Circus is coming to town

Exotic animals, death defying stunts and comedy will all be waiting under one roof for residents when the Carson & Barnes circus comes to Marietta in July.

The Washington County fair board secured the act to perform July 18 and 19 for only a $500 fee, said president Fred Boyd.

“It’s a real three-ring circus,” he said.

The circus will feature a variety of acts including elephants, camels, clowns, acrobats, aerialists, horses, jugglers, dogs, flying trapeze artists and the globe of death motorcycle act.

“I think it’s one of the strongest performances we’ve had in the past few years,” said Kristin Parra, circus office manager. “It’s two hours of nonstop, family fun-filled action.”

Over four decades, Carson & Barnes has performed more than 30,000 times across the country to audiences numbering in the millions.

“We pride ourselves on being one of the largest big top circuses today,” said Parra.

Outside of the show will be a carnival atmosphere filled with funnel cakes, small rides and a petting zoo. The carnival opens one hour prior to every show and is available at intermission as well as after the show.

The free petting zoo is considered one of the largest in the country and features unique animals, such as Katy the pygmy hippo.

There will also be the opportunity for people of all ages to take rides on an elephant and camel for $10 and $7.50, respectively.

“It’s a family circus and it’s built around family so we are looking for families to get out there to enjoy the circus,” Boyd said.

The fair board will receive a percent of ticket sales with that percentage altering based on the types of tickets sold.

Proceeds from the show will be used to ease financial fair board burdens as well as go toward improving future events.

“We’ve got major expenses from previous fairs that need paid off and to try to hopefully turn the fair around and start to make improvements at the fair grounds,” Boyd said.

The circus will present two shows on July 18 at 4:30 and 7 p.m and two shows July 19 at 2 and 5 p.m under a big top tent in the center field inside the racetrack at the fairgrounds, 922 Front St.

Entrance will be allowed into the tent 30 minutes prior to the performance, but people are encouraged to arrive at least 45 minutes early to enjoy the midway and traveling zoo.

Pre-sale tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children, but for each adult ticket purchased one receives one free child’s ticket.

Tickets will be sold at the Fourth of July celebration, starting at 10 a.m. Friday at the fairgrounds. Tickets will also be available for purchase from 1 to 5 p.m. July 13 at the fairgrounds and also the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday leading up to the show day from 5 to 8 p.m. at the fairgrounds.

Additional tickets will be available at the box office on the days of the circus. The cost is $16 for adult tickets and $10 for children. Those 2 and younger are free.