Four new creatures will experience the sights and sounds of the Salem Fair for the first time this year, and they’re not from anywhere near the East side of the United States. Marco and Kathi Peters’s exhibit, the Squalus Sea Lion Splash, will bring two Patagonian seals and two Californian seals, all females, to show off their talents daily during the fair.Marco and his brother, Philip, were touring the country with a shark exhibit – on two semi-tractor trailers, when a USDA inspector in California suggested to Marco that they ought to take in beached sea lions, that agencies were always looking for places to adopt them.
So since 2000, Marco and Kathi, both from circus backgrounds, have been travelling throughout the country with their sea lions, now with two mobile exhibits.
“Sharks you can only look at them, you can’t interact with them. With the sea lions, they’re just like our children. And they have characters,” Marco said.
In the shows, they also emphasize the indirect effects that human carelessness has on sea creatures like the sea lion. The intelligent Sparky paints on a canvas and steals fish, Alicia the South African Patagonian seal teaches the California “girls” how to walk, Kim likes to cuddle with humans during picture time especially, and Zoey, the baby of the bunch, mimics her buddy Sparky and is a zealous Frisbee catcher.
Marco and Kathi met when Kathi was part of the “Circus Circus” show in Las Vegas and Reno. She was one of the first female motorcycle “Globe of Death” riders. The dutch Marco and his brother, Philip, were daredevils in the Ringling Brothers Circus.
The Salem Fair sea lion exhibit is sponsored by Morgan Griffith and by Kroger. Other new exhibits this year include the Wild World of Animals exhibit sponsored by Kitchen Craft, and Jesse and James & Mutts Gone Nuts sponsored by Vacation Village Resorts.
And if you’d like to reminisce before the fair starts on July 2 – rewind back to 2008′s fair with our coverage starting here.
Like to pick and choose? Have you ever used our “search” bar over on the right hand column above community journalist Miranda Adkins’s picture? It’s really useful, especially if you’re looking for a particular person, thing, or event on our blog.
Times and more information about the Salem Fair are at www.salemfair.com.