Come one, come all.
The James Cristy Cole Circus is coming to town on Tuesday with two performances being held at 4 and 7:30 p.m. at Ag Park, 822 15th St., in Columbus. Tickets are only available for purchase at the door. Adults are $15, children ages 6-12 $5 and children 5 and under, free.
Bob Wilbur is the president of The Pawnee Shrine Club of Columbus, the group which has arranged the circus event in town for decades. He said the show will display a variety of horse tricks, dog acts, aerialists, a motorcycle rider traveling around a globe metal cage and clowns. Concessions will include circus staples like cotton candy and popcorn.
“It’s primarily just to provide some good family entertainment for the kids,” Wilbur said. “It’s just good clean family entertainment. Something for kids of all ages.”
James Plunkett is a fourth generation circus performer and produces the show which has performed in Columbus for the past 20 years. While in the past the circus displayed acts with tigers and elephants, this year they will be absent. Instead, dogs will take center stage with acts like Star's Alaskan Malamutes and The Lone Star Revue. Amazing feats from acts like The Plunketts High Flying Trampoline, foot Jugglers and Hula Hoops artist will be on full display. And don't count out comedic acts like the clowns from Two Kooks Comedy.
“We’ve been coming to Columbus for over 20 years, and that’s a long time,” Plunkett said. “(The show) changes every year. The big difference (this year) is we don’t have as many animal acts, but more acrobatics and mind boggling stuff.”
One of the most popular acts is a pair of clothing quick-changers from Romania. In rapid succession they will change through 12 different outfits in the span of seconds. Wilbur said he's seen them perform for years and is always impressed.
“The best one, I think, is the quick-changing artist. That lady is fantastic. I’ve watched her I don‘t know how many times and I still can’t figure out how she does it,” Wilbur said. “Everyone really gets a kick out of watching her.”
Proceeds from the event are going toward the Columbus chapter of the Lincoln-based Sesostris Shrine. The organization supports Shriners Hospitals for Children, which Wilbur said sees hundreds of child patients throughout Nebraska each year. Club members volunteer to transport patients to and from care facilities and help raise money for the organization. For more information on the group, those interested are encouraged to visit www.sesostrisshrine.org.
Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.