Monte Carlo's International Circus Festival

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The Monte Carlo International Circus Festival is the most prestigious circus events in the world. Every year, the best circus acts from around the globe compete against each other to try win a Gold, Silver or Bronze Clown Award. Held annually in mid-January, the festival was started in 1974, by Prince Rainier III, the ruler of Monaco.

Every year, organizers receive hundreds of requests from performers wanting to compete in the event. Only a few are chosen. This year's event, which is scheduled for the week of January 17th, will have 30 acts and will be presided by Princess Stephanie, who took over after her father, Prince Rainier died in 2005.

Besides clown and juggling acts, the event features spectacular animal acts, hilarious comedy acts as well as beautifully choreographed acrobatic feats. An international committee of judges decides on the best acts, based on technical difficulty as well as creativity.

Over the years, over 1000 different acts have been presented, watched by over 1mm people and seen by more than a billion TV viewers. Since 1974, the event has been cancelled just twice and postponed once.

Monaco is the second-smallest independent state in the world (the smallest is Vatican City), measuring 1.95sq miles or about the size of New York's Central Park. It is located on the Mediterranean Coast, east of Nice, France and is bordered on three sides by France. Monte Carlo it's principal residential and resort area is a very popular tourist destination due to its great weather. Besides the circus festival, it is also home to several other world famous events such as the Formula One Grand Prix, a must-see event for racing car fans.

Below watch a fun video by young acrobats from Russia competing in last year's festival:

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