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Sun Spots: UniverSoul Circus

[caption id="attachment_740" align="alignleft" width="163"]Soleil! Just hanging around![/caption]

A Magical Autumn In Washington Park

The early Autumn of 2001 was, to me, unusually cool.  But, despite 12 years of living in Chicago, I never quite understood what to expect from the weather in that time of year.  I got home early one Friday evening, put on some fuzzy, cozy pjs, grabbed a bottle of wine and snuggled into bed for “video night.”  However, after a couple of hours, I realized that I was being distracted by continuous music coming from the park.  I wondered: was a radio station sponsoring an old school party in the park?  I’d hear a DJ talking, music would blare and people would cheer like mad!

Finally, at about 10pm, curiosity got the better of me and I started making calls.  First, my cousin Brian:  “Cuz – what’s goin’ on in the park?”  He didn’t know.  Neither did the next three people I called.  So, I got out of bed, changed into some jeans, a teeshirt, a turtleneck, a sweater, a jacket, scarf and hat!  With my cell phone in hand – I headed out.  I called my girl Chrystal and told her:  “if you don’t hear from me in an hour, tell the police that I was headed into the park.”  With that, I walked toward the music.

The first thing that struck me was the weather.  It was as if the night belonged to a different day!  What was a very cool early evening had transformed into an incredibly balmy night.  Combined with the bottle of cabernet fresh in my system, it all felt quite surreal.  A Michael Jackson song began to play as I was simultaneously sucked into the darkness while moving closer to the light.  I saw that I was nearing a structure and as my eyes moved upward, they fell upon the words “UniverSoul Circus!!!”

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="193"]UniverSoul Circle Not exactly the vision I saw, but it sure would have been magical![/caption]

With childlike glee (for real, no joke) and a huge grin spread across my face (those who know me know how I can get), I moved closer to the entrance and the mammoth tent that transformed an ordinary parking lot and ball field into a place of magic and excitement!  I caught the eye of a security guy – me, this tall, radiant (let me tell ya, the sun was shining brightly on this particular night!) black woman, emerging from the misty darkness and grinning like a kid!  He generously ushered me ringside to catch the end of the show.  As MJ climbed toward a passionate crescendo, I watched with sheer delight as an 8-9 year-old boy and girl strength/contortionist combo finished an amazing performance!

I ask you – where else but Chicago?!?!  Man, I love this city!

Soleil’s To-Dos

(In 2013 UniverSoul Circus runs from September 18th through October 6th in Washington Park and October 10 - 20 in Union Park.)

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Me, Godkids and Cousins[/caption]

Reader Comments (2)

[...] Park through October 16th.  It’s a crowd-pleaser every year, but I’ll never forget my magical introduction to the UniverSoul Circus . . .  Trust me, there’s still so much more To-Do!!  (In fact, I’m probably going to [...]

My first read... an engaging story... a paid ad copywriter for the Circus could not have done a better event promotional story! I got to this story via a link from -- just social group where a link to your site is a part of the description!!!

October 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeon Whiten

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