Skeeter the clown talks about the raising of the big top, which will take place between 9:30 and 10 a.m. Monday, July 23, at Kramer Park.
DELANO, MN – Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages . . . the circus is coming to Delano.
With two performances set for Monday, at 5 and 7:30 p.m. at Kramer Park (Field 12) across from the Big Rock Park play area/Central Park grandstand, Culpepper and Merriweather is set to bring its internationally-known circus to town.
“We have been looking at additional non-dues revenue for the chamber of commerce to support our various activities and initiatives throughout the year,” said Delano Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ryan Gueningsman. “When the representative from the circus called earlier this year with an open date, it seemed like a nice fit.”
Along with the DACC, presenting Tiger-level sponsors of the circus in Delano are Harwood’s Body Shop and Minnesota Lakes Bank.
“Having those two businesses hop on board and help us sponsor this event has been very nice and helped us with our marketing and promotion efforts especially,” Gueningsman said. “Both have always been very supportive of the DACC’s initiatives and events.”
Additional sponsors include the Delano Herald Journal, Vanderlinde Group/ReMAX Edge, Brandt Companies, Bryce Deter Agency, Delano Printing, Farmers State Bank of Hamel, State Bank of Delano, Legacy of Delano, Davis Chevrolet/Motorsports, Randy’s Environmental Services, and Flippin Bill’s.
About the circus
Now in its 33rd edition, Hugo, Oklahoma-based Culpepper and Merriweather Circus is an authentic one-ring, big top circus that travels through more than 200 communities in 17 states for 32 weeks of the year, bringing the magic of the circus to life in each of its 90-minute performances.
The current lineup includes an all-star group of performances and entertainers such as Miss Simone and her breath-taking single trapeze, Miss Paulina’s proud “Big and Little” prancing ponies, the Arlise Troupe on their unicycles, Natalie’s American Eskimo escapades, Miss Georgia displaying flexibility to the extreme and, for the first time, the wheel of destiny and tight rope by the Perez family. Performing jungle cats Soloman, Delilah, and Francis, presented by Trey Key, will keep guests on the edge of their seats the entire show. Each performance is accompanied by original music composed by Matt Margucci of Los Angeles, CA.
“We have spoken with a few other communities that have hosted Culpepper and Merriweather, and all have commented what a great show it’s been and how professional of a group they are,” Gueningsman said. “I’ve really enjoyed working with them so far on the planning of this and learning more about their operations and processes.”
In advance of the circus, Skeeter the Clown visited Delano July 16 and made stops at Big Woods Child Care Center, the Legacy of Delano, the Estates at Delano, Tiger Kids Club, the Delano Public Library, and at Tiger-level sponsors Harwood’s Body Shop and Minnesota Lakes Bank.
“Having Skeeter in town really helped us drum up interest in the circus,” Gueningsman said. “She did a 20-minute program at each stop that included things like history, math, Spanish, listening to and following directions, cooperation, and a little slight-of-hand magic. At the library, she also made balloon animals for the children who came to see her.”
Special tent raising and other activities
Delano residents are invited and encouraged to attend the raising of the big top Monday between 9:30 and 10 a.m. at Kramer Park and take a free behind-the-scenes tour.
“This presentation offers a unique face-to-face opportunity for families, schools, and interested community members to meet and learn all about the Culpepper and Merriweather Circus family,” according to Culpepper and Merriweather. It includes a walking tour of the circus grounds, the opportunity to learn interesting facts about performers, the history of the show, and see the different species of animals in the circus family up close. The event also covers things such as hygiene, grooming, and the veterinary care the circus animals receive.
Starting an hour before each show, Culpepper and Merriweather will also offer bouncy houses, a 22-foot slide, pony rides, face painting, and a concession stand. Cash is accepted directly at each attraction.
The big top tent opens 20 minutes before each show and all tickets are general admission, which means first come, first serve for choice of seats.
As it is under the big top, the circus is rain or shine. In the event of severe weather such as high winds, severe lightning, or flooding, the show will be delayed until deemed safe to continue.
Tickets available through show time
The box office opens at 4 p.m. on circus day, however guests are encouraged to buy tickets in advance at Coborn’s through the weekend. Pre-sale ticket sales will not be offered on circus day. Advance ticket prices are $10 for adults and $7 for children ages 2-12 and seniors ages 65 and up. At the gate the day of the show, prices increase to $13 and $8. For more information, contact the DACC at (763) 972-6756 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.