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Graduating students saluted … by circus performers

Parades have become a common thing these days, celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and more.

On Saturday, June 13, the Green Valley neighborhood in Fountain Valley was treated to a unique version of the celebration.

Jennifer Drilling, a Fountain Valley native who grew up in Green Valley, organized a 2 1/2-hour parade through the community that featured five circus performers — two stilt walkers, an acrobat duo and one Hula-Hooper.

Drilling, a successful cirque artist who has performed as a stilt walker, fire breather, dancer, aerialist, Hula-Hooper and acrobat, said she organized the parade as a gift to the community.

“The Fountain Valley Green Valley neighborhood is near and dear to my heart. I grew up here attending Cox Elementary, Masuda Middle School, and Fountain Valley High and it breaks my heart that so many kids have had their school year and graduation activities completely eliminated with the COVID pandemic,” Drilling said on her gofundme page.

The parade saluted all school-age children in the community and included music by local deejay John Borack riding in the iconic Fountain Valley Bodyworks giant red wagon. Masuda School Principal Jay Adams and Fountain Valley High Principal Morgan Smith were on hand for the fun.

Drilling said her company’s mission is to inspire others to live their full creative expression in the world by providing a platform for artists to shine.

She grew up training at Newhope Gymnastics in Fountain Valley for 10 years. She reached international gymnastics status and became an Academic All-American scholarship athlete at Penn State University, where she earned a master’s degree in construction management and architectural engineering.

After college, she became a construction manager at Toyota Motor Sales North America in Torrance. But her acrobatic passion turned into a circus arts hobby in 2004. And that led to her starting her own company, FIREnICE Entertainment, in 2005.

The event company services a variety of corporate and private events, weddings, New Year’s Eve ball drops, galas, parades, high school dances and family-friendly events.

To donate to Drilling’s cause, go to, with 100% of the funds raised supporting the artists involved in Saturday’s parade.


Source: Orange County Register

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