About the Circus

The Kosair Shrine Circus is performed by George Carden Circus International. George is the fifth generation in show business and has been in the circus business all of his life. He has acquired knowledge of all aspects of the operation from front to back. The circus travels over 40,000 miles each year in the United States and Canada. The season lasts 42 weeks, during which part of the time the circus has two units on the road. Both of his sons work elephants in the circus. George Carden Circus International offers the finest in family entertainment. They present a beautiful three-ring production which is fascinating to children of all ages! With 50 years producing Carden Entertainment’s Shrine Circus, no other circus producer offers the Spectacular Entertainment package that George Carden does.

Our Animal Family

The Carden International circus is committed 110% to the exceptional care and ethical treatment of all of our animals. We believe in animal-human relationships that are built upon respect, trust, affection, and absolutely uncompromising care. Our training methods are based on reinforcement in the form of food rewards and words of praise. There is absolutely zero tolerance for verbal or physical abuse or the withholding of food or water from any of our animals. We strongly oppose any form of cruelty or mistreatment to animal large and small.

The animal care professionals with Carden circus believe that a positive, healthy environment is the only acceptable and truly successful method of working with our animals. Our animals are fed, watered, groomed, and cleaned daily. The entire stable area, including individual stalls, are cleaned regularly. The manure is removed, and fresh bedding is provided every single day. Our staff consists of animal experts who have devoted their lives to living, working with, and caring for these animals. They meet the animals’ physical needs with food and regular veterinary attention; as well as their mental and emotional needs by providing a stimulating environment and companionship.

What is Shriner?

The Shrine is an international fraternity of approximately 500,000 members who belong to Shrine Centers throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Germany, The Republic of Panama and The Philippines. There are also Shrine Clubs in every state and many foreign countries as well. Founded in New York City in 1872 the organization is composed of Master Masons.

The Shrine is best-known for its colorful parades, its distinctive red fez, and its official philanthropy, Shriners Hospitals for Children, which is often called “the heart and soul of the Shrine.” Principles of Freemasonry — Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.

Members of Shriners International are members of the Masonic Order and adhere to the principles of Freemasonry — Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.

Freemasonry dates back hundreds of years to when stonemasons and other craftsmen on building projects gathered in shelter houses or lodges. Through the years these gatherings changed in many ways until formal Masonic lodges emerged, with members bound together not by trade, but by their own wishes to be fraternal brothers. There is no higher degree in Freemasonry than that of Master Mason (the Third Degree).

​Shriner are distinguished by an enjoyment of life in the interest of philanthropy. With almost 500,000 members the organization has a buoyant philosophy which has been expressed as “Pleasure without intemperance, hospitality without rudeness and jollity without coarseness.”

How do I become a Shriner?

Every Shriner is first a Freemason; however, in Kentucky as in many parts of North America, Masonry does not solicit members. In these areas, no one is asked to join. A man must seek admission of his own free will. A man is a fully accepted “Blue Lodge” Mason after he has received the first three degrees, known as Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason. After that, he may belong to many other organizations which have their roots in Masonry, and which have a Blue Lodge Masonry as a prerequisite. Scottish Rite, York Rite and the Shrine. 

Once accepted as an Apprentice Mason of the Craft Lodge, each member works his way up through three degrees. To earn each degree, a Mason must learn certain lessons and participate in a ceremony that illustrates them. At the third degree he ascends to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason, after which he may then petition to become a Noble of the Shrine. 

For more information on Kosair Shriners, you can visit their website here: