Big time at the big top

Circus to perform in Craig today, Thursday

Bobbi the Clown came all the way to Craig from Australia to entertain and amaze the children with her prestidigitation, or magic tricks. Her two small dogs, Texas Ted and Oscar Wilde, accompany her during her performance.

"We've got a great show," Bobbi said. "We have acrobats from China, performers from Spain, France, Russia and Argentina. We're an international show."

Circus Chimera comes to Craig today and Thursday after performances in California and Utah, and it is no small-time show, Bobbi said.

"It's a very big circus. We can fit 1,600 people in the big top," she said. "We have 35 performers. The main thing is, it's a high-quality show at a low cost for the public."

At $7 a ticket with a coupon, Bobbi said the show is like Cirque du Soleil at a fraction of the cost.

Performers present "Alice in Wonderland" at 7:30 p.m. today and 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Loudy-Simpson Park.

Doing a show at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig on Tuesday was just a warm-up for the veteran clown and magician.

"I'm just having a fun pre-show before the circus gets here," Bobbi said. "Everybody loves me because I'm from Australia. They all ask me about the Crocodile Hunter."

Michael Fraher, unit director with the Boys & Girls Club, said he is happy to see the circus back in town.

"We are sponsoring the circus as a fundraiser," he said. "They have done all the work though. They contacted the local businesses and sold the tickets."

After Thursday's performance, the big top will be packed up and hauled to New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, where the performers will finish their season.

They typically appear in 16 performances a week and are on the road for 10 months out of the year.

For Bobbi the Clown, there's only one thing that compares with the good feeling she gets while visiting nursing homes and entertaining the folks there. That's working with a crowd of children.

"The best part is the smiles on the children's faces. That's worth more than a million dollars," she said. "Bringing joy and happiness is a wonderful job."

Dan Olsen can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 207, or dolsen@craigdailypress.com.

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