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Pachyderms on Parade

July 18, 1989|ALLISON SAMUELS

Despite temperatures in the 90s, hundreds of people gathered Monday afternoon to catch a glimpse of elephants, lions and tigers marching on the Anaheim Convention Center.

The unlikely parade down Lewis Street and Katella Avenue marked the arrival Monday of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, which will perform at the convention center today through next Tuesday.

The circus's show animals were led from rail cars to the convention center by famed animal trainer Gunther Gebel-Williams, who will retire from the ring at the end of the season.

Long Beach residents Gina and Donald Davis brought their three children for a glimpse of the show animals.

"We know they are coming to Long Beach . . . but we couldn't wait," said Gina Davis. The animals and performers travel by train to each of the 39 cities where the circus performs, spokeswoman Ashley Anderson said. After the animals are unloaded, they are marched through each city to the circus show grounds. Justin Rhea arrived an hour early Monday to guarantee a good spot for his annual viewing.

"I never miss it, not even when I am ill," said the 81-year-old retired salesman from Anaheim.

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