The Big Top's up, the lights are on and the performers are ready to go.
But while the tent has been glowing prominently at Majura Park night after night throughout lockdown, the Sesame Street Circus Spectacular has been sitting tight, unable to perform.
Canberra's lockdown descended just as the troupe was preparing for its latest Jurassic Creatures show, due to open on August 20.
In the two months since, the troupe has languished in limbo in their temporary village between a carpark and a road, maintaining the grass as per their contract with Canberra Airport, and itching to get back to entertaining the crowds.
But while many shops, theatres and sporting events will be able to start up from October 29, the circus has been told its current show doesn't meet the COVID-safe requirements for reopening.
Director and owner Keith Brown said he was frustrated to be told the outdoor, exhibition-style show would not be able to proceed as early as planned.
"I've got the whole show sitting here waiting," he said.
"We've been advised by ACT Health that the venue has to be a seated venue, which we don't understand. The dinosaur exhibition is not a seated venue - it's a two-hour exhibition, an outdoor event."
He said his 47-person circus was 99 per cent vaccinated, but that outdoor events had to be seated and ticketed to proceed.
Meanwhile, he said he was losing $100,000 a week; the troupe still has to pay for rent, power bills and sewage costs, and each caravan is a separate home with similar expenses to a house.
This, he said, had been particularly difficult for everyone, as beyond individual assistance, the company was receiving no money from the government.
"Mentally and all that, we all get together and we've had lots of talks," he said.
"That's the thing, we're doing everything that we've been asked to do, and then we've been stopped at the gatepost."
He said he and his team had seen families parking in the carpark near the tent at night with their kids, looking at the lights and wondering when they would reopen.
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An ACT Health spokeswoman confirmed the Jurassic Creatures show would not be able to reopen on October 29 in its current form, but that things could change as the city opened up.
"We understand this is an incredibly difficult time for event organisers, performers and recreation providers," she said.
"From October 29, events will be allowed to take place if ticketed and seated and with different capacity limits depending on whether they are outdoors or indoors.
"Our COVID-19 Events Protocol is also currently being updated to reflect our pathway forward. It will be an avenue for event organisers to work with us on elements of their events that fall outside what is outlined in the public health directions, and apply for an event exemption to hold these events in a COVID-safe way."
But Mr Brown said his biggest frustration was just over the border, NSW circuses would be allowed to reopen from October 24.
"Here's the city of Sydney, with how many deaths and everything - [a circus] is opening at Rosehill Racecourse on October 24," he said.
"We're in Canberra, with full COVID plans, and we can't get to open."
But he was optimistic the company would be able to open and complete its Jurassic Creatures season, and would then switch to its brand new Sesame Street Christmas Spectacular on November 26.
"It's going to be Elmo and Cookie Monster, and the gang - they'll be on a Christmas parade looking for Santa," he said. "Because Elmo is only three years old, all he wants to do is meet Santa."
And all the circus wants, he said, is to make kids smile.
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