Queenstown’s still home for the family who ran away to join the circus.
Two years ago, after the Ashtons upped sticks in search of warmer weather and more family time, they embarked on a magical adventure.
Anna and Royce with their three cherubs in tow joined The Extravaganza, the largest travelling event in the country, which comes to the resort this weekend.
Anna says: “Queenstown is our hometown which is why we’re so excited to bring the show here.”
For seven months of the year the family tour the country in their three-bedroom house-on wheels, along with 37 other rigs and five other families.
The Ashton Family Circus show runs twice a day during each fair.
From their house-truck they also have a wee shop from which they sell clothes and crystals.
Dylan Daisy, their eldest star at 10 years old, also performs a magic show.
The family act are heading back to the resort next winter to live in the home they still own.
Last winter they house-sat in sunny Takaka where they enjoyed warm “T-shirt” days during the cold months.
Dylan Daisy, who wants to be an actress when she grows up, will be making the most of dance and drama classes while they’re planted in Queenstown.
But she’ll continue to be home-schooled.
The move to join The Extravaganza wasn’t as difficult as some might think.
Anna has been performing for 20 years and used to own Queenstown Pole Dance Studio, Dylan Daisy started performing when she was four, while Royce “turned out to be a natural clown”, Anna says.
The two littlies, Jaz and Dallas, turned four on Monday.
Although the Ashtons will be grounded in the resort for a couple of months next year, they’ll get back on the road come September.
Royce says: “It’s a really good life – we’ll keep it going.”
The Extravaganza is home to market stalls, arts and crafts, music (see page 16), food, kids shows and games running from 9am to 5pm this Saturday and Sunday at Queenstown Primary School – free entry