Cole Brothers Circus has informed representatives of the Havelock Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 7315 that they are cancelling shows planned for April 18-21 in Havelock.
A frustrated George Cook reported late Wednesday just before press time that the show was off.
“We got confirmation this morning that the circus is cancelling. They are having trouble getting migrant workers to help set it up,” Cook said. They needed 55,000 to get started and they didn’t have it so they just cancelled it for the year. It’s closed for now.”
The show has been off again, on again, this spring. The last word had been that the circus would come without animals, but now the whole show is kaput.
“It’s over. Done,” Cook said.
Cook thought the VFW had a contract, but he didn’t hear back from the circus representative and reached out to find out what was happening.
“I called him. I was sitting around waiting and waiting and waiting. I’ve got a lot of stuff to do. I can’t wait till the last minute and tell people ‘Okay, the circus is coming, now sell all these tickets,” said Cook. “It’s stringing along hoping and hoping and then, nothing.”
The event has been held for about 20 years as the main fundraiser for the VFW here.
“We’ve got our money back. We put $1,500 out for the water and the park and I went and got all that back this morning,” said Cook. “I went around and told everybody who was going to sell tickets for this morning and tell them that it has been cancelled.”
Cook’s contact with the circus has quit and is working with another show of some kind, he said.
“It was the protesters. They never protested here, but they did in Wilmington. It was because of them that they got rid of the elephants and everything. They just couldn’t take it anymore,” Cook said.
The show raised thousands of dollars for the VFW and its causes over the years.
“I enjoyed being out there helping people, helping the wheelchairs, and everything,” Cook said. “We all looked forward to it.”