Sunday, September 4, 2011
When the Circus Comes to Town
The Culpepper & Merriweather Circus rode into town bringing their updated blue and white striped Big Top, a host of performers, workers, kiddie amusements and of course an array of animals ranging from a braying donkey to the king of beasts!
This is small one-ring circus, the type that would travel from town to town in days past, riding in on the railroad, unloading and parading through town. Folks would watch in awe as lions, tigers and colorful performers made their way to the outskirts of town where in a matter of hours the big top would tower over the fields; a signal to all that the fun would soon begin.
Today they arrive in a caravan of trucks and trailers still parading through town hauling ticket booths, trailers that will soon serve popcorn, soda and cotton candy, bounce houses and a small side show- Giant Snake- Live! Many hands are needed to erect the 3600 pound tent, driving a hundred stakes with 20 lb hammers. These are the strong men not featured in the show but critical to the success.
Soon the circus sprang to live, music blared from speakers and the crew was in high gear. The townspeople filed in as they have for generations: moms and dads with kids in tow, grandparents and teens, circus fans of all ages, a thread that binds us all. Run to get the best seat in the house but don't forget: Get your bag of Popcorn! Peanuts here! Snow cones and Soda. Balloons and trinkets. Get your face painted like a tiger!
What's a circus without clowns? Yes, those funny, sad and oft times scary clowns that have entertained us for ages, holding our interests and tickling our funny bones during set or costume changes.
Jugglers, trapeze artists soaring through the air, the Whip Master, dancing dogs, unicyclists and the many others file in performing act after act of amazing feats.
If you believe the trapeze isn't really so high, contemplate jumping off the top of your six foot step ladder. Not so sure about that? Simone, beautiful ringmaster and trapeze artist, flies high in the air, swinging by her neck spinning in frantic circles. Later she soars faster and faster, toes almost touching the top of the tent and suddenly drops suspended by her ankles or perhaps with her neck resting on the bar held only by the strength of her shoulders.
You find yourself both amazed and afraid for her. You silently send up a pray for the guardian angels of the circus to hold her in the palm of their hands. You see, she works without a net.
Next time the circus comes to town make time to take your children. If your town or charitable organization does not sponsor the circus, bring the idea to your next aldermanic meeting, gather the presidents of your local Lions Club, Rotary or tourism board together to discuss the possibility of bringing one to your community. Contact the circus directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how they can assist you or your organization.
I hope you are able to enjoy this simple type of circus, one that generations before came to know and love.