Circus comes to town, with big bang, thrills
Demarco Smith, 5, shows his tie to clowns at the Cole Bros. Circus on the grounds of the Wilmington International Airport as part of the N.C. Azalea Festival Thursday. The circus runs until Sunday, April 15, 2012.
by Mike Spencer
By Julian March
April 12, 2012
The only place in Wilmington you could find a pink poodle walking on its hind legs Thursday was the Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars.
People lined up outside the big-top circus tent a full half-hour before the afternoon show at 4:30 outside the Wilmington International Airport.
The circus, in town as part of the N.C. Azalea Festival, opened Thursday and will continue through Sunday.
In the tent, men carried red trays topped with pink cotton candy, snow cones and bags of overflowing popcorn.
The honor guard consisted of a clown with carrot-orange hair and a blonde curly-headed sidekick with high red socks.
"Are you ready for the circus?" bellowed the ringmaster, clad in a red coat with sequins that glittered in the spotlights.
Children squealed as the ringmaster announced the arrival of a Siberian and Royal Bengal tigers that raised their paws in the air and stood on their hind legs. They jumped through a hula hoop and walked between poles, their lithe bodies easily sliding back and forth as the white and black Siberian tiger stood regally overhead.
Pink show poodles in hot pink tutus and peacock-like feathers walked on their hind legs and rode a scooter.
Elephants were a sure crowd-pleaser. The littlest elephant, "Baby Val" sat on her hind legs or stood on her head with her hind legs in the hair.
During the intermission, Beth Morrell rode an elephant with her 9-year-old son, Austin. It was the first time either had ever been on the back of an elephant.
Crowds packed the Big Top to watch a variety of acts perform at the Cole Bros. Circus on the grounds of the Wilmington International Airport as part of the N.C. Azalea Festival Thursday, April 12, 2012. The circus runs until Sunday, April 15, 2012. Photo By Mike Spencer/STAR-NEWS
"It was the best elephant ride I've ever taken," Austin said. "If I could, I would do it all day."
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