Under the Big Top

Circus coming to town

Excitement is coming to Cottonwood! The Jordan World Circus will bring an all-new, fun filled adventure to Verde Valley Fairgrounds Monday, Sept. 24, at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Look for free kids tickets at area merchants. Tickets also can be purchased one hour before show time at gate.

Come see Karoly Zeman, champion BMX rider, and super speed roller skating stars, De Souza's and daredevil horsemanship Kambarov Troupe perform bareback on giant Arabian stallions.

That's just the beginning. There will aerialists, acrobats, clowns and more, including those super-size circus stars ... the circus elephants.

Zeman is a man that literally went to school to learn circus performing. At age 12, Karoly's parents enrolled him in the Hungarian state circus school. He was a good student and learned quickly. Within a year he was already working in a flying trapeze act. With the money he made working in the flying act, he was able to save up enough to buy his first BMX bicycle. He would practice every day in the street after completing his classes. BMX riding became his passion and soon he was very good at it. Soon Karoly started to enter International competitions. The long hours of patient practice quickly paid off and in 1992 he placed third in the BMX World Championships.

Graduating from circus school, Karoly decided to direct his bike riding to the center ring and developed the act you see today. Now he is the only performer to present a double summersault on a BMX bicycle!

This unique act is just one of the features of this year's Jordan World Circus, and brings true the old saying "don't try this at home," leave it to the professionals, like Karoly Zeman, world champion BMX rider.

The Jordan World Circus is proud of its circus performing elephants. They travel in specially designed insulated semi-trailers where the temperature can be adjusted for their comfort. These are tropical animals, but they adjust easily to most climate conditions. The elephants are fed a diet of quality hay, vitamins, fruits and vegetables. They are watered five times a day, have hay almost all day and night plus receiving their grain and produce rations daily. They are washed daily, weather permitting, and their feet are checked for foreign objects. Every month their toenails are trimmed. The elephants are carefully trained, as untrained elephants cannot be handled in this way.

Elephants have been used by and have worked for man since the dawn of history. Elephants are considered domestic animals in many parts of the world. Studies have shown that elephants live longer traveling in circuses than they do in zoos or in the wild. This may be because they have a constant change of scenery that helps stimulate these intelligent animals and undoubtedly the exercise of performing keeps them physically healthy.

Jordan World Circus hopes that in seeing these wonderful animals on exhibit, the public will realize the importance of the various conservation programs that are preserving these magnificent beasts for the future. They receive no tax funding and the monies earned by the elephants' appearances on tour support their proper care and feeding. The elephants are trained only in a humane manner and work on a reward system.

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