The 50th performance of the YMCA Preschool was celebrated Thursday, April 16, and Friday, April 17.

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The 3-year-olds performed in a circus on Thursday night. A total of 33 students were lions, tigers, acrobats, dalmatians, elephants and much more.

Gus Schumaker decided to be a lion tamer this year because his dad, Nathan, was one in the Y Preschool Circus back in 1979.

“We had a few alumni of the circus return this year to help their younger siblings,” Edwardsville YMCA Marketing Director Lauren Szakielo said. “Katie Schwarz, who played the cow, is the older sibling to Joey Schwarz, our cute clown.”

Szakielo said in the Pre-K Circus on Friday night, there were 45 students that performed their special circus act. 

The YMCA marketing director said there was a special guest at the circus – Sally Mateyka.

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“She was able to tell the parents about her experience 50 years ago,” Szakielo said. “Older siblings were brought on stage before the performance and were able to dance with the ringmaster and the preschool teacher Jenny Cruthis.”

Szakielo said the circus could not have happened without the strong support of the YMCA staff and the preschool parents.

“The staff and parents helped decorate the gym, set up chairs, pop popcorn, some did a little clowning around with the performers, and all were very supportive of the Y's Circus,” she said.

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