Monday, June 16, 2008

Carson & Barnes

Animal rights group targets circus
Cites treatment of elephants
Updated: 06/05/08 6:38 AM

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With a circus arriving in Hamburg next week, People for the Ethical Treatment for Animals is seeking an Erie County law banning the use of bullhooks, electric prods and other devices used to control elephants.

The Legislature would be unable to approve such a law in time for the circus visit Wednesday and next Thursday at the Hamburg Fairgrounds. But PETA will still call attention to what it sees as cruel treatment of elephants by the Carson & Barnes Circus.

Carson & Barnes is touring upstate New York and about 200 locations this year. PETA is dogging the circus along its route to alert legislators and other government officials and to call attention to a hidden-camera videotape.

The video, shot at least 10 years ago, shows Carson & Barnes trainer Tim Frisco controlling elephants inside a barn with a bullhook and a prod and telling other handlers to hurt the elephants until they scream or to sink a bullhook into their skin as needed.

PETA made a similar appeal in Western New York in 2006, when Carson & Barnes was planning performances in Jamestown, Lockport, Batavia and Angelica. PETA that year sent letters to the Niagara County and Genesee County legislatures and to officials in Jamestown and Angelica, urging them to ban bullhooks, electric prods and other devices “commonly used to inflict pain on elephants.”

“The use of bullhooks results in pain, suffering and trauma, including lacerations, puncture wounds and abscesses,” PETA’s Lisa Wathne, a “captive exotic animal specialist,” says in a letter to the Erie County Legislature. “Although elephants’ skin appears tough, it is so sensitive that elephants can feel the pain of an insect bite.”

Frisco was suspended pending an investigation by an outside attorney hired by the circus and by the U. S. Department of Agriculture, which enforces the federal Animal Welfare Act.

“You have a guy screaming absolutely awful language at other trainers,” said Ben Trumble, an animal behaviorist hired by the circus. “What you are viewing on the video doesn’t amount to too much, which is why, when the USDA viewed the video, there were no major repercussions.”

On the video, the elephants are making noises. PETA says they are screaming; Trumble says they are “vocalizing.” But Trumble says you don’t see the elephants making noises because of anything Frisco does.

Frisco still works as a trainer for Carson & Barnes, and the circus still uses bullhooks, a standard tool used by elephant handlers for 4,000 years to control their direction, not to inflict pain, Trumble said. It’s about 2 feet long with a hook on one end to tug on an elephant’s leg and guide it.

Trumble says PETA has been using the videotape for years.

“They contact each community several weeks in front of the show,” Trumble said, “and they propose restrictions. It’s a media play because they know that two weeks out or 10 days out there is no time for any legislative body to give any serious consideration to an ordinance or restriction or to hear evidence for both sides. But they do get a news story out of it.”

Another spokesman for the circus, Harry Dubsky, said that when Carson & Barnes arrives in Hamburg with three elephants next week it will also bring its standard canopy, to provide the animals relief from the sun, and a misting system to keep them cool.

Carson & Barnes

Circus is coming to town, and not everybody is happy about it
Circus is coming to town, and not everybody is happy about it
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Story Published: Jun 5, 2008 at 5:47 PM EDT

Story Updated: Jun 5, 2008 at 7:38 PM EDT
Watch the story
Video on a PETA website shows elephants which the group says are mistreated by trainers. And days before the Carson and Barnes Circus comes to town, a representative for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has written to the Erie County Legislature.

"We are writing to ask you to enact legislation that would ban bullhooks, electric prods, and other devices that would inflict pain or cause injury to elephants.," said the letter. 7 News spoke to Carson and Barnes about the video.

"The language is terrible it is hugely inappropriate. However what you are not viewing is somebody beating elephants," said Animal Behaviorist and Carson and Barnes representative Ben Trumble.

Trumble says the USDA viewed the tape, and did not come back with a finding of animal cruelty. The company adds it does not use electric prods, and that the Bullhook is mischaracterized, that it is nothing more than a short guiding stick

"It has two dull points on it they are a quarter of an inch long. It is like a pressure point," said Trumble.

