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Loomis Bros. Circus visit to Civic Center a hit

August 13, 2014
Lehigh Acres Citizen

For the hundreds of children who came to the Loomis Bros. Circus at the Lee Civic Center on Wednesday and Thursday, it would be one of the last true blasts of the summer before school begins.

And they couldn't have chosen a better time to see jugglers, acrobats, lions and clowns up close during the four shows.

People also got a chance to get their faces painted, ride an elephant and have fun on the bounce slide.

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Mataya and Tatum Rivera, 19 months, have their faces painted and are ready to watch the Loomis Bros. Circus at the Lee Civic Center on Thursday.

"We have something for everyone. We find all ages love the show. We've had some good response from the area," said ringmaster/owner Justin Loomis, who brought his show to Lee County for the first time. "It seems the later shows have been doing better and word of mouth has helped us."

To be in the circus, it has to be in your blood. That's why many performers grew up watching their parents perform.

Yaroslav Matagriov, 18, from Lakeland, performs a balancing act and has been part of the circus much of his life.

"It's a good feeling to go out and perform. My parents have been doing it for much of their lives, too," said Matagriov, whose parents performed a quick change routine where mom switched into nine different costumes in three minutes.

For some, it was just something to do during vacation. Alyssa Gerbino, from Staten Island, N.Y., was visiting her parents and decided to give the circus a try.

"We thought it would be a fun thing for the kids. We all like the circus. Hoping for a great show," Gerbino said.

They got one, from contortionists to trapeze artists, and even clowns. Kasha the Clown made several appearances throughout the night as he tried to perform magic and got the crowd to dance, infuriating the ringmaster who ordered him to clean up the ring.

The family of Elizer Arvalo, of Lehigh Acres, really enjoyed it. His kids all had their faces painted and they all loved different parts of the show.

Elizer enjoyed the clown, while stepson Chris, 13, enjoyed the dogs and Louis, 9, enjoyed the tigers, thus the tiger face paint.

"I liked the tigers because they went through the fire," Louis said.

"I liked the dogs because they kept on jumping higher and higher," Lucia, 8, said. "I liked the little kids was helping him. He was cute."



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