Iowa Cold is a Big Change for Circus Performers and Animals from Florida

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Even with this cold weather, the show must go on. The circus is in town and preparations were underway early Friday ahead of the entertainment taking place this weekend.

“We`re clearing some snow off the steps,” said Frank Robey, who works in the Maintenance Department for the Iowa State Fair. “Getting ready for the Shriners Circus to happen [Friday], Saturday and Sunday.”

The steps and the sidewalks near the Jacobson Exhibition Center had to be shoveled ahead of the Shrine Circus kicking off.

Robey says the key to staying warm while working in the cold temperatures is to keep moving.

“It seems like when you’re doing a lot of hard work like shoveling snow or what not, the more clothing you have on, you start to sweat and it gets pretty uncomfortable,” said Robey. “So, I tend to go kinda lighter. I have on a wool shirt and synthetic base layer and a synthetic jacket and gloves and a hat and keep moving.”

The circus is in town from Florida.

“Us Florida people come up from Florida and we drove three, it took us almost three days to get here,” said Jennifer Walker, Animal Trainer Extraordinaire. “And, I swear when we, thank goodness the Shriners allow us to park our big rigs in this big beautiful arena that`s heated, because our animals, they`re toasty in the truck.”

This cold is a big change from Sunshine State weather.

“We`re still thawing out right now,” said Walker. “I can’t believe people live like this.”


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