(01/16/14) - It's been a Flint tradition since 1943 - the Shrine Circus is back in town for the 71st year.
"We're just so excited. We can't wait to see this place fill up with kids," said Ron Stanley, Shrine Circus chairman.
Speaking of kids, with the help of the circus, the Shriners have brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars for a variety of children's charities since 1943.
"Without the circus, El Karaf would not exist, and we couldn't take our kids to the hospital," Stanley said.
This year's show at Perani Arena once again features the Carden International Circus, based out of Springfield, Missouri. Several new performers are on the bill.
"A flying act, the Wheel of Destiny, many, many girls in the air, the Chicago Boys from America's Got Talent, and a little bit something for everybody here," said Larry Carden, elephant trainer.
Back for another appearance is a rather familiar face - Bo, the 12,000 pound Asian Elephant. He's become quite the celebrity in recent years.
"Bo has been in a lot of things. He's thrown footballs at NFL games. He's done it all, baseball games. He's everywhere," Carden said.
Bo's talents stretch beyond sports - he's also an accomplished musician.
The Shrine Circus is at Flint's Perani Arena through Monday, with the first performance Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Next week, the circus heads to the Dow Event Center in Saginaw.
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