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Circus cancels appearance at NIU

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 11:18 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 8:34 p.m. CDT

DeKALB – Northern Illinois University will not host the circus that caused an uproar among students and faculty.

Carden Entertainment on Tuesday canceled its March 4 Circus Spectacular event, blaming inclement weather and travel conditions.

“Our main goal is to ensure the safety of our animals and performers while also providing a great entertainment experience for all patrons in attendance at our shows. The weather conditions have made it extremely difficult to navigate from each of our event locations,” Bill Cunningham of Agente Entertainment, Inc., the operator of Carden Entertainment’s original three ring circus, said in a prepared statement.

Mitch Irwin, an assistant anthropology professor, started an online petition in January asking NIU to cancel the circus based on the “horrific” way circus animals are treated. The petition garnered 2,700 signatures.

“I think we are setting a higher ethical standard and putting more forethought into the events we book,” Irwin said, adding he had his doubts that it was the weather and not the opposition that caused circus officials to cancel.

NIU’s Student Senate Association also opposed the circus coming to NIU.

Ticket refunds for the Convocation Center event will be available starting at 10 a.m. Friday.

For questions regarding ticket refunds, please contact the Convocation Center at 815-752-6800.

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