Circus brings white lions and colorful creatures

What's a white lion?

Lions and tigers and elephants – oh my! On May 13, they'll be stomping on to the Boone County Fairgrounds when Circus Pages returns.

This circus might be small, but it does not lack quality. Ringmaster James Earhart said Circus Pages has it all. Among other animals, audience members will be able to see lions, tigers, white lions (literally, a lion that is white), elephants, camels, horses, ponies and dogs.

“Initially, the circus was a traveling zoo, the act was the animals and it evolved from that,” Earhart said.

Earhart said though most circuses have animals, they do not have the number of species Circus Pages does.

“Some of the bigger ones, they have elephants, but they don’t have the lions and tigers,” he said. “ They have lions and tigers, they don’t have the elephants. They don’t have the variety of animals that we have.”

Visitors will have the opportunity to go on pony rides and elephant rides. According to the Circus Page’s website, elephant rides are available during intermission and at the end of the show. Pony rides are available before each performance and during the intermission. Visitors will also have the opportunity to take pictures with the elephants.

Audience interaction is featured throughout the show. Earhart said it is up to the individual clown to decide when and how this will happen.

“One thing is he pulls an adult out of the audience and gives him a gift of a balloon,” he said. “He blows and pops the balloon and then is sad about the balloon, and he gets another balloon, and it’s a heart balloon, and it turns into a romantic, funny thing at the end.”

In addition to animals, the 90 minute circus will feature other traditional circus elements such as clowns, acrobats, tumblers, jugglers, unicycle riders and motorcycles in the steel ball, "The Globe of Death."

One of the main acrobats is a woman who suspends herself from her hair while performing special tricks.

“She’s in the middle hanging by her hair, and there’s at least two other aerial acts going on the sides of her, sometimes three or four, depending on the size of the building,” Earhart said.

Earhart encourages the entire family to come to the circus. He said it's exciting because it is live entertainment, which isn’t as common now as it has been in the past.

Earhart said one of the most appealing things about this circus is the proximity of audience members to the stage. He said at other circuses you can be so far away that elephants look like ants.

“The furthest seats there in that area are probably 60 feet away, and the closest would probably be 15 feet from the ring,” he said. “Everybody’s pretty close.”

Tickets will be available at the door. Adult tickets are $15 and up to two children per family can attend for free.

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