PHOTO STORY: Circus hosts tent-raising show in Dowagiac

Published 11:00 am Tuesday, June 20, 2023

DOWAGIAC — The circus has arrived in the Grand Old City.

Community members gathered at the lot behind Tractor Supply Tuesday morning for the Culpepper and Merriweather Circus’ tent-raising show. Guided by C&M circus clown Leo Acton, guests were able to watch the big-top tent go up and were given a tour of the circus area, which included information about the circus as well as the opportunity to view the circus animals from a safe distance.

Sponsored by the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce, the circus shows will take place at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Box office tickets are $16 for adults and $9 for children (ages 2-12) or seniors (65+) and go on sale at the circus grounds starting one hour before the show.

“We’re excited to be here,” Acton said. “It’s a beautiful lot. The weather is perfect. Our pre-sales have been really strong, so if folks want to come out and enjoy the circus, they’re gonna have to buy their tickets early because we’re gonna probably sell out.”

C&M Circus has been providing quality, local family entertainment for 37 years. The one-ring, big top circus has been featured on television in shows such as “A&E Special: Under the Big Top”, “Nick News: On the Road with Circus Kids” and most recently OETA’s “Big Top Town”. 

The event will showcase a brand new 2023 performance featuring Big Cats presented by Trey Key, Aerialist Extraordinaire Simone on the trapeze, 10th generation Loyal Bareback Horse Riders, the Perez Daredevil Duo on the Tight Rope and Wheel of Destiny, Elizabeth Ayala’s foot juggling and hair hang and circus clown Leo Acton.