'Greatest Show on Earth' defies the impossible


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Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2013, 10:33 pm
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By Kevin Smith, ksmith@qconline.com
MOLINE – Awestruck families watched in disbelief as"The Greatest Show on Earth" defied the impossible with "Dragons" on Friday at the iWireless Center in Moline.

With the return of the ever-popular Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus,The Dispatch/Argus turned over the reporter pad, figuratively, to 8-year-old Audrey Fenchel, of Taylor Ridge, the winner of the Kid Critic Contest.

We provided Audrey with four VIP tickets to the circus and asked for her take on the show.

Audrey -- and her friends Kimber and Victoria -- were restless with anticipation before the show started. Accompanied by Audrey's mom, Rea Eleene Woolley, they arrived early enough to see the arena packed with families meeting with performers.

Instead of jumping on the inflated bounce-house set up where elephants soon would parade, the girls loaded up on snacks before the big show.

"Our tummies are going to hurt tonight!" Kimber said.

After pre-gaming with pizza, snow cones and comically large bags of cotton candy, Audrey and her friends were pumped by the time the show was underway.

Audrey said more than anything she was looking forward to seeing motorcycle stunts and all the animals. As the show kicked off with daring acts of bravery and heart-warming interactions between animals and their keepers, it seemed Audrey and her friends were not let down.

The trio lit up when the horse riders took to the ring. Stunt performers effortlessly did handstands and other tricks on galloping horses, all to a chorus of oohs and ahhs.

"That's so cool!" Audrey enthused. "He wentunderthe horse!"

Witnessing acrobats suspended by the strength of their own hair, Audrey also had a few new ideas.

"I can imagine myself doing that," she said. "I'm not the kind of person who gets nervous easily."

Audrey said she thoroughly enjoyed Friday night's show. The hard part, according to our kid critic, was deciding which act she enjoyed most.


If you go:

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: "Dragons" at the iWireless Center, 1201 River Drive, Moline, continues with shows through Monday.

Showtimes are 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 7 p.m. today; 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday; and 1 p.m. Monday.

Tickets start at $13. For more information call 800-745-3000.












 



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  Today is Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: A corps of surgeons now occupies the new hospital quarters at the Garrison Hospital on the Rock Island Arsenal. A fence has been installed to enclose the prison hospital.
1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post .
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Quad City Civic Center captured the excitement and interest of a convention of auditorium managers this weekend in Reno, Nev. Bill Adams, civic center authority chairman, said the 10,000-seat arena planned for downtown Moline has caught the eye of construction firms, suppliers, management teams and concession groups.








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