Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

May 5, 2009

Circus is coming Wednesday

Kelly Miller Bros. big top will rise in downtown’s Future Park

Tigers will roar, elephants will trumpet and high-wire trapeze artists will perform daring feats Wednesday, at the revival of the old-fashioned art of the big-top circus in Kokomo.

The Kelly Miller Bros. Circus will travel nearly 10,000 miles this summer, giving performances in about 200 towns and cities across the U.S., and for the first time, Kokomo will be part of the tour.

The circus will arrive in town Wednesday and perform two shows, at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m., and then pack up for the next show in the next town. Tickets are now on sale.

While the circus is setting up, everyone will be able to watch for free as elephants pull the ropes and a massive circus tent is set in place. Groups will be able to visit with the animal trainer as he prepares for the two shows that evening.

The event will be the first big public event in decades at the area now dubbed “Future Park,” thanks to the new pedestrian bridge over the Wildcat Creek downtown.

Opened up by the bridge, the fields just south of Pioneer Cemetery (and the Chief Kokomo monument) have been a beautiful — if forgotten — corner of the downtown area for years.

Parks board members had considered bringing the circus to Jackson-Morrow Park, until board member John Wiles — who is also director of the Kokomo Downtown Association — suggested Future Park as a better site.

“It’s more centrally located, there’s more parking and it’s located adjacent to the downtown area,” parks superintendent John Martino said. “It’s right next to Central Middle School ... it’s so much better of a location from a lot of standpoints.”

Founded in 1938 by Obert Miller and his sons, Kelly and Dores, the Miller family refers to their business as a “traditional tented circus.”

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