By: Melinda Barrett
March 10, 2013
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Crowds quickly accumulated at the Civic Arena for the annual Moila Shrine Circus, and ticket lines got longer and longer.
"Next year we will for sure buy our tickets before we come," said Jaimie Albers, her families first time attending the circus.
"It's been very hectic back here, we've had a lot of people coming through purchasing tickets," said Bob Couldry, Moila Shrine Treasurer.
For sixty years, the Moila Shrine has been bringing the circus to town, but this is the first year the crowds have been so large, filling up the Civic Arena almost every show.
"We've been selling tickets for 30-minutes after the show's begun, people are still coming in," said Couldry.
"We've had to turn some people away. I tell ya, it's hard to turn away a little kid when they're crying and want to go to the circus, but we just didn't have any room left," said David Brown, Assistant Circus Chairman.
Selling nearly 3,300 tickets per show, by the end of the run, more than 17,000 people attended the circus this year, the most successful run yet for the organization.
"As you know, we have the greatest philanthropy in the world, in our opinion," said Couldry.
"This is our number one fundraiser, it goes to support the operations of Moila. Our main goal, is to help children," said Brown.
Bringing the circus to town every year makes for multiple benefits, between the fundraising efforts of Moila and the opportunity for families, it's an event that continues to draw large crowds.
"You don't have to go to Kansas City to experience something like this, when you're from St. Joe. I've never been to a circus before so this should be an experience for myself, and for him," said Albers.
The Shriners believe that the recent weather conditions may have encouraged more folks to get out of the house this weekend and enjoy the circus.