2020 Al Menah Shrine Circus
April 16-19, Williamson County Ag Expo
2019 Circus Countdown
Thursday, April 16
Friday, April 17
Saturday, April 18
Sunday, April 19
Williamson County Ag Expo Park
4215 Long Lane
Franklin, TN 37064
Al Menah Shrine Center: 615-226-7766
The Al Menah Circus originated in 1943 from a desire to furnish the Nobility and their families, community, and underprivileged children of Middle Tennessee with an opportunity for good, fun entertainment. The circus also allowed Al Menah Shriners to raise the revenue needed to maintain the civic programs started by its members.
The first circus was held at Sulphur Dell Baseball Park in September and was produced by Noble Tom Parks of Moolah Shrine Temple in St. Louis. He was a nationally known promoter and producer of outdoor circuses.
At the Saturday morning matinee, underprivileged children from orphanages and low-income communities within Al Menah's jurisdiction, attended the live and entertaining circus performances for free. Shriner units transported children throughout Middle Tennessee to and from the circus via buses, ambulances, and cars. Children were provided with food, soft drinks, and circus souvenirs – and given their choice of seats. Success was measured by the twinkle in the children's eyes and laughter by all!
The circus continued at Sulphur Dell until 1958 when it was moved to the Coliseum at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. The Coliseum served as the circus' home until it burned in 1970. The circus moved to its new homes in 1970, the Nashville Municipal Auditorium, where it has been held ever since.
The annual show has been excited and entertained more than 3,000,000 spectators, and we continue to produce the Saturday Matinee Show for underprivileged and special needs children at the expense of the Nobility and sponsors. This time-honored tradition of the Al Menah Shrine Circus will continue for many years to come.