The circus is coming to town

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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.

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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’.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Follow the Lewis & Clark circus on Facebook.

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