Circus comes to town

Andrew Cryer

CULLMAN – To the delight of many, the Loomis Bros. Circus made its annual winter return to Cullman Friday night, with the 2017 “FUNtasticTour.” It was a packed house at the Cullman County Agricultural Trade Center. Kids of all ages were visibly amazed by the sights as the show began at 7 p.m.

Loomis Bros. is one of the few remaining traditional three ring circuses still in business, and hosted a steel riding ring for motorcyclists, a general arena and a caged area for tiger performances. Each year, the circus hires new talent, so every year presents a new show for viewers.

The show boasted pony rides, elephant rides, an inflatable jumping attraction, colorful clowns, Russian acrobats, Siberian tigers and of course, jugglers—among many other acts. 

Connor Moore, 18, of Cullman was enjoying the show. At intermission, he said, “It was amazing. They were able to do so much; multiple people did multiple things.” Moore said the first half would be hard to beat, but was sure that they saved the best for last.

After a brief 15-minute intermission, the show was back on. Volunteers played musical chairs with the clowns, and one little girl emerged victorious, to the delight of the crowd and the clowns alike.

The entertainment lasted for about two hours. After the performance, we caught up with Moore to see if the second half met his expectations. Said Moore, “The elephants were great. It was definitely worth it!”   

Controversy has surrounded circuses in recent years, specifically over the use of animals such as tigers and elephants. Loomis Bros. Ringmaster, Producer and owner, Justin Loomis, talked with The Tribune about it after Friday night’s show.

“The biggest thing of it is people with a political agenda. It’s also these organizations such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and the Humane Society of the United States, which should not be confused with local Humane Societies.”

Loomis argues that those organizations gather false information and propaganda in order to make circuses look bad, for financial gain.

“The animal rights movement is crazy. We’ve been doing this for generations, and the animals have been in our lives for their entire lives. They are just as important to us as our children.”

Loomis says the animals used in his family’s circus are born and bred in captivity. “We care for them 24/7; we live with them and they are our first priority. Anything other than that is ludicrous.”

It’s not too late to catch a show in Cullman. Remaining performances are tonight, Saturday, at 7 p.m. and tomorrow at 3 p.m. Performances will take place at the Cullman County Agricultural Trade Center, located at 17645 U.S. Highway 31 N. Full-priced admission is $20 for adults and $8 for children ages 2-12. Tickets can be purchased in advance online by credit or debit card at or with cash only at the circus box office on the day of show. Seating is general admission and doors open one hour prior to each scheduled showtime. Patrons are encouraged to arrive early for best seating. Optional pre-show activities begin when doors open and the pre-show performance begins approximately 20 minutes prior to each scheduled showtime. Coupons for “Free Kids Tickets” are available from many merchants throughout Cullman County. These coupons can also be found on the show's Facebook page located at

Look for a full photo gallery on our Facebook page.

Copyright 2017 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved.