Did you say a big circus? Over 100 exotic and domestic animals? A host of performers from around the world? The biggest circus tent in the world? Here in town?

"YES!" To all of the above and more. The Carson & Barnes Circus is coming to the Verde Valley Fairgrounds in Cottonwood on May 17 for shows at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Hosted by the Verde Valley Fair Association, this is the largest traditional big top circus touring America today. Its tent is longer than a football field and it takes a space equal to three football fields for the entire circus community to unfold. When you see its 50 transport vehicles (including trucks, trailers and RV's) you'll know that this circus is one big operation traveling America for over 70 years.

One night stands? You bet. Of the 250 days a year the circus plays, some 200 of them will be in different towns and cities where folks of all ages turn out for some good old-fashioned circus fun. Live in front of you, it's the best bang for the buck anywhere. Rated "G," with no sensationalism, foul language, or violence of any kind, the Carson & Barnes circus can be billed as fast-paced action-filled family entertainment.

Featured acts include:

The Incredible Flying Fernandez Family featuring a triple somersault.

Brothers from South America walk across the wire on a 7 man high!

The giant Wheel of Destiny features feats of balance and agility blindfolded!

The biggest and most stunning aerial ballet from high atop the circus tent.

A daring motorcycle ride up the wire while a woman performs on a bar suspended below.

Millers Majestic Prancing Ponies - always a hit with children of all ages.

The best elephant act performing under a big top!

At 8 and 10 a.m. Wednesday, come see the elephants pull the big poles up in the tent and visit the large traveling zoo featuring exotic and domestic animals, as they are unloaded, watered and fed. Many of these species are rare and endangered, such as hippo, giraffe, zebu, zonkie, zebra, camels and both Asian and African elephants.

Advance general admission tickets are available at Verde Valley Fair, Safeway, Bashas' and Food City at special discount prices before circus day or you may choose to go online and get tickets at full price at or call (800) 594-TIXX. On Circus Day advance general admission tickets can be upgraded to preferred seating for an additional charge.

Advance tickets are $12/adults and $6/ children ages 2-11. Tickets are $16/adults at the gate and $8/children ages 2-11.


Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comment submissions may not exceed a 200 word limit, and in order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.