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Little Ones Big on Circus

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Neal Huff, 29, trotted alongside a parade of pachyderms Monday to give his twin 7-month-old sons a brief preview of the “greatest show on Earth.”

Linked by trunk and tail, more than a dozen elephants lumbered single-file through the city, followed by a host of horses, camels, llamas, Shetland ponies and zebras, all on their way to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus. And hundreds of children and adults lined the streets to see the show.

“It’s kind of fun to get to see them beforehand,” Huff said. “I’ve always gone to circuses. I’ve always looked forward to them.”

His boys also appeared to enjoy the spectacle. “They were just laughing and watching the elephants,” Huff said. “They were kind of amazed with the size of the elephants.”

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Just after 3 p.m., handlers unloaded 111 circus animals from a train at Cerritos Avenue and Lewis Street and led them on a street parade to the Anaheim Convention Center.

“Look, ostriches!” yelled 6-year-old Carolyn Christensen to her three companions as the llamas approached. Although Carolyn and her friends briefly debated what the animals really were, they dropped the subject as the elephants strode by.

The behemoths seemed to be the favorite attraction. “They’re just really cute, like when they go after each other’s tails with their trunks and (keep) dropping them,” said 15-year-old Jennifer Holty.

Huff said he enjoyed the sights, sounds and even the smells. "(To) see the animals, to smell the animals, kids get a big kick out of it. It’s for kids, and big kids, too.”

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The circus starts today and runs through Aug. 13 at the Anaheim Convention Center.


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