Michelle Omar rides an elephant during the Naja Shriners Shrine Circus on Saturday, May 5, 2012, at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center's Barnett
Arena. (Ryan Soderlin/Journal staff)
Ruth Moon Journal staff
Posted: Sunday, May 6, 2012
Four-year-old Cody Stalcup’s favorite part of Saturday’s circus wasn’t the lion tamer, the motorcycle stuntmen or the magic show.
It was riding an elephant.
“It was very fun,” the brown-haired boy said after climbing down from the animal.
Children lined up around one ring of the three-ring Shrine Circus in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, waiting for their turns on the giant animals. The elephants, loaded with a half-dozen small children each, plodded in circles around the ring to give children a taste of circus life.
Cody was at the circus with two sisters, Lexi and Trynity, and his father, Brian, who said the family has been coming for years.
“The kids love it,” he said.
It was intermission at the 62nd annual Naja Shriners’ Shrine Circus in Rapid City. The circus’ three rings had transformed into an elephant ride, a pony ride and face-painting booths, and children wandered the arena with Batman-painted faces and stuffed animals, parents in tow.
The Ghost Riders perform at the Naja Shriners Shrine Circus at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center's Barnett Arena on Saturday, May 5, 2012. (Ryan Soderlin/Journal staff)
Early in Saturday’s circus, the audience in the nearly full arena gasped as lion tamer Adam Burck led six tigers through a routine that ended with jumps through a flaming hoop. Shrine Circus clowns, many from Rapid City and the Black Hills, invited audience participation in a performance of the Chicken Dance. The other performers in the circus came in a group from Las Vegas.
The local Shriners group hosts the circus every year to raise money for their activities, including driving children to Shriners Hospitals for Children, circus chairman and Rapid City resident Dan Arnio said. He has been circus chairman for six years and a Shriner for 15.
“Anytime you can put a smile on a child you’re doing a good deed for the day,” he said. “That’s what we are for.”
Read more: http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/circus-comes-to-town/article_63f178d8-9725-11e1-a287-0019bb2963f4.html#ixzz1u6Xc1abd