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Circus time

Published: Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 10:51 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 10:58 a.m. CDT

Carson and Barnes Circus is back by popular demand Aug. 9!

Carson and Barnes Circus, touted as “the world’s biggest big-top show,” will perform two shows at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 9.

The event, sponsored by KSIB radio, will take place in the field south of Creston Middle School and west of Creston High School.

KSIB General Manager Chad Rieck said the most unique part of Carson and Barnes Circus is the performers.

“The exciting part for me it’s the talent of the entertainers,” said Rieck. “You’ve got guys on the high wire riding a bike, on the trapeze, jugglers and the elephants are always a treat.”

Carson and Barnes Circus, which is family owned and operated since 1937, will feature elephant performers, acrobats, arialists, tightrope walkers, unicyclists and other stunt-oriented performers.

The show has received “rave reviews,” according to owner Barbara Bird.

“We try to maintain a traditional circus with animals, trapeze artists, and other artists from around the world,” said Bird.


While the performers and collection of animals are an important element of Carson and Barnes success, some of the proceeds benefit the Endangered Ark Foundation.

The Endangered Ark Foundation is a not-for-profit organization founded by D.R. and Isla Miller, the driving force behind Carson and Barnes Circus.

After more than six decades of caring for, working and living with their elephants and other animals, D.R. Miller and his family established the foundation — motivated by their intimate understanding of the bonds and partnerships formed between animals and humans and the need for human involvement and action to save endangered animals.

Bird said the foundation supports a conservation program, which is focused on saving endangered elephants. The conservation — home to the second-largest population of Asian elephants in the United States — spans 120 acres.

“My family left the bulk of the estate to the elephants for their perpetual care,” said Bird, who is a third-generation owner.

A family affair

Bird said some of the performers are fifth-generation circus performers, with her grandchildren the most recent to join the crew.

“The family members have been doing it for years,” said Bird. “We pride ourselves on bringing quality family entertainment.”

Bird invites the public to watch the elephants and crew raise the big top the morning of Aug. 9.

At 2:30 p.m., Creston Fire Department will help primp the elephants for their performance with a preshow shower.

Presale tickets to the Carson and Barnes Circus are $6 for children 12 and younger and $12 for adults and can be purchased at KSIB Radio and Creston’s Fareway and Hy-Vee stores.

Ticket prices the day of the shows will increase by $4. Discount coupons for free child admission are available online at

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