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Traveling circus stops in Ronan

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RONAN — The Lake County Fairgrounds hosted the Mission Valley Carnival and Circus on Saturday, June 18. 

Sponsored by SAFE Harbor, which serves Lake County and the Flathead Reservation to provide shelter, safety, nurturing, advocacy, financial support and healing to the survivors of domestic violence, the event drew in crowds of families throughout the day. 

The carnival was free for all who attended, and featured a variety of fun activities for kids. From a bouncy house, face painting, pony ride, and even a dunk tank, there was plenty to keep the families entertained while they waited for the main show.  

The biggest draw of the day, of course, was the Culpepper & Merriweather Great Combined Circus coming to town. With two shows throughout the day, several talented performers graced the stage. The show started with a visit from Delilah the Tiger and Wendell the Lion, followed by aerial performances, a masterful balancing act, and some blindfolded navigation of “The Wheel of Death” by two siblings. Leo the clown’s frequent appearances between acts kept the kids engaged and enthused by encouraging audience participation during his plate spinning act. 

There was even a special section on bird rescue, in which one performer explained his accompanying cockatoos were both rescues, and working with the circus had allowed him to rescue 18 birds. Kids could even buy inexpensive paintings done by the cockatoos themselves to help support the cause.  

“I liked the acrobats,” one young attendee said, pointing to the picture in the circus’ coloring book obtained during intermission. 

“It was a really fun time for the kids,” one parent visiting stated. “I hope the show comes back another year.”

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