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Monday, February 14, 2011

Kosair Shrine Circus Wows Louisville
50,000 Residents Flock To Watch Traveling Circus
February 13, 2011, From: www.wlky.com
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Circus officials said about 50,000 people flocked to watch the 86th Annual Kosair Shrine Circus at the Broadbent Arena in Louisville this weekend.
But circus officials said spectators were not the only ones that were attracted to the show. Protesters from the group called Animal Lovers of Louisville were also outside the arena to voice out their disapproval.
"(The circus) raises ethical questions of behavior towards other living creatures, and we are committed to stopping this practice in this community," protester Marc Wessels said.
However, Kosair Shrine Circus spokesman Randy Coe said they do not mistreat their animals.
"We would never allow cruelty at our circus and we have no history of that whatsoever, but I'm glad we live in a country where people can lawfully disagree," Coe said.
But there were no disagreements from the thousands of spectators, as they said the show was one that everyone must see.
"It's fun to see the circus through the eyes of kids. They're had such a great time," circus-goer Stephen Moore said.
Circus performer Nina Carden said one of the reasons circus members perform well together is that they were all born into the business.
"It is a very family oriented business, so it's a hard business to get into if you're not from it," Carden said.
“It's very exciting because everybody's a great performer. These people who come out here and travel with the circus are fifth generation circus people. Their grandparents were jugglers and trapeze artists," circus host Louie Michael said.
Coe said more than 300 volunteers work year-round to help make the annual show possible.
Circus officials said one of the biggest attractionsat the circus is getting the opportunity to ride one of six 9,000-pound elephants. "Isn't riding the elephants a lot of fun? It brings the kid out in all of us," Coe said.
Because the circus is for children, the Shriners said they were pleased that they were able to give out 12,000 free tickets to "Kosair Kids" with special needs.

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