Los Banos — Inside a colorful circus tent is where imaginations run wild at the Merced County Spring Fair. Ringmaster Caton Hegwer and costume coordinator Carol Raintree-Hegwer handpick kids from the audience to take part in an interactive show designed to get children to use their imaginations.
The duo is a husband-and-wife team who took on the family business as their own. Now traveling throughout the West Coast, the couple perform at a number of fairs and festivals.
With them, they bring a 30-by-30-foot tent, costumes and props, and leave it up to the imaginers to do the rest. While Caton Hegwer emcees the show, his wife dresses the kids in costume, and guides them to perform a show straight out of a make-believe scene.
“It’s a fabulous show,” said Karen Searle, owner of Fair Executives, a company that manages fairs, and helps market for Circus Imagination. “It’s not just interactive for the kids and their parents, even the audience enjoys it.”
The show attracts 4-year-olds and up and lasts around 20 to 30 minutes.
The purpose of the show is to try and teach kids there are lots of things to do outdoors,” Searle said. “You can have a circus in your backyard using things you have at your home, just by using your imagination.”
Access to Circus Imagination is free with paid fair admission.