Circus coming to town
November 11, 2010
When the Loomis Brothers Circus comes to town this Friday and Saturday, Crestview resident Paulette Loomis will be sure to attend.
Loomis’ son, Justin Loomis, owns the circus. Her son knew from a young age what he wanted to do with his life, Paulette Loomis said.
And when Justin felt the call of the Big Top, Paulette Loomis, not only said “sure,” she signed the permission slip.
“I took him to the circus when he was 7 years old and that’s all he ever wanted to do since then,” Paulette Loomis said. “I took him to all the other circuses. We met the performers and the owners.”
To bide his time, Justin and his sister Cerise performed a clown act and made occasional appearances at store grand openings and kids’ birthday parties in their childhood hometown near Miami. Then one day, fate planted a circus proprietor in the audience.
“When he was 16, the owner of a circus saw him and asked permission to take him on the road,” Paulette Loomis recalled. “I couldn’t say no. This was what he always wanted.”
Justin packed his bag and went on the road with the Wonderland Circus, performing as a clown or doing whatever was needed as he learned the art, craft and culture of circus life.
Justin Loomis didn’t just want to be in a circus. He wanted to own a circus. In 1996 when, after several years of honing his circus craft and learning about circus management, Justin founded the Loomis Brothers Circus.
“He’s been doing shows as the Loomis Brothers Circus ever since,” said Paulette Loomis proudly. “He started out with one ring, then added a second ring, and now he’s up to three rings.”
Justin Loomis is the circus’ ringmaster, and as he’s taller than 6-foot, with his gleaming black riding boots, black-and-gold-trimmed red tailcoat, white pants, white gloves and top hat, he’s as grand and impressive a ringmaster that ever strode into a circus ring, his mother believes.
The Loomis Brothers (actually it’s just Justin, and sometimes his cousins) Circus is based in Bushnell, located in central Florida near Ocala where there is more than 50 acres for the circus animals, which includes elephants and tigers. Performances are held throughout Florida and well into Alabama and Georgia.
This Friday and Saturday the Loomis Brothers Circus comes to Crestview Old Spanish Trail Park, hosted by the Main Street Crestview Association.
“He has a great show!” said Paulette Loomis proudly. “This is all he ever wanted to do.”
The Loomis Brothers Circus will open at Old Spanish Trail Park in Crestview at 7 p.m. Friday. Two performances are slated for Saturday, at 2 p.m. and at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the gate. Each ticket also includes two free kids’ entrance coupons for children 12 and under. Advance tickets are available throughout Crestview, Baker and Laurel Hill. For ticket locations, call Main Street Crestview Association member Cal Zethmayr at 240-4053.