Circus elephants pack up their trunks

By By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
Oct. 23, 2004
When children of all ages head out to The New Cole Bros. Circus at Bonita Lakes Mall this weekend, one of the biggest draws will be noticeably absent the elephants.
Ron West, marketing director for the circus, said this is the first time in 120 years that the circus will not feature elephants.
The circus rolled into town early this morning after a three-day run in Hattiesburg. The visit is sponsored by CBL &Associates, the company that operates the mall. Performances are today at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Tickets for the circus are on sale at the mall's customer service booth. Police, fire, military and civil service personnel will receive a $5 discount. The New Cole Bros. Circus brings with it more than 250 people who act, perform and maintain the traveling show.
West said he doesn't believe the circus is any less entertaining without the elephants.
He also said the circus is getting less flack from animal rights groups since they eliminated the elephants.
The circus also brings an economic boost to Meridian. Tommy White, marketing director for Bonita Lakes Mall, said the circus brings in people from as far north as Tupelo and as far east as Alabama. He said the community benefits from having out-of-town guests eating in local restaurants and shopping in local stores.
White said ticket sales for the circus indicate that this year will be better-attended than the two previous years. Advance tickets for some shows are sold out.
Want to go?
What: The New Cole Bros. Circus
Where: Bonita Lakes Mall
When: Performances today at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Information: call 693-4960

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