Friday, Apr 20, 2018
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Walbridge: Big top performers to spice Loop Park

The circus is coming to Walbridge.

On Aug. 10, Loop Park will be taken over with a big top circus tent filled with elephants, trapeze artists, clowns, and up to 1,500 interested audience members.

The Kelly Miller Circus is stopping in the village during it's 10,000-mile trek around the country to about 200 locations for one-day performances.

The circus performers include Miss Tavana, who's been featured in Ripley's Believe it or Not! for performing the "slide for life" as she flew across downtown Las Vegas while suspended by her teeth on a pulley. She does the same thing for circus shows in the tent.

"She does a single trapeze and literally hangs by her teeth," Kelly Miller Circus spokesman Jill Jones said. "Some of the positions she gets in scares me to death."

A family will perform flying trapeze acts, another will perform an aerial ballet, and individuals will juggle, perform animal tricks, and clown around.

It's the first time Walbridge has hosted such a large event and is doing so to help raise money for renovations to Loop Park, Mayor Dan Wilczynski said.

"We had committed last year to having some renovations to Loop Park. Any profit that's made off this circus would go into this fund," Mr. Wilczynski said. "It just fell in our lap and we said let's give it a try."

The Kelly Miller Circus will arrive in Walbridge and start setting up around 9 a.m. Wednesday and the public is invited to watch the old-style circus use elephants to put up the Big Top. Throughout the day, people can visit with the elephants, horses, camels, llamas, and ponies while animal department employees answer any questions. Shows are at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Advance tickets can be picked up at three area locations - village offices, 111 North Main St.; 7-Eleven, 200 North Main St.; and Cando Credit Union, 113 South Main St. Advanced tickets are $5 for children 12 and under and $8 for adults. Tickets are $6 for children and $10 for adults the day of the show.

The village gets a larger percentage of advanced ticket sales, but altogether should receive about 30 percent of the total ticket sales, Mr. Wilczynski said.

Profits will go toward fixing baseball diamond fences, upgrading the ball fields, and converting the old shelter house into a senior and youth center. Mr. Wilczynski said $10,000 has been set aside and profits from the circus could add $6,000 to that account.

The Kelly-Miller Circus will perform Aug. 11 in Sylvania at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. at the Sylvania Sunrise Lions Club at Brint and Centennial roads. It will then go to Petersburg, Mich.

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