August 27, 20124:30 PMInvalid DateInvalid Date

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As part of their 76th consecutive year of touring the USA, Carson & Barnes Circus, the largest traveling big top tent circus in America will visit Henderson, KY on Monday, August 27 at Henderson County Fairgrounds.

Show times are scheduled on Monday at 4:30pm and 7:30pm. Advance tickets bought online at offer the best value: Adult/$14, Child $6, before applying any discounts. When using a $4-off coupon downloaded from the Circus website adult tickets can be purchased online for as little as $10, and Child tickets are $6 (plus a $1.50 per ticket online convenience surcharge). At the Gate on Circus Day (box office opens at 10:30am) tickets are Adult/$16, Child/$8 before applying any coupon discounts.

Carson & Barnes is “The Real Circus,” with everything fans expect to see under the big top: clowns, acrobats, aerial daredevils, spectacular pageantry, and a cast of amazing performing animals led by the biggest stars of the show—the Carson & Barnes Asian elephants.  Starring in this season’s show is “Alex the Clown.” Like many of those appearing in the Circus, Alex Acero has spent his life performing. As a headliner in Las Vegas and with several of the largest Latin American circuses, Alex keeps the children laughing while keeping the adults on the edges of their seats with his daring gymnastics.

Carson & Barnes owner Barbara Miller-Byrd is the third generation of her family to run the circus. Her daughters, Traci and Kristen, who also travel with the show, will be the fourth generation to run the nation’s largest touring tent circus. Even after more than 60 years on the road as a performer and owner, Barbara is still in awe at the thrill of it all and is still the number one fan of traditional American circus.

“I remember getting on my first pony shortly after I started walking,” she said. “Seriously, I never considered doing anything other than being a part of the family business, but in those early days no one imagined a woman would ever be the boss in a male-dominated business, like ours.”

One of the most popular attractions at the Circus is before the show. The Circus travels with a menagerie of exotic animals including a rare Sicilian donkey, two llamas, a miniature zebra and a standard-sized zebra, an alpaca, two camels, a half-dozen pygmy goats, an Katy, the pygmy hippo. Kids delight in the chance to get up close and pet these unusual creatures. Small bags of dry food can be purchased and are guaranteed to get the furry friends’ attention.

Also on the Circus midway the little tykes can ride a miniature train or saddle-up for a Shetland pony ride. For older kids there’s the SuperSlide. Towering above all along the midway are those magnificent Asian elephants and the camels. Both can be ridden with the right ticket in hand.

With a cast of dozens and twenty-five vehicles loaded with everything from popcorn bags to grandstands, exotic animals, hundreds of costumes and tons of equipment for the performers, and even the big top tent itself, every day is an adventure.

For the nearly one million guests who will gather under the tent this year for the thrills and excitement that are the hallmark of the greatest of all family entertainments, it all comes down to the center ring where the outside world yields to the fantasy world under the big top — an American icon.

Find a complete tour schedule, show information, and how to buy tickets at the circus website at