The Florida-based circus whose tent collapsed Monday night in New Hampshire, killing a father and daughter and injuring at least 32 others, is scheduled for six shows in Maine in the coming week.

Walker International Events is scheduled to bring the circus to Sanford for two performances on Sunday, and organizers there have not been alerted to any cancellations. Four performances are scheduled for Hiram on Monday and Tuesday.

The accident Monday in Lancaster, New Hampshire, happened around 5:46 p.m., when a severe storm blew down the circus tent. New Hampshire fire officials are investigating and trying to determine why the show went on when a severe storm warning had been issued for the area. New Hampshire Fire Marshal Bill Degnan said he did not believe the circus had obtained a required assembly permit and it did not ask local officials to inspect the tent.

The New Hampshire Fire Marshal’s Office identified the victims Tuesday as Robert Young, 41, and his daughter, Annabelle, 8, of Concord, Vermont. Officials have said some of the injured are in serious condition. At least 100 people were in the tent when it collapsed.

Sanford’s director of parks and recreation, Marcel Blouin, said Tuesday he had not been contacted by the circus and did not know whether the Sanford shows would be canceled or rescheduled because of the accident investigation.

The shows, scheduled for 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. at Blouin Field in Gowen Park, are being hosted by the town’s parks and recreation department. Blouin said the circus has come to Sanford at least twice in the past. He said the staff are “always professional” and leave the circus site as clean as they found it. Walker’s tent and equipment are always checked by local fire officials, he said.

“I’m sure they are planning on coming if they can. But I’m sure they have to wait for any investigation to be over before they know they can come,” said Blouin. “At this point, I’m just waiting to hear from them.”

Blouin described the circus as “family friendly” with aerial acts, animals, fire eaters and magic. The show also sets up a midway with food and kids’ activities, Blouin said. Last year, the circus drew about 1,000 people, Blouin said.

“Entertainment like this is hard to find,” said Blouin. “Nobody barnstorms anymore.”

Walker’s website lists shows next Monday and Tuesday at Ossipee Valley Fairgrounds in South Hiram. Calls to the Ossipee Valley Agricultural Society, which runs the fairgrounds, were not returned Tuesday.

The Walker International Events website listed shows scheduled for Tuesday in Bradford, Vermont, and Wednesday in Grafton, New Hampshire, as being canceled. Walker’s performances will resume Thursday, according to its website. The traveling circus has August shows scheduled for New Hampshire, Maine and New York. Calls and emails to Walker International Events were not returned Tuesday.

The National Weather Service had issued the severe weather warning at about 5:23 p.m. Monday. The show started seven minutes later at the Lancaster Fairgrounds, about 90 miles north of Concord, New Hampshire. The tent collapsed shortly after winds of 60 mph swept through the area.


Spectator Heidi Medeiros, who attended the circus with her 3-year-old son, told WMUR-TV that the metal poles holding up the tent flew out of the ground and slammed onto the bleacher where they had been sitting.

Degnan, the New Hampshire fire marshal, said the storm cut a track of a half-mile to a mile that included downed trees while it approached the tent.

Degnan told the Associated Press the circus operator is responsible for monitoring weather conditions. Degnan said he had spoken to representatives of Walker International Events and that they were “waiting for counsel.”

Degnan also said no request was made to state or local officials for an inspection of the tent. If officials had been notified, they would have done an inspection, he said.

The show would have required a “place of assembly permit,” but to the best of his knowledge, one was not sought. Degnan said those questions would be part of the state’s investigation, as would the tent’s setup and a building and fire code assessment. The National Weather Service also was helping to determine what type of wind passed through the area.

Summer thunderstorms can “pop up” in a matter of minutes and cause severe wind or even hail, said Andy Pohl, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray.

Humid spells, as the region has been experiencing lately, are times to watch out for quick thunderstorms, since storms feed on moisture, Pohl said. The track or severity of a thunderstorm can change within minutes, he said.

Degnan said the operator, Sarasota, Florida-based Walker International Events, has been cooperating in the investigation. Walker didn’t return repeated phone calls and emails from The Associated Press.

Walker’s president, John Caudill Jr., has a history of violations with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, primarily while operating another company, Walker Brothers Circus Inc.

A decade ago, Caudill and his associates agreed to pay a $25,000 fine for a series of violations in 2001 while operating without an Animal Welfare Act license. The license, which allows businesses to display animals publicly, had been suspended in 1997 for other violations.

Caudill also was cited in 1997 for not providing adequate veterinary care, failing to maintain complete records on animals and not providing structurally sound enclosures in good repair. His license was suspended for 30 days.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.