Family-run circus in north Houston welcomes back guests after shutting down amid pandemic

HOUSTON – Circo Hermanos Vazquez reopened in north Houston after being shut down for months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The family-run operation said they worked with the Houston Health Department and the Houston Fire Marshal’s Office to make sure they had the proper health precautions in place.

Situated off Interstate 45 near Tidwell Road, the Circo Hermanos Vazquez family circus is in town for their 50th anniversary. This celebration is not turning out the way the family imagined it would.

“My uncle started the business (with) five brothers. It started in Mexico. They wanted to come to the USA more than 20 years ago,” said a spokesperson and performer Alexa Vazquez.

The Vazquez family started the tour in February, temporarily shut down amid the pandemic, and then reopened in June.

“The fire marshal... come every day to make sure we are doing the rules,” said manager Glen Nicolodi.

“Once you come in they sanitize your hands,” said an attendee Jose Hernandez.

Hernandez brought his family. He said he had to sanitize his hands at the entrance and observe the six-feet apart social distancing stickers on the floor. There were also hand sanitizing stations and staff guiding guests.

“People have to social distance in the box office, entrance, concessions, seating,” Nicolodi said.

"I feel safe," Hernandez said.

But when hearing about the circus in town, one local medical professional raised concerns.

“If you go to some show, everybody wants to be close to each other,” said Dr. Joseph Varon, the Chief of Staff at United Memorial Medical Center.

Varon said, if it is a large gathering, it is a risky move.

“Now you put them all together in a big tent. I’m not sure that’s going to go well,” he said.

However, the company assures the protocol they have will be followed.

“It’s our responsibility is to take care of that. We need to do it, and want people to trust us,” Nicolodi said.

For some families, the circus was the remedy they needed.

“Sometimes it’s depressing staying home and doing nothing,” said an attendee Allison Ruiz.