The circus comes to Carbondale this weekend

2012-05-04T01:00:00Z 2013-07-29T14:18:17Z The circus comes to Carbondale this weekendBY STEPHEN RICKERL, THE SOUTHERN The Southern
May 04, 2012 1:00 am  • 

CARBONDALE — Jodie Urias watched with intent as a loop was attached to the top of a giant steel globe. After all, in about 24 hours she would be dangling from the loop inside the globe as motorcycles — only inches away —buzz around her.

About 100 cast and crew of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus descended on the SIU Arena to setup for five performances this weekend in Carbondale.

Dean Kelley, a clown and host of the pre-show, said this year’s performance is their new Barnum Bash, which features new acts from all over the world.

“You name it, we got it,” Kelley said. “There’s basically something for everyone in the show this year.”

Among the awe-inspiring acts, Kelley said, are The Flying Cruzados, who perform gravity-defying stunts in a double wheel of steel; The Urias Family, which performs in the Globe of Steel; Duo Fusion, which is a husband and wife hand balancing act where the wife does the heavy lifting; Havana Troupe, a gymnastics and trapeze performance; and an animal show featuring Asian elephants, camels, horses and dogs.

Kelley said ticket holders are encouraged to come to the performance one-hour early for the pre-show, where children are able to get up close and meet the performers and see special performances.

Kelley, who said he’s dreamed of being in the circus since age 4, said the Barnum Bash is a show unlike any other that will keep the attention of children and adults alike.

“Our show starts out at 100 and it doesn’t stop,” he said. “We can keep everyone’s attention the entire time. We’ve got flashy lights, flashy costumes, and we try to keep up with technology the best we can to bring The Greatest Show on Earth.”

Jessica Clowers, a veterinarian technician with Ringling Bros., said her background is working with exotic animals at zoos, but she left to work at small animal hospitals. She found an opportunity to return to working with exotic animals at Ringling Bros. and said seeing the reaction from children is rewarding work.

“Just watching the kids get so excited to see an elephant, some of these kids may never get to see an elephant unless they went to the zoo,” she said. “Just watching the smiles on their faces and getting excited and watching the animals perform — it’s a lot of fun.”

Jodie Urias performs in the Urias Family Globe of Steel, with her husband, Erwin, brother-in-law, Melvin, and his fiancée, Olga Surnina. Surnina is one of the few women in the world to ride motorcycles in a globe.

The Urias’ pioneered the act of riding motorcycles at high speeds in a steel globe; Melvin and Erwin are fourth-generation performers.

Jodie Urias said the act the family is bringing to Southern Illinois is something the family has performed once before, but revived for the Barnum Bash.

Urias will hang from a loop in the globe. As she spins, three motorcycles fly around the globe at 60 mph. With each bike at five feet in length, and the globe at 16 feet in diameter, Urias said there is little room for error when performing.

“It’s pretty intense,” she said. “We’re really close together.”

“I can reach out in any direction and I’m touching someone,” Urias added. “So I keep my hands to myself in the globe.”


Copyright 2015 The Southern. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

'Clean energy' bills take back seat to Illinois budget

'Clean energy' bills take back seat to Illinois budget

SPRINGFIELD — Measures advertised as promoting "clean energy" in Illinois — including a plan pushed by power-producing giant Exelon Corp. — ha… New

1 hour ago Photos


Related (0)
Rauner, leaders negotiating, but no budget deal this session

Rauner, leaders negotiating, but no budget deal this session

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois legislative leaders say they're still open to negotiating with Gov. Bruce Rauner over the 2016 budget and Rauner's pro-… Updated: 2:23 pm Breaking News

1 hour ago Related (0)

Updated: SIUE says worker killed repaving campus road

EDWARDSVILLE — A construction worker killed while repaving a road on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has been identifi… Updated: 1:28 pm

1 hour ago Related (0)

Carbondale man sentenced to eight years for heroin distribution

A Carbondale man was sentenced Tuesday in Jackson County court to eight years in prison for distributing heroin, according to a release from t… Updated: 1:29 pm

3 hours ago Related (0)
Hastert indictment offers few clues about alleged misconduct

Hastert indictment offers few clues about alleged misconduct

CHICAGO — A newly unveiled indictment against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert accuses the Illinois Republican of agreeing to pay $3.5… Updated: 11:10 am

4 hours ago Related (0)
Legislature could give final OK to parts of 2016 budget

Legislature could give final OK to parts of 2016 budget

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Legislature could give final approval to parts of a $36.3 billion budget as lawmakers head toward the end of their …

5 hours ago Related (0)

24th annual Grace Race kicks off June 5

The 24th annual Grace Race 5K Run, 5K Walk, and 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, June 5, at Carbondale’s Grace United Met…

6 hours ago(0)

Unions take aim at lockout by Rauner

SPRINGFIELD -- Unionized state workers are taking steps to stop a lockout or a strike under legislation being pushed by the union representing… Updated: 2:23 pm

7 hours ago(0)
Photos: Least of the Brethren Ministry annual food drive

Photos: Least of the Brethren Ministry annual food drive

The 9th Food Fair hosted by Least of the Brethren Ministry along with the St. Louis Area Food Pantry distributed 25,327 pounds of food to 200 …

8 hours ago Photos



House endorses legislation for police body cameras

SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois House advanced legislation to start giving law enforcement officers body cameras. Updated: 2:23 pm

9 hours ago(0)
Activate subscription button gif
Follow the Southern Illinoisan