About Us

The St. Paul Osman Shrine Circus will be celebrating our 97th season in 2021. Our performances are at the Lee and Rose Warner Coliseum at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.

History of the Shrine Circus

On February 26, 2021, America's Shrine Circus is one hundred and fifteen years old, and although past the century mark, it is still a vital institution, bringing quality entertainment to over 120 cities and towns every year.  The Shrine Circus began life at the Light Guard Armory in Detroit, Michigan for Moslem Shrine Temple.  The Armory was demolished several years ago, but a state historical marker at the former site proudly proclaims its contribution to circus history.

The circus was originally a one ring affair, but by 1925 it had grown to three rings. That year it transferred to a larger building at the State Fair Grounds. There it continued to grow and prosper.

By the 1920's Shrine Circuses were being conducted throughout the country, and each year additional Shrines introduced circuses to their communities. The first Shrine Circus each year is usually in Flint, Michigan in January. Then there is at least one Shrine Circus each week until late November. The last ones usually are held Thanksgiving week in Evansville, Indiana and New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Circus and the Shrine are a natural combination. Shriners are fun-loving men devoted to raising money to support their children's hospitals and burn units, and the circus is an institution designed specifically to entertain - with a bent towards children. In fact, many Shrine Circuses include Shriners as clowns and musicians.

Over the years, just about every circus star has appeared in the Shrine Circus: Clyde Beatty, the Wallendas, Emmett Kelly, the Flying Concellos, and the Zacchinis. At the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Shrine Circus, a special benefit performance was held to honor some of these circus greats, and an association to preserve Shrine Circus history was established.

The 115th anniversary is a real milestone, and we invite you to be part of the celebration. We hope you enjoy our presentation of one of America's national treasures, the Shrine Circus - more than one hundred years young.

About the Lee and Rose Warner Coliseum

The Lee and Rose Warner Coliseum is located right on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. The Coliseum is about the size that a real big top would have been during the peak years of the American traveling circus. There are only 15 rows of coliseum seating with a total capacity of about 5000 people. All the excitement of a big top with the convenience of a permanent, indoor, heated, arena. Food, novelties, rides, face painting, pictures with the clowns and more are available before the performance and at intermission.