The Woodward News

May 7, 2013

The circus is coming to town

Rowynn Ricks
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — The big top is coming to Woodward with the Carson and Barnes Circus slated to make 2 performances this Friday at Crystal Beach Park.

Shows are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and will last approximately 2 hours.

However, show promoter Doug Munsell, a.k.a. "Poppa D" the clown, said the excitement will actually begin much earlier.

"They'll probably start raising the big top around 9 a.m.," Munsell said.

While they no longer use elephants to raise the big top as they did in olden days, he said it is still an interesting process to see the circus come to life.

The public is welcome to come watch the set up process, which will give them an idea of how much work and how many people it takes to put on the traveling show.

"You'll see about 35 to 40 vehicles drive in," Munsell said.  "It'll look like a small city."

The circus will be held in the field located to the east of Fuller Ballpark.

After watching some of the behind the scenes action, the public can return in the evening for the big show.

Munsell said the performance will include a variety of animals.

"In the show, you'll see a dog show and all the dogs have been rescued from shelters.  Then the horses will come in and perform, followed by the elephants," he said.

As the show goes on, he said, "Alex the clown will do his trampoline act. I always tell kids they need to tell him to 'get up there,' because he always needs some help getting higher."

However, some performers who never need help getting higher will be "the flyers" who will entertain the crowd with their trapeze act, he said.

And while the show will include a 15-minute intermission, Munsell said the excitement never stops.

"During the intermission, you have the chance to get your picture taken with a giant python," he said.

All in all, Munsell said it will be a "fantastic show everyone will enjoy."

"You're going to get to see all kinds of thrills, chills and daredevil things," he said.

And if the excitement of the show isn't enough, Munsell said you can visit the midway before or after the show to get a closer look at the animals and maybe even ride some of them.

"We have a petting zoo where they can pet all kinds of animals, such as miniature goats, alpacas, a z-donk which is a cross between a zebra and donkey, a mini bull and ponies," he said.  "They can even buy cups of feed to give to the animals if they want to, but don't have to."

In addition, he said visitors can purchase tickets for a chance to ride ponies, camels or even an elephant.  There will also be a "choo-choo ride" for children.

Munsell said the animal rides and petting zoo will be open approximately 30 to 45 minutes before show time.

As Poppa D the clown, he encourages everyone to come out and "have a circus day."

He said there is plenty of room for all under the big top which is "about the size of a football field, so it's a good size and seats around 2,000 people."

Advance tickets for the show are available at The Bloom, Just Beyond the Door, and Taco Factory.  They are also available online at, and click the link for "Tickets."

Munsell said people can save money by buying their tickets in advance.  However, he said tickets will still be available at the circus box office on the day of starting at 9 a.m.

They can save even more with circus coupons, in which a child under 12 can get in free with the purchase of an adult ticket.

"Check stores around town, if they have a poster (for the circus), then they may have some coupons," Munsell said.

Or you can check the Carson and Barnes Circus website as listed above for more information.