By Jared Ritz
The young and the young at heart have a show to attend this Friday, as America's Favorite Shrine Circus takes place at the Hill County Fairgrounds.
Jordan World Circus, which is putting on this year's event, has two shows planned, one at 2 p.m. and the other at 7 p.m.
The shows will be identical, and each will have 19 acts.
All of the usual exotic performances are set to take place, with juggling, large cats, aerial acts, clowns, and other entertainers.
Jordan's Danger Zone Riders will wow audiences again this year. Described as "the ultimate in daredevil chills," this act involves two or more motorcyclists zooming through a metal globe-shaped cage at breakneck speeds. According to a Jordan World Circus press release, the show was performed 30 feet above the audience's heads at Circus Circus Casino in Las Vegas for 10 years, but will be at ring level for the circus.
Noel Davidson, a member of the North Central Montana Shrine, said he has enjoyed the circuses put on by Jordan in the past and expects good things for this year's performance.
"They're clean, they're family oriented, and they put on a good show," Davidson said.
The Shrine Circus is put on to benefit Shrine hospitals. The group is known for building and operating pediatric and burn hospitals around the nation, and the proceeds from this weekend's performance will be donated to the Shrine Hospital in Spokane, Wash.
Davidson said 38 children from the Havre community were sent to the hospital last year, and the treatment they received was free of charge.
The local Shriners put on four fund-raisers a year. They have an onion sale in the spring, a beef raffle during Havre Festival Days, and a yearlong calender raffle that is announced around Thanksgiving. Out of these, the circus is by far the largest moneymaker, Davidson said.
Local Shrine members help with the smaller jobs at the circus, including overseeing parking and selling tickets.
Tickets are available in advance at businesses around town, Davidson said. Children's tickets are $2 in advance, and $2.50 at the door. Adult tickets are $7 in advance and $7.50 at the door.
"It's a fun time for the kids," Davidson said.