Circus coming to Jefferson

Ringling Brothers descendant to be honored

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  • Cindy the elephant carries circus performer Deya Rosales with her trunk at Kelly Miller Circus. Photo by Rick Purdue

  • Mongolian aerialists, Mendbayar Chuluunbaatar and Chandmanizaya Tserendorj, perform at Kelly Miller Circus. Photo by Rick Purdue

  • John Ringling North II, producer and owner of Kelly Miller Circus. Mr. North is the great nephew of the famous Ringling brothers and the only living Ringling in the world to own a circus. Photo by Jason and Justin Senft

JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP — When Kelly Miller Circus rolls into Jefferson on Thursday, June 22, John Ringling North II, the show’s producer and owner, will be the one standing in the spotlight, as Mayor Russell W. Felter presents him with the key to the city.

Ringling North, great nephew of the famous Ringling brothers and the only living Ringling in the world to own a circus, will receive the honor during a special ceremony at the 4:30 pm show. Kelly Miller Circus’ arrival in Jefferson Township will be a sort of homecoming for the Ringling owned circus, as Jefferson was home to Alfred T. Ringling, one of the seven famous Ringling brothers.

Completed in 1916, Alfred T. Ringling’s 26 room, three-floor manor house stood on an estate of 1,000 acres and was also the winter quarters for the short-lived R.T. Richards Circus, owned and named for 21-year-old Richard T. Ringling, the son of Alfred. Ringling Manor remains standing to this day and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In the summer of 2016, John Ringling North II was delighted to have the opportunity to visit Ringling Manor when Kelly Miller Circus was performing nearby. He was quite impressed with the size of the manor house and is excited to start summer with shows in Jefferson Township.

Billed as “America’s One Ring Wonder!”, Kelly Miller Circus is coming to Jefferson as a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Jefferson-Sparta and their various charitable community projects.

Circus day will start bright and early with the arrival of the circus to Fireman’s Field - 750 Route 15 South, Lake Hopatcong, across the street from Jefferson Diner. Everyone is invited to watch the animals being unloaded and fed and at 9:00 am witness the raising of the giant big top.

Show times are 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm and will include a galaxy of stars from many nations, an exotic display of animals, all enhanced with beautiful theatrical lighting and lively music for a performance to warm the hearts of young and old alike. The circus midway offers elephant, camel, and pony rides and opens one hour before show time. Advance tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for children. Tickets at the door are $16 for adults, $8 for children. Children 2 years old and younger are free.

Advance tickets are available by calling Russ at 973-202-8726, online at, or in person at the following locations: Camp Jefferson in Lake Hopatcong (81 Weldon Rd.), Jefferson Dairy in Lake Hopatcong (741 Route 15 South), Crossroads Deli in Oak Ridge (5726 Berkshire Valley Road), Working Deli in Oak Ridge (5561 Berkshire Valley Road), AJ’s Country Cone in Oak Ridge (5711 Berkshire Valley Rd.), Lakeland Bank in Oak Ridge (5729 Berkshire Valley Rd.), First Hope Bank in Sparta (220 Woodport Rd.), and Rose City Framemakers in Sparta (19 Main St.).

Come see a real circus under a big top! At Kelly Miller Circus you will experience the magic of one of America's greatest cultural institutions as it has been experienced for over 200 years! Kelly Miller Circus will be in select New Jersey towns on the following June dates: Berlin-10&11, Woodstown-12&13, Eagleswood-14&15, Lakehurst-16, Columbus-17,18,&19, Jefferson Township-22, Carteret-24, West Milford-25. Visit for venues and show times.

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