For the past several months of writing this column, it has been my goal to highlight the people that make El Riad great, because people are the lifeblood of the Shrine.

A few weeks ago in April, a whole bunch of people came together once again from near and far to work side-by-side, a midst the familiar smells of hot dogs and elephant effluent, to continue a community tradition that began so many decades ago. Another great Sioux Falls Circus, #78, is in the books and we are winners once again and our patrons are winners too. That’s because we have outstanding nobles and ladies, and kids of nobles and ladies, and friends of noble and ladies, and friends of the Shrine who turn out to work hard, smile, have fun, and create a lasting memory for our nobility and our customers. Illustrious Sir Pat Colbert was right when he said several years ago that “we make smiles happen.” Our people prove that again and again. I cannot thank everyone enough for the hard work at the Sioux Falls Circus and for making El Riad look good at every turn.

It’s not just the Sioux Falls circus that puts us in front of the community and gives us the opportunity to do so many good things. We have nobles and ladies in our outlying areas—making up our Shrine clubs—who sponsor their own version of the El Riad Shrine Circus.

Lewis & Clark Shrine Club in Yankton, Gopher Shrine Club in Windom, Big Bend Shrine Club in Chamberlain, Corn Palace Shrine Club in Mitchell, and the Rosebud Shrine Club in Winner also sponsor an El Riad Shrine Circus. They work just as hard and have just as much fun doing what they do to bring family fun to their communities and to promote our fraternity and its good works. The Chamberlain and Mitchell clubs had their circuses in April, and had good crowds and a good number of smiling volunteers. The rest of the clubs will kick off their shows in June. With the exception of the Windom show, which is new this year, the clubs have been running circuses for a long time and are have been very successful to the benefit of the entire nobility of El Riad.

My sincere thanks go out to the many nobles and ladies of the outlying clubs for what you do in your communities on behalf of our Shrine. No matter where the circus is, it is El Riad out in front of the community once again, and only because of the great nobles and ladies who are El Riad, and who make those smiles happen.


John Whitelock, Potentate
El Riad Shriners

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