An Evening with Paul Pugh
WVC Lecture Series presents An Evening with Paul Pugh
Paul Pugh, founder of the Wenatchee Youth Circus and longtime Wenatchee resident, will speak at the Wenatchee Valley College Wenatchee campus Monday, March 2, at 7 p.m. in Van Tassell Center. This presentation is part of the WVC Lecture Series and is free and open to the public.
Born and raised in the Wenatchee Valley, Pugh's family moved to Seattle while he was in his teens and graduated from West Seattle High School. Following college, he returned to Wenatchee where he began working as a teacher, and eventually, as a principal for the Wenatchee School District.
In 1952 Pugh founded the Wenatchee Youth Circus. The group started as an after-school tumbling team and, over the years, added flying trapeze and high-wire acts. Pugh's alter ego of Guppo the Clown participated in the performances, alongside middle school and high school aged boys and girls. More than 50 years later, the circus remains an active organization, performing throughout the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, New Mexico and California. To date, more than 2,800 kids have participated in the program.
In 2002 Pugh was awarded the first Wenatchee Living Treasure Award to recognize his contribution to the youth and arts of the Wenatchee Valley. The following year, a three-foot-tall bronze statue of him as Guppo the Clown was dedicated in his honor. The statue resides on Chelan Avenue outside the YMCA.
Following his retirement in 1982, Pugh started 3-Ring Tours, leading tours throughout the world. "Travel is an extension of my circus life," he said. "I enjoy seeing new places, meeting people and sharing my experiences with others."
This lecture series event is sponsored by the Wenatchee Valley College Foundation and the Wenatchee Red Lion Hotel.