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Big crowds expected for Jose Cole Circus

It's almost time to start clowning around again --the Jose Cole Circus is right around the corner.

The event is set for Monday, April 9 at the Kent Freeman Sports Arena with one 7 p.m. show.

Like it has been since 1983, the Jose Cole Circus is being sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, council 3166, which includes members from Detroit Lakes, Callaway, Lake Park and St. Mary of the Lakes Catholic Church.

Tickets for the circus can only be purchased at the door starting one hour prior to the show.

Cost is $9 for people 13 years old and up, $7 for children ages 3 to 12 and children 2 and under are free.

The Jose Cole Circus, which is based out of Minneapolis, runs for about an hour and a half, entertaining crowds with clowns, animals and acrobatics.

"I know they're fun, family-friendly shows," said Bob Heimark, Chairman of the Knights of Columbus Circus Committee. "They've got things we don't get to see on a normal day basis, so it's a chance to get out with family and friends and experience all that."

On hand will, of course, be all the sugar any kid can handle, with pop, popcorn, candy, cotton candy, nachos and more.

There will also be souvenirs, blow-up toys, hats and coloring books for purchase.

Local members of the Knights of Columbus will also be there helping with tickets and ushering people in, as will some youth from Holy Rosary School.

Although many around the area might have already taken in the Shrine Circus, a serious sell for the Jose Cole Circus is their desire to get kids there for free.

"(The Knights of Columbus) call area businesses and ask them to purchase tickets at a discount, and then those businesses can either give them away to area youth or they'll send them to the Knights of Columbus and we give them away," said Heimark, adding that this year 221 local businesses bought tickets from the KC.

Heimark says the Knights of Columbus is giving some of those tickets away to places like the Boys and Girls Club, Holy Rosary, area group homes and Special Olympic groups, while some businesses give them to area Head Start students and other youth groups.

"It gets to be pretty full, and this year we are expecting one of our biggest crowds ever," said Heimark.

Last year the Knights of Columbus was able to net roughly $1,300 from the circus, which they then turn around and donate to the community and Catholic Church projects.

This year, Heimark says he's certain they've already surpassed that.

"We give to charities like the Crisis Center, the Becker County Food Pantry, the Boys and Girls Club ... so we use that money to support our community and our churches," said Heimark.