The Calam Shrine Circus, returning to Lewiston June 9 and 10 after a two-year absence, promises the high-wire acts that traditionally have audiences holding their collective breath, though change is in the air.
The Jordan World Circus shows, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. both days at Lewiston’s Bengal Field, won’t include exotic animals.
“In the past, that was kind of an issue, and people were against that, and I understand,” Calam Shrine treasurer and fundraising chairman Jeff Rowden said.
The shift away from exotic animal performances is in keeping with other circuses, including Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, who announced last month they were ending the practice.
The circus coming to Lewiston includes no elephants, lions or tigers, but there will be performances with dogs, and tickets for pony rides for young children will be available for purchase.
The rest of the show is what people have come to expect, Rowden said.
“There’s going to be acrobats, they’ve got people on the high wire, there’s clowns, there’s jugglers,” he said. “It should be fun for all ages.”
The event is a fraternal fundraiser for the Calam Temple, which includes clubs and chapters in Idaho from Riggins to the Canadian border.
“That is the major fundraiser and helps us keep things going,” Rowden said.
Advance tickets are available at Lewiston’s Rosauers and online at calamshriners.com/events for $8 for ages 6-12. $15 for 13 and older and free for kids 5 and younger. Tickets at the gate are $10 for children 6-12, $17 for those 13 and older and free for 5 and younger.
Circus slated for Grangeville and Kamiah
The Culpepper and Merriweather Circus will perform at 2 and 4:30 p.m. Saturday in Grangeville and at the same times Sunday in Kamiah.
The Grangeville shows will be behind the senior center, at 130 Grangeville Truck Route, and the Kamiah shows are at The Life Center, 69 U.S. Highway 12, according to the Culpepper and Merriweather website.
The one-ring circus performs its 90-minute shows under a tent, with big cats, aerialists, horses, Leo the Clown, cockatoos and daredevils, according to the website.