LARGO — Zoppé, an Italian Family Circus, is scheduled to perform a series of shows on the grounds of the Largo Central Park Performing Arts Center this weekend.

The shows, which will feature dog acts, traditional Italian equestrian routines and classic circus clowning, run from Thursday, March 16, through Sunday, March 19, with two shows each day plus three on Saturday.

According to family spokesperson Jeanette Zoppé, who is married to sixth-generation circus performer Giovanni Zoppé, their shows feature a style and atmosphere different from most American circuses.

“Giovanni’s younger sister, Tosca, is an equestrian ballerina, which is an older and more traditional style of horse riding that’s very poetic and almost sad, but evokes many emotions,” Jeanette Zoppé said by phone March 13, as the family prepared for its second series of shows in Largo. “The venue here is very intimate and that’s what we like because this show is about connecting with the audience and bringing them along in our journey to understanding our family’s deep connection with the circus.”

Jeanette said the Largo shows represent a unique opportunity for attendees to see a large contingent of Zoppé family members performing together at the same time, as circus life is inherently nomadic.

“As our family grows, we’re not together all the time,” said Jeanette, who lives in Oklahoma but is rarely there. She noted that in addition to Giovanni and Tosca, their older sister, Karla, and her family are heavily involved in the business, while two siblings are not. “We like to say we have sawdust in our veins because we live on the road putting on shows. So this weekend will provide a rare opportunity to see us working together with all three siblings and their families being part of the same show here in Largo.” 

Zoppé noted in addition to the performances, food, drink, and merchandise vendors will be on the grounds, and she promised ticket buyers would be treated to a truly unique and affecting experience.

“It’s not just about fun,” she said. “But you will have fun! There’s no shortage of fun things to see.”