The Kelly Miller Circus came to town again to dazzle crowds with jaw-dropping trapeze artists, exotic animals acts and hair-raising fire performances, led by ringmaster John Moss III.
This was the 10th year that the Tri-Cities Kiwanis Club has sponsored the circus in Grand Haven.
“This is our best circus ever,” said Bill Swano, event coordinator for the local Kiwanis. “Turnout was terrific.”
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Tuesday’s stormy skies cleared up just in time for the first of two performances, so the only rumble came from two large elephants who stole the show. Kids were also entertained by alpacas jumping through hoops, camels and zebras chasing each other around the ring, and goats doing balancing acts. During intermission, families got to take a ride on the camels and elephants, get their faces painted, and enjoy pony rides.
Iridessa Curry, 6, had her face painted like a pink tiger, but she said her favorite circus acts were the “elephants and trapeze girls.”
This was Lindsay Lewis’ and her daughter’s first time at the circus, and they said they had a blast. Lewis’ daughter, Kamryn, 3, said her favorite animals were the elephants.
“(The circus is) very good, very old school — the way a circus should be,” Lewis said.
Crowd favorite Rebecca Ostroff performed her famous “iron jaw” routine, in which she hung from the ceiling by just her teeth. Ostroff is known for her acrobatics as well as her role in the movie “Water for Elephants.”
The Kelly Miller Circus is based out of Oklahoma, but has performers from all over the globe. For the first time in America, contortionists Amina and Zaia have come from Mongolia to collect “oohs” and “ahhs” from circus-goers. Balancing on a ladder while juggling, Abrham Gebre, from Ethiopia, also thrilled the crowd.
The Kiwanis invited more than 100 kids with disabilities to enjoy this year’s circus, and they counted 75 tickets for special-needs children in just the first show. The principal charity event for the club filled the tent and raised significant amount for kids, even with the inclement weather.