Circus comes to Tucumcari

William Thompson

The Culpepper-Merriweather Great Combined Circus will raise the big top on the morning of March 31 at the Quay County Fairgrounds. The circus will present two 90 minute performances at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Terri Moss, Home Office manager for Culpepper-Meriweather, said Tucumcari residents should expect a wide variety of entertainment.
“There will be aerial trapeze artists, unicycle stunt riders, various animal acts, and, of course, clowns,” said Moss. “There will also be a midway with a giant Moon Bounce, Titanic Slide and a side show open to all ages.”

Moss said that the traveling circus consists of 40 employees. They present the circus in a new town each day.

“The day before Tucumcari, the circus will be performing in Friona, Texas, and the day after Tucumcari we will be performing somewhere else,” she said.

Moss said the best thing about the traveling circus is that there is only one big tent and only one ring inside the tent.
“Every seat inside the tent will be a good seat,” said Moss. “Everyone basically has a front row seat. It’s a very intimate setting.”

Moss said there will be constant entertainment during the performances, even during intermission.
“There will always be something going on, plus we’ll have all the typical circus food like hot dogs, cotton candy, peanuts and popcorn,” she said.

R.W. Ciolli, of R. Dubya’s Antiques, is the local sponsor for the circus. He said that part of the proceeds from the circus will go towards funding for the upcoming Mother Road Rally in Tucumcari, Father’s Day weekend.

“We will be using the biker rally proceeds to clean up and restore Five Mile Park,” said Ciolli. “People can get advance tickets for the circus at R. Dubya’s Antiques, Deluxe Barber Shop and Carquest Auto Parts.”

Advance tickets are $5 for children and $7 for adults. If purchased on the day of the circus, the admission price goes up two dollars. Tickets may also be ordered by phone by calling 1-866-BIG TOP 6.

Moss said that the public is invited to the tent raising between 9:30 a.m and 10 a.m the morning of the circus.
“At some point during or immediately after the tent raising, we will be having a special endangered species show,” said Moss. “The public will be given a tour of our menagerie and they can learn how we take care of our animals.”

Ciolli said that children will not want to miss the pony and elephant rides during the morning tent raising festivities.
“We’re in the process now of getting all the peanuts that the kids can feed to the elephants,” he said.