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2006 Circus Fiesta coming to Philip

The Philip Chamber of Commerce is once again sponsoring the George Carden International Circus.

The two performances on Saturday, July 15, will be at 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Tickets will be available one hour before showtime. The circus’s three rings will be set up at the Philip Roping Arena.

The George Carden International Circus is known for its highwire acts, elephants, tigers, clowns, aerialists, jugglers and more. Owner/producer, George Carden, is one of the largest producers of circus entertainment in North America. He has been in the circus business all of his life, and is his family’s fifth generation in show business. He has worked a cat act, presented camels and elephants (he currently owns 10 elephants), oversees bleacher operations, has expertise in promotion and advertising, and is an experienced concession manager.

The circus travels over 40,000 miles each year in the United States and Canada. The normal season lasts 42 weeks, during which part of the time the Circus has two units on the road.

The 8,000 pound, Asian elephants were all born in the wild and have been trained since they were about three years old. Their average age is 40. They can live up to 80 years in captivity, but only about 45-50 years in the wild. They are very smart and can learn how to stand on their hind legs in about a week; but to do it safely, it could physically take one to two months. Circus elephants go through a muscle-building program.

The De Toscano Troupe are the circus’s high wire performers from South America. They display amazing dexterity and balance on a wire that is only one-half inch in diameter. They somersault, do headstands and jump ropes. The highlight of this performance is the remarkable seven-man pyramid formation high above the arena floor. They are electrifying.

Twelve tigers and one lion are presented by the amazing Judit and Juergen Nerger couple. This act is truly impressive because most of the tricks are performed by more than one animal at one time. All the cats sit up at the same time; seven tigers leap through a hoop positioned over the lion; eight tigers and the lion leap through a flaming hoop. These ferocious beasts have even learned to walk backward on their hind legs.

Knives, boleadoras, drums, and ponchos are the main elements used by the Fusco family performers. Ancient customs of cowboys, Indians, and soldiers are incorporated into this mesmerizing dance-like routine. These parents and their six grown children have a non-stop act.

The clowning around is done by a pair of mini pranksters who continually remind the audience that a circus is meant to be fun.

This year the George Carden Circus International presents the heart-stopping Sphere. Five daredevil riders display synchronized motorcycle madness as they spectacularly revolve inside the steel sphere.

Alberto Valencia has been with the George Carden Circus for 10 years, and has been ringmaster for the past six. He is a sixth-generation circus performer, with family background in aerial and trampoline work, juggling, and clowning.

Children’s (12 and under) admission will be $10.00, and adult admission will be $14.00.