Clowning Around in Siouxland, Sioux City

20 Feb

This weekend the International Shrine Clown Association held a mid-winter convention in Sioux City, Iowa, where Shrine clowns from across the U.S., Canada and Mexico participated in clowning around. I attended a Saturday session of clowns performing their skits. The local Abu Bekr Shrine has sponsored an annual circus visit to Sioux City for many years in the spring and participate in local events and bringing smiles to children. According to the local Shrine’s website “The Shrine’s charitable arm is the Shriners Hospitals for Children, a network of twenty-two hospitals in the United States, Mexico and Canada. It was originally formed to treat young victims of polio, but as that disease was controlled, they broadened their scope. They now deal with orthopedic care, burn treatment, cleft lip and palate care and spinal cord injury rehabilitation.”

It appears that many of the clowns are older, having been members of their various local Shrines for years. And in tradition of clowning, their antics and skits are a bit old fashioned and sophomoric. But still fun. The sad part was seeing this open-to-the-public event was not well attended by the public. Sometimes I wonder if local media anymore really helps publicize such charitable goings on more than a quick story or video a day before and a brief description in a calendar of events.

Nonetheless, it was entertaining and the clowns actually very polished in presenting their skits. Nothing amateurish about these men and their love of craft. Something children of all ages would have greatly enjoyed.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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