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2017 National Youth Circus Festival

August 16-20, 2017, Trenton, NJ

Hosted by the Trenton Circus Squad


What’s new this year?

  • Workshops labeled for youth, adults, or youth + adults in the service of giving priority to youth in physical workshops and providing more options for adults
  • An expanded track of workshops for parents and educators via the adult pass
  • Increased frequency of high demand workshops
  • Membership with AYCO/ACE is required for all participants


Check back here for the schedule of workshops and events!

Housing and Accommodation

Reserve at the official festival hotel – $109 per night!

AYCO has made a special arrangement with the Wyndham Garden Trenton, one mile from our festival site.  Special rates will apply until July 7, 2016. We highly recommend you reserve your rooms as soon as you know you will be attending! We are very excited that we can have one main festival hotel in 2017!

How to reserve

Call 1 609 421 4000

Make sure to press #0 after dialing to speak with the front desk. If you press #1, reservations will not be able to book the AYCO rooms!


-You are with the American Youth Circus Organization group

-Your name

-Check in-out dates (August 16-20th for the festival)

-What kind of room (Double Queen ($109), King ($109), Suite ($189).
Please note: Breakfast is not included but can be purchased on site for an additional fee. There is a supermarket close by if you choose to provide your own breakfast.  If you would like a fridge or roll away in your room, be sure to request it as they are limited. Enquire with the hotel directly about parking rates.  Taxes and gratuity are not included in the listed price.


Details and Registration

Every two years, hundreds of circus youth and circus coaches gather from all across the United States for the American Youth Circus Festival. This five-day event is comprised of over 150 workshops, two showcases, and plentiful social events and community building opportunities.

This is a life changing event that is not to be missed!

Register Here!

Festival Fees and Passes

Full information about passes and what they include can be found by clicking each pass link.

Early Bird Youth Pass: $350 (Until 4/15/17)

Youth Pass: $450

Adult Pass: $250

Workshop leader (accepted applicants only): $100

Breakfast at the Trenton Circus Squad: $30

Chaperone Assistance: $150

For more information on breakfast and chaperone assistance, visit our page here.


A note about Chaperones/Adult passes:

Because our event is not delivered in the style of a sleep away camp where there is supervision for each child at all times, we require each youth have a designated chaperone.  If you choose to come as a chaperone, you will need to purchase the adult pass which comes with access to a special strand of workshops as well as food, shows, and social events. You’ll also be asked to join as an AYCO member. You will be deeply embedded into the culture of the event as a chaperone and encouraged to participate as opposed to sitting off to the side waiting for activities to be done!

If you are a parent who wishes to attend and chaperone and do other work from our site, you are welcome to do this with your adult pass, but note there will be limited access to quiet spaces for this purpose (although we will have wifi).

Remember, if you know another person over 21 going to the event already, you can designate them as a chaperone for your child so that you don’t have to be on site! Contact if you have any questions or concerns about this and we will help you sort it out.



All participants, chaperones, work study and workshop leaders are required to sign a waiver.

Sign the Waiver

Applications, Fine Print and Contact Info

Showcase Applications

Want to perform your act in front of the national circus community? Apply to perform in the national festival showcase! For more information, visit our showcase guidelines and FAQ page. Application deadline = June 10th

Showcase Application

Work Study

For young adults ages 18-26 who are in between youth circus and a professional circus career.  Trade working at the festival for an all access pass (youth + adult workshops). By application only. Application deadline = July 1st (rolling admission until then)

Apply Here for Work Study!

Workshop Leaders

Workshop leaders will be selected via application process by the program director, and will be required to offer their workshop twice during the course of the event. Application deadline = March 24th

Apply Here to Lead a Workshop!

Financial Aid

Financial aid for organizations is limited to members of the Social Circus Network.

Financial Aid for individuals may become available – check back for more information!

The Fine Print

  • We are not able to accommodate requests to extend the early bird rate.
  • No refunds after June 1, 2017
  • All youth passes require a youth membership.
  • Adult and Workshop Leader passes require a supporter, professional, or institutional level membership.

Festival Contact Information

Questions about registration, payment and schedule sign up: Sam Boyles at

Questions about the showcase: Polly Solomon at

General festival questions: Amy Cohen at