Running Thursday through Sunday at Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens, Barnum 200 features 130 performers, including nearly 100,000 pounds of elephants.
Joe Frisco Jr. has handled pachyderms professionally for five years, having grown up around them in Peoria, Ill.
Im a third-generation elephant presenter and handler, Frisco said, and with my three kids, that fourth generation is already rockin and rollin.
Attending college on a football scholarship, he blew out his knee during play. Most athletes would spiral into depression, but not Frisco. He took it as a blessing.
I always knew I was going to join the circus, he said. Ive traveled all over the U.S. with the clichéd lions and tigers and bears, oh, my! Its work one has to love, he said, which he does. A lot. Its an amazing thing. This the second smartest animal in the world, Frisco said. Its a pleasure.
Elephants aside, he said Barnum 200 highlights include acrobats, seven motorcycles in a globe, and of course, clowns.
Theres something for everybody. Anything youd like to see in a circus, youre gonna see it, Frisco said. Do not be late! Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $10 to $70.
For more information, call 602-8500 or visit coxconventioncenter.com. Rod Lott