A caravan will be coming into Columbia today; thirty or so hard-working, marvelously talented performers from the Lewis & Clark Circus will be setting up for two shows later this afternoon and evening in the compact, open space at Front and Bridge Streets. Today’s shows are at 5:30 and 7:30; tickets will be on sale at the circus.
The Lewis & Clark Circus crew is an crew of tireless, and quite capable circus performers continuing a centuries old tradition.
Wikipedia best narrates the circus tradition: “A circus is commonly a travelling company of performers that may include clowns, acrobats, trained animals, trapeze acts, musicians, hoopers, tightrope walkers, jugglers, unicyclists and other stunt-oriented artists. The word also describes the performance that they give, which is usually a series of acts choreographed to music and introduced by a ringmaster. A traditional circus performance is normally held in a ring 13 m (42 ft) in diameter. This dimension was adopted by Philip Astley to enable a horse rider to stand upright on a cantering horse to perform a series of acrobatic maneuvers and to more easily retain their balance. Circuses often have a system of tiered seating around the ring for the public; since the late 19th to early 20th century, many circus performances have taken place under large tents commonly referred to as ‘The Big Top’.”
Families with kids were the main circus-goers at last night’s performance in Brownstown; they came to catch the excitement and fun produced by this troupe of jugglers, gymnasts, animals, clowns and entertainers.
And everyone in the circus crew is a superb multi-tasker. They are the show talent; the tear-down, load up and set-up staff and the pre-show and intermission vendors selling circus fare … balloons, glow sticks, cotton candy and the like. It is an event for kids, grand-kids (the reason we were at the circus) and the entire family.
Everyone travels in the caravan that is a collection of trucks, trailers and travel homes; the circus performance (and travel) schedule is murderous. Take a look, and these amazing vagabond artists do everything as they travel from city to city playing an astounding “road trip” of away performances.
Go ahead, treat your kids or grandkids (or yourself) to a proud tradition. Go to the circus tonight. Have a couple of hours of fun.
And when you’re headed home following the show, these troupers will be tearing down, packing up and heading to another circus date.