Lloyd's Old English Sheepdogs will be one of the animal acts performing at the Shrine Circus this year in Aberdeen. (March 28, 2013)
By Jeff Bahr
March 28, 2013
Aberdeen, South Dakota--Vicenta Pages, a tiger trainer, will always remember Aberdeen as the birthplace of her daughter.
On the second day of last year's Shrine Circus, Pages gave birth at Avera St. Luke's.
It was an eventful trip to Aberdeen for Circus Spectacular, which presents the Yelduz Shrine Circus. Not only did Pages give birth, but Circus Spectacular owner Cindy Migley broke her toe tripping over a suitcase.
"She was in the labor room having her baby and I was in the emergency room having X-rays on my toe," Migley recalls.
The little girl was named Vanessa, but the circus troupe calls her Abby in honor of Aberdeen. "That's kind of a nickname. I think it’s going to stick with her," Migley said.
Pages is not with the circus this year, but the show will include Bengal tigers, trained by Brian Franzen. Franzen also trains the three elephants in this year's circus. Other animals on hand will be Lloyd's Old English sheepdogs and miniature ponies presented by Raul Rodriguez.
This is the second year that Migley has supplied Aberdeen with its circus. Circus Spectacular worked with the Yelduz Shrine for the first time last year.
Migley, who lives in Sarasota, Fla., is a fifth-generation circus person."My grandfather owned his own circus," she said in a phone interview.
Migley works entirely with Shrine Circuses around North America. "I love working for the Shrine. They really have kept circus alive," she said. "They're the biggest sponsor of circus in the United States."
Performers from Russia, Germany and Argentina take part in this year's circus, which opens today at the Aberdeen Civic Arena.
One of the big attractions at this year's circus will be the towering sway poles, presented by Winn Thrills. A brother and sister will climb "to the very highest point of the building," Migley said. In their final trick, the brother and sister "actually switch poles," Migley said.
This year's circus has a lot of aerial acts, she said. Those attractions include Obando's Highwire act. Another act offers the Alvarez family on teeterboard. A 15-year-old will perform on the rolla bolla, which is a balance board.
Another highlight, Migley said, will be Sir Igor performing on The Cube. In addition, the Winns will perform on a revolving wheel.
The lineup also includes the Arestovs, who are jugglers.
For an act called the Spanish Webs, "all the girls in the show get together" and do an aerial production number, Migley said.
As he did last year, singing ringmaster Justin Loomis will be the master of ceremonies.
All kids 12 and younger receive free admission to the circus, because Shrine members solicit contributions from area businesses.