Our last stop at The Ringling was the Circus Museum . . . and we really enjoyed it!
We entered through the Big Top,
past the giant mural,
and into the exhibit hall. Behind the glass was a miniature display of the circus coming to Smalltown, USA, beginning with the train arriving at the station.
The area between the train and the Big Top was referred to as the Back Yard, and it was bustling with activity. There was the giant dining room tent, the dressing room tent,
and the staging area for the performers.
Around the corner was the Midway,
made up of ticket sales booths, food and game vendors, and the famous sideshows! Once the spectators made it through the midway, they entered the Big Top!
The first tent was home to the menagerie – the animals from the show, their cages lined up along the side of the tent.
After the menagerie was the three rings of the big top – and there was a constant flurry of activity there!
The tent was so bit that from many of the seats I don’t see how you could see much more than what was going on right in front of you.
This display was so elaborate that even the trapeze artists were swinging through the air and spinning on the ropes.
The circus had its own Fire Department,
and portable stables for the horses.
The amazing thing to me was that they would go through all this work – setting up all these tents – for just one day of performances! It had to be an incredible amount of work!
The exhibit hall was really cool, and the displays were so realistic – we loved it!
As we exited the exhibit hall and made our way into the museum, we moved into full-size, actual artifacts from the Ringling Bros. Barnum – Bailey Circus.
There were many that reminded me of childhood visits to the circus!
Famous faces of the circus!
Bryce and Tom had to take their turns as circus performers!
Then there are the animals – some of the most famous performers!
I remember Gunther!
Who’s got a big head??!!
We can’t forget the clowns . . . apparently I have a couple of them living with me!
The Ringling is an amazing place, especially the Circus Museum, and if you are ever in the Sarasota/Bradenton area, you should definitely check it out!
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