Sadly, though, our circus fantasies have never been fulfilled. Contemporary circuses are usually too flashy, too clean (not to say odor-free), too expensive, too souvenir-ridden, too modern. That's why we're pinning our hopes on the promising Kelly Miller Circus. The event begins Saturday at 8 a.m. in Old City Park with a tent-raising, in which Viola the elephant will assist. On Main Street in the park, performers will try to impart the atmosphere of a 19th-century circus. In the big top itself, a traditional circus band will accompany the acts of trapeze artists (they're from Mexico, and they are indeed a family), trained horses, a juggler, Russian bears, and, of course, clowns.
So the circus is not lacking in either of this paper's previous points of interest. Greasepainted, funny-hat-wearing, perpetually smiling men will be in attendance to psychologically scar a new generation. And Kelly Miller is not in the good graces of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals -- not that any circus that uses animals is. (The tent-raising is far too early for us, but we're sure PETA and friends will be able to rouse themselves.) But because it's not your run-of-the-mill, glossy, modern arena circus, we have high expectations. We just hope it's not too good, because we might be forced to run away and pursue a life under the big top.
Old City Park
óLarra Ann Keel