By Sheena Barnett
TUPELO – Every superhero needs a good cape, and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey provided bright yellow ones to Tupelo’s superheroes on Wednesday.
The event, honoring local heroes as well as circus elephant Carol, took place at the BancorpSouth Arena and tied in with the circus theme, “Super Circus Heroes.” The circus is in town tonight through Sunday at the BancorpSouth Arena.
One of those honored, 6-year-old John Samuel Huckaby, who has Spina Bifida, hydrocephalus, hypotonia, abnormal gait and Arnold-Chiari syndrome, said the cape made him feel like his favorite superhero, Superman.
“It was awesome,” he said. “It was cool to be standing in front of an elephant.”
Also honored was 8-year-old Madison Hayes, who has moderate cerebral palsy.
“She was big,” she said of meeting Carol.
Tupelo Police Officer Joseph Maher, who was critically wounded while attempting to apprehend a bank robber on Dec. 23, was honored, and he brought his 18-month-old daughter, Ella Kate, with him to get his cape.
Beth Stauffer, wife of Sgt. Gale Stauffer, who was killed in the same incident, was given a cape as well.
The circus also gave capes to Tupelo Fire Chief Thomas Walker and Fire Battalion Chief Mike Thomas.
Carol the elephant was shot April 9 last year when the circus was in town. The 40-year-old Asian elephant has made a full recovery and also received a giant cape at the ceremony on Wednesday. She noshed apples, bananas and carrots during the ceremony.
“She serves as a symbol of strength of body, mind and spirit, and she’s earned her own superhero cape,” said Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton.