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Karen's Performing Canines

Karen's Performing Canines do a conga line at the Al Bedoo Shrine Circus in 2017 at the Shrine Auditorium.

The long-running Al Bedoo Shrine Circus returns to Billings for a 10-show run beginning April 4.

Featuring elephants, tigers, aerial acts and clowns, the circus is the main fundraiser for the Billings branch of the Shriners organization. 

After some years on hiatus, the motorcycle show "Globe of Steel" will be featured this year. The act places multiple motorcycles inside a giant metal globe, and they ride in unison at high speeds.

“We took it out for a while because the globe was just so darn big,” said Bart Hensley, circus chairman for the Al Bedoo Shrine.

The globe has been resized for its return, Hensley said.

The circus includes acts by a tiger, horses, a camel and dogs, Hensley said.

“We’ve still, of course, got our elephants,” he said.

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An elephant performs

An elephant performs for the crowd at the Al Bedoo Shrine Circus in 2017 at the Shrine Auditorium.

The use of animals in the circus caused a bit of a stir from an animal rights group last year. The same group, Montanans Against Animal Circuses, has another protest planned for this year.

Still, the show must go on.

On April 4, before the first circus show, Professor Lucky and his Animal Emporium returns for a free family presentation. He'll be on hand to dole out animal factoids and to examine how an elephant eats apples, carrots and watermelons, according to a Shriners press release.

The Emporium show begins at 4 p.m.

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Tiger jumps through a flaming hoop

A tiger jumps through a flaming hoop at the Al Bedoo Shrine Circus in 2017.

The circus shows are as follows:

  • Wednesday, April 4 at 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 5 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Friday, April 6 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 7 at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 8 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Tickets can be bought by phone at 406-259-4384, at the Shrine (1125 Broadway Ave.) or online at albedooshrine.org. Costs are $7 for kids and $15 for adults.

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