It’s three hours before the show, and the flavorful, buttery smell of popcorn starts to slowly waft through the air, swirling with the gritty dust at the Boone County Fairgrounds Coliseum. Outside, the elephants, Daisy and Bambi, trumpet while children and their families file into the arena. Camper trailers line the grounds, but these are not your usual trailers. Signs posted on them read “Concession Stand” and “Performing Elephants.”
Circus Pages, a family-run business, arrived in Columbia on Friday for a double performance at the fairgrounds. The performers travel the country throughout the summer putting on shows. Elephants, camels, pony rides, jugglers, trampolines, face painting, balloons, cotton candy, hot dogs, popcorn and soda. It’s just about everything a child could want.
“There’s no better feeling than seeing the kids’ happy faces after the show,” says ringmaster James Earhart. “It’s the greatest job that you can ever hope for.”