BONNERS FERRY — From Leo the Clown to Francis the Lion, cotton candy to peanuts, the ambiance in and around the classic big top circus tent was filled with excitement from beginning to end of the two performances that took place on June 12.
The Culpepper & Merriweather Circus, brought to Boundary County by the Rotary Club of Bonners Ferry, featured many traditional acts, taking the audience back in time. The vibe throughout the show was one of wonder and awe, a place where parents were invited to bond with their kids through excitement and laughter.
“The look on my grandson’s face and the excitement of the circus,” said Michelle Kath about why she came to the circus. “I haven’t been to one in years.”
The circus is brought to Bonners Ferry by the Rotary to help benefit the community. The funds raised help in ways such as scholarships for students.
As the circus began, Francis the 16-year-old lion barked and huffed lazily, awaiting his turn in the arena, before delighting the audience with his sweet natured performance. Other animals featured were a string of performing dogs, leaping through hoops, and Wyatt and Jasmine, a horse duo featuring a Shire/Freisian cross gelding and miniature horse mare.
There was sword balancing, contortionist, trapeze artist, unicycles, and acts that defied gravity as the performers flew through the air, launched from a swinging platform.
A coloring contest was held prior and the winners were announced during the show, delighting 4-year old Leo Patterson and 8-year old Victoria Helsper when they were announced the winners of their categories and received prizes.
At the conclusion of the show, audience members were encouraged to meet the performers, and have them sign coloring books that they may have purchased. At the end of the night, the big top came down and the circus moved on, but it left behind the memories for those in Boundary County who came to enjoy the experience.
“Definitely a great family and community event,” said Jonathan Luhnow. “Everyone in the two families I went with had a great time. Some impressive acts and good entertainment.”