The Franklin County Fairgrounds will stay busy a week after the county fair ended by hosting the Carson and Barnes Circus, billed as the "World's Biggest Big-Top Show," July 27 to 29.

The Franklin County Fairgrounds will stay busy a week after the county fair ended by hosting the Carson and Barnes Circus, billed as the "World's Biggest Big-Top Show," July 27 to 29.

Shows are scheduled at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 27, at 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 28, and at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, July 29, at the fairgrounds, 4100 Columbia St., in Hilliard.

Advance ticket sales for all shows can be purchased online at BigTopShow.com.

Tickets also will be sold at an on-site box office beginning at 10:30 a.m. each day of the show.

Day-of-show ticket prices are $16 for adults and $8 for children. Coupons for a $4 discount can be obtained online. For details about advance-purchase discounts, visit the circus website.

"Carson and Barnes is the 'real circus,' with everything fans expect to see under the big top, (such as) clowns, acrobats, aerial daredevilsand spectacular pageantry," said Dan Acree, a spokesman for Carson and Barnes.

Starring in this season's show is "Alex the Clown."

Alex Acero has spent his life performing as a headliner in Las Vegas and also in several of the largest circus shows in Latin America.

Other attractions are a menagerie of exotic animals, including a rare Sicilian donkey, a miniature zebra and a pygmy hippo, all of which children can pet and feed.

The traveling circus also features a variety of rides and concessions on a midway.

Carson and Barnes owner Barbara Miller-Boyd is the third generation in her family, with her two daughters, who travel with the show, poised to become the fourth generation of operators.

"I remember getting on my first pony shortly after I started walking. ... I never considered doing anything other than being a part of the family business, but in those early days no one imagined a woman would ever be the boss in a male-dominated business like ours," Miller-Boyd said in a press release announcing the show in Hilliard.

The show has visited central Ohio in the past, but organizers strategically create annual schedules.

"We try not to repeat the same city for at least three years," Acree said.

The three dates at the Franklin County Fairgrounds are among 247 dates for the Barnes and Carson show in 2012.