On Friday, May 6, Culpepper & Merriweather Great Combined Circus will be hosting two shows at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. under the big top on Armory Road in Hawthorne next to the Tiny Cardenas Memorial Field. Sponsored by the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce, the circus will feature fun for people of all ages.

The Culpepper & Merriweather circus has been around since 1985, originally founded by Robert Johnson, Curtis Cainan, and Jim Hebert. Each show features 90 minutes of fast-paced fun with exotic animals and high-flying aerialists.

New for 2022, the circus will be showing off the Loyal Family 10th Generation bareback riders, Kelly Leeth on aerial silks, Logan Jimenez with his cockatoos, The Keeth Duo on an aerial cradle, and many longtime favorites. All its animals are captive bred (most of them are rescues), licensed and inspected by the USDA, and seen by a veterinarian every month. Siblings Golden Tabby tigers Delilah and Solomon as well as Wendell the Lion are audience favorites.

“The organizers of Culpepper & Merriweather contacted us last summer and asked if we wanted to put on the circus here in Hawthorne, and they set the date to include as part of their Nevada circuit- they go through Tonopah and up to Yerington and Fallon.

“This is an exciting thing for us. We haven’t had a circus here in at least 15 years,” says Chamber of Commerce President Gloria Lopez. She’s most excited about seeing the flying trapeze artists.

“I enjoy acrobatic shows and animals,” she smiles.

Tickets cost $12 for adults or $7 for children ages 12 and under and seniors. You can buy tickets at Annie’s Place, Bodies at Work, Clark’s Liquor, Flowers by Ness, Glamour on Main, Joe’s Tavern, Old Nevada Pizza, or Patricia’s Warehouse.

Every morning at 9:30 a.m., Culpepper & Merriweather also offers a free tour of the circus grounds open to everyone where the community can watch the tent rise and get up close and personal with the animals.

“I hope the community can come out and support this with it being so close to the Armed Forces Day event. Some of the kids here have never seen a circus; it’s been so long since we’ve had one- and so I hope this is something they can come to and remember,” Lopez adds.