This past weekend Nashville had a circus in town. From October 4th – 6th the Al Menah Shrine Circus performed at the Municipal Auditorium.
The circus began in 1943 to furnish members of the Al Menah Shrine, their families, and underprivileged kids of Middle Tennessee with fun entertainment. When the Shrine Circus first started underprivileged children from orphanages and low income communities came to the Saturday morning matinee for free. They provided the children with food, drinks and souvenirs for the show.
Originally the circus took place at the Sulpher Dell ballpark, later moving in 1958 to The Coliseum at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. It remained there until that location burned down in 1970.
Since then the show’s home has been at the Municipal. To this day the circus still continues the matinee for underprivileged kids, with more than three million spectators being entertained by the show over the years. The circus plans on continue this tradition will annually Nashville for many years to come.