Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Greatest Show on Earth

Last week, Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus came to town and my parents bought tickets for all of us. The tickets included a free "open house" that let you walk through the pens and see the animals before the show and then go down on the main floor and see some of the performers up close.

We got to see the tigers (and a couple of cubs), zebras, horses and elephants in their pens. Olivia and Gabe really enjoyed the elephants.

It was obvious that most people come to see them. They had little displays set up with info about the elephants, their physiology and diet. One explained that by measuring the circumference of the foot and doubling it, you know how tall the elephant is at the shoulder.

Gabe just thought it was neat to stand on the model foot they had on display.

Once we found our seats, I took Olivia and Gabe down to the floor and got to watch some twins from Argentina doing some amazing juggling. I happen to love juggling and have been a fan since seeing the Flying Karamazov Brothers on TV when I was a kid.

Then it was time for the show.

Now, I have to admit, I fully expected it to be hokey and really kid-oriented. I was wrong. It was fantastic. Lots of lights, music and amazing feats of acrobatics, strength and agility. There were some tumblers that really need to be on the US Men's Olympic gymnastics team.

Gabe loved the clowns! Well, really, he loved the whole thing. He pretty much spent the whole show in a trance.

It's impressive to see animals so large do things like this. Elephants are surprisingly agile.

Olivia also loved the clowns. She thought they were really funny. They did one long routine where they were trying to change a giant light bulb that she really loved.
 Rather than the typical "Human Cannonball", they launched this guy on a giant crossbow. As they were building up to the launch, i saw them prepping the guy and I said to Rebecca, "It looks like they're going to light that poor man on fire." Then...

They did.

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