The rain chased the Conejo Valley school district's Child Care Program's third annual field day off the field Wednesday. But the Jumbo Shrimp Circus and 700 young, eager audience members managed to save the day.
The event was scheduled for Conejo Creek Park, but the rain spoiled the face painting, K-2 Rock Climb Challenge, maze, bubble booth and dunk tank by forcing events into Wildwood Elementary School, one of the program's 17 sites.
The Jumbo Shrimp Circus, actually a pair of professional clowns, not giant crustaceans, proved the rain could not ruin the day.
The circus is actually the husband-and-wife team of Philip and Heide Karp-Briggs (who call themselves Moxie and Epoxie), former members of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and graduates of the Clown College in Orlando, Fla. The Winnetka residents travel throughout Southern California performing their variety-style, theatrical clown show.
Moxie and Epoxie got plenty of laughs as they launched a stuffed cow across the stage, and performed Schlemiel on One Wheel, where Moxie demonstrated her skill, or feigned lack of it, on a unicycle.
They then sang a duet, with Epoxie on stilts, and made a polar bear appear.
The bear turned out to be a trick to get one of the students to put on a bear costume and tutu and dance on stage.
"It was embarrassing," said Sarah Heth, a 12-year-old sixth-grader. "I had no clue what would happen."
Still, the clowns seemed to win over the crowd.
"I thought they were delightful and very enjoyable," said Debbie Field, a child-care supervisor who helped coordinate the event. "All the children enjoyed themselves."