From Easter Bunnies To Circus Tigers

WILKES-BARRE — Thousands will spend this week in Luzerne County eating cotton candy, watching tigers jump through hoops,  and spending time with their families  and it’s all for a good cause.

The Irem Shrine Circus is an event that keeps parents and kids coming back year after year.

If it’s Easter Monday in Luzerne County that means one thing: it’s time to transition from Easter bunnies to circus tigers, thanks to the Irem Shrine Circus.

The circus is back for its 64th year and Lee Ann Phillips of Wapwallopen is one of the thousands who also return every year to the 109th Armory with her family.

“It’s a great time. You could ask them.”

“Are you having a good time?”

“Yeah!”

She grew up coming to the circus on Easter Monday.

“It’s our tradition,” said Phillips. “My grandparents were Shriners, and they took me and my siblings for years.”

Now she keeps the tradition going with her nieces and nephews.

All of the money from the circus in Luzerne County goes to the Irem Temple organization.  It helps sick children, and supports hospitals.

And this year, the circus has more to offer.

“We brought bears in this year. They haven’t been here for several years. In addition, we have several motorcycle acts that are going to be, not on the ground, but up in the air,” said Circus Chairman John Richards.

It’s the little things that get fifth-grader Andrew Molitoris of Shavertown excited about the circus.

“I get to eat popcorn and watch circus acts on the high wire and stuff.”

But for Lee Ann Phillips, it all comes back to the family.

“It brought so many great memories to me and my brother and my sisters, and I just want to pass that along to them.”

So that maybe, in another 64 years, these kids will be back with their families.

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