Detroit Shrine Circus holds free performance for those with special needs

The Detroit Shrine Circus is back in town. Before the show opens to the public this weekend, there's an extra special performance for 2,000 kids with special needs in Novi.

"All the kids here are getting that big smile," said Russ Smith, International Order of Alhambra.

The Shrine Circus has been a fixture in Detroit since 1906. But Thursday, at the Suburban Collection Showplace, was a special preview.

"The first show every year is special for just the developmental disabled in the Detroit Metropolitan area," Smith said.

And for the more than 2,000 developmentally disabled, their families and friend, got a free performance - courtesy of the International Order of Alhambra.

"A bunch of Catholic men and women have been doing this since 1905," Smith said of the order.

"We're about putting smiles on kids' faces and helping them to enjoy life to have a moment of fun in their lives," said Fr. Paul Ballien, past supreme chaplain.

"Those individuals with special needs, those individuals that don't get to go to the circus - this is a day for them," said Pete Lucido, Macomb County prosecutor.

And they came- some in wheelchairs, some with a guardian on her arm, and those with special needs, just couldn't wait to get to the circus.

FOX 2: "What does it mean, the circus for them?"

"It means a lot to them," said one woman accompanying the group. "This is Chandler, he has special needs, he has autism and cerebral palsy. He's been talking about the circus all day today."

The International Order of Alhambra has many events throughout the year. To learn more GO HERE.

The Shrine Circus ends Sunday, April 3rd.  For more info GO HERE.