Get ready for some wholesome family entertainment as the largest traditional big-top circus touring America today comes to Astoria for two shows Tuesday, July 6.

The Carson & Barnes Circus plays 250 days a year, traveling with 80 transport vehicles, 60 performing artists and dozens of exotic and domestic animals, including camels, lions, tigers, llamas, horses, a hippopotamus and of course, elephants.

The circus caravan will arrive at the Clatsop County Fairgrounds about 8 a.m. to start setting up the big top tent, measuring 300 by 150 feet. Early risers can watch the animals arrive, be watered, fed and cared for, and marvel as the trained herd of elephants helps raise the largest circus tent in the world 40 feet into the air.

The circus will present two shows at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m., hosted by the Rotary Club of Astoria. Performing acts consist of aerial, trapeze and acrobatic teams, jugglers and clowns, performing elephants, big cats, camels, dogs and horses. Highlights of the show include the Grand Spectacular Parade, which this year features a Spanish theme with handmade costumes and animal blankets, and "The Amazing Cardenas," performing the dangerous seven-man pyramid on the high wire.

Discounted tickets are available in advance at the Seaside, Warrenton and Astoria chambers of commerce, City Lumber, Pacific Coast Medical Supply or the Knappa Gift Shop, or at full price ($14 for adults, $7 for children) online at


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