The circus is in town but not everyone is happy about it

A group of people protest the circus in Quincy, Ill.

It was a peaceful protest in front of the Carson and Barnes Circus on Saturday.

Lacey Townsend and her family organized the protest to spread awareness about animal rights and the circus.

Townsend said after doing some research she came upon a video from PETA about how the animals are trained. As an animal lover she said she knew she had to do something.

"They use bull hooks, baseball bats and electric prods to train these animals to do unnatural tricks," Townsend said. "You never want to see the bad things, but these things do happen and people need to be aware that this is happening and the more we contribute by paying to go to these certain events the more we contribute to this cruelty existing."

Townsend said it isn't just about animal rights but also the safety of those who attend.

"Carson Barns Circus has been cited by the USDA numerous times in the past for failure to provide a safe environment for both the animals and the public."

Joan Tieken was one many people holding up signs in protest. She said that while adults can comprehend what goes on behind closed doors, children might not.

"Animals are transported from one place to another under horrible conditions and I want the children to understand," Tieken said. "Instead of saying 'no we're not going to the circus,' (explain) why."

The protestors said if they stopped just one person from going to the circus it would be worth it.

"An hour of our day standing out in this heat doesn't compare to them doing this day-in and day-out, every single day for months on end," Townsend said. "It's just not right and we needed to take a stand."

"We've had all kinds of comments, 'get a life,' one teenager was laughing. And I said 'if you were the animal like the horses in the sun, short leash, then we would see if you would be laughing,'" Tieken said.

KHQA tried to contact the Carson and Barnes Circus for a comment. After several attempts, we were unable to reach them.

The circus runs Sunday and Monday with shows at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Townsend says they will be there holding up signs in protest an hour before each show.