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Kelly Miller Circus comes to Sylvania

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Rebecca Ostroff preformed a high swing act without a net during the 4:30 p.m. showing of the Kelly Miller Circus.

The Blade/Katie Rausch
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For the 10th year in a row the traveling Kelly Miller Circus pitched its blue top tent on the large grassy field in Sylvania Township, turning an empty lot into a child’s playland.

The popcorn was popped, the cotton candy scooped up, and the peanuts were roasted, all in time for the first circus-goers who attended Friday’s 4:30 p.m. performance a wee bit early for a ride on the exotic animals. The circus is held at the corner of Brint and Centennial roads. 

PHOTO GALLERY: Click here to view slideshow.

Lacey Eulitz, 9, and her sister Addison Edwards, 6, took a turn or two around the grounds on a majestic elephant.

Addison said it would be cool to ride an elephant to school. The two weren’t scared by one of the largest mammals on land, although the animal‘‍s height was a bit higher than expected. Animal rides were just one of the outdoor activities. Outside the main tent awaited a live pony carousel, zebras, llamas, and horses, and camels to ride. .

Just before 4:30 p.m. spectators headed inside the main tent for the main show. The performance was one of two scheduled in Sylvania. The evening show was scheduled at 7:30 p.m. 

Tavana Brown, road office manager, said the circus sold at least 1,000 tickets before Friday’s shows, and more tickets were sold at the gate. The performance troupe began their week in the region performing at Kelleys Island, Oregon, and Point Place. Saturday morning the troupe will set up in Wayne, Mich.

She said this year’s carousel theme was inspired by a fabric act, in which acrobatics twist and swing from green and pink bands that hang from the ceiling. The fabrics and star patterned tent mimick the embellished merry-go-round. 

This year’s act had an international flavor with performers never seen before in the United States.

Contortionist act Amina and Zaia brought their Mongolian moves to Toledo, easily bending their bodies in odd positions that seemed as if they were made of taffy. Cousins James Hunt, 3, and Ayden Blairdell, 2, danced around near the stands watching the duo twist around like a pretzel.

Abrham Gebre from Ethiopia introduced a new kind ball-juggling act. He bounced and juggled objects off a platform in rapid-fire rhythm.

There was also a tribute to the old fashioned carnival. In the red, white and blue mixed animal revue, Carolyn Rice instructed toy dogs to jump through hoops and dive off high platforms into the safety of her arms. The animals shared the stage with the Uncle Sam llama, which wore patriotic pants and a Yankee Doodle hat.

Ryon and Dana Schafer, of Monclova shared the experience with their children McKenzi, 3, and Alex 1. The couple has not been to the circus since they were children.

“I’m looking forward to seeing their reactions to the clowns and animals, and the amazement in their eyes. We are reliving the experience through them,” Mr. Schafer said.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or ntrusso@theblade.com, or on Twitter @natalietrusso. 

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