Fans crowd the big top despite threats

Fans crowd the big top despite threats
Kelly Miller Circus draws a crowd in Perry (Source: WOIO)

PERRY, OH (WOIO) - It's crowded under the big top at Kelly Miller Circus in Perry in Lake County. Organizers wouldn't have it any other way.

"Blue skies, green grass, happy people, happy animals," said ringmaster Rebecca Ostroff.

Still, police are cautious.

"We have some officers who are here who are already working the road, but there are officers working specifically designed for the circus," explained Perry Police Sergeant Clint Ovalle.

Animal rights activists claim the circus is not treating its stars properly, saying the animals are being abused.

Most protesters sounded off online by starting petitions to shut the show down, even posting video on YouTube.

Others, police say, took it way too far.

According to law enforcement, Kelly Miller Circus has been receiving threats. In particular, gun threats caused one night of performances to be
canceled in the South Russell Village area.

Just in case, Perry Police had extra officers on duty Thursday night and put up a fence for protesters, but none showed up.

Circus lovers, now that's another story.

Barbara Howley says she and her grandchildren would not miss the show.

"I just can't live my life in fear. These are my most prized possessions, I wouldn't have brought them here if I thought they were in danger," she said.

"If there was any kind of a gun threat I don't think it was serious," said circus-goer Kat Fleming.

Several more shows are scheduled for Friday and the weekend in northeast Ohio.

Copyright 2015 WOIO. All rights reserved.