Cuban circus troupe stranded in Morecambe during first lockdown echoes promise to return for free shows one year on
A year on from being stranded in Morecambe due to the first coronavirus lockdown restrictions, Big Kid Circus has renewed its thanks to the town for its support and promised to revisit to perform free shows.
The 35 adults, four children and four dogs that make up the troupe were aged between two and 91 at the time, and made up of several different nationalities, including Romanian, Bulgarian, Cuban, Chilean and Moroccan as well as English.
They were unable to work or return home, and were helped out by the local community, Lancaster City Council and Morecambe Bay Foodbank, and also set up a crowdfunding page.
Following our story, the troupe's plight went global, with numerous news outlets and TV stations picking up the tale.
The group was finally allowed to pack up and leave for pastures new in July.At the time, they promised to come back to perform free shows every year as a thank you to the people of Morecambe who helped them out.
And almost a year later, they have now echoed that promise.
Big Kid Circus manager Julia Kirilova, whose family runs the circus, said: "Big Kid Circus wants to say a special thanks to the people of Morecambe and celebrate the brave, kind and loving people in Morecambe who helped our circus survive the ongoing pandemic.
"The circus arrived on Morecambe prom to perform the new 'all Cuban show’ for the weekend on 13th March 2020.
"But with the pandemic becoming a serious situation the circus was locked down in Morecambe on 23rd March 2020, with 35 circus performers who cannot go home, and with no furlough the circus was left in a tough position.
"It was at this point the people of Morecambe came together to help the circus by donating food, clothes, toys, books and money. Morecambe Foodbank gave the circus food on a weekly basis.
"Morecambe is a deprived area, but this was the place which opened up their hearts to our small circus family, which was stranded in the middle of our tour with no way of going back home.
"Lancaster City Council allowed the circus to stay on the prom free of charge and provided us with electric and water. The local people brought use basic living necessities such as food, bathing products, sanitary products for our ladies and toys for our children.
"The Government had no funds for the circus nor any business relief - as we were a travelling business we “fell through the cracks” according to an agent from HMRC.
"Our story was unique and attracted the attention from various media channels such as BBC, ITV, Channel 5 and Danish TV.
"We will be visiting Morecambe this year if all is well with the pandemic. As we promised, every year we visit the area we will be providing free shows for the local community."