Imperial Valley Press Article

Imperial, CA: Good morning everybody! Take a look at this cute story the Imperial Valley Press ran on us today! There’s a video, pictures and an article on their website. It also got front page on the printed newspaper – right next to the air show! Hopefully all the local parents will read it and bring their little ones to play at the circus today at the California Mid-Winter Fair! Right after they watch the Blue Angels jets fly overhead!

I pasted the article underneath, but you can see the whole story on the IV Press website if you click here:

Circus Imagination brings smiles and creativity to the children of the Valley

By LAURA GONZALEZ Multimedia Producer

2:56 a.m. PST, March 10, 2012


Tina the tightrope walker started to climb the 100 feet in the air she needed to reach the rope. Once she got to the top, the music started and she hesitated to take the first step.

“Here she comes, one foot and now the next foot,” said the circus master, giving her the confidence she needed to walk across the rope.

Slowly she made it to the end. The crowd was cheering and clapping.

Tina is 3 years old. Her real name is Siuleth Torres and she was able to do the dangerous trick by using her imagination.

That’s what the California Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta Circus Imagination act is all about.

In 1994 Caton Raintree-Hegwer’s father and a friend had an idea to create a circus where children from the audience were the performers of the show.

Raintree-Hegwer grew up traveling with the circus and helping his father put on the show.

“Because I was raised in the circus, I have been in every single act in the circus at one point or another,” Raintree-Hegwer said.

After his father retired, Raintree-Hegwer took on the family business and since then has been traveling with his wife, who helps make the costumes and dresses up the children just as his mother did before them.

For 25 years the family has seen multiple generations of families enjoy the show.

“It’s been really fascinating to watch families grow up throughout the years being in the circus and then bringing their kids eventually,” said Raintree-Hegwer.

They are based in Sacramento but travel along the West Coast to participate in fairs and private parties.

Their normal working season starts in March and ends in November. When they are not out on the road, they are creating new costumes and characters for the show.

“We try to fix them up and make new ones every few years,” he said.

The idea of the circus is to get children away from video games and have them play with their imagination to help them get more creative.

Raintree-Hegwer said that children are special because they have the resource of their imagination.

“I don’t know what happens, but as we get older, adults tend to lose that fascinating desire to go out, to create and to imagine,” he said.

To Raintree-Hegwer, there is no greater feeling than starting your day putting up a circus and making children happy.

“This is the best job that I’ve ever had and I don’t think I’ll ever quit it,” Raintree-Hegwer said. “It’s just too much fun.”

Multimedia Producer Laura Gonzalez can be reached at 760-337-3440 or

Copyright © 2012, Imperial Valley Press

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