(WLOX) - With the closing of Ringling Brothers circus last year, some performers with a lifetime of circus experience have branched off to take part in a compact version of the "Greatest Show on Earth."
The Venardos Circus, founded by former Ringling Brothers ringmaster Kevin Venardos, is one of a number of smaller circuses touring around the country.
Venardos says he created the show, using what he and his associates had already learned with Ringling Brothers.
Venardos Circus acrobat Elan Espana says, "My sister actually is in the show, my dad and my mom are, too. My sister does hula hoops, hand stands and aerial acrobatics. My dad is doing the clown here, and my mom also does aerial acrobatics. I'm an eighth generation circus performer."
Ringling Brothers closed after more than a hundred years, due in part to the removal of certain animals, high operating costs and subsequent declining ticket sales.
However, Venardos says he's been able to put together a one of a kind and memorable experience without animals for his guests.
He also says he believes smaller circuses offer a chance to educate people about the ethical treatment of animals as they forge their way into the future.
Venardos says, "We're a small team and a small circus, so if it's 300 people in there, it's actually an intimate feeling as audience member. On the flip side, it's the future of the business of the circus, that we can keep our lines tight, invest in each other and our team. I move this whole show around with one truck, one big box truck, a 28 foot freight liner box truck carries the tent, and all the stuff inside."
Folks who work with the Venardos circus say they hope to thrill fans for many years to come.
The Venardos Circus will be in Mobile until November 12.