Spectators from across the area filtered into the township Sunday, as the tents went up and the tigers, elephants and clowns came out to play.
A large crowd was on hand as the Kelly Miller Circus made a stop in Kinsman for two shows at the old Joseph Badger High School grounds.
The show was highlighted by acts including a fire eater, jugglers and aerialists, along with circus staples like the team of clowns and exotic animals. Various performances involved a group of five tigers, three elephants, several zebras and even llamas.
Tribune Chronicle photos / Ashley Newman
Aerialist Rebecca Ostroff performs for a large crowd of onlookers during Sunday’s show. The circus was making its second stop in Kinsman in the last three years.
Cortland resident Neal Croston was enjoying the show with his three sons.
"We've never been to the circus," Croston said. "I figured this was a cheaper way to go without the traveling. They really enjoyed it with the fire guy and the elephants.
"They haven't been scared by the clowns yet, so that's always good," he continued.
The Kelly Miller Circus is celebrating its 75th anniversary traveling across the country to both small towns and large cities. The event in Kinsman had two showtimes, one at 2 p.m. and another at 5 p.m., before the group packed up and moved on.
Dale Fenn of Kinsman watched as his grandchildren rode on the back of elephants during a 20-minute intermission in the show.
"They're having a really good time," Fenn said. "They enjoy the clowns."
The event was sponsored by the Harry Lee American Legion Post and Unit 506, which will use the proceeds to benefit area veterans.
Event organizer Joyce Jones said the circus went off without a hitch.
"Everybody has enjoyed it," Jones said. "It really is a wonderful circus. It is clean, fun and they keep it new all the time. They do a great job."
This marks the second time in the last three years Kinsman has played host to the Kelly Miller Circus. The first visit was in 2011.
"It's a small town and we just feel like you can only do something like this every other year," Jones said. "That way it stays fresh."
According to Jones, the circus did a good job of creating a new show for 2013.
"This year has been completely different," Jones said. "They have new acts and new costumes. Everything is just new."
Skip LaPlante, vice commander of Post 506, also had a hand in bringing the circus to town. He said the group makes an effort not to leave behind debris when the show is over.
"They pick up every piece of paper they left behind," LaPlante said. "It's actually pretty amazing. They're really good about that."
Jones noted the American Legion will welcome the circus back in 2015.
"They will contact us every year now first until we don't want to do it anymore," she said. "Once you get in their rotation, you're in."
For those who missed the show Sunday, the circus has two performances today at the Canfield Fairgrounds. Sponsored by the Al Koran Shriners, showtimes are 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Based in Oklahoma, the circus was started in 1938 by Obert Miller and his sons, Kelly and Dory.