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Monday, April 22, 2013

Culpepper & Merriweather Circus hits Thatcher

The circus is in town
 David Bell Photo/Eastern Arizona Courier

Crews raise the big top for the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus in the Bashas’ Shopping Center parking lot, Saturday morning. The circus will stage two performances Saturday, at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
from:  eacourier.com
By David Bell
April 20, 2013
THATCHER — Step right up! And see what’s under the big top!
Crews began erecting the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus big top in the Bashas’ Shopping Center parking lot, at about 9:30 a.m. Saturday, in preparation for Saturday’s two Gila Valley performances.
“Everyone here has multiple jobs,” said Nathan Holguin. “The guys putting up the tent will then assemble the rigging, put up the lighting and get the stands in place. Then after lunch and a small nap, they’ll be the ones working concessions and serving the patrons.”
Plus they start disassembling the production just as the lights come down on the last act. That’s because Culpepper & Merriweather Circus has a lot of miles to cover. The circus runs from March to October each year, playing at least one show — usually two — per day, seven days a week across the country.
“We’ll log over 14,000 miles and put on well over 400 shows,” Holguin said.
The circus has about 30 cast and crew and brings its own food and electricity. The only utility they use at each stop is local water.
“But we also spend about $1,000 in each city we do a show — for supplies, animal food and repairs,” Holguin said. “It’s a very symbiotic relationship we have with the communities we serve.”
 
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David Bell Photo/Eastern Arizona Courier
Looking in on the big cats

Gila Valley residents tour the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus Saturday morning, as crews clean the tiger cages in preparation of Saturday’s two performances at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Culpepper & Merriweather Circus will have two shows Saturday, at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
The all-star group of performers and entertainers include Miss Simone and her amazing single trapeze, Miss Paulina’s proud prancing ponies, The Arlise Troupe on their wild and crazy unicycles, Natilie’s American Eskimo Escapades, The Ayala’s with unforgettable foot juggling, a ridiculous Rola Bola, a hair raising Hair Hang, and the performing Jungle Cats, Soloman, Delilah & Francis, all presented by Mr. Trey Key.
Also performing are the clowns — Judy and Punchy of San Francisco.
“Judy is the boss,” said Punchy (Holguin).
Tickets are $13 for adults and $7 for children ages 2 to 12 and children

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