Fern Street Circus schedules free shows throughout San Diego

A juggler who goes by Mr. Orbit performs during the Fern Street Circus show last year in City Heights.
A juggler who goes by Mr. Orbit performs during the Fern Street Circus show last year in City Heights.
(Hayne Palmour IV / For The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The bilingual performance series, “Hoy por ti, mañana por mí,” will be presented in San Diego community parks in April and May  


The Fern Street Circus is starting its 2023 Neighborhood Tour of 10 free public performances with a show at 2 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Park in Barrio Logan.

The other shows will take place in parks and recreation centers in San Diego, showcasing professional performers alongside students from Fern Street Circus’s free after-school program in City Heights. Fern Street Circus is a project of the nonprofit Fern Street Community Arts and has been serving San Diego’s mid-city neighborhoods for 30 years with its after-school program and annual performances at public parks, all offered free.

This year’s theme is “Hoy por ti, mañana por mí” (“Today for you, tomorrow for me”), an exploration of cooperation and working toward a common goal. The professionally produced shows deliver simple but meaningful narratives that cross generations, cultures, and language and economic barriers.

“We have seen so much divisiveness over the last few years, between COVID and the strident political environment,” said Executive Director John Highkin in a statement. “We wanted this show to take a gentler approach, to be all about kindness, generosity and cooperation, celebrating all the things that can bring communities together, rather than divide us.”

Bilingual ringmaster Memo Mendez leads the shows, which feature live music and circus acts such as juggling, clowning, contortion, tumbling, tightwire and puppetry. The global cast includes professional circus artists from Guinea, Ethiopia, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Canada.

The Neighborhood Tour also includes a free community health fair, with screenings, vaccinations and other resources from Live Well San Diego; pre-show concerts featuring student performers from Mariachi Victoria de San Diego; and mobile vet clinics offering free and low-cost pet vaccinations, microchipping, exams and other services by the San Diego Humane Society (Saturday and April 29 events only).

All shows start at 2 p.m.:

  • Saturday: Memorial Park, 2975 Ocean View Blvd.
  • Sunday (Easter): Golden Hill Recreation Center, 2600 Golf Course Drive.
  • April 15: Park de la Cruz, 3603 38th St.
  • April 16: Azalea Park, 2596 Violet St.
  • April 29: Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park, 4455 Wightman St.
  • April 30: Colina del Sol Park, 5319 Orange Ave.
  • May 6: Cesar Chavez Recreation Center, 455 Sycamore Road (San Ysidro).
  • May 7: North Park Recreation Center, 4044 Idaho St.
  • May 13: Teralta Park, 4100 Central Ave.
  • May 14 (Mother’s Day): Gompers Park, 4926 Hilltop Drive.

All ages are welcome; no tickets required. Schedule subject to change; visit