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About 1,800 area residents attend Kelly Miller circus

Published: July 30, 2014 1:00 AM

Aurora Masonic Lodge 606 reports its Kelly Miller Circus fundraiser on July 20 was a big success for the fourth year in a row, with more than 1,800 persons from Aurora and surrounding areas attending the two shows.

The circus had an open date July 19, so the caravan of trucks arrived at at Ballfields 1 and 2 a day early. The circus did not erect the tent until the morning of the shows, so on July 19 circus personnel enjoyed shopping at Aurora Farms Premium Outlets and visiting other Aurora businesses.

On July 20, an estimated 300 persons came out to see the new big top tent go up and experience viewing the animals up close.

When persons arrived at the grounds later in the day, they were greeted by an antique calliope which many people had never seen before, and it became an instant backdrop for pictures.

The extra attraction added greatly to the people's enjoyment of the circus, according to Masonic Lodge official. Circuses in the early 1900s used a calliope during the parades to attract people to the grounds.

The opening act of Ryan Holder presenting his seven Bengal tigers set the tone, and Mongolian contortionists Amina and Zaia were a crowd favorite. French juggler Nicolas Souren amazed the audience. Each show lasted about two hours, with a 15-minute intermission featuring elephant rides.

"This year is by far the best attended event we've experienced," said Masonic Lodge Worshipful Master Evan Webster. "We're definitely bringing it back in 2015."

Corporate sponsors were All Seasons RV, the Atrium at Anna Maria, Spencer Products, SSIP Insurance Partners and the Tinlin Team Webster also wishes to thank ticket outlets Doogan's, Mantua Grain, the Odyssey, Zeppe's Pizzeria, Richner Hardware and Haylett's Corner Store.

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Medford Sep 4, 2014 6:20 PM

As one who has attended Kelly Miller Circus performances for more than 15 years and who has interviewed numerous animal trainers and handlers, I urge Masonic Lodge sponsors and area fans to check out the circus animals and to talk to the trainers next time the circus comes to town.   Then in the words of trainer/presenter Carolyn Rice, "watch my animals and make your judgement."  In the meantime, feel absolutely free to ignore the phony press releases from so-called animal rights organizations threatening to call out the animal inspectors in an attempt to see Aurora residents from seeing these very well cared for animals in the ring--and the circus backyard,  And and also feel free to talk to Carolyn about her llamas, pigmy goats and dogs--which protesters avoid in order to prevent having their minds changed by the truth. And, by the way, I count some of these protesters as friends, so this is nothing personal.


Ellie_Lover Jul 30, 2014 11:48 AM

Surely some of those 1800 people noticed how sad and depressed the elephants looked, I am sure some of your children mentioned it.  Does anyone know that Lisa and Kelly were captured from the wild as babies in 1971 & 1975 and shipped to the circus where a bullhook, cattle prod was used to beat and break their spirit?   That is why their trainer carries one, the elephant are scared of it.  Collectively they have been forced to perform at the end of a bullhook for over 65 years.   

If you watched the elephants when they were penned behind the Big Top you would have seen them exhibiting abnormal behavior of swaying, pacing, repetitive movements.   Elephant experts call it “stereotypical behavior” it has never been seen in the wild and regarded as an indicator of poor welfare, stress of living in constant confinement in an unnatural environment. 

There is nothing fun about the circus for the animals.