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Shrine Circus expected to go on

Shrine Circus Chairman Richard Klose said Monday afternoon that tonight’s circus at the Jamestown Civic Center is still planned to go on despite a brutal winter storm that began blanketing the city with snow yesterday.

Tickets are available at the Civic Center for $10 for adults, $6 for children 12 and younger and admission is free for 2-year-olds and under. Shows are scheduled to be at 4 and 7:45 p.m.

“We put this on for the Shriners Hospitals (for Children), and any and all donations or any and all proceeds go to the Shriners Hospital Transportation Fund,” Klose said, “which helps get the parents and their children to and from the Shriner’s hospitals for treatment. That’s our main goal.”

The Shriners Hospitals for Children have 20 locations in 19 states, one in Canada and one in Mexico. The hospitals treat burns, cleft lips and palates, spinal cord injuries and orthopedic conditions regardless of the patients’ ability to pay. The closest to Jamestown is in Minneapolis.

Jamestown Civic Center director Pamela Fosse said the circus has faced rough weather before, but by the end of business Monday the circus was still a go.

“I know a couple of years ago we had some really bad weather and the interstates were even closed, and they were still able to — although they arrived late — they were able to still set up and put on the show,” Fosse said. “I don’t look for anything to change in their schedule.”

Klose said the circus crews take a short time to set up the big top, and said tonight’s event will be “a full, complete circus,” complete with tigers, elephants, clowns and trapeze acts, and said the crews were still in Dickinson, N.D., on Monday.

“Actually, they’re very, very efficient and quite often they pull into town here at 9, 10 a.m. and they are set up and ready to go pretty much by 2 p.m.,” he said. “

Klose said there are about 100 members of the Jamestown Clowns Unit, about 30 members of the Jamestown Masons and nearly two dozen members of the Valley City Flag Corps, with all three units working together to provide food, toys and novelties for the show. There will also be two boys bicycles and two girls bicycles raffled off among those who purchase programs.

“We have all the food and everything ordered and it should be at the Civic Center already,” he said. “The Valley City Shrine goes together with us on this and they’re a very important part of this, too.”