Elephants will parade in Youngstown

The circus will arrive Wednesday in a 53-car train.
YOUNGSTOWN -- It isn't every day that you see a procession of elephants in downtown Youngstown.
But Wednesday morning, a 10-pachyderm parade -- along with llamas, horses, ponies, goats and dogs -- will take a 20-minute stroll down Front Street to the Chevrolet Centre, where they will entertain in the Ringling Bros.-Barnum & amp; Bailey Circus.
For obvious reasons, the tigers will be brought in under more controlled conditions, said Sarah Irvin, who handles publicity for the circus.
The Greatest Show on Earth's arrival will be a spectacle in itself.
A 53-car train will pull into town Wednesday morning. The animal cars will be parked on a siding just west of the Market Street Bridge, while the cars housing equipment and performers will be left on the tracks parallel to Poland Avenue, in the Performance Park area.
Shortly after the train's arrival, the animals will be walked up Phelps Street to Front Street. Under a police escort, they will then turn right onto Front Street and walk the three blocks to Chevrolet Centre.
Irvin stressed that the circus cannot give an exact time for the animal walk because the train's arrival time cannot be accurately predicted. The exact time of the animal walk won't be known until Wednesday morning.
Temporary holding pens are being constructed in the parking lot behind the arena for the animals, who will stay there during the duration of the circus. Equipment for the circus will be trucked from the rail cars to the arena Wednesday morning.
Pre-show events
Ticket-holders will be able to see the animals up close in their holding pens at a one-hour animal open house, which will begin 90 minutes before each show.
Also, a pre-show event will be take place one hour before each show inside the arena. Ticket-holders can come down to the arena floor, where clowns and other performers will mingle with children and adults, and an elephant will "paint" a picture with his trunk.
Circus showtimes are 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday; and 1 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available at the Chevrolet Centre box office, online at www.gettix.net, or by calling (866) 443-8849.

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