Friday, October 02, 2009

....Marshfield Community Center sponsoring pair of circus performances on Oct. 19....

By Mark Lile
Marshfieldians will have the chance to thrill to trapeze acts, roaring tigers and riders performing stunts on horseback in mid-October when the Marshfield Community Center sponsors two performances of the Kelly Miller Circus, a traveling circus out of Oklahoma that performs under a traditional “big top” tent.

The circus, to be staged at the Webster County Fairgrounds on North Marshall in Marshfield, is one of the fundraisers being staged by the Marshfield Community Center as it works to “bring back the unity into our community” with a family-friendly recreational facility including a gymnasium and fitness center in part of the former Marshfield Junior High School building.

While the Kelly Miller Circus will be having two performances – at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. – during its local stop on Monday, Oct. 19, the show will actually start early in the morning with the raising of the big top.

Circus vehicles and crews begin arriving on the grounds for that evening’s show around 7:30 a.m., with elephants helping to put up the huge tent and guided tours offered beginning at mid-morning to local schoolchildren and the public for a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the circus.

Other circus animals including horses, camels, llamas, ponies and miniature Sicilian donkeys will also be on display while the circus sets up.

As incentive to purchase tickets ahead of time, the Marshfield Community Center is offering a couple of special prizes – a $100 Wal-Mart card during the 4:30 p.m. performance and a $50 “mystery” gift card during the 7 p.m. show – to be given away through a drawing only open to those with pre-bought tickets.

Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children ages 12 to 3. Children under 2 are admitted free. Tickets the day of the circus will be $14 for adults and $7 for children.

Begun in 1938 by Obert Miller and his sons, Kelly and Dory, the Al G. Kelly Miller Brothers Circus, now known simply as Kelly Miller, has entertained millions of American and Canadian citizens while establishing itself in the fabric and history of the American tented circus.

The show travels on a fleet of 25 vehicles, and requires an area of some 90,000 square feet to set up on. The circus big top, imported from Italy, has a seating capacity of 1,500 and is made of waterproof vinyl. The tent is 120 feet by 130 feet, and 40 feet high, and is supported by more than a quarter of a mile of heavy gauge aluminum tubing as well as several miles of rope, steel cable and chain.

New acts this year for Kelly Miller Circus include Dazzling Patricia’s Hula Hoops, clowns Steve and Ryan, a Hawaiian aerial ballet, juggling sensation Raul Olivares, all new Loyal Bareback Riders, triple somersaulting Flying Fernandes, the Lunas Highwire Motorcycle, and a flag-waving, rope-spinning Western finale.