Circus Funtastic is coming to Billings, May 23 - 24 at MetraPark (May 22 in Hardin) and if you decide to go to the show, you might notice one big circus element will be missing... the animals. No lions, tigers, bears or elephants will be seen at this production.

Courtesy Circus Funtastic, used with permission

Circus Funtastic has no connection to the Shrine Circus.

The Shrine Circus was a Billings tradition for nearly 70 years. The annual 5 day, 10 show event would typically draw around 15,000 attendees. It was a substantial fundraiser. What would have been the 69th edition was cancelled in 2020 because of COVID-19 and Shriner Jason Smith confirmed today (5/17) that the Al Bedoo Shrine Circus will not be returning for 2021.

Michael Foth - Townsquare Media

Will the circus be the same without the animals?

Some fans may lament the lack of elephants and big cats, but Circus Funtastic promises a show with all your favorite circus attractions. With tight rope walkers, speed jugglers, clowns, dancers, "fearless daredevils" and more, it should be quite the spectacle. Kids likely won't notice the lack of animals.

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Courtesy Circus Funtastic, used with permission

They heyday of the circus has passed.

In 2017, the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus ended a 146 year run. USA Today reported at the time that costly legal battles with animal rights groups combined with rising costs and dropping attendance were the major reasons the show called it quits. Naturally, PETA was pleased.

Circus Funtastic will have four performances at Metra Park.

  • May 23rd - 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm
  • May 24th - 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm

There are also two shows in Hardin on May 22nd at 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm. Tickets are $15 adult ($20 at the gate) and $5 for kids age 2 - 11. Tickets can be found HERE.

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