A tiger jumps through a ring of fire during the 70th annual Shrine Circus in Flint, now on its way to the Dow Event Center in Saginaw. The tiger is part of an act by trainer Brunon Blaszak who is a third generation tiger trainer.
foto/Sammy Jo Hester | Mlive.com
Sue White | For MLive.com
January 22, 2013
SAGINAW, MI – The elephant Bo is on his way back to Saginaw!
When the Shrine Circus celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2003 with two shows in Saginaw County, the largest male Asian elephant performing in the United States stomped his way into the audience’s heart.
“He’s still a big hit,” said circus director Craig Hatch. But there’s much more in store, he added, as the Carden Circus makes its way from Flint to The Dow in time to kick off its five-day run at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23.
In a sign of the times, the Elf Khurafeh Shriners’ annual fundraiser this year includes alligator wrestlers – think reality TV – along with monkeys and tigers and horses.
Flint audiences also raved about the aerialists, a circus tradition near to the heart of Saginaw historians. It was on the sawdust piles of Saginaw's lumbering era that many American aerialist acts first got their start, from the Flying Melzoras to the Picards.
“It really shows the breadth and creativity of Saginaw’s people and the city's role as a crossroads for people of all experiences,” said Thomas Trombley, deputy director of the Castle Museum of Saginaw County History, 500 Federal.
“It’s not just accidental. There is that sense of interconnectedness that drew people here and continues today.”
Speaking of soft landings, the circus, remembering daredevil Josh Headford, who broke his femur, wrist and elbow and fractured a shoulder blade when his motocross bike struck a cable and plunged 25 feet to the arena floor last year, has returned the stunt motorcyclists to the globe.