There’s a new circus, based in the Goobarragandra, and lessons in the colourful arts will be on offer at this weekend’s Tumut Show.
‘Circus McCabe’ was founded by 27-year-old Patrick McCabe and moved to the Snowy Valleys last December.
“We moved everything in and unpacked and then had a look at ‘Fires Near Me’ app and thought maybe we should pack our bags again,” said Mr McCabe.
“We stuck around and thankfully nothing burned down.”
The McCabe clan has moved into the region with big dreams, bringing multiple family members and several businesses down from Picton.
“I started the circus as a way of bringing joy to people,” said Patrick, who also teaches part-time at McAuley Catholic School.
“It doesn’t make very much money, it’s more like a hobby that we manage to do during school holidays and it pays for itself basically.”
Inspired by the natural beauty of the Goobarragandra Valley, the brothers purchased a property together and have settled in relatively quickly.
“We looked around at lots of different places and we had lots of ideals like being surrounded by a national park and having a river running through the property,” said Patrick.
“We though that those ideals weren’t going to be possible, but it’s like God had the ideal location for us.”
Mr McCabe said he was inspired to start Circus McCabe after working for another family-run circus and watching how closely the generations operated as a team; children helped set up tents while their parents performed or sold tickets and grandparents sold fairy floss.
“It’s not just dad going to work and coming home in the evening,” said Patrick, “It’s the whole family working together.”
Patrick and his wife, Felicity, have a 20-month-old son, and are expecting the arrival of their second child next week. Family is their first priority, harkening back to an almost-forgotten era.
“We love the idea of family being able to work together, similar to old fashioned times when brothers would start a business or families would invest in a property together.”
Circus McCabe is currently a part-time operation, with shows mainly held during school holidays.
At the Tumut Show this weekend, Patrick said Circus McCabe will be hosting circus classes, with lessons in juggling, acrobatics, tight-rope walking, unicycling and more.
“It’s just an opportunity for people to be able to come in and experience and learn a little bit about the circus,” said Patrick.