Representing the Shriners during a fact finding mission at the city council meeting for a possible Shriners circus coming to Philip were, from left, Joel Stephens, Kevin Neuhauser and Mitch Norman.

Shrine Circus may come to Philip

by Del Bartels
The Philip City Council was approached during its Monday, Jan. 4 meeting about the possibility of the city hosting a Shrine Circus.
Shriners Joel Stephens, Kevin Neuhauser and Mitch Norman said they were on a fact-finding mission. They are looking for support from the city for maybe even this summer, with a proposed date of July 10, for the Shrine Circus to set up and perform at the Philip Roping Arena. They are looking for support in funding, promotion and manpower.
“We would like to give back a little to the community,” said Neuhauser. “Shriners are also farmers and ranchers, and June and July are a busy time of the year. Don’t know if we can get our ducks in a row for this year, but maybe in the future.”
Mayor Mike Vetter said, “I think it would be great to have a circus in town.” But, he continued, the city usually has to budget for such an event. The 2016 city budget has already been set. “I think it’s fair to say the city is willing to give support – just need to hear the numbers.” He later added, “We are more than willing to help if we can.”
Council member Brit Miller, also wears the hat of Philip Chamber of Commerce president. He would rather see the money come from the chamber than the city.
Stephens cautioned that there are a lot of things that go into it. The project needs manpower, especially for running the concessions and novelty booths, and in getting the word out. Some suggestions on possible willing labor included the Philip Volunteer Fire Department, Philip Masonic Temple, chamber of commerce, local farmers/ranchers and other groups and organizations.
The local Shriners would benefit from organizational experience of the Shriners in the Bison/Buffalo area. A Shriner Circus has been successfully held up there for many years. All proceeds go toward the nation’s Shriners hospitals and to the transportation of children and their families to those hospitals.
The possibility, the costs and the availability of manpower of hosting a circus in Philip will be further looked into.
In other business, the city council approved its annual resolutions and appointments for 2016. These included again adopting a discrimination resolution.
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