Adventures With Ahtra: El Riad Shrine Circus

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- The circus is in town! El Riad Shrine Circus is celebrating its 76th year at the Sioux Falls Area from Thursday, April 20 through Sunday, April 23.

The El Riad Shriners bring the circus to Sioux Falls every year to help raise money for their group, which “promotes the community,” according to Shriner Ried Jensen. He says this year’s show will feature some favorite returning acts, as well as new acts. El Riad Shriner Chairman Larry Miller says organizing the event is challenging, but their hundreds of volunteers help everything run smoothly.

Courtesy of El Riad Shrine

The Denny Sanford Premiere Center is offering park-and-ride options for those attending the circus. Starting at 5 p.m. on Thursday and Saturday, people are welcome to park at the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds north parking lot along Madison Street and be shuttled at no cost to the Denny. As always, free parking is also available in the four lots at the Denny, as well as at the McCarthy Fields on Western Avenue. Carpooling and arriving early is encouraged!

One of the acts featured in the circus is Bardo Garcia in the “Wheel of Destiny.” To see Garcia’s act, watch the video above. Garcia comes from eight generations of circus performers and travels around the world with his act.

The El Riad Shrine Circus features a variety of exotic animals, like tigers. Ryan Holder is a travelling tiger trainer who cares for and performs with six of his own tigers. Holder says taking care of his animals is a 24-hour job. In fact, Holder describes himself as “one of the biggest animal lovers there is.” Their health and safety are his top priority. Holder says he’s careful not to work them too hard, so he only performs with four tigers at a time. Holder’s Facebook page, “ShowMe Tigers” helps people understand how he cares for his animals. “ShowMe Tigers” also educates people on how entertainment animals are treated. To visit “ShowMe Tigers,” click here.

For more information on show times and tickets, click here.

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