News Column

Circus provides high-flying fun at Schuylkill Mall

June 25, 2014

By Mark Gilger Jr., Republican & Herald, Pottsville, Pa.

June 25--FRACKVILLE -- The big top was back in town Tuesday at the Schuylkill Mall.

The Lewis and Clark Circus had two performances Tuesday evening at the mall. The one-ring circus had something for everyone, including animals, clowns and aerial acrobatics.

"There's a lot of things kids can't see anywhere else," Ariel Valeiras, ringmaster for the circus, said Tuesday. "It's a lot of fun."

Based out of South Carolina, the circus performers are several families from five different countries, including Brazil, Argentina and the United Kingdom. The multi-talented performers travel all over the world.

Valeiras said the circus was at the Schuylkill Mall about this time last year and had a nice turnout. The circus had another great turnout this year as nearly every available seat under the big top was taken at the 5 p.m. show.

The circus had a high-energy start with music and trampoline acrobatics. Vandeir dos Reis, better known as the clown named "Grillo," entertained the crowd with his silly antics while involving several audience members in the act.

"Circuses come in all shapes and sizes," Valeiras said before the next act.

Lena Dotsenko then guided a horse through various tricks around the center ring. A little pony then joined in on the performance, mimicking the horse's tricks. Natalie Franklin and Dotsenko also performed aerial acrobatics high above the center ring.

Valeiras showed off his skills with a whip and lasso. He was later assisted by his canine companion, Tico the Cowboy Dog.

Steven, 5, and Brady Minakan, 3, of Frackville, were munching on cotton candy and popcorn while enjoying the show Tuesday. The brothers said they were looking forward to seeing all the animals.

"We just wanted to bring the kids out for something to do on a Tuesday," Steve Minakan, their father, said.

Hailey Bowman, 6, said her favorite part of the show was Tico the Cowboy Dog. It was her first time at a circus, her father, Lester Bowman, Delano, said.

"I've been going to circuses since I was a kid," Lester Bowman said. "I knew she would like it."

For more information and a show schedule, visit


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Source: Republican & Herald (Pottsville, PA)

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