Godfrey, Ill. – First Night River Bend is proud to announce that the showcase for the 16th annual New Year’s Eve celebration will feature the famous one-ring circus spectacular presented by Circus Flora.

Circus Flora is a Theater Company, specializing in one-ring circus production, based on the focused energy of traditional circus arts, and showcasing the working partnership of humans and animals.

“It is our goal to create a truly American Classical Circus, with a narrative that engages audience members personally and emotionally,” said David Balding, artistic director and producer of Circus Flora.

The world class company of Circus Flora becomes a family, preserving classical circus traditions, particularly of Europe, while incorporating innovative techniques and original new artists.

“We are dedicated to sponsoring young talent and fostering new acts through programs of education and outreach. Each production of Circus Flora presents not only a theme, but a story, serving as a framework in which our ensemble company can celebrate life - a life in which humans and animals are closely united in one physical and symbolic sawdust ring,” Balding said.

First Night River Bend guests will have two chances to see the Circus Flora show, which will also feature Johnny Peers and the Muttville Comix, Yo-Yo the Clown, the Elliare Duet, Duo Adamo, the St. Louis Arches and the world renowned Flying Wallendas.

“We are very excited about the amazing talent that we are bringing to River Bend Arena for First Night this year,” Co-Director and Program Chair for FNRB Linda Nevlin said. “The Circus Flora show is a one-of-a-kind performance that has been receiving rave reviews for the past 25 years. We are so pleased to be able to bring their show to Godfrey for the first time ever.”

Nevlin said the River Bend Arena on the campus of Lewis and Clark will be transformed into a one-ring circus showcase, which will feature aerialists, tight-rope walking, juggling, acrobatics and a grand finale.

The Circus Flora show will be performed at 6:30 and 10 p.m. Buttons are on sale now and are $8 in advance for all ages, or $15 at the door.

“The buttons are all color-coded this year, based on the two circus shows,” Nevlin said. “When you purchase your button at one of our many button sales locations, be sure to select the button that represents the Circus show you want to attend – red for the 6:30 show and green for the 10 p.m. show.”

Buttons are on sale now and seats for the Circus shows are limited.  You can purchase your buttons online at Riverbender.com by clicking here. You can also purchase your buttons in advance at: Dave Mungenast Alton Toyota-Scion; Party Magic – Godfrey; Dick’s Flowers – Alton and Wood River; Liberty Bank – Alton, Godfrey and Bethalto; and at the Jerseyville Wellness Center – Jerseyville. You can also purchase your button online this year at riverbender.com (an additional service charge of $1.75 per button purchased online will be charged).

Other entertainment at this year’s First Night River Bend will include The Harman Family, Chris Egelston, the Alton Landing Jazz Quartet, Casey the Entertainer, Mother Goose & Friends, the Alton Little Theater Singing Stars of Tomorrow, Fantasy Faces, Harvey the Juggler, JoJo the Clown and lots of hands-on activities for children of all ages.

Also new this year, two fireworks shows will be offered. Fireworks will ring in the New Year early at 9 p.m. and again at midnight. This year an official New Year’s Eve Party with noisemakers, hats, horns and a toast will be held at 11:30 p.m. in The Commons.

For more information about First Night, or a complete schedule, log on to www.fnrblc.com or visit www.lc.edu/firstnight. Checkout Circus Flora at www.circusflora.org.

First Night River Bend is an alcohol-free, family-oriented New Year’s Eve celebration of the arts, featuring live music, singers, dancers, jugglers, magicians, and shows for people of all ages. First Night River Bend 2010 is a community project of Lewis and Clark Community College. The event is presented by Dave Mungenast Alton Toyota-Scion and the Lewis and Clark Community College Foundation. Major sponsors include Lewis and Clark Community College, Riverbender.com, The Telegraph, The Village of Godfrey and WBGZ 1570 AM.

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