But PETA sees its differently adding in the letter, "The use of bullhooks results in pain, suffering, and trauma, including laceration, puncture wounds, and abscesses."

The legislature's chairwoman says there is no time to get the law enacted before the circus arrives

"We will put it the public record so it could be part of a local record, but no, we have a whole process of letting in a local law..." said Chairwoman Marinelli.

The circus will beat the Hamburg fairgrounds next Wednesday and Thursday.

Culpepper & Merriweather

WICHITA, Kan. — Tornadoes dropped onto the Great Plains on Thursday after forecasters warned of a potentially historic outbreak, causing some damage and spooking a pair of circus elephants in Kansas that escaped their enclosure and roamed a town before being captured.

One of the animals entered a backyard less than a mile from the fairgrounds in WaKeeney and was blocked off by fire trucks until trainers could coax it onto a truck, said Trego County Sheriff Richard Schneider.

"I guess it got tired of walking around," he said.

Click here for interactive doppler radar and warnings

The second elephant was tranquilized in another backyard, coaxed into a truck and returned to the circus, which was already packing up to head to the next town, Schneider said.

At least four tornadoes touched down in western and central Kansas. Tornadoes were also reported in Nebraska and Missouri, and a funnel cloud was spotted in Colorado.

A twister in Clay County in north-central Kansas destroyed a home, damaged several other buildings, and toppled trees and power lines, said sheriff's dispatcher Cat Dallinga. Storms also damaged roofs at the Pratt County airport in south-central Kansas and overturned tractor-trailers along Interstate 29, officials said.

Wind and hail caused extensive roof damage in Collyer, near WaKeeney, Schneider said.

Computer forecasting models for Thursday resembled those on June 8, 1974, when 39 tornadoes raked the southern Plains and killed 22 people. The National Weather Service on Tuesday took the unusual step of giving advance warning of a possible tornado outbreak based on the conditions.

By late evening, no storms had caused major damage or injuries, though Noreen Schwein of the National Weather Service in Kansas City cautioned there was still potential for strong storms.

"We're certainly not out of the woods yet," she said.

Wichita State University canceled evening classes because of the weather predictions.

Storms on Wednesday soaked the region and then moved across to the mid-Atlantic region. Four deaths were blamed on the storms, in Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia and Virginia.

Tornadoes touched down in southern Iowa, causing isolated damage in rural areas. Many rivers flooded.

"The rivers haven't had a chance to go down, and with the heavy rains, they just keep going higher," said Brad Fillbach, another meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Fillbach said Creston, Iowa, which had a brush with a tornado Wednesday evening, had about 6 inches of rain by Thursday morning. Some roads were under 3 feet of water early Thursday.

"The weather has been real active this week. It'll be nice to get a few days to dry out and get these rivers back down," Fillbach said.

In the Washington area, Wednesday's storm toppled tree lines and power lines, leaving tens of thousands of homes and businesses without electricity Thursday. Some failures could last for several days because of the severity of the damage, Pepco spokesman Bob Dobkin said.

Kelly Miller

Sunday, June 8, 2008
The circus came to town!

The Kelly Miller Circus came to Mount Vernon a few weeks ago. It was a small but impressive operation. They set up the "big top" and a couple of smaller tents for vending and pony rides at the Knox Countly Fairgrounds. I took the kids to watch as the crew set up on Thursday morning. We were told that everything would be taken down after the show that night as they were due in Mansfield for two shows on Friday. We got to watch from inside the half-constructed tent as an elephant helped in pull the large support poles up. We also saw a camel, some donkeys, ponies, and horses as they were unloaded and cared for. The kids had a great time.

The very thin rope (no electicity added) was all that seperated us from the well-trained elephants.
John and his friend Ella testing the sturdiness of the construction, as they were asked to do by a kind crew member who saw they needed some entertaining. It's hard to see, but this is where the elephant was harnassed to the tent support pole. With the elephant not more than 25 feet away from us, my son was at this point sitting on the ground with a boy he had just met watching a worm. It was a long morning, but still well worth it!

Yuri Kuklachev

Russian circus legend Yuri Kuklachev files suit for copy of show


Monday, June 9th 2008, 4:00 AM

A couple of circus cats are claiming impostors from Brooklyn ripped off their cat circus.

Russian circus legend Yuri Kuklachev and his son, Dmitri, filed a federal suit charging their ex-managers created a knockoff version of their Moscow Cats Theater show.

The suit accuses father-and-son duo Mark and Yanis Gelfman of secretly applying for a trademark and recruiting adefector who learned Yuri Kuklachev's secret methods for training cats to perform.

"They're basically trying to steal his identity," said Gary Tsirelman, a lawyer for Yuri Kuklachev.

You could call the whole thing a feline felony - but it's no joke.

Yuri Kuklachev, 59, and Dmitri, 33, say they have accomplished the unthinkable by training cats to participate in circus tricks and aren't giving up withoutflashing their claws.

"Cats [were] commonly thought to be untrainable prior to the development by Yuri Kuklachev in the 1970s of a unique, humane feline training method," their complaint filed in Brooklyn Federal Court contends.

Lawyer Alexey Bakman says Yuri Kuklachev is a legend in the circus world.

"Yuri still sets [an] example for his cats by personally performing all the acrobatic tricks he expects of his felines," Bakman said. "[They] include horizontal handstands and jumping and balancing on poles of tremendous height, just under the theater's ceiling."

The suit charges the Gelfmansused the Kuklachevs' images on posters and playbills and dressed up a clown to look like Yuri.

The wanna-bes stole comic sketches like one in which a clown goes to sleep at night and a cat comes back onstage repeatedly to turn a lamp back on, the suit says.

Loyal fans of the Kuklachevs have noticed the difference.

"Don't see them on this tour! Poor Yuri is in Moscow, not touring. How dare they!" huffed a blogger on the Accidental Russophile Web site.

While the two sides battle over the trademark, the Kuklachevs are also seeking an injunction and monetary damages. They're even suing the venues - which included the Tribeca Performing Arts Center - that hosted the alternative show, and Ticketmaster.

The Gelfmans' mouthpiece, James Woods, said the suit should be scratched.

"The Moscow Cats Theater was created by the Gelfmans," Woods said.

Carson & Barnes

Published June 11, 2008 07:15 pm - Carson & Barnes Circus staunchly denied abusing its animals Wednesday, while preparing for performances here Monday.

Circus says it treats its elephants well

Star Beacon

GENEVA TOWNSHIP — Carson & Barnes Circus staunchly denied abusing its animals Wednesday, while preparing for performances here Monday.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) asked the Geneva Township trustees to enact legislation banning the use of a bullhook and electrical prods. The group says Carson is a chronic violator of the federal Animal Welfare Act. Trustees said they could not enact such a measure.

But Harry Dubsky, marketing director for the circus, said, “PETA has its own agenda.”

“The Carson & Barnes Circus has been in business 73 years. Our animals are our family,” said Dubsky, a fifth-generation employee.

PETA says it has obtained a video showing elephant abuse.

Dubsky said, “That video is 10 years old and was taken by an undercover employee and includes PETA’s own narration.”

He said circus employees love their animals. “When one gets ill, we all live with them.”

Dubsky said the circus doesn’t use electric prods, which he termed “so barbaric.” He says the circus does use bullhooks, although not to beat the elephants, as PETA alleges. He said bullhooks are used to handle the animals, much as a collar is used on a dog. He said the bullhook is necessary while cleaning the animals’ nails or performing other functions.

Dubsky noted Dorey Miller, who founded the circus, also established the Endangered Ark Foundation in 1993, a refuge for elephants in Hugo, Okla. Some of the proceeds from circus ticket sales go to help fund the foundation.

“This is a state-of-the-art facility,” Dubsky said. “The animals can run free. They get the best care imaginable.”

The circus will appear for shows at Route 534 and New London Road at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Carson & Barnes

Published: June 14, 2008 02:34 am print this story email this story comment on this story

LOCKPORT: Carson & Barnes Circus rolls into town
By April Amadon
E-mail April
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

There were thrills and excitement under the big top Friday as the Carson & Barnes Circus rolled into town, bringing with it clowns, elephants, acrobats and other traditional circus fare.

The three-ring circus, presented by the Sunrise Optimist Club and the Optimist Club of Lockport, brought an international cast of performers to Lockport for two performances.

“It’s a good old-fashioned circus,” said Doug Munsell, a.k.a. “Poppa D,” the circus spokesman, who was fully decked out in his clown gear Friday.

The performance kept up a constant motion, with all three rings moving at once.

A contortionist from Columbia fit his entire body through a tennis racket and then secured himself into a tiny box. Two girls performed spinning maneuvers while suspended on a pole from the ceiling.

Three performers balanced dozens of hula hoops on their bodies at once — with one girl spinning two around her limbs while suspended by a cable in midair.

The “Mixed Animal Revue” featured ponies, horses and performing poodles.

Troy Berning brought his daughter Zoyea, 4, to see the animals.

“She just loves animals,” he said. “She loves elephants and clowns.”

The performers came from all over the world, hailing from Brazil, Peru, Nicaragua, Italy, Mongolia, Germany and Argentina, among other countries.

There was no net for the gravity-defying acts, including the motorcycle rider who did a handstand on his handlebars while riding across a tightrope, and the two performers who walked blindfolded around the “Death-Defying Double Wheel of Destiny.”

Munsell said the Carson & Barnes Circus is the largest traveling big top in the United States, and has been in business for 72 years.

The smaller atmosphere is a bit more personal than a big arena circus, he said.

“You can sit in the front row and shake hands with the performers,” he said. “We’ve got a circus atmosphere.”

Contact reporter April Amadon at 439-9222, ext. 625

Carnivals dying?

PUBLISHED: Sunday, June 15, 2008
Fuel, shipping costs driving carnivals out of county fairs

The Associated Press

HAMILTON, N.D. (AP) -- In the heyday of the Pembina County Fair, about two dozen carnival rides filled up the fairground midway. The Ferris Wheel. The Tilt-A-Whirl. The Octopus.

Neil Fleming saw it all in his 55 years as fair organizer: from food to farm animals, clown shows, girlie shows, freak shows.

"It was really something," he reminisces.

The aroma of funnel cakes, the barnyard odor of fattened farm animals, the resplendent beauty of fancy quilts will still exist at the three-day fair July 10-12. But for the first time in 115 years, there will be no carnival rides on the quarter-mile-long midway.

"The population is dwindling, and add that to the extra costs, and it's difficult to get a carnival," Fleming said.

The Pembina County Fair, which bills itself as the oldest continuous fair in North Dakota, will replace carnival rides with bouncy inflatable games.

Shrinking attendance, soaring fuel prices and other expenses have hurt fairs across the country, and many are doing without carnivals.

"Our fuel costs are four times as much as it was 10 years ago, and we haven't raised our prices in 10 years," said Lon McWhorter, owner of Woonsocket, S.D.-based Mac's Carnival & Attractions, the sole carnival company based in the Dakotas.

It cost McWhorter $22,000 to move his dozen-ride carnival from South Dakota to Louisiana this year, more than double last year's expenses. McWhorter's grandfather started the company in the 1920s with a three-minute photography booth and some advice: Keep the carnival on wheels.

In today's economy, that's been a nearly impossible wish to fulfill.

Carnivals in the U.S. generally range in size from five rides to about 300.

Billy Tucker, owner of Phenix, Ala.-based Dixieland Carnival Co., said several small fairs in the South and Midwest have fizzled in the past few years, and fewer are able to afford a carnival.

Dixieland Carnival is a "small-to-medium size" show that has been in Tucker's family for five generations. Unlimited-ride armbands sell for $15, a fee that has not risen in five years.

"Everybody is feeling the pinch I am, and as bad as we need to go up, I just feel it would be a really bad PR move right now with everything else going up," Tucker said.

About 345 carnival companies travel the U.S. each year, down from about 400 a decade ago. Many are family-owned businesses, and they need to be assured of big attendance to come to a fair.

"Some have gotten fed up and tired of the fuel costs, insurance and long hours -- it's a grind," said Bob Johnson, president of the Orlando, Fla.-based Outdoor Amusement Business Association. "It's a very highly regulated industry, and I can't say that it's bad, but it obviously has added to the cost of doing business today."

