Fun at the circus
Saturday, February 25, 2017
T-G Photos by Sadie Fowler
The Garden Bros. Circus performed Saturday and will continue Sunday at Calsonic Arena on the Celebration grounds.
Camels are among several acts performing this weekend. This camel’s handler, Evan Wall of Huntington, Indiana, said camels have personalities similar to that of the horse. Walls purchased his camels about five years ago and began traveling with the circus as an opportunity to travel, and travel he does. Garden Bros. performs in about 300 cities each year; 16 shows a week. “Our life on the road revolves around the animals,” Walls said. “We set up, wake up at 8 a.m. each morning and spend all day grooming and caring for the animals prior to the show, then pack up and do it again. Sleep? What’s that?” Following Shelbyville, the crew is heading toward Knoxville.
Layne Vaughn, Owen Taylor, Destiny and Aalayah Lumbley (back) enjoy a ride on one of two elephants performing at the Garden Bros. Circus at the Calsonic Arena this weekend. Today’s performances are at 1, 3:30 and 6 p.m. Circus box office manager Cuinn Griffin said crowds seem to be more and more excited about seeing elephants at their shows. “Our job is to come in and put on a good show for people,” Griffin said. “In general, it’s a positive and happy experience, which is nice.”
The elephants, Bunny and Libby, (ages 49 and 50), prepare for the show. Prior to the Saturday performance, they ate some hay, enjoyed a bath, then took a nap. “Elephants are always the most popular,” Griffin said. “They get very, very pampered every day. The thing with animals who perform is they have to be happy. Some perception is that they are abused, but the reality is if they are not happy they won’t perform. The have to be warm, comfy and fed constantly.”