breaking: Stitt says state will support right to protest and local law enforcementbreaking: OU's Lincoln Riley, OSU's Mike Gundy weigh in on George Floyd's death, protests

NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

NewsOK BrandInsight Connecting local experts and business leaders with the NewsOK audience. What is this?
NewsOK BrandInsight provides a place for local organizations and companies to connect directly with the NewsOK audience by publishing sponsored native advertising articles of interest on the NewsOK digital platforms and to participate in the resulting conversation. BrandInsight content is produced by the organizations and included in this special section as a service to NewsOK readers. Read more about BrandInsight here. To learn how to participate in BrandInsight, email us at brand-insight@opubco.com.

The circus is coming to town: Shriners invite to annual family event

Show More

Local Shriners and their clown unit bring joy to kids. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners.
Local Shriners and their clown unit bring joy to kids. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners.
“Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, welcome to the 73rd Annual India Shrine Circus!” That’s what those attending this year’s Shrine Circus will hear from Ring Master Billy Martin from the floor of the Norick State Fair Arena from April 7-10.

“The elephants, the tigers, the rides, the novelties, cotton candy and have you seen the quick change artist? They are unbelievable!” said Gene McKelvey, administrator for India Shriners in Oklahoma City and a longtime worker of the event.

Impressive stunts are part of the show. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners.
Impressive stunts are part of the show. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners.
“I have stood literally 10 feet from the quick change artist during this act and cannot figure out how they do it!” The High Wire and Trapeze act are amazing! Then there is the contortionist! How he folds himself up to fit into that little box just blows the crowd away! Then of course there are the Clowns! These guys are hilarious,” he added.

Yes, the Oklahoma City India Shriners delight in clowning around. The Shrine Circus is a family staple for many local families and has been for generations.

“This years event will be our 73rd annual circus. This Oklahoma City event dates back to October of 1944. Utilizing the Pollock Brothers Circus Company, the event was held in the Municipal Auditorium or as we know it today, the Civic Center Music Hall,” McKelvey said.

Many Circus producers have brought their show to Oklahoma City for the Shriners over the years. This year’s producer is the Hanneford Circus Company, who has been producing the circus for India Shriners at the State Fair Arena since 2001.

“We are very happy with the show that the Hanneford Circus has been bringing us over the years,” McKelvey said. “They make frequent changes that are needed to keep the show fresh.”

Attractions from a past circus. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners.
Attractions from a past circus. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners.

Nationally, the Shriners began holding circuses in 1906 for fun and entertainment, McKelvey said. They soon began to play a role as a significant fundraiser to support the operation of the local chapters.

For McKelvey and many other members, the circus held in Oklahoma City each year at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds is among the highlights of the year.

“It is very affordable family entertainment. Where else can you take your family to see clean, wholesome, entertainment at these prices?” he asked.

Adults are $15 and children under 12 get in for $8.

The trained camels are sure to impress. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners.
The trained camels are sure to impress. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners.

“There are other circuses that come through here, but we think the Shrine Circus is the best show in town at the best prices anywhere,” McKelvey said.

Join the Shriners at one of the performances between April 7-10 at State Fair Arena. Tickets are available by calling 947-3311 or at the Shriners’ website.

“The India Shrine Circus is an Oklahoma City tradition. Don’t miss it,” McKelvey said.

Related Photos
Local Shriners and their clown unit bring joy to kids. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners.

Local Shriners and their clown unit bring joy to kids. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners.

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8a2c6cc86999fb8e28ffe87a99fc3f9c.jpg" alt="Photo - Local Shriners and their clown unit bring joy to kids. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners." title="Local Shriners and their clown unit bring joy to kids. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners."><figcaption>Local Shriners and their clown unit bring joy to kids. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8907f32cccce866713f85ddd774c64ac.jpg" alt="Photo - Attractions from a past circus. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners." title="Attractions from a past circus. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners."><figcaption>Attractions from a past circus. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-4e12bcb9245ff94b0249f9e5db9145d7.jpg" alt="Photo - The trained camels are sure to impress. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners." title="The trained camels are sure to impress. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners."><figcaption>The trained camels are sure to impress. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2411b2cbed781106a7fc42f08964a543.jpg" alt="Photo - Impressive stunts are part of the show. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners." title="Impressive stunts are part of the show. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners."><figcaption>Impressive stunts are part of the show. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-71e2239bd24352b92c108f72a07c3369.jpg" alt="Photo - The elephants are a popular attraction. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners." title="The elephants are a popular attraction. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners."><figcaption>The elephants are a popular attraction. Photo provided by OKC India Shriners.</figcaption></figure>
Michaela Marx Wheatley

Michaela Marx Wheatley is an award-winning writer and journalist who has written for newspapers and magazines in both the U.S. and Germany. These days she is a copywriter at BigWing Interactive and the editor of BrandInsight, The Oklahoman’s and... Read more ›

India Shrine of OKC

Shriners International is a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth with nearly 200 chapters in several countries and thousands of clubs around the world. The fraternity is open to men of integrity from all walks of life. The Shriners also supports Shriners Hospitals for Children®, a health system of 22 locations, and are well-known for the annual Shrine Circus. The Oklahoma City temple was established in the 1990s and has since supported countless children in need by supporting the hospitals and by providing transportation from and to the hospitals, or helped put a smile on local kids’ faces at the circus. Read more ›

NewsOK BrandInsight provides a place for local organizations and companies to connect directly with the NewsOK audience by publishing articles of interest on the NewsOK digital platforms in a special section.
Comments