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Fair guests in for a treat with main grounds entertainment

CASSOPOLIS — Some of the world’s largest land mammals will be taking the center stage this year at the Cass County Fair. 

The 2021 Cass County Fair main grounds event, which is free with admission, is Elephant Encounter. Daily shows will be hosted at the fairgrounds. Fair organizers said passersby will not want to miss these social, intelligent animals’ performances.

Elephant Encounter is led by the Carden family, which has been showcasing Asian elephants and other animals in the entertainment industry for more than 60 years. The Carden International Circus, which runs the elephant show, was started by Larry Carden. The show was then taken over by his son, George. Now Larry Carden’s grandsons, Brett and Larry Dean, also work on the show. 

The creatures Elephant Encounter showcases eat around 10,000 pounds and 30 boxes of fresh produce a week and 25 pounds of special grain daily.

One person excited to see the elephants at the fair is Brian Kuemin, Cass County Fair Board president, who said the display offers an entertainment option for those who cannot attend grandstand headliners.

Each year, the fair board anticipates some guests will opt out of paying additional costs for grandstand events at night. However, that does not mean they miss out on all of the fun, Kuemin said.

“We like to try to provide free entertainment on the fairgrounds,” Kuemin said. “For a long time, we’ve tried to provide two or three free shows during the week, during the day, and early evening for families.”

In fair weeks past, animal displays have been a big hit with fairgoers, he said. It has been several years since elephants have been a part of fair week.

“We thought it was a good time to bring them back since animals have been very popular for people to come out and see,” Kuemin said.

Previous animal displays have included big cats, alligators and sea lions.

For more information about entertainment options at the Cass County Fair, visit mycasscountyfair.com.

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