Part of the 23rd Annual International Goat Days Festival will be under the big top.
With help from the Millington Lions Club, the “World’s Biggest Big Top Show!” Carson & Barnes Circus will come to USA Stadium Sept. 8 and 9 for four shows.
“It’s their way of giving back to the communities in which they run their show,” Millington Lions Club Second Vice President Vicki Green said. “They have successfully worked with Lions Club in other communities. One of our problems in bringing the circus to Millington, they do travel a route. And they’re going to be in the Millington area the same time Goat Days was going to be.”
The circus needed space for tents and sufficient parking for guest. The problem quickly turned into a solution and partnership for the Goat Days organizers and Lions Club.
“The best place to do that is USA Stadium, which was already booked,” Green noted. “So we thought we wouldn’t be able to do it. So we went over and talked to Goat Days. And they were very excited about running the circus at the same time as Goat Days. And we’re very excited to run with Goat Days. And that’s how we came together.”
Goat Days is a long-running festival started by the late Millington entrepreneur W.S. “Babe” Howard. The 2012 edition will start at 5 p.m., Sept. 7.
Some of this year’s attraction to Goat Days will be Mr. Babe’s Myotonic Mania Goat Show, Bo Hancock Chainsaw Art, Southern Sky Band, Pig Mafia BBQ Wars KCBS Sanctioned Cook Off, Circle Cross Rodeo, and much more.
The circus will roll into town that Friday night. And while the event sets up Saturday morning, Carson and Barnes will conduct a petting zoo and host a meet and greet with performers.
Then the first show is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. The second show will be at 4:30. On Sept. 9 there will be two shows at 2 and 5 p.m.
Carson and Barnes made a trip to the Millington area a few years ago performing on the Navy Base. The Circus started traveling back in 1937 with a family of performers and staff. This season the Circus Family will visit more than 250 communities across 15 states and performing more than 700 shows.
Green said she can’t wait to attend the circus hoping to see a variety of ages. Living in the Millington area for almost 30 years, Green said another family favorite in the area is Goat Days.
“I’m a big fan of Goat Days,” she said. “The Lions Club also does the (annual) Pancake Breakfast. We’ll be doing the Pancake Breakfast and then we’ll run over and do our duties with the Circus.”
This will be the first year a circus joins the festivities at Goat Days. Green said both events will draw large crowds to help the other’s attendance.
“I would like to sell out all four shows,” she added. “The Circus seats 2,000. I would like for them to have a successful run in Millington so we can bring them back year after year. Maybe become a tradition.”
Green said she hopes the Circus adds to the appeal of Goat Days. And she would love to see local residents embrace the Millington institution.
“Goat Days is a unique local festival,” she concluded. “It celebrates a unique part of Millington. The exhibitors are often local crafts people. You get to see what they’re doing and support their craft. It’s a fun family event. And we need to have more of this type of event in our community.”
Goat Days will be held at USA Stadium located at 4351 Babe Howard Blvd., in Millington. Admission is free and parking is $5. For more information, visit www.millingtontn.gov/index.aspx?NID=367. For more information on the Circus, visit www.BigTopShow.com or www.carsonbarnescircus.com. Tickets can be purchased at he Millington Telephone Company, First Citizen Bank, and Baker Community and ITT Center (Navy personnel only).