County fairs were established in the 1800s as a way to promote agriculture, and little has changed since then, said Jim Tucker, president of the Springfield, Mo.-based International Association of Fairs and Expositions. He is not related to Billy Tucker.

Jim Tucker's group represents about 1,300 fair groups worldwide, though most are in the U.S.

Fairs remain popular, with 150 million Americans attending them in 2007 and 80 percent showing increased or steady attendance.

"More and more people are coming up with farm animals as the No.1 reason to visit a fair," Jim Tucker said. "A big part of the population does not interact with farm animals -- and the more something becomes a curiosity, the more people come and see it."

In Hettinger County, in North Dakota's southwest corner, livestock is hardly a curiosity. Kelly Stewart, who was a member of the county fair board for several years, said fairgoers still like the amusement rides, though they've been absent the past few years.

Fair attendance has suffered as a result. "Now we are down to a small beer garden, inflatables, and an egg toss for kids," she said.

Palmdale, Calif.-based Schoeppner Shows has been bringing its carnival to the upper Midwest since the early 1980s, and Pembina County was one of its annual stops.

Not this year. The carnival has decided to stay closer to home.

The skyrocketing cost of diesel and fewer fairgoers hurt business, said Pam Schoeppner, who runs the carnival with her husband, Phil.

"We're carving out new territory in Utah, Nevada, Idaho and Wyoming," she said. "Just driving out to North Dakota took a huge chunk of money, and the same thing with South Dakota and Nebraska -- all those little county fairs have just petered out and there is not enough attendance to support a carnival of our size."

Schoeppner's carnival has stopped each year at the Tri-County Fair in Wishek, in south central North Dakota. The company's decision to pull out of the state prompted fair officials to buy their own carnival rides.

Tri-County Fair purchased nine rides for about $50,000, though most need work to get them running in time for the fair's already-delayed opening July 10.

"I can't see us running a fair without a carnival," said Mike Martell, who has helped organize the Tri-County Fair for 45 years. "Kids bring their parents to fairs. If you don't have something for kids, there is no reason for their parents to go."

Kelly Miller

MANSFIELD -- The Kelly Miller Circus will make a stop at the Richland County Fairgrounds on Friday during this year's tour across North America.

Performances are set for 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday in the big top on the east parking lot. In addition, anyone can come out for free Friday morning and watch the animals being unloaded and fed, and the elephants raising the big top. Activities will begin at 7:30 a.m., and the tent will be raised between 8:30 and 9 a.m. Guides will be furnished.

The circus that features clowns, trapeze artists, acrobats, tigers, elephants, dog acts and more is marking its 70th anniversary year. According to promotional material provided by the circus, Obert Miller and his two sons launched the circus in 1938, leaving their home in Kansas and traveling by truck to put on a show with ponies and monkeys. The Kelly Miller Circus will travel nearly 10,000 miles, still by truck, and perform in more than 200 places between March and October.

Noting that animal welfare issues have been in the news, the circus also provided a statement about its "commitment to our animal friends," reporting, "We do not tolerate cruelty in the training of our animals."

The circus is regulated and licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is a member of the Endangered Ark Foundation, a group dedicated to preserving Asian elephants. Its elephants participated in the EAF's breeding program.

"Our animals are an important part of our circus family and we have strong emotional bonds with them. Economically, they represent major financial investments, and it defies logic to think that we would intentionally harm or mistreat them," the statement said.


The CIRCUS came to town

Pictured: The moment jumbo elephant went on the rampage - and crushed a terrified couple's car roof

Last updated at 07:40am on 14th May 2008

Road rage is bad enough. But what worried the driver of this car was that he was about to become a victim of rogue rage.

When a six-ton elephant suddenly lumbered over to the Volkswagen Golf in a South African safari park, Rico Beltrame and his sister Angela feared it was going to reduce the vehicle to scrap metal - with them inside.

However, the giant tusker turned out to be more curious than crazed. Coming to a halt alongside the car, it plonked its massive trunk firmly across the roof, slightly denting it.

Scroll down for more...

Trunk route: The African elephant dwarfs the tourists' car in Hluhluwe game park

Enlarge the image

A park ranger shouted over to Mr Beltrame to switch off his engine - which he did with a trembling hand. Then the 12ft elephant just stood there, gazing down at the rented Golf as Mr Beltrame and his sister stared back, frozen with fear.

For six minutes the standoff continued, with the brother and sister expecting at any second that the roof would come crashing down on them.

But, finally, the elephant removed its trunk and calmly walked off into the undergrowth at the Hluhluwe game park in KwaZulu Natal.

"We saw a group of elephants and started taking photos," said 27-year-old Mr Beltrame, from Switzerland. "Then we saw the elephant head our way. We got very scared when he stood by us and put his trunk on the roof.

"We waited, sitting without moving, waiting, before the elephant continued walking. It was an unbelievable experience."

The reserve is also home to rhinos, lions, leopards, crocodiles and cheetah – any of which might have been more interested in a snack than a peek.

Shock: The occupants' expressions say it all as the huge trunk comes down on the roof

Kelly Miller

The CIRCUS came to town

The Kelly Miller circus came to Howard County.

Circus in Howard County

They must have crept in over night and put up the big top in the dark because one day there was nothing out of the ordinary and then the next, on the commute to work down I70, there was a huge red and blue tent at the Howard County Fairgrounds.

I must admit that the last time I went to the circus was when I was seven years old and I don't remember much about it. Now I am blessed to have a 1 ¾ year old who is tickled pink to see such theatre.

Not that I am an "over-achiever" Mother, maybe more of an "over compensating full time Realtor" Mother, but I arrived at the fairground at 8.50am to "get in line" for my early bird tickets for the 4pm show.

There was not much fanfare about getting my seats, I didn't have to wait in line with folk who had camped out over night- in fact most of the people I asked at that early hour had no idea where the ticket box was!

The price per head was more than acceptable- my son was essentially free, but I bought a seat anyway just in case. I also upgraded all of our seats to "Ringside" for a mere $2

So how was the circus?

It was excellent fun. We sat ringside- although the draw of the camel and the horses outside kept us from getting the best seats in the house. (Try dragging a pre-two inquisitive boy away from live animals with reason and suggestion alone in a timely manner!)

A little too far to the left, but able to see everything close up albeit the back of their heads.

They started the show with big Bengal tigers, followed by juggling, performing dogs, high wire performances and spectacular acrobats.

Drew was star struck by the lights, action and music. He bounced around and was talking and pointing the entire time

At the interval we rode on the big elephant for a mere $5. It was worth every penny to see the joy and amazement in my sons face.

Susan and Wyatt on the elephant

Susan and Wyatt rode too

The final act of the evening was the three performing elephants. We were so close it was almost intimidating with their huge stature. We may have regressed in potty training when my son pointed to the big pile left by the elephant and said "Mommy-Poop!"

Elephants in Howard County

We had a wonderful evening- it was wholesome simplistic fun where the ticket collector doubled as the high wire performer. But how long will it last for?

The ticket prices were nominal, it was 2.5 hours of entertainment yet the 4pm show was almost empty. The local advertising was non existent and only by default did we hear about this.

How do they continue to afford to stay in business? The gas prices alone to drive from one City to another must be crippling. Imagine the cost of feeding 3 elephants in this economy too! Soon the only circus to be seen will be in large impersonal arenas.

To protect the future interests of my child and many others, please support these businesses.

Next year if they come back I plan to offer my services for free to help market and increase their attendance in my area. Maybe you could do the same.

6 days and counting

Kelly Miller

Big day at Big Top...
Written by Reporter1
Monday, 12 May 2008


...More than 2,000 people enjoyed the Kelly Miller Brothers Circus during two shows given Friday in Decatur at Riverside Park. The lengthy program featured some 15 acts, including the Wheels of Destiny (seen here), starring the Rosales family, and Siberian tigers under the direction of trainer Casey McCoy. The circus appearance was sponsored by the Decatur Optimist Club. (Photos by Eric Mann)

Kelly Miller

The circus is coming to town!
Comet staff report

Family entertainment Nati is seen catching a ride on Viola, one of Kelly Miller's performing elephants. The circus will be in Flora for two performances on May 6. Photo provided
Flora Community Club and Volunteer Fire Department are sponsoring two performances of the Kelly Miller Brothers Circus on May 7.

The first performance will be at 4:30 p.m., followed by the second at 7:30 p.m., both at Flora Community Park.

The Kelly Miller Brothers Circus was founded during the Depression in 1938. Celebrating its 70th anniversary, the 2008 season features elephants, horses, llamas, camels, clowns and a host of international circus stars.

The elephants will lift the giant Big Top into the air on circus morning at around 9. The public is welcome to watch the tent raising, free of charge. After the Big Top is set in place, the public is invited to step into the tent and see men and animals complete their work. A knowledgeable circus veteran will be on hand to explain the action and answer questions about circus life.

Advance tickets are available at a discount and can be purchased at Flora Utilities Office, Sisson & Son Jewelers, Dr. Stephen Herr Dentistry, and Drs. Wagoner & Wagoner Dentistry in Flora, The White Iris in Delphi, and Brewster Insurance in Burlington.

Kelly Miller

um, how rude. »
a day at the circus
on 04.22.08
in Days Go By
. Tags: circus, event, fun, photos.

Last Thursday, the 17th, the circus was in town! It’s been a long time since I was at a circus, I think I went when I was really little, probably to a Barnum Bailey, but this one was a Kelly Miller.

The day started, for us, with the putting up of the tent. We were supposed to meet friends for that so we headed on down and ended up about a half an hour early, but there were already a good number of viewers there. We watched the beginning stages of the circus tent going up and saw some of the animals before our friends arrived.

Elijah Picture Time Putting up the tent Putting up the tent

Of course, they all arrived armed with breakfast so the kids all joined together on a blanket and stuffed themselves silly. But after a little while, the circus men asked us to come inside the tent and the group of people on that side of the tent that was going up went inside while the others had to watch from outside. So we stood inside for a few minutes and watched them finish. An elephant helped with this part.

Elephant Breakfast while watching the tent getting put up Putting up the tent Putting up the tent

After that, it was back home for a while as the first show wasn’t until 4:30pm. Most of the afternoon was hurried and confused but eventually we made it back down there and Elijah got to ride himself a pony before the show.

But then we went in the tent and were unable to find our friends. They didn’t arrive for several minutes yet and by that time, it was hard enough to find a spot for their group of three adults, six kids, and a baby, let alone the two of us, so we stayed where we were. We were on the bottom bleacher, near the opening and so they would have been good seats if it weren’t for the “preferred seating.” This seating was much closer and surrounded the whole ring and to make matters worse they were in those plastic lawn chairs so they were actually sitting higher than we were on the front row. But, of course, it was already hard to find seating so I didn’t think we had much choice. But because of this, there were several acts that not only Elijah couldn’t see well if at all, but neither could I. It’s clear in the photos I did take.

That may have been one of the reasons that Elijah’s typical “okay, seen it, done it, now let’s do something else” attitude took over. He got cotton candy from the start and ate most of that and then wanted to either run off or dance to the music in the aisle. Most of my time was spent trying to keep him in line. He was also making me quite angry as every time the men with the sparkling, light-up toys would come by, he would throw an absolute fit. He wanted one so bad but I had already gotten him the pony ride, the cotton candy, and peanuts that I wasn’t about to get him everything his little heart desired, as much as I would like to. Turned out, too, that those stupid things were $10 and I got another fit later outside. We did, however, ride the elephant, the most expensive thing of the evening - this only for the photo and the memory, like riding that camel in Dec ‘06. :)

But anyway, the show was pretty good, though I wish I could have enjoyed it more. Here are some photos from that, not many came out at all:

Acrobats Hoop twirler Acrobats Acrobats Tiger Trainer Elephant

My favorites, of course, the elephants and the tigers. I thought the elephants, when they would sit on their rumps, were absolutely hilarious.

So there you have it. I would like to attend the Moolah Shiners annual circus but I know that Steve won’t be able to go with me and I’m not ready to brave another one alone so soon. Not to mention I think that I already have plans that weekend. Maybe next year!!