Each day of the Schoharie County Sunshine Fair attendees can catch a glimpse of the Alvarez family trying out some new tricks.
“We’re a circus performer family,” said Martin Alvarez. “We travel with my wife and my daughter and my other niece.”
Alvarez noted that his family has been in the circus business for five generations, stretching back a century.
“We’ve been all over the world doing shows, performing with Ringling Brothers, when the show was going. That is just something that our family grew up doing,” Alvarez said.
Since 2019, they’ve toured mostly in the United States, bringing their Aquatic Acrobatic Show to fairs and festivals.
“It’s pretty cool as it’s the only show of its kind in the U.S. right now,” Alvarez said. “We have this unique rig that we bring in.”
The set-up includes a 30-foot pool, with a platform and a rig in the center. One performer jet skis around the platform while others are suspended above the platform performing aerial stunts.
“One hangs from her neck and the other ones do splits, and they’re also dressed as mermaids. So you’re gonna see mermaids spinning around doing all kinds of tricks and the jet ski going around and around in the pool. So it’s going to be pretty amazing,” Alvarez said.
During another part of the show, one performer juggles with fire using only her feet. The show also features acrobatic stunts and a few hula-hooping dogs.
The family has about 700 shows on the docket this year alone and they travel with a cargo trailer as well as an RV and camper to fit everyone. Lately, the increase in gas and diesel costs has taken a toll financially, but from Alvarez’s view, it’s worth it.
“We love what we do . . . and we want to do something different with what we [perform],” Alvarez said.
It’ll be the first time they’ve brought the show to the Sunshine Fair and the family plans to perform twice a day there.
The fair opens on Tuesday and runs through Aug. 14 at the Cobleskill Fairgrounds (113 Sunshine Drive).
Throughout the week, there will be demolition derbies, horse racing, daily chainsaw sculpture-making, midway rides and performances by Royal Hanneford Circus.
The headlining music act is T. G. Sheppard, who is known for songs like “Last Cheater’s Waltz,” “I Loved ‘Em Every One” and “Do You Wanna Go To Heaven.” He’ll perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are an additional $10.
There will also be performances by Skeeter Creek, Jason Wicks and The Electric City Horns. For the fair’s daily schedule visit sunshinefair.org.
Schoharie County Sunshine Fair
WHEN: Tuesday, Aug. 9 – Sunday, Aug. 14. Gates are open from 9 a.m. to midnight each day of the fair.
WHERE: Cobleskill Fairgrounds
TICKETS: Day passes are $17 for Tuesday-Thursday and $20 for Saturday-Sunday. Note: There is a 4% added charge to all credit card purchases.
MORE INFO: sunshinefair.org.