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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

All American Circus brings wonder to Starkville

Bralynn Newell
Members of the Rosales family juggled various items at the circus.

On most days, the Starkville National Guard Armory typically functions as the headquarters for the 2nd Battalion, 114th Field Artillery Regiment. This past Thursday and Friday, however, it served as the host for a different type of troupe.

With flashing lights, cheesy music and extravagant acts that mixed daredevilry and humor, families all around Starkville, such as local resident Storm Price, enjoyed an event that appealed to audience members of all ages.

“I feel like the circus was really fun,” Price said. “It was something new for Starkville to have fun and for the kids to go to. It was really enjoyable.”

Created by Oscar Garcia and Stardust Circus Entertainment in the late 90s, the All American Circus is a two hour show filled with traditional circus acts performed by a talented group of entertainers hoping to make a family’s night worth the ticket price of $5 per child and $15 per adult.

John Belk, the current ringmaster for the show, explained that this year’s lineup consisted of some new acts that they were excited to show off.

“There is the Chinese Pole act that is new,” Belk said. “We also have Spider-Man and Kong the Gorilla, he is new to the show. We have a globe of death where a motorcycle goes inside and spins round and round. I am also relatively new. I am the ringmaster, I do the announcing to keep the show going.”

Additionally, Belk mentioned that there were a number of veteran performers returning to perform numerous acts they have perfected over time.

“We have a funny clown who has been with the show for years,” Belk said. “The Rosales family does several acts in the show. They do the family juggling, they do the head balancing trapeze and they also perform, under the name of the Portugal Duo, a family perch act, which is another old school circus act that dates back several hundred years.”

Additionally, the All American Circus hosts a kids fun zone that features free face paintings, a moon bounce and a chance for kids to ride the circus pony before the performance begins.

On the nights of the performances, the acts and music could barely be heard over the crowded room of children, as they watched in wonder and excitement at the sights before them.

They stared in awe as the Portugal Duo performed their family perch act, laughed as the clown intentionally made a fool of himself for their delight and cheered as loud as they could when Kong the gorilla showed off his surprisingly excellent dancing skills.

Deana Davis, a resident of Starkville who was at the circus with her entire family, stated how elated she was that they were all able to enjoy the event.

“We are really excited,” Davis said. “It is something for the kids to come and do.”

Another resident, Chuck Dixon stated how glad he was to see his child enjoy himself at the circus.

“I got my son here,” Dixon said. “He is about two years old, and so far he is having a great time playing with all the little toys.”

While it must be noted that there is of course a profit to be made by performing this show across the country, Belk mentioned that another key reason for the All American Circus’ existence was simply to bring joy and wonder to those who need it, a goal he felt they have succeeded.

“It’s the love of bringing entertainment to the people,” Belk said. “We would like to bring entertainment to those who need it the most, and we just love to bring it to those that enjoy it the most.”

About the Contributor
Michael Cassidy
Michael Cassidy, Staff Writer
Michael Cassidy is a senior communication major. Michael is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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