Big Top on the Hill

Lauren Sanchez

Crowds came in droves to Diddle Arena, but not for a basketball game.

People of all ages packed Diddle over the weekend to see the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus. The Hometown Edition tour was in town for three days, performing six shows.

The circus offered pre-show events, such as pictures with performers and games with Hercules, a performer known for his incredible strength.

The show’s announcer encouraged booing, screaming and laughing from the audience, and the audience complied. Fans cheered for performers, booed the clowns and laughed as members of the audience tried to compete against Hercules in a metal bending competition.

The two-hour show featured elephants, snakes and dogs as performers. Children watched in awe as a small dog performed tricks, such as acting as a wind-up toy and hiding from a clown. But they weren’t the only ones amazed by the dog’s talent.

Pam Embry of Lake Malone said the dog’s act was her favorite event. Embry came to the circus because of her daughter.

“We took her two years ago ,and she loved it,” she said, refering to the circus.

Embry said she and her family will “definitely” go to another show if the circus visits Bowling Green again.

Other acts featured a contortionist from Brazil, two Spanish brothers performing tricks on a four story-high windmill, and a head balancing trapeze artist. The trapeze artist, along with two chiffon silk rope climbers, wowed the audience with their tricks as they dangled high above the ring.

Alexia Ault, senior at Bowling Green High School, said the silk climbing act was her favorite event.

Ault and her friends Bennett Jackson and Katie Pfohl, both Bowling Green High seniors, came to the circus to “relive our childhood,” Jackson said.

The girls said they had been to the circus before, though it had been many years since their last one. They said they will come back if it ever returns to Bowling Green.

“I’m really glad it finally came,” Jackson said.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal activists didn’t appear to protest before the shows, and Jackson didn’t expect it to be any other way.

Jackson said she didn’t think this circus in particular is cruel to its animals.

“It depends on who’s running the show,” she said. “I think Barnum and Bailey is good, but with smaller circuses, you never know what they do.”

Embry agreed.

“I don’t think they’re cruel to them,” she said. “At least I hope not.”

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