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Thursday, March 7, 2013

SPRINGFIELD SHRINE CIRCUS

USDA regulations send circus from Mosque to JQH


from:  news-leader.com
Written by Thomas Gounley
Mar 6, 2013
Springfield,Missouri--A springtime tradition is heading down the road.
When the Abou Ben Adhem Shrine Circus comes to town next month, the six shows will take place in JQH Arena — ending decades of performances at the Abou Ben Adhem Shrine Mosque at the corner of Kimbrough Avenue and St. Louis Street.
Shrine Mosque administrator Tom Morris said the change was prompted by United States Department of Agriculture regulations that, while not necessarily new, are being enforced more strictly in the wake of the formation of third-party organizations monitoring the safety and treatment of exotic animals.
“We can no longer get the cages in the building for the cat act,” he said.
Additionally, Morris said, there were issues with the closeness of the elephants to the crowd and their storage on the street. JQH Arena, he said, is better equipped for the shows.
“We’re looking forward to being over there,” he said.
 
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Morris said he has traced the three-ring circus in the Shrine Mosque back at least 65 years but can’t be sure exactly when the tradition started. The circus is an annual fundraiser for the Shriners organization.
This year’s Shrine Circus has a Broadway theme. Human attractions include “The Human Cannonball,” two-and-four-wheeled “Extreme Circus Riders” and the trapeze act of “The Flying Bells.” Animal attractions include tigers, a liger (think lion and tiger) and dancing elephants — including “Broadway Bo,” billed as the world’s largest performing elephant.
“We’re bringing a big show, the biggest we’ve ever put together,” George Carden, the founder of the circus, said in a media release.
“The spirit of the circus is to top anything and everything, each year.”
Performances will be held on April 5, 6 and 7
 

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