The Big Top is Coming to Town!
Over the years, it seems that every time the circus comes to town, interesting incident reports show up the news room. Like the year, the elephant got loose after a long day of rides for the neighborhood kids
“My Stepmom was the last ride of the day,” Jasmin-the-bartender recalls from her childhood days when they would actually let people ride the tusken beasts. “And that elephant must have been over it!” Apparently the mammoth monster put his last passenger not-so-gently to the ground before breaking free from its tether and running free about Leadville’s west side for a good hour before being captured.
Another year, during a king-of-the-jungle transition, the traveling troupe creatively groomed the fur of a Chow-Chow into the mane of a lion. The domesticated fill-in charmed attendees at every show! Unfortunately, a couple of dog-lovers saw the demonstration as a shameful embarrassment for man’s best friend and kidnapped the Chow from the ringmaster’s RV in between performances. This circus story’s happy ending involved a ransom of beer and whiskey down at the corner bar, and ultimately, the understanding that the Chow actually enjoyed entertaining the crowds from coast to coast. The pseudo -lion was reunited with his performance partners in time for the next show!
Of course, today things are a bit more buttoned up under the Big Top. Circus animals are treated with different standards and guidelines in the modern circus industry than they were in the 20th century. And this weekend, Leadvillites will be able to see those changes, because the circus is coming to town!
Did you know that Leadville is one of the ONLY stops they make that has TWO days of performances, so there’s plenty of time to show them some circus love! Thanks to the sponsorship of the Leadville Lions Club, on Friday & Saturday, July 12 & 13 the Culpepper & Merriwether will be at the Leadville Community Park located at W. 6th & McWethy Dr. with scheduled performances on at 5 & 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 2 & 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. This authentic One-Ring, Big Top Circus has been featured on National Geographic’s Explorer TV series, and most recently, “On the Road with Circus Kids,” a Nickelodeon special featured on the Nick News Program.
Bring your friends and family out Friday morning to watch as the Community Park is transformed into a bustling Circus City. Activity swirls around the grounds as animals are unloaded, the Big Top is erected, and rigging is prepared for performances later in the day. Enjoy the magic and tradition of the American Circus with your family and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Between 9:30 and 10 a.m. come watch the raising of the Big Top, then stay for the FREE Tour. This presentation offers a unique face-to-face opportunity for families, schools, and interested community members to meet and learn all about the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus family and includes a walking tour of the circus grounds. Learn interesting facts about the performers, the history of the show and the different species of animals in their Circus Family.
In this presentation circus representatives will also address topics such as hygiene, grooming and the veterinary care all of their animals receive. In recent years the Tent Raising and Morning Tour has become a popular program for families and interested community members. It is presented in a way everyone, young and old can learn many interesting facts about the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus Family. This is a special part of Circus Day that should not be missed!
On circus day, the performers bring their magic of the circus to life in each 90-minute performance. This year’s lineup includes an All-Star group of performers and entertainers that include:
- Miss Simone and her breathtaking single trapeze.
- Miss Paulina’s proud “ Big & Little” prancing ponies.
- The Arlise Troupe on their wild and crazy unicycles.
- Natalie’s American Eskimo Escapades.
- Miss Georgia displaying flexibility to the extreme and for the first time.
- The Wheel of Destiny & Tight Rope by The Perez Family
SAVE MONEY by purchasing your tickets in advance at the following locations: Centennial Real Estate, Community Banks of Colorado, and Saturday’s Discount. Prices for advance tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for seniors (65 and over) and children ages 2 to 12, children under 2 are always free. On show day tickets will be $15 for adults and $8 for seniors/children. Reserve your tickets early and save. Visit their website for more details: Culpepper & Merriweather Circus