In 1842, a street performer named Napoline Zoppé fell in love with a ballerina named Ermenegilda. With her parents’ disapproval of their relationship, the two ran away to Venice, Italy. Together, they created what is now known as the Piccolo Zoppé Circus.




Almost 100 years later, Napoline’s great-great-grandchild Albert Zoppé (along with his siblings) inherited the circus. After creating relationships with big time names such as Orson Welles, John Ringling, P.T. Barnum and more, Albert moved his family to America where he would go on to continue his work in the circus industry, and eventually, start a family of his own.


Alberto’s children – Tino, Delilah, Carla, Giovanni and Tosca – continue to run the family business along with their spouses. And while the circus travels extensively, they’ve called Arkansas their home for more than 30 years.




Between now and Nov. 19, you can catch a performance by the Piccolo Zoppé Winter Circus at the corner of Bishop Lindsey Avenue & Magnolia Street in North Little Rock’s Argenta Arts District. The event is presented by North Little Rock Tourism.


AY About You President and Publisher Heather Baker had the pleasure of witnessing the show on opening night along with her husband, Ryan.



“We had an incredible time at the circus last night! The arrival of the big top in town brought a sense of excitement and nostalgia,” Baker said. “Stepping into the grand tent filled me with a childlike wonder, especially with the enticing aroma of cotton candy lingering in the air.”




When you first arrive at the circus, you’ll be greeted by some of the performers inside the gathering tent. The circus offers its guests a moment to take a step back in time and indulge in European pastries, popcorn, cotton candy and other delectable delights.



Once you’re settled, though, you’ll realize the Piccolo Zoppé circus is different than any other. It’s petite and unique. No audience member is more than 18 feet away from the ring. You’ll be enchanted with the performances and become a part of the circus family.





Guests can expect to see amazing acrobatics, trapeze acts, equestrian arts, dog tricks and so much more. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll undoubtedly leave the night with an unforgettable experience.


“The pre-show magic performance and the array of captivating costumes added to the enchanting atmosphere,” Baker said. “This is truly a family experience that shouldn’t be missed. Make sure to seize the opportunity for a fun-filled time at the circus!”




Ticket prices for the event are $15 for youth, $35 for adults, $50 for VIP and $100 for premium VIP. They can be purchased at the North Little Rock Tourism website or the circus’ website.


“North Little Rock Tourism knocked it out of the park, again!” Baker added.