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The requirements for the Arctic circus

Saarni Circus performs at SnowGlow Winterpark every day, until the end of March. The show combines Lappish elements and northern themes, featuring nature, magic, the contrast of fire and ice, and the beauty of dance. Saarni Circus CEO Aarni Pahajoki and Anna Heinänen share the requirements for an arctic circus.

Saarni Circus had long planned its own winter activities, searching for a suitable venue for the event. One day, fate intervened, and a contact from Tian Zhang led to collaboration.

The circus, which tours Finland in the summer, is now stationed for the winter in its hometown. What makes Rovaniemi special for Saarni's owner couple?

"Rovaniemi is home. I like the city because it's both small and big enough; it has everything a person needs," says Pahajoki. Anna Heinänen continues, "Rovaniemi is diverse, with nature as its strength, but there's much more here. No matter how many times I've left, I've always come back."

For Saarni Circus fans, the snowy arena promises familiar faces from the tour, as well as new performers. Artists from around the world have brought diverse skills, including Finns, Southern Europeans and Africans, each with unique backgrounds in circus arts and performance. Diversity is the essence of the show. "The circus runs throughout the winter season, and in these conditions, it's truly unique on a global scale," notes Pahajoki.

SnowGlow Winterpark differs from Rovaniemi's Christmas-themed places. Both Zhang and Saarni Circus wanted to create more of a winter park, as the name suggests.

"In our park, you can enjoy winter activities and a wonderland with spectacular elements—multiple things to do in one place. So, the concept is a bit different," explains Heinänen.

The park offers opportunities for children, such as snowmobiling, sledding, and ice skating.

A circus performing on an outdoor stage in the middle of winter is a unique phenomenon

An outdoor circus in the middle of winter is a unique phenomenon from the performers' perspective. Due to winter weather, costumes are very different from those worn in the summer.

"It's essential to ensure that people can endure all the physical challenges in winter conditions, and their bodies stay warm. The performance was built with weather conditions, safety, and visual appeal in mind," emphasizes Aarni Pahajoki.

After the opening week, a long winter season awaits, predicted to be exceptionally busy with tourists in Rovaniemi. This means approximately three hundred performances for Saarni Circus.

The SnowGlow Winterpark is also designed as a meeting place for locals. Heinänen is particularly looking forward to feedback from the people of Rovaniemi:

"We want to hear what locals think when Rovaniemi adds something new to its offerings. The park's idea is to be a meeting place for locals as well; it's not just a tourist destination."

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