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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Circus rolls into town


May 5, 2011

from: globegazette.com

MASON CITY — The circus rolls into Mason City May 7-8 for five shows at the All Seasons Building on the North Iowa Fairgrounds.
“Mason City is one of our favorite stops,” said George Carden, the circus’ owner. “We’ve been coming here for over 30 years, and for my family, it’s like coming home.”
Carden starts his summer tour in Iowa each year.
“Our family looks forward to kicking off in Iowa, with so many of the local families we’ve known for generations.”
This circus is “interactive.” Attendees are invited on the floor, in the rings, before, during intermission and after the circus. The performers from more than 30 countries are available for pictures, and there are rides and other activities for the audience to enjoy.
Carden said most of his performers and employees are from circus families and still perform together in the circus.
“These talented folks can trace back their families for three to five generations, 100-plus years in circus life,” Carden said.
The circus lineup for the local performances includes a number of family acts, and all are family-friendly. Carden’s son, Larry, is the lead elephant trainer in the show. Larry teams with Bo, a 6.5 ton elephant.
Michelle Audrey emcees the Shrine Circus. This working mother of three travels with her children and husband Israel, who works as a prop master for the show. Audrey home-schools her children while on the road.
“I love to see the faces of the kids,” said Audrey. “It’s what I love most about this circus.”
This year, the circus features a troupe of white tigers, raised since birth by Vicente Pages. Pages, like all the animal trainers in Carden’s circus, observes natural behaviors and playful traits in the animals, and incorporates those into the show.
“What you see in this show is as close to living with these animals as you can see anywhere,” Pages said. “Our animals are like people, some are funny, some are smart, and some are athletes. We just let them be who they are.”
Shows are at 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $12 for children, and $16 for adults.
Carden encourages people to come early.
“We want your family to be part of our family.”
The circus will be in Mason City May 7-8.

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