Circus coming to Alexandria

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Two performances of the Alexandria Shrine Circus are being held at the Douglas County Fairgrounds on Friday, June 15.

The 29th annual event has become a summer staple, and Michael Pray of the Alexandria Area Shrine Club said there's something special about it being held outside right on the race track, instead of inside a big tent.

"The performers really shine better with all of their colors outdoors," he said.

The circus means a full complement of characters, from clowns and exotic animals to aerial artists, and possibly even motorcycle acts.

"It is a true three-ring circus, so there are three rings going all the time," Pray said. "There are high-wire acts, and I hope we'll have the same dog act we've had before. And, of course, elephants and tigers."

He added that elephant rides will be available, and often the circus has horses there, too. In addition, a boys' and girls' bicycle will be given away at each performance.

Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased at Elden's Fresh Foods, Cub Foods or at the fairgrounds. All funds raised from the circuses go toward the ladies auxiliary for the Twin Cities Shrine Hospital in Minneapolis, Pray said.

The local Shrine Club includes approximately 120 members, Pray said, and meets once a month at 710 Oak Street. The group participates in 30 parades a year, more than half of which are within roughly a half-hour of Alexandria. Their next area parade is in Kensington Sunday, June 17.