Framework

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A juggler practices behind a tent at Circus Vargas, owned by Katya and Nelson Quiroga, on opening day in Hollywood. The Quirogas and their traveling troupe will wrap up a five-day run on Monday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Workers set up tent and midway for Circus Vargas where Sunset Boulevard crosses the Hollywood Freeway.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Workers prepare Circus Vargas for its five-day run in Hollywood.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Workers set up the tent as Circus Vargas arrives in Hollywood.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

The children of Circus Vargas get hugs from the workers. Owners are members of a tight-knit family.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Youngsters get to take over the arena at the beginning of each performance at Circus Vargas.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Katya Quiroga, a seventh-generation circus performer, prepares for her high-wire act with Yasmin Rivera as her husband, Nelson, leaves written instructions for workers on opening day in Hollywood.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

A dancer spinning hula hoops swirls through the air at Circus Vargas.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Circus Vargas performer Jon Weiss balances a 20-foot ladder on his chin.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Matilde Quiroga, Nelson Quiroga's mother, works in the popcorn booth at the family-owned Circus Vargas.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Ariana Rivera, 4, left, and Graciella Quiroga, 3, play with dolls as workers set up tent and midway at Circus Vargas.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Katya and Nelson Quiroga own Circus Vargas.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

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They aren’t just clowning around when they say this group offers family entertainment.

Katya Quiroga, a 7th-generation circus performer, and husband Nelson Quiroga, a 5th-generation Big Topper, own Circus Vargas, which has set up through Monday at a Hollywood athletic field where Sunset Boulevard crosses the Hollywood Freeway.

The Quirogas’ three daughters — Graciella, 3, Daniella, 8 and Mariella, 13 — are also being taught performing skills.

After Sunday’s shows at 12:30, 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. and Monday’s 6:30 performance, the circus will pull down the 1,400-seat tent and move its 60 vehicles to Orange County for four weeks. Shows will be held in Westminster, Irvine and Santa Ana. Later, the troupe heads for Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

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