The big top will go up in Westminster tomorrow as the Fraternal Order of Police brings the Kelly Miller Circus to town for four shows over the weekend.
Flying trapeze artists, exotic animals, clowns and entertainment will be the order of the day. Shows will be at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. tomorrow and at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Carroll County Ag Center on Smith Avenue.
"We have one big ring, European-style circus," said Ken Hatfield, Kelly Miller's promotions director. "It's like a show in the round -- all the seats are equidistant from the ring. We have a new Italian-made tent that's higher than the old one so we can have the flying trapeze acts."
The new tent is 100 feet wide, 200 feet long and 40 feet high. A custom-built lighting and special effects system has been designed for the 1995 show, which will feature many new acts.
The acts will include:
* The Perez Family, a Mexican circus family making its first appearance in the United States. The act includes a flying trapeze, pyramids and high wire.
* The Galarreta Family from Argentina, which performs an aerial cradle and aerial trapeze, perch pole and hand-balancing act.
* The Jensac Brothers acrobatic team, performing aerial gymnastics, tight wire and balancing and fire manipulation acts.
* Cindi Herriott, who does an aerial routine on the "cloud swing" and leads the six-horse Liberty Act.
* Myrna Silverlake, performing with a canine act.
"They have two big elephants and a baby elephant and the six Appaloosa horses and they are outstanding," said retired state police Capt. Bill Brooks, the FOP's local promoter. "These people really put on a good show for us."
The FOP has been bringing the Kelly Miller Circus to Carroll County for 10 years. Proceeds from ticket sales go to the Carroll County Lodge 20 FOP for community service projects, Mr. Brooks said.
An estimated 7,500 to 8,000 people saw last year's circus, and about $15,000 in profits were returned to the community, he said.
Ed Ruby, president of Lodge 20, said money from this biggest fund-raiser of the year has helped send the Francis Scott Key High School girls basketball team to camp, sponsors a Little League team, sends police officers to training seminars, and supports the Vietnam veterans and law enforcement officers' memorial funds.
Kelly Miller, based in Hugo, Okla., does only a few shows along the East Coast. From Westminster, the circus will go to Laurel Park June 5-7, the Howard County Fairgrounds off Route 70 on June 8 and to the Frederick County Fairgrounds June 9-11.
Tickets for this weekend's shows are $9 for adults at the gate and $7 for children under 12.
Information: (800) 783-6969.