Circus fascinates children of all ages
Redford residents Collin and Drake Tansey go for an elephant ride Monday at the Kelly-Miller Circus.
Bill Bresler | staff photographer
Written by David Veselenak
Aug. 16, 2012
Nine-year-old Kayla Cooper was excited to see the circus for the first time. So excited, she came with her sister and grandma to watch the big top get raised Monday at Bell Creek Park.
She and her sister, Alyssa, even got to ride on the back of an elephant.
“You wobble a lot,” the girl visiting from White Lake said. “It feels like you're going to fall off.”
The sisters were two of many children who attended the Kelly Miller Circus Monday at Five Mile and Inkster. The one-ring circus had two shows during the evening, featuring traditional circus performances such as clowns, acrobats and animals.
Mysterious animals at the sideshow were another attraction at the circus earlier this week.
We had packed houses for both shows,” said Jay Johnson, an organizer for the circus with the Redford Jaycees. “We had pretty close to 1,300 people go through the doors.”
The Kelly Miller Circus, based in Oklahoma, has come to Redford for almost a decade, Johnson said. It's an opportunity for families to come and visit the circus and enjoy themselves before school starts in a few weeks.
“I like the jugglers, and I like the clowns and the acrobats,” said Bethany Lee, a 4-year-old Redford girl who came with her mom to watch the big top get raised.
Johnson said the show stays pretty similar each year, but has some changes. He said the four tigers the circus had this year was a different number than what they typically bring.
He said the circus officials have told him Redford is close to being able to host the circus for more than one day. Shows are determined by the number of tickets sold, and the Redford crowd is growing each year.
Johnson said the Jaycees typically estimate between 800 and 1,000 tickets will get sold each year, a number that sales shattered this year.
Several dozen families came Monday morning to watch the tent go up as well. An elephant in the circus was used to lift the tent poles into place, and workers were out hammering stakes into the ground to secure the big top.
Redford resident Deanna Lee has brought her family to the circus for several years. She keeps coming back because it's a great activity for her family.
She brought her children to watch the elephants raise the big top earlier in the day before returning for the show.
“It's very reasonably priced,” he said. “There are no bad seats.”
The circus tent and setup happens very quick, Johnson said. The circus arrived at 7 a.m. Monday, set up the tents and had everything put away by about 11 p.m. the same night.
“They're very efficient,” he said. “There was nothing in this field at 7 a.m.”