Jan. 19 2011 12:00 AM

Shrine Circus rolls into Lansing this week

The Shrine Circus has seen many changes in its 104 years, but one thing always stays the same.

“One staple that is always in the circus is our Shrine clowns,” marketing director Nick Sengelis said. “The clowns have always been a part of the circus; it’s something that our Shrine center takes great pride in.”

Clown of the year “Fred-dee” will be a big part of the show that comes to Lansing this week. This will be the circus’ first time in Lansing. Unlike a traditional “big top” circus held under a tent, the Shrine circus will take place in the Lansing Center. Sengelis said the Lansing community has been very receptive to the circus and that the event is a “show for everyone.”

The circus will feature traditional attractions, like performing lions and tigers — although Sengelis said what they do is “different from any act you’ve seen before” — and new stunts, like a motorcycle trapeze. This involves a motorcycle rider 50 feet in the air revolving on a platform around trapeze performers.

Lansing circus chairman Brian Sabin pointed out acts for older members of the family, like high-wire performers and the ever-popular guy getting shot out of a cannon.

“We have elephant and camel rides for the kids and families, so you get a chance during intermission to interact with the animals and the clowns,” Sengelis said of the family appeal of the circus. “There are light shows and choreography and trapeze artists that are flown from all over the world to be at this particular show. Performers are coming from Russia, China and all over the world to perform in Lansing.”

Elf Khurafeh Shrine Circus

Event Center 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday, January 20; 10 a.m., 4:30 and
7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21; 11:30 a.m., 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday,
Jan. 22; 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23 $14 adults; $12 children www.ekshrinecircus.com