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Circus to visit Andrews

BY Kaitlin Gebby - kgebby@chronicle-tribune.com

The Culpepper and Merriweather Circus is raising their big top in Andrews this week.

Culpepper and Merriweather is a traveling circus that performs 90-minute, family-friendly shows. They travel to towns across the US, visiting as many as 17 different states to show off their high rise acrobatics and tricks from their trained animals.

It’s been four years since Culpepper and Merriweather have been to Andrews, and the Summer Festival Committee is hoping to attract families and raise money for their annual festival later this year.

Festival committee member Kathy Gamble said they do various fundraisers throughout the year so they can offer rides, games and activities to kids for free during the Andrews Summer Festival.

“They came here about four years ago and I thought they were a small-time circus,” Gamble said. “It was actually really amazing. I was so impressed.”

Gamble said the committee has been working to sell tickets before Monday, when prices go up and their fundraising percentage drops.

Early tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children 12 years-old and under, but that price for kids may be $10 or higher come Monday when the big top is raised.

Committee Member Roger Newsome said he remembers going to the circus in Fort Wayne when he was a kid, and said he’s excited to give the same opportunity to his own family.

“This something we’re doing to help out town thrive, not much happens here,” he said. “I think this will bring people about and give them a chance to meet and socialize.”

The Culpepper and Merriweather Circus is raising their big top tent at 9:30 a.m. on Monday and offering a free tour around 10 a.m., where guests will learn about the history of the circus and how the animals are groomed and cared for.

Pony rides, a moon bounce, and games offered on the midway will open at 4 p.m. There will be two 90-minute shows on Monday at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in Andrews lot at the end of Terrell Street.

Discount tickets will be sold at Bud’s Sports Bar in Andrews, Crossroads Pantry in Markle, and Moose and Mollie’s Cafe in Roanoke until Sunday evening. Starting Monday, tickets can be purchased at the gates using credit card, and cash is accepted on the midway.