Y brings big top to Atmore

Published 11:20 am Monday, October 8, 2007

By By Adam Prestridge
The Atmore Area YMCA went a bit wild for its next fundraiser.
Lewis &Clark Circus will raise its big top the morning of Oct. 14 in the lot behind the YMCA for the one-day event. YMCA executive director Tammy Graham said the event is meant for family to spend quality time together, while enjoying entertainment not offered in Atmore.
"I'm real excited," Graham said. "I think it's something the community will enjoy and support. This isn't about exercise or healthy eating. It's about getting the family together and enjoying the circus."
Lewis &Clark Circus is a one-ring European style circus with continuous action going on in the center of the ring. Traditional circus acts such as hi-flying trapeze artists, amazing acrobats, zany clowns and liberty animal acts that include horses and camel will be featured. The midway offers parents and children the chance to mingle with the animals with a marvelous petting zoo. As an added feature, pony rides and camel rides will be offered to children who may not have experiences this once in a lifetime thrill.
Graham said the YMCA's responsibilities for hosting the circus are minimal, which also made the fundraiser appealing.
"The circus provides everything," she said. "They set up, tear down and clean up. We don't have to do anything but sell the tickets and promote it. It seemed like something the community would enjoy that hasn't been here in a long time. It's something different. It sounds fun to do."
Complete concessions will also be available at the circus including hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn, peanuts, nachos and soft drink. Souvenirs will also be available for purchase.
The Big Top tent is approximately 90' by 60' and will be erected Sunday morning. Six individual sets of bleachers strategically placed to provide the best viewing of the action in the ring can accommodate up to 900 patrons.
Graham is hoping that residents of Atmore and neighboring towns will help fill the circus tent. She said the buzz around town has quickly spread.
"People that have heard about it are excited about it and the children here at the YMCA are really excited about it," she said. "They want to see the tiger and camel."
Lewis &Clark Circus is one of about 10 traditional big top shows that operate in the United States. A circus has not been seen in Atmore in about 20 years. The circus troop presents about 500 shows a year. Performances in Atmore will be at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased at the Atmore Area YMCA and Regions Bank in Atmore, Brewton and Monroeville. Advanced discount tickets are $8 per adult and children under 14 are free when accompanied by an adult. Non-discounted tickets will be available on circus day.

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