It’s for us all’
By Antwon R. Martin
Jun. 11, 2014
KNOXVILLE — Inside a huge tent — a tent that is only seen two days a year — is a world of laughter, daring, and absolute fun.
“Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages,” the ringmaster begins, “to the all-new, 2014 Carson and Barnes Circus!”
And with that, a crowd of some 150 people hollers and applauds, a dancer sings and plays the piano until she is lifted from the stage on a trapeze, making room for people in animal costumes to play horns and children to cartwheel and juggle.
The whole time, music booms and the dancer sings, “The ragtime circus, it’s for me, it’s for you, it’s for us all.”
As the opening act ends, the ringmaster returns to the stage with a flaming rod and blows onto it, causing a fire ball to erupt in a flash that can be felt on the faces of the crowd in front.
This is the Carson and Barnes Circus.
Open at the Knox County Fairgrounds Wednesday and Thursday at 4:30 and again at 7:30 each evening, the circus offers everything from jumping poodles, to girls hula-hooping 50 hoops at once and dancing horses.
At one point, a man balances a 20-foot pole on his face while two children climb to the top and perform head stands.
And the crowd, consisting of ladies, gentleman and boys and girls of all ages, seems to love. Children swing light up rods and giggle at the man on the stage in a skirt while parents and grandparents hoot and holler.
Amanda Gibson, there with her 17-year-old brother, Grant Gibson and her 15-month-old twin boys, Chase and Ryder Gibson, all Knoxville residents, were thoroughly enjoying themselves.
“We’re from such a small town,” Amanda said. “It’s cool when something like this comes around.”
“I think it gives something for the children to do,” Grant added. “It’s good for the town and it’s a lot of fun.”
Ryder’s favorite part is the animals.
“When the horses came out, he was dancing,” Grant says, holding Ryder while Amanda plants a big kiss on her son’s cheek.
As Nancy Gaona, floor supervisor for the Knoxville show, explained, the circus is fun for her, too. Carson and Barnes has her traveling all over the country.
“Traveling all the time is like free vacations,” Gaona said. “I get to meet people everywhere we go and I get to see every state, not just like on TV, for real.”
Fun abounds at the circus, and as Gaona said. “It’s unique and you see things that you can’t see anywhere else.”
Read more: http://www.galesburg.com/article/20140611/News/140619900#ixzz34SHSoW6M