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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Gibsonton charity circus opens Saturday


"Lamont the Human Volcano" thrills the crowd with his fire-eating show at the recent Gibsonton Showmen's Charity Circus.By TBO.COM

Tbo.com Published: January 02, 2012

GIBSONTON -- It's not the greatest show on earth, but to Gibsonton residents it might as well be.
The Gibsonton Showmen's Charity Circus is an annual tradition.
"People who came here 20 or more years ago now bring their children or grandchildren," said Lee Stevens, chairman of the show for the past 16 years. "There are only a handful of under-tent circuses left in the country and this is the only one in southern Hillsborough County."
It's not only the clowns, animals, aerialists and genuine circus band that draw folks to the event, Stevens said.
"It's special because the entire show is live, in a very intimate setting. Every seat is good because no one is more than 60 feet from the ring. Everything is up close and that makes the experience personal."
The International Independent Showmen's Association in Gibsonton sponsors the charity circus, now in its 30th year. Performers come from throughout Florida to volunteer their time and talents.
Proceeds mostly go to charities.
This year's performances will be at 1, 4 and 7 p.m. on Saturday at the International Independent Showmen's Association, 6915 Riverview Drive, Gibsonton.
Visitors can come one hour before each show to visit the midway, which will feature side-show acts, bounce houses, animal rides, a petting zoo, a model circus display and more.
Adult admission is $10 in advance or $12 at the gate. Children 12 and under are admitted free with a paying adult. For information, call (813) 677-3590.

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