Spring Grove education group sponsors old-fashion fun — a big top circus
Monday, August 04, 2014 9:40 AM
Laughter, exotic animals, daring tricks, candy and popcorn — the circus is coming to town!
A Culpepper and Merriweather Circus clown and an acrobat show their talents by juggling a few batons during a performance in Preston in 2009. The circus will be returning to the area on Wednesday with two performances in Spring Grove. BLUFF COUNTRY NEWSPAPER GROUP FILE PHOTO
Spring Grove’s Families For Education (F.F.E.) is excited to be sponsoring the Culpepper and Merriweather Circus on Wednesday, Aug. 6, at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
The Culpepper and Merriweather Circus is internationally known for quality family entertainment. This authentic one-ring, big top circus has been featured on several news programs, in major magazines and newspapers. It has also been featured on the A&E Special: Under the Big Top and On the Road with Circus Kids, a Nickelodeon special featured on the Nick News Program.
In days gone by, when the circus came to town, the raising of the big top was almost as big of an event as the circus itself. The Culpepper and Merriweather Circus invites the public to come out and watch its big top go up between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Wednesday. The circus will be set up in the large field just east of the Spring Grove SWIM Center. Stop by and watch the activity swirl around the circus grounds as the animals are unloaded, the big top is erected, and the rigging is prepared for the performances later in the day.
The circus is a fundraiser for F.F.E. After 100 adult tickets are sold in advance, F.F.E. receives 50 percent of the ticket price and 25 percent of all children’s tickets sold in advance.
“Three years ago, we sold all 500 advance tickets,” remarked F.F.E. treasurer Amy Gross. “The circus director was very impressed with how this community came together for this event. He said Spring Grove made history for being one of the few towns to host a sold-out circus show! Our goal this time is to have 500 advance adult and 500 advance children tickets sold by Aug. 5, the day before the circus comes to town,” she added with a smile.
Advance tickets are cheaper than they will be the day of the event. F.F.E. encourages people to purchase tickets in advance to save money and also to help F.F.E. Advance tickets for adults are $10 and advance tickets for children are $6. Tickets at the gate for adults are $13 and for children $7. Tickets are available at Mabel bp, Merchants Bank - Spring Grove and Caledonia, Quillin’s IGA Caledonia, Red’s Hometown Market and Spring Grove Communications.
“We are excited to have the circus back in town,” said Gross. “There will be something for all ages — for the young and the young at heart! The circus director told me that they have changed and added acts from the show that was here three years ago, so it will be a whole new experience especially for the young children that may not remember much from the last circus — this will be a whole new experience for them.”
One of the main goals of F.F.E. is to support the teachers at school by helping them purchase items for their classrooms that there may not be room for in the school budget. The funds from F.F.E. will help teacher's avoid having to pay out-of-pocket for educational supplies and materials. F.F.E.'s mission is to emphasize interest and support for local youth, their families, their teachers and the community.
“Working together, we can meet the educational, recreational, social and cultural needs and wants of the youth in this community,” added Gross.
Past F.F.E. events and projects include a talent show, "Minute To Win It" family game-show day, family outdoor movie nights, 2011 Culpepper & Merriweather circus, school supply drives, potlucks for the teachers during parent-teacher conferences, concessions at Music in the Park, kids’ games at Syttende Mai Festival, The Pat Davison Magic Circus, Role Model Day, and reimbursements to teachers for needed items in their classrooms.
Upcoming events to watch for include a membership drive at the beginning of school year, a Halloween costume exchange and a Halloween Haunted Woods.