The Kelly Miller Circus made a stop in Westfield on Saturday, July 23 for two shows at the NorthLake Family Recreation Center. The day began early with the raising of the big top by the elephants around 7:30 a.m., for a crowd of around 150 people.
Later in the day, circus goers had the opportunity to feed the elephants, ride a camel or ride a pony before or after the circus’ two shows.
Once inside the big top, the magic began.
Although there was only one ring, the Kelly Miller Circus put on quite a show, entertaining for both young and old alike.
Tigers, camels and elephants performed a for the crowd. Clowns Steve and Ryan had the audience laughing with their hijinks. Fridman Torales walked upside down on hooks suspended from the tent and aerialist Nikita showed off her aerial acrobatics.
One of the most popular acts seemed to be the Poema Family’s juggling — of humans with feet — combined with some comic moments.
The patriarch of the family, Adrian Poema Sr., was the juggler, lying on his back with his feet up which he used to toss his two daughters, Cathy and Marian, into the air and catch them again.
As if this was not entertaining enough, the act included comic interruptions by Adrian Jr., who played around with the crowd and Ringmaster John Moss III before becoming part of the juggling act himself, performing double backflips off his father’s feet.
As the family’s final move, the two youngest Poema’s were attached to a long bar — the contraption looked like a dumbell with children on the ends instead of weights — which Adrian Sr., spun in circles, again using just his feet.
Also an impressive act was another juggler, Raul Olivares, who used his hands, but also an interesting array of materials. In addition to the traditional clubs, Olivares juggled up to four kick-ball sized bouncy balls, at one point bouncing one on his head while spinning another on a finger and juggling the other two with one hand, and ended his routine juggling five ping pong balls from his mouth, into the air, catching them with his hands, and putting them back in his mouth to start the cycle all over again.
Some other performances included a rope spinner Joel Falk and Sara Greene and Delana Fusco who balanced themselves in a variety of poses in slowly spinning hoops suspended from the top of the tent.
Lacie Worden, 3, of Forestville was at the circus with her, parents Tim and Clara. With her face painted like a butterfly and a large balloon in hand, she said he enjoyed the circus and her favorite act was the acrobats.
Victoria Miller, 7, of Fredonia liked the elephants the best while her brother, Chris, 12, was impressed by the tigers and, “the fact that they actually obeyed (the trainer).”
The oldest sibling, Nick, 14, commented that the camels were the most interesting to him.
“You don’t see those everyday,” he said. “They’re big animals.
Christian Hernandez, 5, of Dunkirk liked the elephants poses as well as the clowns, who made him laugh.
Not just for the young, but also for the young at heart, Marge Holmes, 85, of Brocton loved her first circus ever while Ray Turtk, 87, of Sherman was brought back to his youth when he saw the circus in New York City while in the service in 1943.
“It was like being a kid again,” he said.
The Kelly Miller Circus was in Westfield three years ago and North Lake Recreation board members Steve Cockram and Paul White declared this year’s trip a success.
For more information on the Kelly Miller Circus, visit www.kellymillercircus.com.
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Photo by Jenna Loughlin
Adrian Poema Sr., spins his son Adrian Poema Jr., with his feet during the Kelly Miller Circus on Saturday, July 23 at the NorthLake Family Recreation Center in Westfield while mother Nellie Poema looks on.