Big top's biggest stars meet fans

For Dylan Klaassen, 5, no other animals quite compare to elephants. Dylan has seen elephants at the zoo and rode one at the circus, which he said made him feel like it was his pet.

"I like their trunks because that's where the peanuts go in," he said.

For lunch Wednesday, Dylan and his family joined others outside Intrust Bank Arena to see elephants from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The circus will perform today through Sunday at the arena.

Donna Lake, spokeswoman for the circus, said elephants are the main reason people go to the circus. Lake estimated about 300 people attended Wednesday's free event, which also was a benefit for the Kansas Food Bank.

As people spread out on blankets and lawn chairs and ate, clowns roamed the parking lot, handing out red plastic noses. Once the trainers brought out the elephants, the animals feasted on bread, fruits and vegetables.

Crowding the fence that contained the elephants, people applauded and took pictures as the animals put on a show. The elephants stomped on watermelons, which was Dylan's favorite part.

Hope Klausmeyer, 10, liked the animals' tricks, too.

"That was cool when they waved with their trunks," she said.