When Kelly Miller Circus rolls into Jefferson Township on Thursday, June 22, John Ringling North II, the show’s producer and owner, will be the one standing in the spotlight, as Township Mayor Russell W. Felter presents him with the key to the city.
Ringling North II, great nephew of the famous Ringling brothers and the only living Ringling in the world to own a circus, will receive the honor during a special ceremony at the 4:30 p.m. show. Kelly Miller Circus’ arrival in Jefferson Township will be a sort of homecoming for the Ringling owned circus, as Jefferson was home to Alfred T. Ringling, one of the seven famous Ringling brothers.
Completed in 1916, Alfred T. Ringling’s 26 room, three-floor manor house stood on an estate of 1,000 acres and was also the winter quarters for the short-lived R.T. Richards Circus, owned and named for 21-year-old Richard T. Ringling, the son of Alfred. Ringling Manor remains standing to this day and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In the summer of 2016, John Ringling North II was delighted to have the opportunity to visit Ringling Manor when Kelly Miller Circus was performing nearby. He was quite impressed with the size of the manor house and is excited to start summer with shows in Jefferson Township.
Billed as “America’s One Ring Wonder!”, Kelly Miller Circus is coming to Jefferson as a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Jefferson-Sparta and their various charitable community projects.
Circus day will start bright and early with the arrival of the circus to Fireman’s Field – 750 Route 15 South, Lake Hopatcong, across the street from the Jefferson Diner. Everyone is invited to watch the animals being unloaded and fed and at 9 a.m. witness the raising of the giant big top.
Show times are 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and will include a galaxy of stars from many nations, an exotic display of animals, all enhanced with beautiful theatrical lighting and lively music for a performance to warm the hearts of young and old alike. The circus midway offers elephant, camel, and pony rides and opens one hour before show time. Advance tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for children. Tickets at the door are $16 for adults, $8 for children. Children 2 years and younger are free.
Advance tickets are available by calling Russ Wilhelmsen at 973-202-8726, online at kellymillercircus.com, or in person at the following locations: Camp Jefferson Recreation Office at 81 Weldon Rd., Lake Hopatcong, Jefferson Dairy at 741 Route 15 South, Lake Hopatcong, Crossroads Deli at 5726 Berkshire Valley Road, Oak Ridge, Working Deli at 5561 Berkshire Valley Road, Oak Ridge, AJ’s Country Cone at 5711 Berkshire Valley Road, Oak Ridge, Lakeland Bank at 5729 Berkshire Valley Road, Oak Ridge, First Hope Bank, 220 Woodport Road, Sparta, and Rose City Frameworkers at 19 Main Street, Sparta.
At Kelly Miller Circus you will experience the magic of one of America’s greatest cultural institutions as it has been experienced for over 200 years! Visit kellymillercircus.com for more upcoming New Jersey tour dates.
This story was provided by the Rotary Club of Jefferson-Sparta.