Abigail MacDonough, left, and brother Cameron MacDonough view the elephants while visiting the Quincy Mall for the Carson and Barnes Circus in 2011. (H-W File Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)
By STEVE EIGHINGER, Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Aug 19, 2013
Joe Bordewick is just like the little kids who will be attending the Carson and Barnes Circus.
He loves it, from the enormous elephants to the hilarious clowns to the aerial daredevils.
There's another aspect about the circus, which will be at the Quincy Mall Aug. 31- Sept. 2, that Bordewick loves even more. It's the money the circus will generate for the Noon Kiwanis Club and its mission of "supporting the kids" in the Quincy community.
"We're expecting to raise between $8,000 and $10,000, which will all benefit the kids," said Bordewick, the Kiwanis president. "As a club, we raise funds to allocate to local organizations and (causes) that will help children."
Bordewick said the Kiwanis Club brings in the circus every other year. That keeps the attractions and appeal fresh.
Arguably the top drawing card of the circus is its menagerie of exotic animals that includes a miniature zebra, two llamas, Sicilian donkey, alpaca, Asian elephants, camels, pygmy goats and a pygmy hippo.
One of the top individual attractions is Alex the Clown, who has been a Las Vegas headliner and performed with several of the largest Latin American circuses. He combines daring gymnastics routines with old-fashioned pranks.
Barbara Miller-Byrd is a third-generation member of the family that has run the circus, and after more than 60 years on the road as a performer and owner she says she is still thrilled by what the "traditional American circus" offers.
"I never considered doing anything other than being a part of the family business," she said. "But in those early days no one imagined a woman would ever be the boss of a male-dominated business like ours."
The circus features a cast of dozens and a wide variety of rides and attractions. More information is available at the www.BigTopShow.com website.