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Circus brings family-friendly fun to Port Lavaca

By ErinPradia
April 10, 2012 at 8:05 p.m.
Updated April 9, 2012 at 11:10 p.m.

Members of the Flying Cavallinis fly through the air on the trapeze during a performance of the Carson and Barnes Circus Tuesday at the Calhoun County Fairgrounds. Four members of the Cavallini family - three women and one man - took turns leaping from swings without falling to the net below.

PORT LAVACA - Kent McCain's eyes shone as he sat on his dad's lap during the horse show giving tribute to Native Americans at the Carson and Barnes Circus Tuesday afternoon.

The 2-year-old clapped his hands and grinned as the horses twirled in unison.

His parents, Will McCain, 29, and Kara McCain, 28, enjoyed watching the show, then encouraged their son's applause.

The McCains traveled from Ganado to watch the show with Will's brother-in-law Garret O'Donnell, 32, and his two sons Blane, 2, and Brody, 4.

Kent danced up and down to the music as a man did stunts on a wooden plank balanced on a cylinder. His parents seemed awed by the stunt man as he added four stools between himself and the cylinder.

The Carson and Barnes Circus performs more than 500 shows in about 20 states annually, but in a tribute to the Lone Star State, dancers performed a circus-style line dance to "Cotton Eyed Joe" - complete with lasso tricks - as they introduced the elephant act.

A portion of ticket sales profits from the shows in Port Lavaca will benefit the Port Lavaca Mainstreet, Inc.

"The money will help us promote our downtown area," said Russell Cain, president of the Mainstreet Committee. "We are trying to raise money to develop the irrigation in Fay Bauer Sterling Park. We look forward to continuing to develop our Main Street and helping businesses grow there."

During the 15 minute intermission, guests were invited to stretch their legs and get sno cones, cotton candy and nachos from the concession stands.

In addition to fun snacks, children could have their faces painted, play in the moon bounce, ride the train, buy souvenirs from booths or ride an elephant.

A petting zoo featured llamas, donkeys and goats.

Port Lavaca family Emilio Sanchez, 29, Serrena Morales, 26, and her 9-year-old children Adrian DeLeon and Alyssa DeLeon, said they enjoyed the family friendly event.

Alyssa was impressed by the tricks done on the trampoline. Although she has jumped on a trampoline before, she doesn't ever plan to try the tricks she saw Tuesday night because they looked too scary.

Adrian enjoyed watching the dog show - particularly when the dogs went horseback riding.

"It's been fun for the whole family," Sanchez said.

"Something new," Erika Garcia, 34, agreed.

As a working mother, she said it was nice to have an event she could attend with her sons, Erik Garcia, 4, and her 2-year-old son Brock Garcia.

"All of it has been nice. I really liked the acrobats on ropes," Garcia said. "I can't wait to see the rest of the animal acts."

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