About Us

Wrapping Learning and Positive Growth in Fun

We are a family owned and operated children’s participatory circus. Our goal is to encourage kids to be active, play outside and use their imaginations. Circus Imagination has been based in California for over 25 years, working primarily for county fairs and festivals. Our circus takes up to 30 kids from the audience to become the stars of the show.

The Show Starts

The show starts with the Ringmaster picking kids from the audience to participate. There's only one requirement to be on the show: big smiles!

All the costumes go right over their clothes, and with the help of the Costumier they are all ready in a few minutes.

Circus Acts

The show can have up to ten different acts, it varies depending on the amount, and age, of kids participating. It usually starts with Tina the Tight Rope Walker, the little girl with a big dream!

Sandow the Strong comes out next to give the audience a display of his enormous strengh. Hoping that Bobo the Clown doesn't steal the spotlight, again.

Now Marco the Lion Tamer and his troop of ferocious Lions, Tigers and Bears take over the stage. Time for roaring and wildness!

Hans and Franz will "pump you up." These two strong man from Germany make the Flying Circus. For this brand new circus act we transformed a video-game (Angry Birds) into a real life game!

Now comes a time for prettyness, with our adorable dancing Butterfly Ballerinas. It's all giggles until Clarence the Clown the bringer of chaos, a.k.a. butterfly collector, decides to chase the girls around.

Time for a little bit of old west with Dead Eye McBang showing off his target shooting abilities with our enchanted pop cork gun. He has a very talented sister Calamity Oakley the Cowgirl who does mind-boggling whipping tricks.

It's almost the end of the show when the Champagne Sisters from Paris, France come to the stage to showcase their acrobatic abilities. Warning: There may be flying monkeys involved.

The Grand Finale is our dare-devil the Human Cannon Ball. He or she will be put inside the cannon, the notorious "Kid Blaster" and shot out right in front of your eyes! Don't blink or you may miss it!

Everything we do in Circus Imagination is completely safe. We prize ourselves in encouraging children to play in risk-free ways and away from TVs and Video-Games.

The goal is for kids to go home and have their own circus using props from around the house and their imaginations.

Unplug and Play Outside

Where It All Started

Circus Imagination is a second generation family owned business.

It all started in 1985 when Greg Hegwer and Criss Raintree decided to runaway and join the circus bringing the joy of performance & circus to children of all ages.

Together they travelled with their little circus all around the United States, from Washington to Hawaii. Then known as Backyard Circus they kept on entertaining kids for almost two decades.

When the couple retired from the traveling circus life, their son Caton took on the ringmaster hat, keeping the family tradition alive.

He married costumier Carolina Raintree-Hegwer, and together they make the impromptu theater of Circus Imagination.

Everything that's part of the circus was either made by Caton, sewed by Carolina and painted by both. They keep the idea of "do-it-yourself" alive encouraging children to believe everything is possible, like creating their own circus when they go home.

Circus Imagination provides an unforgettable experience for children ages 3 and up. It's all about encouraging creativity, interaction and fun!

“No resource person or any assembly has been as outstanding as Circus Imagination, several of our students are now selling tickets for their own backyard circuses. In education, success is often measured by emulation.” quote from a Santa Cruz County School Principal.

-from Santa Cruz County Fair

"This kid has the best imagination," said Tierra Buena resident Teya Baker, whose daughter jumped enthusiastically into her role as Tina the Tightrope Walker, reaching her arms high above her head one after another as she pretended to climb a 100-foot ladder. "I add new things to my imagination a lot," said Lillian Baker, 8. "I think I want to do this at home. I could use my dog as a dingo."

-from Appeal-Democrat.com

"Circus Imagination - Kids can join the circus using their imagination with props and costumes that are provided. The Ringmaster guides them through a fantasy adventure and before they know it, they have created their own world - something they can take home with them for many hours of backyard adventures.”

-from Sacramento Today

“Inside a colorful circus tent is where imaginations run wild at the Merced County Spring Fair. Ringmaster Caton Hegwer and costume coordinator Carol Raintree-Hegwer handpick kids from the audience to take part in an interactive show designed to get children to use their imaginations.”

“It’s a fabulous show,” said Karen Searle, owner of Fair Executives (…) “It’s not just interactive for the kids and their parents, even the audience enjoys it.”

-from Los Banos Enterprise

“Maybe you’re a circus buff who’s been under the Ringling Brothers big top and the Cirque du Soleil cute top. But have you witnessed a circus where pint-sized children are turned into elephants and human cannonballs?”

-from Napa Valley Register

“The purpose of the show is to try and teach kids there are lots of things to do outdoors,” (…) “You can have a circus in your backyard using things you have at your home, just by using your imagination.”

-from Merced Sun Star

“Circus Imagination is a circus where the kids actually get to run away and join the circus for a day”

-from Contra Costa County Fair

“Parents state being more than pleased with the idea of some face-to-face fun that regenerates the notion of educational and safe enjoyment away from screens and remote controls.”

“Aiming to maximize their full creative potential by strengthening their confidences, the major triumph of Circus Imagination is still the fact that it does not end when the show is over.”

“Its inspiration to play outside and use your inventiveness is taken home by every child.”

-from Holtville Tribune

Circus Imagination will engage the imagination and creativity of children. Prior to each show the Circus Imagination ringmaster tours the fairgrounds and invites children to participate. Colorful costumes and child-friendly direction is given in each act.

The 10-act program features a variety of circus acts from Tina the Tightrope Walker who climbs a make-believe ladder 100 feet in the air to Zazelle the Human Cannonball. No skill or talent is required and the experience leaves children with a strong sense of creativity and resourcefulness.

-from Los Banos Enterprise

"How about visiting Circus Imagination, where children become instant stars by being selected from the audience, put in costume, and then performing in a spontaneous circus for the crowd."

-from Aspoa.org

Hayley McGilvery, 7, of Morgan Hill gets to be part of the performance at the Circus Imagination at the Monterey County Fair on Wednesday afternoon. The circus, which has been around for 25 years, lets children be part of the show as the ringmaster puts them through a series of make-believe acts.

-from Californian.com

The idea of the circus is to get children away from video games and have them play with their imagination to help them get more creative.

-from IV Press Online

Kids can join the circus using their imagination with props and costumes that are provided. The Ringmaster guides them through a fantasy adventure and before they know it, they have created their own world - something they can take home with them for many hours of backyard adventures.

-from Sacramento Today
"Circus Imagination presents their popular audience-participation animal-free circus shows under the Big Top."
-from City of El Cerrito
"How about visiting Circus Imagination, where children become instant stars by being selected from the audience, put in costume, and then performing in a spontaneous circus for the crowd."
-from Nevada County Fair

"A must-see for all children attending the festival is the participation-based circus performances of Circus Imagination. With a variety of pre-existing circus acts including Tight Rope Walking, and Human Canon Balls, the performers of Circus Imagination will also recruit children from the audience to join them on stage. Children of all ages can dress up as lions, safari explorers, and (of course) clowns and become part of the main attraction while performing in skits and other shows."

-from Nevada County Italian Festival

“Tina the Tightrope walker just got a new skill, she hula hoops on the Circus Imagination tightrope! Such a talented little girl!” (Click to Watch the video!)

-from FirstPost.com

“Had a hassle free experience with better than quoted pricing and a superb product delivered ahead of schedule. All the things you look for in a company. Thanks from Circus Imagination”

-from Google + review from Chico,CA

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★ Website developed by Carolina Raintree