The Big Top comes to Martin
Published: Sunday, September 2, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 6, 2012 18:09
This weekend marks the beginning of the Soybean Festival in Martin, and it was kicked off with a bang this past Friday night with the Carson & Barnes Circus.
Even though there wasn’t a huge turn-out for the event, “The World’s Biggest Top Show” pulled out all the stops with everything from elephant and camel rides to the show-stealing trapeze artist from the famed Circus Circus, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The show was a blend of acts representing various cultures from around the world and classical theatrical moments throughout the event. From dancing dogs to high-risk, high-flying acts, Carson & Barnes truly came out with all their guns blazing, and put on what one child described as an “awesome” show.
Prior to the event getting started, there were many attractions outside of the Big Top for the kids to enjoy before the show: from animal rides, to a few classic carnival games, to food from snack vendors. While the camel and miniature pony rides were popular, the crowd seemed overwhelmingly more excited about the opportunity to ride an elephant. Seemingly every kid in Weakley County was lined up to ride this monstrous animal that was carrying, on average, five kids at a time.
After everyone got in and found a seat, the show began with a motor-cycle running along a tightrope accompanied by two lovely females, and after several flips and tricks by them, a small pack of dogs and a miniature pony were led out by their trainer. After a small bathroom break by one of the dogs, they put on a wonderful show which ended with two of the dogs saddled up riding around on the back of one of the ponies. After several more routines that involved dancing animals, they broke out one of the more crowd-pleasing events of the evening, the tightrope.
Like all shows, there were high points and low points. There was one low point that could have easily ended the show and the life of one of the performers. As one of the men was walking the tightrope, he was tossed a jump rope and began attempting to jump rope while standing on the tightrope. As his foot came down he slipped off, but luckily he was able to grasp onto the rope and pull himself up to much applause from the crowd. To the surprise of the crowd, he finished his stunt after two more attempts. They then ended their routine with a move they referred to as a “three-person high pyramid” which consisted of two men walking across the rope while carrying a woman on a chair. This was met to a huge applause and a sigh of relief from everyone in attendance.
Like in most circuses, the act that stole the show was the trapeze artist. They were introduced as members of the Circus Circus and they gave an act worthy of it, flipping and spinning in mid-air with the ease of walking. They delivered moves that put the crowd in awe, and earned a, somewhat, standing ovation by the end of their act.
While many thought the event was a huge success, some noted that some of the outfits worn by the female performers and some of the theatrics between the ring leader and one of the clowns, Alex, was a little inappropriate. There was a moment during one of the skits where Alex pretended to strip which, was in one woman’s words, “very poor taste, especially with as many kids that [were there].” While some agreed with the woman’s viewpoint, most people raved about how great the show was, and the small incident went unnoticed and left few truly offended.
Afterwards, many kids were seen walking around with faces painted, light-sabers in one hand and coloring books from the circus in the other, talking about how much fun they had. While opinions will vary from person to person about the quality of the show itself, it seems fairly simple that when you take into consideration how many kids left with a huge smile on their face, the Carson & Barnes Circus was a huge success for the town of Martin, and a great way to kick off the Soybean Festival.