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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Shrine Circus thrills Rapides Parish, raises money to help children


Elephant rides were offered at the Cenla Shrine Circus before the Saturday performance and during intermission. The circus continues today at the Rapides Parish Coliseum with shows at 2 and 6 p.m.

Written byWarren Hayes

Aug. 28, 2011

Melissa Anthony of Pineville believes high-wire acts, colorful lights and animals of the wild might be in her future.
The 7-year-old was one of many Central Louisiana children who flocked to the Rapides Parish Coliseum on Saturday for the annual Cenla Shrine Circus.The event continues today with shows at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. The event is free for children 12 and younger, while tickets are $10 for adults.Cenla Shrine Circus President Randall Cubb said the circus has been in Cenla more than 20 years.
"This circus attracts 18,000 people in the two days it's held," he said. "A hundred percent of our Cracker Jack sales go toward transportation to get children to a (Shriners Hospitals for Children) in Shreveport or any other Shrine Hospital they may need to go to. There's 22 Shriners Hospitals worldwide."


When Melissa walked into the Coliseum, her eyes widened as she saw children have a chance to ride an elephant and pony. Children also had their faces painted. Some parents were buying their children cotton candy and balloons.
The girl smiled and told her mother that an elephant she rode was huge."I've never had a chance to ride an elephant. It was fun," Melissa said. "I definitely want to come back next year. My mom also enjoys the circus."

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