PHOTO STORY: Circus serves up fun in Dowagiac

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, June 21, 2023

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DOWAGIAC — Dozens of people gathered under the big-top tent Tuesday for an evening filled with family fun.

The City of Dowagiac played host to the Culpepper and Merriweather Circus Tuesday evening. Sponsored by the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce, the circus performed two shows at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night.

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 showcased 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.

Acton has been with C&M Circus for 10 years and has been a performer for 25. For Acton, bringing joy to others with each and every show is what keeps him coming back year after year.

“I’ve done a lot of different things, but I love performing in the circus, I love being a clown and as long as I’m happy and excited to do it, I’m gonna keep doing it.

Tuesday morning, community members gathered at the lot behind Tractor Supply Tuesday morning for the circus’ tent-raising show. Guided by 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.