lyric Wallenda, who have astounded audiences all across the world.
Dr. Barbara Carter, President of this year’s Coosa Valley Fair, said she so admires the work of these performers that she had two stipulations when she agreed to become the CVF President: “I wanted everyone to work together as a team and I wanted this act!”
Dr. Carter said she first heard about the aerial act “The Flying Wallendas” when they performed at the Coosa Valley Fair in 1970. The performers of that time were none other than current performer Lyric Wallenda’s great-grandparents.
Lyric is a seventh generation aerialist of the famous Wallenda family from Germany. Several members of the family came to the United States with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus in 1929. After 17 years working for others, Karl Wallenda started his own act, “The Flying Wallendas.”
In 1962, the family became world-famous when their seven-person-pyramid trick on the highwire went awry, leaving two dead and one paralyzed. More recently, another tragedy struck in 2017 when Lyric’s mother, the famous Rietta Wallenda, fell during a rehearsal of an eight-person-pyramid and sustained critical injuries. Thankfully, she is doing well now, and is slated to return to performing soon. As Lyric herself explained, when you grow up in the Wallenda family, no matter what, “the show must go on!”
Her husband, Simon Arestov, is an incredible performer in his own right. He started performing as an acrobat in his hometown of Moscow, Russia, where he was part of the world-famous Great Moscow State Circus. He originally met Lyric while they performed together in a traveling show over 15 years ago. At the time, they were just 18 years old.
After so much time together and supporting each other professionally, they became a real-life couple, got married, and now have a baby, who is the newest performer of the Wallenda-Arestov family. Lyric explained that because performing is in their blood, she and Simon brought Baby Alexander into the ring for the first time when he was only 17 days old. While he has years of training ahead, Lyric says the now almost 15-month-old, who she lovingly calls the show’s “producer,” might make a special appearance on stage for their Rome show, too.
Lyric explained that the show at Coosa Valley Fair in October will be the last one in their summer season tour all over the United States and Canada, which will launch on July 10th. Audiences can look forward to Simon’s impressive feats of acrobatics and balancing and Lyric’s amazing grace and strength as an aerialist.
But more importantly, audiences can expect pure passion and joy through an experience of raw talent and powerful energy that can only come from a live performance. These kinds of experiences are rare nowadays, with our world so consumed with internet and technology, explains Lyric. “It is such a blessing to bring live entertainment and joy to these communities we go to.” She also says that, “one of the reasons I feel so blessed to do this as my job is because I get to travel with my family, and also connect with other people and their families.” People all over the world enjoy connecting with the Wallenda-Arestov family in person, and then following them on their social media pages. “We get to meet children and their families at our shows and we’ve created a fanbase because they come back and see us year after year.” says Lyric.
Dr. Carter, thrilled to have her wish come true, and she cannot wait to experience the beautiful skill and colorful artistry that “Circus Incredible” is sure to bring. “They’re going to have two shows a day, October 2-6, at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and in the afternoon on Thursday and Saturday. I encourage everyone to come and enjoy this special act.”
Tickets for the Coosa Valley Fair can be purchased for only $5 at the gate, and parking is free.