"You are my sweet heart, huh? You're my babies." Ian Garden said as he kissed a pair of camels.
Garden loves the circus. How couldn't he? It's been in his blood for four generations. His great-grandfather started a touring circus.
"I would say you're not going to find too many people in this industry that don't have a generation or two in their back pocket," he said.
The Piccadilly Circus is invading the East Peoria Event Center this weekend. According to Garden, it features all the acrobatic acts and tricks you can imagine. There are lots of animals. Garden says the animals, like his zebras, are pretty talented.
"I send them in. I make them waltz. I change directions. They do what's called no bleak, when one puts their head on the other one's back," he said.
Then, there's Oka the Elephant. She's the only elephant in North America that balances all four legs on a ball.
"What she does, she'll get up on their tub and then she proceeds to get up on a ball, that actually is not stable. It rolls," Garden said.
To Garden, acts like Oka the Elephant, and the high-flying Romanian trapeze artists, never get old. But that's not why he does it.
"You know I get out in that ring everyday, and one of the greatest feelings of all is those people are cheering and clapping at whatever you're doing in there. And that makes it all rewarding," he said.
The show will runs three times per day until Sunday. To purchase tickets, visit www.thefuncircus.com, or call 877-373-0477.