Traditional Big Top Kelly Miller Circus to Wheel Into Reynoldsville Today

Kelly MIllerREYNOLDSVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – Reynoldsville will play host to the Kelly Miller Circus – one of the last traditional big top shows left in the country – on Friday, July 8.

The circus will be featured during Reynoldsville’s third annual Red, White and Blueberry Festival held through July 10.

Kelly Miller Circus will occupy part of Reynoldsville with its fleet of 36 vehicles and an array of performers and exotic animals. It will host two shows at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on July 8.

The circus, started in 1938, was originally run by Obert Miller and his sons, Kelly and Dory. According to the circus’s website, the Miller family has traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada, building its business into America’s second largest big top show.

Kelly Miller Circus was purchased by John Ringling North II, the great-nephew of the Ringling Brothers, in 2007.

While a report last year by animal activist website The Dodo stated that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will phase out its elephant acts by 2018, Kelly Miller Circus continues to travel with a performing elephant, tigers, zebras, camels, and ponies.

Kelly Miller Circus has come under fire from the USDA, receiving citations and complaints since 1992, according to The Dodo. Citations ranged from not meeting minimum animal space requirements to injuries going unchecked by a veterinarian after a fight between two cats.

Kelly Miller Circus has combated these reports by stating on its website that it employs six animal caretakers and all federal animal welfare standards have been met under the USDA Animal Welfare Act.

“We maintain contacts with animal professionals and veterinarians worldwide, so that we are kept abreast of the newest and best trends for the care of our animals,” the circus’s website says under its “Animal Care” section.

Despite the controversy, Reynoldsville will be only one of Kelly Miller Circus’s many stops, as it has traveled throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland in the past month.

(Photo courtesy of Rick Purdue)

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