Kelly Miller Circus comes to Port Isabel

Delayna and Lisa

Delayna catches a ride on Lisa, one of Kelly Miller's performing elephants. (Courtesy photo)

Special to the Parade

The Kelly Miller Bros. Circus, founded during the Great Depression, is marking another milestone this year as it celebrates its 74th anniversary.

The public is invited to step back in time as the Kelly Miller Bros. Circus brings the history and tradition of the old fashioned circus to Port Isabel on Monday, Feb. 13 thanks to the sponsorship of the Museums of Port Isabel. Performances will be at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at the Laguna Madre Park. The tent raising will begin at 9 a.m.

Advance and General Admission Tickets for the performances are $12 and can be purchased at Port Isabel City Hall, Museums of Port Isabel, Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce, South Padre Chamber of Commerce, and the Port Isabel Library.

General admission ticket prices on circus day are $16 at the Circus Box Office.

The circus was founded in 1938 by Obert Miller and his sons, Kelly and Dores; this traditional tented circus has the passing of the millennium and still offers the same great family entertainment it presented in its humble beginnings.

While the show in 1938 was little more than the Miller family, some ponies and a couple of monkeys, they still move about the country – as they do today – in trucks and went through the same routine each day of setting up and giving performances in a new town.

The 2012 season will feature elephants, horses, llamas, camels, clowns, and a host of international circus stars, but each morning the public gets an all-together different kind of show as the circus lot comes to life.

Circus trucks pull onto the lot in the early morning hours, animals are unloaded, stakes are driven and elephants lift the giant big top into the air. Best of all, the public is welcomed to watch this entire spectacle free of charge.

In fact, after the first of the four massive main poles that support the big top are set in place, the public is invited to step into the tent and see men and beasts complete their work. A knowledgeable circus veteran will be on hand to explain the action and answer questions about circus life.

This season, the Kelly Miller Bros. Circus will travel nearly 10,000 miles and give performances in over 200 cities and towns across North America from March through October.

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