Essex Circus Train

Essex Circus Train (Handout / July 14, 2014)

The Essex Steam Train transforms into a circus train for the fourth year, running two weekends: Saturday and Sunday, July 19 and 20, and July 26 and 27.

The train, at Valley Railroad, 25 Plains Road, Essex, takes visitors on an 8-minute ride to the midway circus grounds, where they'll find a Big Top Show with jugglers, acrobats, a petting zoo, musical performances, carnival rides, face painting and a special bubble show.

"It's a wonderful photo opportunity with colorful background images," says Casey Saunders, the public relations specialist for the Essex Steam Train. "People can stay at the on-site carnival event all day if they wish."

Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Traditional carnival food will be available for purchase, and trains run every 30 minutes. Parking will be available off-site at the Lee Company parking lot, 55 Bokum Road. Tickets must be bought for a specific departure time, and cost $20 per person. Information: www.essexsteamtrain.com and 860-767-0103.