Goodbye elephants, lions, and tigers, because a Chicago couple is using a new animal as the poster child of their family circus.
If you take in a show of Midnight Circus in the Parks, you'll be delighted to see the entertaining styles of two rescue pit bulls full of animation and skill.
Jeff Jenkins and his wife Julie founded Midnight Circus in the Park in 2006, as a way to raise money for the city's parks department. The performers always had a love for pit bulls, a breed that's often mistreated and in need of rehabilitation, and decided to add their rescue pup, Lola to the lineup. She was a natural.
"My wife and I had been doing Midnight Circus in its first iteration for a few years when we adopted her, and Lola was naturally a part of the show," Jenkins told PEOPLE. "Not every performer was for everybody, but every audience member loved that dog."
Unfortunately, Lola passed away in 2013, but her memory still lives on through her two doggy replacements, Junebug, 10 and Rosie Rae, 2.
Along with the beloved pups, the couple's children, Max and Samantha, acrobats, aerialists, and clowns also take the stage to entertain the crowd, which have an estimated 15,000 attendance rate throughout the year.
According to PEOPLE, Midnight Circus in the Parks has gained support from the city and several big-name sponsors. As of the end of September 2017, they have earned close $1 million, which has all been been donated to some of Chicago’s neediest neighborhood parks.
"We started the circus because we wanted to make a difference in our community, our city," Jenkins said. "Chicago is a very divided city, but the public parks are the great equalizer in our community. As my wife says, everyone has access, so they should be safe, clean, well-funded, well-resourced. And that’s the idea behind the circus: bringing a world-class show to these various communities."
Would you like to watch Midnight Circus in the Park perform?