Shrine Circus 2008

A clown and a large fez-shaped Shriner mascot parade around the
arena.Sunday we went to the Shrine Circus and saw Circus Gatti perform. It was very interesting and brought back some childhood memories as I watched some kids getting an elephant ride. (I didn’t think they did that anymore.)

There were some neat acts and I particularly enjoyed the “Extreme Metal Riders,” a group of guys who ride motorcycles around in a metal ball. I’d seen three motorcycles at the same time, but these guys do five and six at once.

The thing I thought was most interesting was truly how small the production was. They had several acts, but there were only like 20 people in the circus. You’d see one of the acrobats was also one of the guys riding motorcycles and he was also the juggler. The lady doing an act with a bunch of hula hoops is also the one who does an act on gymnastics rings and was a “cheerleader” for the motorcycle guys.

I had to show some respect for them, out there making their way doing things I know I can’t do, but at the same time, having just seen Cirque, it felt so small and… well, cheap. I feel bad saying that, because you could tell these folks were doing the best they could with what they had, and if you throw Cirque sort of money at something, of course it’s going to be bigger-better-faster-stronger. Ticket prices reflected that - Shrine Circus ticket: $9; Cirque ticket: $85. You do the math. It was a good time all the same and fun was had by all.

Plus, I had no idea the Shriners had a giant fez mascot. That thing is the bomb.