Acrobatics at the KMLF

Published 8:37 am Friday, May 11, 2018

By now, everyone is well aware of just how close the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival is. The calendars are marked and the community is ready. The event is so close, that there isn’t time to highlight all of the acts and vendors that are attending just once a week — so this week will close out with a double dose of KMLF Spotlight.

Arts and crafts, musicians and now circus performers will be providing entertainment to the community.

The circus performers, dubbed Night Owl Circus Arts, created the first aerial arts training program in the tri-cities area of Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City, Tennessee.

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According to their official Facebook page, founder Craig Lewis has been a massive fan of circus arts and performance since a childhood. At 10, he taught himself how to juggle by using an instructional book. While attending East Tennessee State University, Lewis joined the Juggling Club, which led to him going to regional juggling conferences and festivals. That in turn served to build his knowledge of the craft.

In 2009, Lewis began studying aerial arts at San Francisco Circus Center and continued his studies at Aerial Space in Ashville and also went back to ETSU to participate in their Aerial Dance program. After training for several years Lewis became an instructor of Aerial Space and also a performer at the Ashville Aerial Arts.

With his wife Mikaela, Lewis founded the Night Owl Circus Arts in 2013 where they began classes of their own which quickly ballooned and became incredibly successful. The business has grown to two locations in Johnson City and Kingsport with classes offered seven days a week in various arts such as lyra (aerial hoop), aerial yoga and others. Classes are open for adults and children alike.

“Night Owl Circus Arts is excited to be providing aerial arts entertainment in Pineville! Our performers are hard at work preparing and choreographing their routines on the aerial silks, and the lyra,” said Lewis.

The Night Owl Circus Arts will perform their acrobatic feats in the Pineville High School gym at 7 p.m. on May 26.

For more information on Night Owl Circus Arts visit