Tigris Shrine Circus entertains Syracuse with elephants, trapeze artists and Globe of Death
The Tigris Shrine Circus performs at the Toyota Coliseum on the NYS Fairgrounds. One of Vincent Von Duke's tigers leaps through a flaming hoop. David Lassman | firstname.lastname@example.org
By Kathleen Rubino | Contributing writer
April 05, 2014
The lights dazzled and the rings lit up. Acrobats performed both blind-folded feats of death and elegant trapeze, rope and hoola-hooping routines. "America's Most Intelligent Elephant," the Might Bo, balanced on two feet on a rotating table. Motorcycles whizzed and whirred inside the Globe of Death - one of them ridden by 12-year-old Maximus Garcia.
"It's one of the cheapest circuses in the area," said Ralph Haney, the 2014 Tigris Shrine Circus potentate. "It's a good value for the money we charge."
The Tigris Shrine Circus is back in Syracuse, performing in the Toyota Coliseum. The circus kicked off Friday, April 5 at 7 p.m. with additional performances through Sunday, April 6.
There are currently 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children, and Haney said events like the circus help raise funds for operating capital so Tigris Shriners can transport children to these hospitals.
The Tigris Shrine Circus performs at the Toyota Coliseum on the NYS Fairgrounds. A crowd comes in for the show. David Lassman | email@example.com
Tigris Shriners partners with the Jordan World Circus - owned and produced by Jordy Jordan of Las Vegas - to bring the circus to Syracuse each year.
Haney said it takes a lot of work to assemble the circus.
They began setting up the red, white and blue rings, lights, ropes and more for the circus at 7 a.m. on Thursday, April 3 and didn't finish until midnight.
Justin Loomis has been a ring master for 17 years - though he worked all his life in the circus, performing clown, pig and dog acts. This is his first year as the ring master of the Syracuse event.
"This show has everything you expect to see in a circus," Loomis said. "People should come to the circus and forget their problems for a while."
The Tigris Shrine Circus performs at the Toyota Coliseum on the NYS Fairgrounds. Showgirls are part of the overture as the ringmaster is introduced. David Lassman |firstname.lastname@example.org
For $7 each the audience could indulge in pony rides, photos with animals (including Bo and the tigers) and characters (including Minnie and Mickey Mouse), a giant blow up slide and face painting during the pre-show and intermission.
People came to the circus for different reasons.
Beth Schneider, Cicero, brought her niece Ava, 4, to the New York State Fairgrounds on a mystery trip.
"I take her on mystery trips where I don't tell her where we're going," Schneider said. "Ava's favorite part was the horses."