By Linda Collins
For the Herald
ENON — Step right up — the family-friendly Culpepper and Merriweather Circus is returning to the Village of Enon for one day of fun this spring and tickets are on sale now.
“The Enon Police Department is proudly sponsoring this fundraising event once again to benefit our annual ‘Shop with a Cop’ program, which is held each December,” Enon Police Chief Lewis Wilcox said.
The Hugo, Oklahoma-based circus, now in its 31st season, will hold two performances at 5 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5. Wilcox said the Midway and Box Office will open at 4 p.m. so circus-goers can browse the concession stands.
The day of the show will begin with raising the big-top tent between 9:30 and 10 a.m. at Indian Valley Intermediate School, 510 S. Xenia Drive. The public is welcomed to watch as the school playground is transformed into a bustling circus city. Activity is expected to swirl the grounds as circus animals are unloaded and rigging is prepared for the evening performances.
Following the raising of the big top, circus lovers are invited to stay for a free tour of the circus grounds. Families, schools and community groups will have the unique opportunity to meet the members of the Culpepper and Merriweather Circus family face to face and learn about the history of the circus and the different species of animals performing in the two shows.
Wilcox said the one-ring circus will feature a 90-minute, action-packed show that will include an all-star group of entertainers performing under the big top, including Trey Key and his jungle cats, Solomon, Delilah and Francis; and Miss Simone who will perform tricks on her single trapeze.
Also among the lineup of performers this year include Miss Natalie and her fabulous canines; 12-year-old contortionist, Georgia; the Arlise Troupe who will amaze the audience with their unicycle act; Miss Paulina’s proud “Big and Little” prancing ponies Wyatt and Jasmine; the very beloved clown Skeeter and the High-Flying Perez Troupe, which joined the Culpepper and Merriweather Circus this year.
“The department hasn’t hosted a circus since 2014, so we thought it would fun to bring it back to town,” said Wilcox, “This a great opportunity for everyone to come out and enjoy the circus and support the department’s ‘Shop with a Cop’ program.”
Wilcox encourages residents who are planning on attending the event to buy their tickets in advance at a discounted price. Tickets are now available at the Enon Government Center, 363 E Main St.; Rite Aid Pharmacy, 101 W. Main St.; Security National Bank, 3680 Marion Drive; and Wesbanco Bank, 7601 Dayton Springfield Road. Prices for advance tickets are $7 for children ages 2-to-12, $10 for adults and $7 for seniors age 65 or older. Tickets for children under 2-years of age are free.
On the day of the performances, tickets can be purchased at the gate for $8 for children and seniors and $13 for adults.
“We really wanted to provide something very nice for the families in the village, and I believe the circus will provide quality family entertainment for everyone,” said Wilcox.
The police chief noted that between 20-to-24 underprivileged children in the Greenon Local School District participate in the village police department’s “Shop with a Cop” program each year. All proceeds from the circus will be used to help purchase toys and other items for the children during a holiday shopping spree with local police.
“This is an opportunity for the village police department to give back to the community by providing a nice Christmas for these children,” Wilcox said.
Linda Collins is a freelance reporter for Greene County News.