Every year around February, The Kansas Expo Center in Topeka plays host to the Arab Shrine Circus. This year was no exception as the circus was held on February 22,23 and 24. Even with the poor weather conditions, folks came out to see the show and if I may say so
myself it, it did not disappoint.
The circus is held by the Arab Shriners Fraternity of Topeka, Kansas. The Arab Shriners as a whole are fraternity of brothers committed to fun and philanthropy and have been around the US since 1872. They are recognized in public by their Moroccan Style Inspired maroon Fez’s which they wore proudly at the Circus in Topeka this past weekend. The
Shriners are also known for their 22 hospitals worldwide dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing innovative and specialized pediatric care regardless of the families’ ability to pay. On that note, children were out in full swing at the circus and had lots of things to entertain them such as elephant rides, pony rides, toy stalls, cotton candy and of course as every circus are incomplete without, clowns.
The event attracted large numbers of people even with snow still rendering the roads a little difficult to maneuver. Community spirit was felt as local students were involved with the festivities as the Topeka High Junior ROTC and another local high school choir presented the U.S. flag and sang the National Anthem.
The acts were fresh and managed to impress a few skeptics such as Washburn Alumni Anthony Green who stated ‘ I was not expecting much at first, but it ended up being really cool, I did not want it to end’. The event did have a lot of talent to offer. The circus boasted an elephant act that performed tricks that were indeed dangerous including balancing an elephant with a human rider on a ball. Others acts included a family of tigers that jumped through rings of fire and performed other tricks, a trapeze act called the Human Butterfly,
an equestrian ballet performer who performed ballet stunts while on a galloping horse, several areal acts, a family of professional performance skaters who also performed crazy stunts, and of course the always entertaining shenanigans of the circus clowns. The big surprise was the interactive tow truck ‘Mater’ from the Pixar movie ‘Cars’ who came
packing with the southern twang and slapstick humor that had both the children and adults laughing.
If you are looking for some good , local family fun next year around this time I suggest the circus as it was pleasant excursion and is definitely worth the time.