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DU QUOIN — "The Greatest Show on Earth" — the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus — might have exited the big top for good, but one circus is still going.

The Ainad Shriners Circus, which has been hosting circuses for 50 consecutive years, returns to the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds this weekend, said John Blondwell, a public relations assistant. The circus first started in the 1920s, he said.

"We’re still doing our circuses," Blondell said. "Right now, we’re still seeing large crowds, barring weather. It’s still a good family entertainment value."

The Ainad Shriner Circus comes this Saturday and Sunday to the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds in Du Quoin. The shows starts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 and 6 p.m. Sunday; tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children.

This three-ring circus will feature exotic animals; Chachi "The Rocketman" Valencia being blast from a cannon; and other acts.

For more information, visit the circus' website at

— Stephanie Esters

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Stephanie Esters is a reporter covering Jackson and Union counties.

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