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When the basketball bounces off beat, they work to bring the act back together, and the crowd doesn’t seem to mind or notice when they get out of routine, he says.

In addition to basketball on unicycles, the audience can expect to see the funniest clowns on earth, as well as the Kiev Aerialist Enchantresses, the International Folklore Dancers, and the Trampoline Tower Tumblers.

“There are over 125 performers from all over the world under one roof,” Mr. Jones says

The circus’ “Built to Amaze” show highlights classic circus acts like acrobats and elephants. And ticket holders are encouraged to arrive early to take advantage of pre-show activities.

“An hour before the show we give the audience an opportunity to meet the performers on the floor,” Mr. Jones says.

A low wire is available for people to try the tightrope and get a sense of the agility and balance needed to walk (or cycle) a high wire, which is usually more than 50 feet in the air.

“They can try on wardrobes, and there’s even a circus tattoo station,” Mr. Jones says. “The audience can see animals from up to 10 feet away.”

If the behind-the-scenes and interactive experience is not enough enticement, early birds can have a chance to snag a free clown nose and marshmallows.

And a special contest gives participants the opportunity to win free Chik-fil-A sandwiches for a year if they guess the correct number of Chik-fil-A cows that are squeezed into a box.

If You Go

WHAT: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s “Built to Amaze”

WHERE: The Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va.

WHEN: Various times, now through April 20

COST: Prices range from $15 to $30 depending on seating. Inquire about a free ticket for “Baby’s First Circus.”