Murat Shrine Circus: Elephants, Clowns, Acrobats All in One Ring

The circus, both the traditional and the bizarre kind, has long had a home in American culture. The industry has come a long way since the small freak shows that used to travel the country; the once niche entertainment tradition has now expanded to include clowns, elephants, carnival rides, daring feats of gymnastics and high flying acrobatics, and yes, even comedy. If you were in Indianapolis last week, you might have seen the antics of the Squidling Brothers Circus Sideshow at White Rabbit Cabaret, a macabre return to the mystery and gore soaked early days of the circus. But if you have children, the Squidling Brothers would have scared the living daylights out of them, enough to ensure that they’d never set foot under a big top again. Luckily, Indianapolis people will get the chance to see an authentic, fully fledged traditional circus in one of the largest Indianapolis event venues: the Pepsi Coliseum. If you want to get back in touch with your childhood, you need to attend one of the many Indy performances of the Murat Shrine Circus, running from Thursday, March 3, 2011 to Sunday, March 6, 2011 at the Pepsi Coliseum in downtown Indianapolis.

Video of a performer with the Shrine Circus balancing atop the Wheel of Death blindfolded during a performance in Fort Wayne, Indiana; the Murat Shrine Circus will be performing in Indianapolis March 3 through 6, 2011


The Murat Shrine Circus (no affiliation with the former Murat Theater except for its Shriner ties) is one of the oldest circus troupes in the United States, active for over a hundred years. Founded in 1906, the Shrine Circus is named after the performers that run it, the Shriners (aka the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine). This colorful circus had its first production in Detroit, but the company quickly expanded. Today, the Murat Shrine Circus plays over 120 venues around the country each year; the Circle City is just one more stop on their 2011 tour. And if you think this Indianapolis attraction is just another fluffy expenditure, think again: proceeds for the circus go toward furthering the humanitarian mission of the Shriners, and you can be sure it’ll help those in need.

Promotional video for the 2011 Murat Shrine Circus, which will be touring through the Pepsi Coliseum in downtown Indianapolis March 3 through 6


But really, if you’re going to the circus, you’re going for the entertainment, not for the charity. And the Murat Shrine Circus doesn’t fail to impress with the entertainment, offering up a spectacular assortment of high flying acrobatics, hilarious slap stick comedy, amazing animals, and feats of derring do that will have you on the edge of your seat. Nobody but the performers themselves know what to expect with the 2011 Murat Shrine Circus, but the 2010 iteration had plenty of jaw dropping spectacles. The two hour 2010 performance included the Lion Dance, featuring dancers wrapped in authentic Chinese parade costumes; Frisbee Dogs, canines that do more than fetch; the classic laugh a minute antics of Piolita the clown; Liberty Horses, an equestrian tour de force; the “Giant Space Wheel of Thrills” with Joseph Bauer; a myriad of plate spinners (known as the “Marathon of Muscular Miracles”); and much, much more.

Video of an intelligent elephant being put through its paces during a performance of the Murat Shrine Circus; the Murat Shrine Circus will be coming to Indianapolis March 3 through 6, 2011


So come one, come all, grab some popcorn and take a seat under the big top for the Murat Shrine Circus. Your Indianapolis children will delight in the multitude of animals, the colorful performers, and the death defying activities going on in the ring of the Pepsi Coliseum. You’ll have a multitude of opportunities to see the Murat Shrine Circus at the Indiana State Fairgrounds; there will be one performance on Thursday, March 3 and Friday, March 4, three performances on Saturday, March 5, and two performances on Sunday, March 6, 2011. Indianapolis people can see the circus at 6:30 on Thursday, 7 on Friday, 10:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 7:00 on Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets range from $9 to $19, depending on where your seats are. If you want to see an authentic, breathtaking circus in action, all you need to do is head to the big top at the Pepsi Coliseum for the Murat Shrine Circus!

Murat Shrine Circus at the Indiana State Fairgrounds
Thursday, March 3 at 6:30 ; Friday, March 4 at 7:00 ; Saturday, March 5 at 10:00, 2:00, and 7:00; Sunday, March 6 at 11:30 and 3:30
Tickets: $9 – $19
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Pepsi Coliseum
1202 E 38th St
Indianapolis, IN 46205

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