Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
The circus is coming to town.
The Carson and Barnes Circus, affectionately known as the “World’s Biggest Big Top Circus,” will make two stops over a four-day period in Orange County this coming week. The circus will be in Rose City on Monday, April 8 and Tuesday, April 9, and then in Pinehurst on Wednesday, April 10 and Thursday, April 11.
Showtimes are at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., each day. The circus will be located on the grounds of Rose City Baptist Church on Old Highway 90 and in the parking lot of the old Sears building off MacArthur Drive.
Tickets are $12 - $14 for adults and $6 - $8 for children in advance, depending if purchased online or at local ticket outlets where available. Reserved seats are available for an additional $3 per ticket surcharge and box seat upgrades are available for a $6 per ticket surcharge. Free children’s tickets for ages 11 and younger are available at select area convenience store locations and online at www.carsonbarnescircus.com but the child must be accompanied by a paying adult.
The Carson and Barnes Circus, which can trace its beginning back to 1937, traveled across 15 states in 2012 performing more than 700 shows in 250 cities and communities. Now it’s coming to Orange County.
“This circus should generate a lot of excitement from the community,” said Joe Parkhurst, city administrator in Pinehurst. “That location used to have carnivals quite often many years ago. When the circus officials called, we put them in touch with the people running that location and they obviously worked out a deal. We’re really about excited about having a circus in Pinehurst.”
The circus in Rose City will be the same, but it will have a slightly different result as Carson and Barnes Circus will return approximately 20 percent of all ticket sales to the City of Rose City for an upcoming project it hopes to begin very soon.
“We are looking to construct a small fire station in Rose City, but we don’t have the funds to do it ourselves, so we are having a fundraising project to get it started,” said Mayor David Bush of Rose City. “The people at Carson and Barnes Circus offered to give us 20 percent of the ticket sales back to help us start our fundraising campaign.”
Bush said representatives from Orange County Emergency Services District 1 will be on hand to help park cars each day and will also have a fire truck on site for children to see up close.
“If you don’t live within five road miles of a fire station, you are automatically considered a Category 10 for fire insurance by the state,” Bush added. “This will benefit our community greatly in having a single-vehicle fire station here in reducing fire insurance costs. It will benefit our citizens and the businesses in the area too.”
Circus attractions include Katy the Pygmy Hippo, clowns, jugglers, a trapeze act, pony rides, a petting zoo, camel rides and even the opportunity to ride an Asian Elephant.
“We’ve had a lot of interest from the surrounding communities about this circus,” Bush added. “It’s going to be great for our community.”