Big top circus is coming to the Gila Valley

PETA discourages the use of animal acts at Culpepper & Merriweather Circus, which will perform two shows in the Gila Valley on Tuesday, April 11, at 5 and 7:30 p.m.

Contributed Article

Thanks to the sponsorship of the Safford Lions Foundation, Inc., Culpepper & Merriweather Circus, America’s favorite big top circus is coming to the Gila Valley on Tuesday, April 11th.  The “Big Top” will be located on the lot at the northeast corner of the intersection of U.S. Highway 70 and 20th Avenue with scheduled performances at 5 and 7:30 p.m.

The circus will also perform in Morenci on Monday, April 10 at the county softball field.

Now in its 32nd edition, Culpepper & Merriweather Circus has become internationally known for quality family entertainment. This authentic one-ring, big top circus has been featured on National Geographic’s Explorer TV series, Entertainment Tonight, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune and Arizona Highways Magazine. It has also been featured on the A&E Special: Under the Big Top and most recently, On the Road with Circus Kids, a Nickelodeon special featured on the Nick News Program.

Bring your friends and family out circus morning to watch as the empty lot is transformed into a bustling circus city. Activity swirls around the grounds as animals are unloaded, the big top is erected, and rigging is prepared for performances later in the day. Enjoy the magic and tradition of the American circus with your family and create memories that will last a lifetime.

There will plenty of entertaining acts at the circus.

Between 9:30 and 10 a.m., come watch the raising of the big top, then stay for the free tour. This presentation offers a unique face-to-face opportunity for families, schools and interested community members to meet and learn all about the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus family and includes a walking tour of the circus grounds. Learn interesting facts about performers, the history of the show and the different species of animals in the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus family. In this presentation, hear about topics such as hygiene, grooming and the veterinary care all of their animals receive. In recent years, the tent raising and morning tour has become a popular program for families and interested community members. It is presented in a way everyone, young and old, can learn many interesting facts about the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus family. This is a special part of circus day that should not be missed.

On circus day, performers bring the magic of the circus to life in each 90-minute performance. This year’s lineup features an all-star group of performers and entertainers including: Miss Simone and her breathtaking single trapeze, Miss Paulina’s proud “Big & Little” prancing ponies, The Arlise Troupe on their wild and crazy unicycles, Natalie’s American Eskimo Escapades, Miss Georgia displaying flexibility to the extreme and, for the first time, the Wheel of Destiny & Tight Rope by The Perez Family. But let’s not forget the huge performing Jungle Cats: Soloman, Delilah & Francis, presented by Mr. Trey Key, that will certainly have you on the edge of your seats. All acts are accompanied by original music composed by the talented Matt Margucci from Los Angeles. All performers are sure to amaze, delight and entertain the audience members of all ages beyond their wildest imagination. For more circus information visit the Culpepper & Merriweather FaceBook page with videos, photos and comments from past sponsors and patrons. For a direct link you can go to

Save money by purchasing your tickets in advance from any Lions Club member or at the following locations: Bashas’ or Farmers Insurance on Main Street in Safford. Prices for advance tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for seniors (65 and over) or children ages 2 to 12 (children under 2 are always free). On show day, tickets at the gate will be $13 for adults and $8 for seniors and children. So, get your tickets early from the Lions and save.


Circus Day Schedule (times may vary):

Between 9:30 & 10 a.m.– tent raising and free tour

4 p.m. – Midway Box Office opens (pony rides, moon bounce, concessions and more)

5 p.m. – Afternoon show

7:30 p.m. – Evening show