Circus rolls into town
A tiger leaps through a flaming ring during Thursday’s afternoon performance of the Yelduz Shrine Circus at the Aberdeen Civic Arena.
by Annie King
Apr 18, 2014
Aromas of cotton candy and fresh face paint filled the Civic Arena Thursday, when the Yelduz Shrine Circus rolled into town once again. Elephants, tigers and bears were in tow, as the arena filled for the first showing at 4 p.m.
Ringmaster Devin Chandler of the Dallas area is no stranger to the business, as he has been on stage doing show business since age 7, he said in an interview before the first show. After attending college for radio and television, Chandler began working for a circus up in Canada and has been working as a ringmaster professionally for the past 18 years, he said.
“My favorite part is when it all comes together after a long week of traveling and setting up, and then you see the smiles on everyone’s faces,” he said. “Especially when I see generations, sometimes three, maybe four generations, all having a good time together.”
Ringmaster Devin Chandler talks about his job and what it's like to travel the country.
Aside from the musical illusion act he does with his wife, Sarah, Chandler said his favorite act is the wheel of destiny, which is a giant pendulum contraption that will “hopefully put your heart in your throat,” he said.
Chandler has been traveling with his wife for over 11 years, and Sarah has done everything in the circus from concessions to sound, as well as an act called “The Chandlers,” which is a singing illusion act, he said.
“She is more than half of the act; she’s actually the star of the act,” he said. “We go on the road. We work hard together and have a good time.
For the last 14 years, fourth-grade teacher Becky Drege of LaMoure, N.D., has been bringing her fourth-graders to the circus as part of a field trip. She and the other fourth-grade teacher, Paulette Carlson of LaMoure, had made the trip to Aberdeen to make the 4 p.m. showing. She said the class will have dinner at McDonald’s after the circus and then head back home.
“The students really look forward to coming to the circus and we love bringing them,” Drege said. “We really look forward to coming ourselves.”
Drege said local businesses buy tickets for the children making it possible to come and the class size usually ranges about 22-28 students.
Dane Labahn, 10, and Alex Goodrie, 10, who were both in the fourth-grade class at LaMoure Public School, were decked out with their face painted like skulls and a brightly colored light-up feather mohawk.
Both boys said one of their favorite acts at the circus was watching the motorcycles drive dangerously in a round cage. When asked if he would think about trying it out for himself, Labahn said, “Probably not.”
Kaylynn Overacker, 10, of Groton and Candace Tullis of Groton both said they enjoyed the clowns the most, without hesitation. With faces painted like tigers, the girls said they were not afraid of the clowns.
read and see more at: