Maybe you’ve seen all the large, brightly colored posters in shop windows around the village. Maybe you’ve idly wondered what it was all about and walked on, barely giving it all a second thought. Well, wake up and smell the sawdust!
The Kelly Miller Circus is coming to town. It has been several decades since a circus has been seen in Brookfield, but now one is scheduled to make an appearance on Monday, Sept. 16, at Ehlert Park (Elm and Shields avenues), for two performances — 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. — rain or shine.
The Kelly Miller Circus, which calls itself “America’s One Ring Wonder,” is one of the few remaining traveling circuses in the U.S. In existence since 1938, this is its 75th year of performances.
The circus’ appearance in Brookfield is sponsored by the Brookfield Chamber of Commerce, which is using the event as a fundraiser for the organization.
“The event came to the attention of the Chamber last September, when the village of Lyons hosted the Kelly Miller Circus,” said Anne Clark, Chamber event chairwoman. “The turnout was great. There were folks of all ages there. Ticket prices were reasonable. It was a very enjoyable evening.”
After some discussion, the Chamber decided to engage the circus for a day. In November 2012, the Brookfield village board gave the event its blessing.
“Some village officials had contact with the Kelly Miller Circus in the past, and we felt we could go forward and confidently offer this event to the community,” said Clark.
Businesses purchased and subsequently donated more than 50 of the tickets back to the Chamber for distribution to children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to see the circus.
What can circus goers look forward to seeing? The Sensational Trapeze Artist, Rebecca Ostroff! The North Starlets, doing their death-defying feats on the high wire, 40 feet above the ground! Lamount the Fire Eater! The Rosales Family’s Balancing Act! Hilarious Clowns! Jugglers! Ryan Holder, Tiger Tamer! Elephants! Llamas!
Of course, being around tigers, elephants, and llamas is nothing new to residents of “Zooville,” but now we will see them even closer, and underneath the canvas of a traditional circus tent. Some kids may even get to ride an elephant … or a camel … or a llama. How many kids can say that?
So far, ticket sales are going well, according to Clark. Advance tickets are $10 for adults (ages 12 and over), and $6 for kids (ages 2-11). These tickets are available at Tischler’s Finer Foods, 9118 Broadway Ave.; the First National Bank of Brookfield, 9136 Washington Ave.; the Brookfield Library, 3609 Grand Blvd.; the Brookfield Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave.; and the Brookfield Farmer’s Market (Saturday morning, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., ion the parking lot of the village hall).
Same day tickets can be purchased at the circus for $15 (adults) and $7 (kids). A maximum of 1,000 tickets per performance will be sold.
Those interested can watch the circus being set up. An elephant will be helping to raise the tent. Be at the park on the morning of Sept. 16, probably early on.
Want some free elephant manure? Gardeners need not go home empty handed. Kristin Gembara, a master gardener with the University of Illinois Extension who works for Brookfield-based Dig Right In Landscapes, is hosting an elephant manure pickup, to add to compost bins.
“Elephant manure is nutrient rich due to the fact that elephants, being herbivores, have a varied diet,” said Gembara, who has certification in sustainable landscape design. “Hay, fruits, and vegetables — all great components for a compost bin — make up a pachyderm’s dietary regimen. The manure should be put into bins and not put directly onto plants.
“If you have deer wandering into your yard, elephant manure is a deer deterrent. [However] it is the least smelly manure.”
So grab your shovel and get a free souvenir before or after the shows.