Hard rain didn’t keep families from taking in the Zerbini Family Circus at Saxe Middle School, a one-ring show featuring high wire acts and acrobatics, animal tricks, illusions, and more.

The sixth annual event was a fundraiser with proceeds split equally between the YMCA’s Financial Assistance Program and the Kiwanis Club’s annual community grants. The big top was filled with spectators for four performances between Friday, June 19, and Saturday, June 20, for a roughly two-hour show.

Tickets were $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and admission was free for children 2 and under.

Before the first act began Saturday, 3-year-old Callie Murray of Stamford enjoyed a pony ride while her parents Todd and Stella Lanabrinakos-Murray took video and photos.

“This is her first circus,” Lanabrinakos-Murray said. “We’re very excited.”

“The pony ride was fun,” Callie Murray said.

The YMCA of New Canaan’s financial support program with the help of donors provided $400,000 in subsidy last year to cover or partially cover membership and program fees to ensure access and services of the facility are open to all, said Kristina Barrett, vice president of financial development, marketing and strategic initiatives.

“This is our sixth year and it is really a nice kind of event for families to kick of the summer,” Barrett said of the circus.

This year, the Kiwanis Club distributed $15,000 in grants to a variety of local non-profits to support programs heavily focused on the group’s mission to support children, Kathy Holland, executive director of Kiwanis said. Grants were presented to organizations including New Canaan ABC House, Child Guidance Center, New Canaan Fishing Fund, New Canaan Historical Society, and Person to Person.

The circus was made possible by financial assistance of sponsors including Walter Stewart’s Market, Karl Chevrolet of New Canaan, New Canaan Oil Company, and the Wronski family.

“This has become a tradition and we hope to continue the tradition for a long time to come,” Holland said.