When the Grand Theater Restoration Project members hold a fundraiser to benefit ongoing work at the Grand Theater in downtown Steubenville, they do so with an entertainment element in mind.
And there's a reason for that.
It's because, according to Francesca Carinci, Grand Theater restoration enthusiast, the theater will be a venue for entertainment once the work is all finished on this long-term project.
From left, Francesca Carinci, Scott Dressel and Melanie VanNuys, Grand Theater Restoration Project
representatives, are ready for Monday’s circus.
That's a day I'll look forward to, by the way, having been around to have witnessed the project beginning and especially since I have memories of having gone to the theater in my youth.
So next up on the raise-money agenda is yet another entertainment-oriented fundraiser - a Big Top circus at the Fort Steuben Mall parking lot on Monday with two shows set: one at 4:30 p.m., the other at 7:30 p.m.
This is entertainment that's great for the entire family and kids of all ages, according to Carinci, committee member Melanie VanNuys and Scott Dressel, chairman of the group working to restore the South Fourth Street theater.
The trio got together recently to talk about the fundraiser, donning red clown noses for the occasion.
Though there have been circuses in Steubenville at the former St. John Arena in years past, this is the first Big Top in town since the 1960s, the likes of which I've never experienced. It's not an arena-type circus, they emphasized.
"This is under a huge tent," said Carinci, who will serve as the guest ringmaster and take a spin on an elephant, not an entirely new mode of transportation for this local attorney who has ridden a pachyderm during her travels to India, Burma and Thailand.
She's ridden a camel before, too, in Egypt, so this is not her first circus, say her co-committee members.
The Carson and Barnes Circus is bringing its show to the area and is the largest under-canvas Big Top show still traveling across the United States. It's in its 76th year. There will be elephants, horses, ponies and dogs doing tricks in the center ring, and there will be a high-wire motorcycle and the Dual Wheel of Destiny and other acts. Alex the King of Circus Comedy also will be on hand.
The Big Top tent will be erected Monday morning. There will be a free petting zoo, and elephant and camel rides will be available on the circus midway which opens an hour before showtime.
There also will be food.
The circus is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals, the three pointed out.
Visit the Grand Theater Restoration Project Facebook page and website for information.
Advance children's tickets are $6, and adult tickets are $14 (or $10 with the discount coupon or if people "like us" on Facebook. At the gate, children's tickets are $8 and adult tickets, $16.
Tickets can be purchased on the circus website at BigTopShow.com or at the Center of Music and Art in Wintersville, Village Sleep Center on Sunset Boulevard, Two Brothers Dry Cleaners on North Fourth Street, Nelson Fine Arts on Lincoln Avenue and Carinici's office on the ninth floor of the Sinclair Building above Huntington Bank at Fourth and Market streets.
There are $4 discount coupons available at area businesses.
It sounds to me like fun and a lot of Kodak moments.