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Weekend events: Circus, plays, Mardis Gras

Gearing up for Super Bowl Sunday? It’s an event-filled weekend, and there are plenty of family-friendly activities happening before the big game kicks off.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will bring its “Legends” show to Greenville Feb. 3 –7, and this will mark the last time circus-lovers can see its Asian elephants perform in Greenville. The pachyderms will be retired from the circus in May, relocated to the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation. Friday, fans can get an up close view of the circus animals during a special Elephant Brunch and Super Bowl Prediction Ceremony at 3 p.m. at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. The special event is free and open to the public. Meanwhile, the circus will close out its shows in the Upstate with performances at 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 – $60. For details, visit

Enjoy a taste of the Greenville arts during the Greenville Center for Creative Arts First Friday event 6 – 9 p.m. Feb. 5. All ages are welcome to “Kar ne-vel,” a celebration of artistic revelry fostering Latino arts and culture. The free event will include barbecue for sale from a food truck, a display of art from local artists, and children’s activities and games. The center is located at 25 Draper St. in downtown Greenville. For details, visit

“How I Became a Pirate” will be presented this weekend by South Carolina Children’s Theatre, starting at 7 p.m. Friday at the Peace Center. Based on the best-selling book by Greenville author Melinda Long, the play follows the adventures of young Jacob Jeremy and some not-so-scary pirates. It’s good for ages 3 and older. Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday, 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Feb. 6, and 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Feb. 7. Tickets are $27 for adults and $18 for children 18 and younger, with special pricing of $18 for all for the 5:30 p.m. Sunday show only. For details, visit

Get ready for the most famous road trip in American history — the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Capt. Meriwether Lewis will take the Chautauqua audience on an adventure up the Missouri, across the Rockies and to the end of land this weekend. This educational, humorous experience is interactive, giving audience members a chance to ask questions during the show. The Meriwether Lewis show can only be seen 2 – 3:30 p.m. Feb. 6 and 7 at the Wade Hampton High School Auditorium. There is no cost for admission, and parking is free. For details, visit

The Swamp Rabbit Café & Grocery will host a Mardi Gras Celebration 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday. The Greenville Jazz Collective and the Carousers will each perform a set of New Orleans jazz, funk and party music. The cafe will serve homemade gumbo and po boys as well as offer draft craft beer all evening. All ages are welcomed to this family-friendly event. For details, visit

“Matilda the Musical” will bring the stage to life this weekend during its last performances at the Peace Center. Based on the novel by Ronald Dahl, “Matilda” tells the story of a gifted and magical little girl who is misunderstood at home and by many at school. A few tickets remain and are priced $25 – $85. Shows are at 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. For details, visit

Sunday is Family Fun Day at the Upcountry History Museum – Furman University in downtown Greenville. Explore the exhibit "Pocketful of Posies," hear stories, create art projects and more between 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Feb. 7. Story times are at 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. while Valentine's Day-themed arts and crafts sessions will be held for the entirety of the event. All activities are free with admission to the museum, which is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, and $4 for children ages 4 – 18. The museum is located at 540 Buncombe St. in Greenville. For details, visit

Ready for the Super Bowl? Participate in football art during Open Art Studios sessions 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Children's Museum of the Upstate in anticipation for the big game. Design a helmet in support of your favorite team. Free with admission. For details, visit

For more events and resources, visit