Circus Comes to Patriot Center Next Month

Posted: March 30, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Dave Andrews

circus highwire

Goofy clowns. Enormous elephants. Ferocious-looking tigers. Tightrope walking and high-wire aerial acts. All are timeless components of “The Greatest Show on Earth.”

Each spring for the past nine years, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has come to Mason’s Patriot Center to wow tens of thousands of kids and adults alike with soaring acrobats and exciting daredevils; each year promising to be better than the last.

This year, the circus performances run from April 8 to 19. For some, the most exciting part may be the price of admission. Tickets are heavily discounted for all Mason students and employees. Tickets normally priced up to $28 can be purchased at the Patriot Center Box Office for just $12 with a Mason ID. And up to four tickets can be purchased with each ID.

Even for those who don’t attend the show inside the Patriot Center, many of the animals and carnies can be seen outside as well. Circus tents will occupy portions of Lot A starting on Friday, April 3, at 11 p.m. (The circus will completely vacate Lot A by Tuesday, April 21.)

The Patriot Center has strategically worked with the circus to minimize the amount of time and space taken in parking lots. Lot K will only be used by the circus on Monday, April 6. Also, the contractor for the Patriot Center renovation has opened up an area in Lot L for the circus.

From April 6 through April 20, those with General Lot permits may park in Lot G after 4 p.m. (normally, General Lot permits are not valid in Lot G until 5 p.m.) Lot H will be available to General Lot permit holders between 6 and 11 p.m., Monday through Friday.

As in years past, the circus elephants will make their way to the Patriot Center on foot from the Fairfax Station train stop. The train arrives at 11 p.m. on Monday, April 6, and the animals are expected to arrive on campus approximately two hours later. Night owls are welcome to watch as the mammoth beasts make their way up Route 123.

For more information on show schedules and tickets, see the Patriot Center web site.

circus ring

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