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Roll up, the Christmas circus is in town...

TWO of Dublin's oldest family businesses are coming together to help kick-start Christmas in the capital city.

Fossets Circus and 170-year old Irish department store Arnotts have joined forces to host a special Christmas Circus at the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham (RHK).

The Dublin-based Christmas circus will run from Thursday, December 6 to Sunday, January 6, 2013.

Circus organisers also hope to attract shoppers from outside Dublin with the traditional pre-Christmas family day on December 8.

Charles O'Brien, of Fossett's Circus, said the decision to locate the circus in the Royal Hospital parklands will add to the magical Christmas atmosphere.

Tickets are on sale at Arnotts, Henry Street, a family ticket for four costs €20 for a midweek visit.

Entrance to the Christmas Circus at RHK costs from €5 and can be purchased in Arnotts or booked on www.livingsocial.com or www.fossettscircus.com.