Fun and done

Despite smaller crowds than usual, circus leaves residents with bundle of smiles

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As the sun set on the Moffat County Fairgrounds on Sunday, the fun that was the Jordan World Circus came to an end.

But for the circus' patrons, the evening had been full of fun and wonder.

The clowns and ponies were for the children, but entire families were enjoying all the circus had to offer.

Angie Worster, of Craig, brought three generations of her family to the circus.

Angie's 3-year-old daughter, Jessica, said she was enjoying her second year at the circus. And Jessica's grandmother, Linda Cown, was having just as much fun.

"I like the horses," Cown said.

Jessica added that she liked the gymnasts and the horses.

Jessica wasn't the only one who liked the small horses. Steph O'Leary liked them, too.

"My favorite part of the circus is the miniature horses," she said. "I might put one in my pocket."

Her brother, Riley, was more interested in the BMX portion of the circus, which entailed a rider doing tricks in the center ring.

"He did crazy stunts on the bike," Riley said, adding that he might attempt similar stunts in a couple of years.

In addition to the BMX rider, the main ring of the circus featured camels, elephants, a poodle show and a clown.

Willie Chacota, one of the Jordan World Circus' clowns, said he's been performing for 31 years.

"I love to see the kids smile and people being happy," Chacota said.

"I believe a laugh and a smile is the best thing to keep you healthy," he added.

If that's all that's needed to be healthy, there were plenty of healthy people in the audience.

Hailey Goddard, who turns 9 next month, dragged her mom, Candy Hicks, from Maybell to see the circus.

"I liked getting my face painted," Hailey said, her face adorned with a pink and blue butterfly.

Hicks said the circus was worth the trip because she got to see her favorite part of the event -- the animals.

Chris Currie, director of the Craig Chamber of Commerce, also brought her family to the circus.

She said this was her third year coming to the circus, and the crowd was a little smaller than usual.

"(The Chamber) was flooded with calls for details about the circus -- details we didn't have," Currie said,

Currie said the lack of attendance might have been because of the circus' small amount of publicity in Craig.

Currie's daughters Nikki, 4, and Katie, 5, both got to ride on some of the circus' animals. Nikki rode the bumpy camel, and Katie was on the elephant.

Although many attendees came away with something from the circus -- popular items were face paintings, toys and memorable animal rides -- the circus didn't quite give away everything organizers had hoped.

With elephants and a wide array of other exotic animals, the circus ends up with pounds of manure, which it offers to the public at no cost. People typically show up for the unusual giveaway, circus employee Scott Emerson said, but not this year.

People "get some for their flower gardens or their vegetable gardens," Emerson said. But, he said, "not a lot of people have showed up for it today."

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