The Culpepper & Merriweather Circus is coming to Basehor for two performances Sept. 8. 

The big top will be set up behind Casey’s, just off 155th and State Avenue. Shows will begin at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The show is sponsored by the Basehor Chamber of Commerce.

The day will kick off as the animals are unloaded and the familiar circus big top is erected and rigged for performances later that day. The colorful circus tent will be raised about 9:30 a.m. Visitors can go on a free tour and hear the history of the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus.

On the day of the show, the Midway will open at 4 p.m. Pony rides, concessions and a moon bounce house will be available. The evening performances will include a trapeze act, prancing ponies, unicycles and tight-rope walkers. Original music and elaborate costumes help create the authentic circus atmosphere.

Of course, no circus would be complete without exotic animals. Big cats Delilah and Francis will also be showcased in a special act. 

Due to the publicity and sensitivity of how circus animals are cared for, circus officials ensure their animals are seen by a veterinarian every month. Staff will be on hand during the morning of the performance to field any questions about the health, training and feeding of the animals.

Advance tickets may be purchased at Basehor City Hall, Basehor Community Library, Citizens Savings & Loan, Community National Bank, First State Bank & Trust of Basehor, First State Bank & Trust of Tonganoxie and First Legend Bank & Trusts of Kansas City, Kansas. Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for seniors over 65 as well as children ages 2 to 12. Children under 2 will be admitted at no charge. Tickets purchased on the day of the show are $13 for adults and $8 for children and seniors.

The Culpepper & Merriweather Great Circus began in 1985 when Robert Johnson, Jim Hebert and Curtis Cainan started their circus by taking turns announcing, performing and selling concessions during performances. They decided to not sell tickets but rather passed a hat at the end of each performance to collect donations. Over the years, they added other employees, additional equipment and animal performers. The circus is currently based out of Hugo, Oklahoma.

Beth Kornegay is a freelance writer covering news and events in the city of Basehor. If you have a story idea, email her at