By Susan Van Cleaf
Sun Press Newspapers
Carson & Barnes Circus will bring a day and evening’s worth of Big Top entertainment to Pioneer Creek Park, located on County Road 90 north of Highway 12 in Independence.
On Thursday, July 23, the day will begin at 9 a.m., with the raising of the big top. The public is invited to watch the proceedings, pet animals such as ponies and goats, stroll around the grounds and purchase tickets for the 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. performances.
Interested parties are advised to arrive early for the tent raising, because it happens quickly. The first public afternoon event will be elephant washing at 3 p.m. is the first public afternoon event.
The Circus Midway is a reason to arrive early for the two circus performances. Carson & Barnes will present a menagerie of exotic animals from around the world to see up close and in person, free of charge before each performance.
Elephant and pony rides will be available for a small charge on the Midway, along with many other pre-show activities. At 4:15 p.m. the public will have a chance to see a police officer from West Hennepin Public Safety taking an elephant ride.
Tickets are on sale now at both Independence and Maple Plain City Halls, MPFC, Dobo’s Café and Koch’s Corner in Medina, Liquor Depot stores in Loretto and Maple Plain, UFC Ace Hardware, Coborn’s and Jubilee. Each adult ticket purchase comes with one free child ticket.
This year is the 79th edition of America’s oldest family-owned circus, according to the Carson & Barnes website. The circus brings animals and acrobats, clowns and daredevils, and old-time circus magic to more than 200 American cities each year. Every other year, the city of Independence brings the Carson & Barnes Circus, billed as the world’s biggest Big Top show, to Pioneer Creek Park.
Making his Carson & Barnes debut this year is Cirque du Soleil veteran, Luis Miguel Terry, who presents his mastery of bounce juggling. Returning favorites include Mexico’s Rosales Family, who bring four generations of circus tradition to the center ring.
Additionally, the Dominguez Extreme Riders will display motorcycling precision, and Gabriella Cavallini will deliver trapeze thrills while perched high in the air.
Last but not least, Ringmaster Jairo Ojeda will keep the show moving at a rapid-fire pace. The rest of the show features elephants, horses,
poodles, a rag-time circus ball, and more.
Contact Susan Van Cleaf at