The circus community has been rocked after a tragic accident last night in Providence, R.I. Eleven Ringling Brothers performers were injured, as nine of them fell approximately 30 feet while performing. The Shrine Circus opens tonight in Williston and many of the participants are still shook up.
According to the Ringmaster, Tess Emerson, the circus community is one big family, and everyone has been affected by this tragedy. This is not always a safe profession.
"It's always dangerous, and it's a very tragic accident. All of us are still very upset. Circus is one big family, and we all really care about each other. Our hearts, our prayers, our energy are really going out to those performers, their families, and the audience that was there. It's a constant reminder of how dangerous what we do is. We put our lives at risk every single day and accidents do sometimes happen," says Emerson.
Ruby Obando, a contortionist and acrobat added that, because the accident is so fresh, she will be a bit more nervous tonight.
"Obviously you get a little bit more nervous because we check, and everyone checks their things, but it does make you a little bit nervous. I think every job in this circus is dangerous," says Obando.
There are many other performances, and a wide variety animals to check out at the Shrine Circus. There is also a special trick that will debut for the first time in Williston.
"I mean there's a little bit of everything here. There are a lot of different animals and performers that do all kinds of things. We have the human cannonball which is pretty cool, and we haven't had it here in this building before. So, that’s pretty cool," says Obando.
Shows are tonight and tomorrow at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Doors open an hour early so be sure to stop by and check out the behind the scenes of the Shrine Circus