Circus Weekend Part 2: The Circus

Last November PBS began airing a documentary series called Circus. (Check it out!) I fell in love with it as soon as I watched the trailer.  After I finished the six hours, I immediately looked to see if the Big Apple Circus would be coming ANYwhere in the Southeast. I would love nothing more than to take the grandkids to see it. But no such luck. Apparently The Big Apple Circus doesn’t venture this far south.

So I began to search for another circus that would be coming our area and realized that I would have to settle for the next best thing, The Greatest Show on Earth.

Fortunately for Michael and me, Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey have several different shows traveling around the country simultaneously. This would allow us to go to the circus on two different weekends and see two different shows. First we took Ellie and Libby to the “Fundrum” circus in Nashville, and the following Saturday we took Fionn and Felicity to the “Fully Charged” show in Birmingham. Both were fabulous.

I’m going to share a few pictures with you and hopefully inspire you to take the time to do something really special with your kids, your grandkids, nieces or nephews, neighbor or any child you can think of. Childhood passes much too quickly and fun memories need to be a part it.

That’s Libby. She’s dancing with one of the performers during the pre-show. Make sure to go to the pre-show if you’re going to a Ringling Bros. circus.

The pre-show was so much fun. They brought out this big beautiful elephant …

… who painted a picture with it’s trunk. They had a drawing for the picture.

The show began with a grand parade led by the Ringmaster who, by the way, had an incredible singing voice.

I wasn’t expecting so many clowns, but the show had hot-and-cold-running clowns. They were hilarious.

There’s something about seeing these massive animals, all lined up, sitting on their behinds. You just gotta smile.

And the fact that they can all stand up on their hind legs and lean on each other like dominos was incredible.
How can something so huge look so graceful? I think the elephants are my favorite.

Notice this woman is in red heels!

The strength and control of the performers is absolutely mind-boggling.

Intermission was all about the hotdogs. (That’s Fionn)
I hadn’t had a hotdog in probably five years. I have to say, it was worth the wait. Delish! I’m good for another five years, though!

And, when you go to the circus you MUST get cotton candy.

It doesn’t matter how you feel about candy and sugar, or how much it costs ($12.00!), a circus is not complete without cotton candy.

Intermission’s over. Back to the circus and more laughs.

The tight-rope performers were captivating. I think Ellie held her breath through the entire act.

There are a lot of animals in a circus, but I think the Tigers are the most beautiful.

The trainer was wonderful with them. It was obvious that he had a special bond and love for these magnificent cats.

We were sad to see the circus come to a close. The final parade was a fitting end to it all.

So there you have it. I’m so grateful to add another childhood memory to my collection. I’ve decided that I’m not ready to grow up yet. Not quite yet.

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11 Responses to “Circus Weekend Part 2: The Circus”

  1. I hardly remember when was the last time I went to Circus. But I hope when the time comes, we can take our kids to see Circus. Gotta be so much fun… Great pictures! Love them! and of course your story, too. Be blessed!

    • We really did have a wonderful time. Go on TicketMaster.com and just see if any circus is coming close to you.

      It’d be worth it.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Gail,

    I’m so glad you have such a great shot of my favorite – THE AB GIRL! And yes, I couldn’t get over the fact that she did it all in those red heels!

  3. I am learning much being a grandmother from you, great wise one. And how accommodating of your children to keep providing grandchildren so you can do it all over again. :)

  4. Great article & photos!! This brings back memories of seeing the Big Apple circus in New York City. A good friend took us, my son was about 8 and her children were about 9 and 12. It is really something special to see, from the moment the horses “wake up” and rise from the mist at the beginning…very magical and dreamlike, nothing like it! And the kids were at great ages for it – it’s a bit more elegant than Barnum & Bailey, but with all the same elements. Circuses are such fun for all ages; I agree best for children age 5 and above. You are right about those elephants – amazing what they can do and how they seem to enjoy entertaining us! You & your family must go see the Big Apple circus sometime – you would really enjoy it. My son is now a college sophomore but your photos made it seem like yesterday – thanks for the memory!!

  5. nice work. I love circus. unbelievable moves, fantastic and fabulous.

  6. Ah that gives me a little bit of time to work on that cotton candy resolve! My littles are 6 (7 in 2 weeks… eek!), 3 and 2 months.

    I truly love the circus posts, both for how you made the circus such an all encompassing experience of all the senses (not just the actual show, but the whole time the kids spent with you; it definitely had a beautiful little-s sacramental quality to it) as well as the way you posted about it, inviting us in. You’ve challenged me to expand my vision regarding how I as a parent have the ability to help create memories that are rich enough to last a lifetime.

  7. I’m 35 with 3 small kids – and I’ve never been, either. You’ve got me considering it, though! Might have to give my share of cotton candy to the kids, though. Just thinking of that much sugar is making me shake! ;)

    • I don’t know how old your children are, but I’d say the best ages for them to enjoy the circus is five and above. Libby is five, Ellie and Felicity are seven and Fionn is nine. It was perfect for them all.

      On another note, the cotton candy is basically fluff. My guess is that there was probably one spoonful of sugar in the whole bag (three bunches) so I’d say you’re safe.

      Go make some memories!

  8. You know–I’m closing in on 60 and I’ve never been to a real, live circus. Maybe some day before I grow up, I’ll get to go to one, too!

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