Sunday, April 5, 2009


Festival named one of the "Top Twenty Events in the Southeast" by the Southeast Tourism Society and "Favorite Family Event" by the readers of Parents & Kids magazine...
April 18th and 19th
Freedom Ridge Park
 Dora of Dora the Explorer, Diego of Go, Diego, Go,
SpongeBob SquarePants from the hit series SpongeBob SquarePants
and Noggin's Moose and Zee,
The Backyard Circus, Zoppe (An Italian Family Circus), Skin & Bones Comedy Circus, 
Fearless Flores Family (Wheel or Thrills and Globe of Death),
rides and hands-on activities!
Saturday, April 18
Gates Open at 9:00 am
Sunday, April 19
Gates Open at Noon
Gates Close Both Day at 6:00 p.m.

ZOPPE' An Italian Family Circus
Starring Nino the clown, the ZOPPE' circus is propelled by a central story that features acrobatic feats, equestrian showmanship, canine capers, clowning and plenty of audience participation.  Giovanni Zoppe', the sixth-generation circus performer who plays Nino, says the show aims higher than most circuses these days.  "We try to touch every emotion during the show," he says.  "They'll laugh, they'll cry and they'll feel for our characters.  It's more of an event than a show." Four 30 minute shows on Saturday and three on Sunday. Seating is limited to first 500 guests for each show.

Backyard Circus
An old-fashioned backyard circus where as many as thirty children from the audience have the opportunity to dress up and be the circus performers.  The show includes a lion tamer, strongman, butterfly ballerinas and tightrope walker. During the grand finale one lucky kid is shot out of a cannon, not a real cannon, but it is a great ending to the "World's Greatest Backyard Circus." Four 30-minute shows on Saturday and three on Sunday.

A Grizzly Experience
Experience an in-depth, up-close and personal look into the life of North America's most feared predator, the Alaskan Grizzly Bear. Watch as Tonk, the 7 foot tall, 500 pound juvenile Grizzly Bear delights crowds of all ages with his impressive size and amazing behaviors. Throughout the day patrons can witness Tonk and his handlers interacting and showing the amazing bond between Grizzly and man. During each daily show, Tonk will perform many of his natural behaviors and a brief lecture will be given on the anatomy of a bear, what to do if you encounter a bear in the wild, and the magic of how bears are trained for the movies. Three shows daily. Exhibit going on throughout the festival. At the end of the show patrons will be given the opportunity to have their photograph safely taken with "Tonk the Alaskan Grizzly Bear" for a small donation.

The Fearless Flores Family                                                                                                                    Ricardo and Arcelia perform on their motorcycles in the Globe of Death.  Also, watch Ricardo perform acrobatics on the Wheel of Thrills. Four shows on Saturday and three shows on Sunday.
Kiddy Midway
Three carnival rides for kids plus a merry-go-round that parents and kids can ride together.  Ongoing throughout the festival.

Pony Rides
Kids can ride the ponies as many times as they want.  Children can also dress up like a cowboy/cowgirl and have their picture taken at the adjacent booth for $10 and have the option to purchase a frame.  Cash only.  Ongoing throughout the festival.

Temporary Tattoos
Always a festival favorite, children can have various festival designs airbrushed on their face. Ongoing throughout the festival.
Skin & Bones Comedy Circus
Husband and wife team up as clowns...Mariah Skinner and Bob Bone have been presenting a unique show of animals, skill and comedy since 1981.  Bob was trained at the Barnum & Bailey Clown College and has appeared with many circuses over the years.  Each show includes various combinations of trained dogs, potbellied pigs, low wire walking, juggling, magic and plenty of laughs!  Four 30-minute shows on Saturday and three on Sunday.
Clowning Around
Mississippi's favorite clown, Inky the Clown, conducts workshops demonstrating how to perform various clown skills.  He will also entertain when workshops are not in session. Ongoing throughout the festival.
Nylon Zoo                                                                                                                                                    The Nylon Zoo is a choreographed participatory event where festival guests are the dancers and performers.  They can fly like a bird, hop like a frog or rabbit, twirl in a rainbow cape, swim like a fish or bobble like a hoopla mushroom.  The costumes fit all ages from 2 to 102 and are designed to make people MOVE!  Ongoing throughout the festival. 
Stay Tooned
Local cartoonist, John Read, will show children how to draw some of their favorite cartoon characters. Ongoing throughout the festival.
World's Smallest Horse
You won't believe your eyes! It's really a horse! Ongoing throughout the festival.

Kid Karaoke
Kids can perform children's songs on a kid-sized stage. Ongoing throughout the festival.

Magic Tent
Robert Day, Mississippi Magician, shows families how to do magic tricks.  He will entertain between sessions. Ongoing throughout the festival.

Train Rides
Parents and kids can ride the train around the festival grounds over and over again.  ALL ABOARD! Ongoing throughout the festival.

Hat Making
Children can use their imaginations to create wild clown hats, ringmaster hats and outrageous crowns!  Ongoing throughout the festival.

Provided by the City of Ridgeland Recreation & Parks Department, children will have the opportunity to safely be "up close and personal" with big trucks and heavy equipment. Ongoing throughout the festival.

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