A hands-on circus came to Lexington's Castlewood Park on Saturday.
Sora Aerial Arts, a Lexington company that teaches acrobatic arts to adults and children, held a contemporary circus in and around the park's Loudon House.
Sora owner Jessica Johnson taught children how to swing, climb and do flips on the aerial silks, the hanging fabric used to perform acrobatics.
"It's a really unique kind of sport," said Emma Larimore, 12, of Lexington, who takes classes with Sora Aerial Arts. "It strengthens your muscles and it makes you stronger."
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"It's really fun to go upside down," said Ella Pennington, 12, of Lexington. "It's kinda like climbing a tree."
Natalie Self, 13, and her sister, Claire, 11, both of Charlotte, N.C., tried their hands at the silks, too.
"It feels kinda different from anything I've done," Natalie said.
"It's actually really hard," Claire said.
The Circus Takes Lex: Summer Carnivale Saturday evening also featured yoga, clowns, games, live music and food trucks.
Proceeds from the event's ticket sales will help Sora expand its studio. The money will pay for steel scaffolding required for aerial acrobatics, Johnson said.
The fund-raising goal is $10,000 and "we're a little less than $3,000 away," Johnson said.