Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls: welcome to Lorenzo Dominic‘s birthday bash!
On Saturday, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and her fiancé Jionni LaValle invited close family and friends — including a few familiar faces from Jersey Shore — to join them under the big top to celebrate their son’s first birthday in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Centered around a circus theme, the fun fête offered up an assortment of traditional carnival treats including hot dogs and hamburgers, which guests noshed on in between palling around with furry friends from the Farm To You Revue petting zoo.
“I chose the circus theme because I feel it fits best for throwing a huge first birthday bash — you can have animals, games and prizes!” Polizzi, 25, tells PEOPLE exclusively.
Safe in Mom’s arms, little Lorenzo spent time eying a white pony named Cupcake before moving on to an assortment of llamas, bunnies, turtles, goats and chickens.
“I cry at every milestone he does and I’m definitely going to cry when we all sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him,” the Dancing With the Stars contestant shares. “He’s my baby, my pride and joy, and I’m so proud of him turning one.”
And while he may have enjoyed his sweet treat, Polizzi admits Lorenzo — who took his first steps just shy of his Aug. 26 birthday — is used to taste testing a variety of foods. “Lorenzo loves everything!” she says. “He eats meat, cake, fruit, ice cream — he loves it all.”
Among his pile of presents were a few gifts from Mom and Dad, including “a ball pit, learning games and clothes.” Polizzi adds, “I love educational toys for him to play with.”
But her baby boy isn’t the only one who has grown up over the past year. “My whole perception of life has changed ever since I had my son,” Polizzi explains. “I finally grew up into the woman my parents always knew I would be and I love it.”
— Anya Leon with reporting by Aaron Parsley