The show must — and will — go on this Thanksgiving weekend, now that Shrine Circus organizers solved a last-minute hiccup that threatened to scuttle the fun for children of all ages.
The Zuhrah Shriners were given less than a month's notice by its contracted circus producer, Texas-based Agente, that it would be unable to fulfill its obligations for the shows on Nov. 27-29 at Target Center because of financial difficulties.
Shriners CEO Ross Hjermstad said Monday that George Carden Circus International, of Springfield, Mo., has stepped in and will bring animal acts that Agente would not have included: elephants, lions and tigers.
"We've had Carden International in the past," Hjermstad said. "We were very fortunate, certainly."
While Hjermstad said he's pleased that the new producers offer elephants, tigers and lions, he believes that these animals being in circuses will become a thing of the past.
"It's something that is going to be inevitable at some point," he said. "There is a growing trend to get way from those animals. There is a lot of pressure from PETA and organizations like that."
There are seven Target Center shows in all, with clowns, aerialists and other acts: two shows on Friday, three on Saturday and two again on Sunday. For more information, visit www.minneapoliscircus.com.
The circus is a major fundraiser for the Zuhrah Shriners' operations, which include Shriners Hospital for Children in Minneapolis.