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Samson the Elephant Took a Circuitous Route to Hailey
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Ben Enders endeared himself to children along the route as a happy-go-lucky clown.
   
Saturday, July 6, 2024
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

Rebecca Cox was enamored of the story of Samson, a 500-pound circus elephant, who got loose and went on a rampage in Hailey, turning flatbeds into kindling and toppling lion cages.

But she wondered if her zeal to pay tribute to that 140-year-old tale had gone awry as she and others decided to make Samson the centerpiece of Hailey’s 141st Fourth of July Parade.

“Originally, I thought maybe we’d build a papier-mache elephant. But we finally had an inflatable one shipped from China. I tracked it and watched as it went through Germany, ending up in Hadley, England, of all places,” recounted Cox, director of the Blaine County Historical Museum. “Very quickly they sent another and we got it in three days. But the box it came in was so small I thought: Oh no, what have we got?!”

 
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One little girl took seriously her role of spreading bubbles along the parade route.
 

Cox’s fears were assuaged, however, as the elephant, which weighed maybe all of eight pounds, turned into a massive blue grey specimen that towered over ringmaster Glenn Carter and one of the carousel horses he’s carved over the years.

“It ended up being a good recreation of Samson,” said Cox. “Really quite beautiful, and putting together the circus was a lot of fun!”

It would be a shame to pack up the circus items, which appeared new and exciting to the crowd that was often five people deep in places along the parade route. Perhaps it could be brought back next year, with other groups joining in as clowns and other circus acts.

“It was so much fun this year,” Cox said. “You think about how the Hailey residents who organized the first Fourth of July parade were literally out here in the Wild West, building homes for themselves. And then a circus comes to town that’s billed as being spectacular, over the top. And to have a circus elephant get loose and now the townspeople are chasing an elephant in the middle of Idaho!”

 
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The 5Bee Quilters showed off an elephant quilt they had made honoring the story of Samson the Elephant.
 
 
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Youngsters from Jiu Jitsu 100 Academy showed off the heavy medals they just won at the American Grappling Federation Championships in Fort Worth, Texas.
 

 
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Winter Romero and Little Jack Romero got into the spirit of the Fourth, although Little Jack was wishing it was Dec. 4 instead of July, meaning a little less panting.
 

~  Today's Topics ~


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