The Circus brings us memories of a lifetime.
By Bob Cline
Ah, the Circus, that magical spell that casts over us at the sights of the huge and colorful Circus Posters on Billboards, TV spots and Commercials of the daring young circus performers on the Flying trapeze followed by tons of thundering performing circus elephants and the wafting smells of freshly cooked popcorn, sawdust, and the circus tents.
The arrival of the circus meant the opportunity for many a child to work for their free circus tickets by helping the circus get ready. Maybe they hauled a bucket of water for the circus animals or helped carry parts to the circus tent. Whatever the task, these lucky souls were going to see the circus acrobats, circus animals, those funny old circus clowns, and circus performers under the circus tent for a once in a lifetime experience.
Nothing brought more pleasure to the families across this great land than the Circus in America. For over 200 years the general public has been awestruck at the sounds of the first steam engine pulling the circus train into town until the lights finally went out late that night. No where else could you find the rhythm of eight strong backs swinging a sixteen pound sledge hammer in a sequential unison to drive the five inch round wooden tent stakes in the ground in just a short amount of time.
Teams of horses, elephants, tractors, and trucks all pulled wagon after wagon off of the circus trains which were so large it took steam and diesel Locomotives to pull four separate sections of the Circus train into your town. The Vintage circus brought 1500 workers, circus performers, musicians, circus animals, and management staff to make that one day in your town the most fantastic day to remember for a very long time.
The Circus was a world of wonder as it arrived, unloaded, started to unfold, and slowly created an entire new town of its own complete with a fulltime restaurant staff, generators to create their own electricity, physicians and veterinarians, Postal services, Legal Counsel, Press Departments, Blacksmiths, mechanics, Wardrobe personnel, designers and choreographers. The circus world was completely self sufficient and even included a circus school for the children on the show to keep up with their education.
The advance crew for the circus had been here almost two weeks ago now. They had their very own circus train car that was highly decorated like a giant circus poster. Large circuses such as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus would have as many as four advance cars in front of the circus to promote the arrival of the circus. The circus poster came in many sizes showing circus animals, circus performers, different featured circus acts, circus tents, and the circus train sometimes all on the same poster. A daub of Circus posters covered large areas of a barn or fence making the circus billboards throughout the town.
Inside the massive flapping tents of canvas, was found the mysteries of the world that only had been read about in books or magazines but never seen in person before. The strange, odd, and curious from around the world were there for all to see. People with rubber skin, girls allowing electricity to pass right through their bodies, sword swallowers, fire eaters, natural oddities, and magical illusions were here for one glorious day and one day only.
Inside the huge travelling zoo or menagerie were animals from the exotic parts of the world as well as right here at home. Lions, Tigers, Zebras, Giraffes, and the circus Elephants were practically expected when the Circus came to town. So they brought more than you expected like the rare and unusual Burmese White elephants, or the most terrifying creatures ever known like Gorillas, Hippopotamus, Rhinoceros, Sea Elephants, or Water Buffalo.
The early morning activities usually included a fine circus parade through the streets of downtown with glamorous Show girls finely costumed, Horsemanship, magnificently carved parade wagons with bands on top, the limber circus acrobats, a display of many of the circus animals, including a line of elephants and the screeching of the boisterous Steam Calliope acting as the Pied Piper to the world to come see the Circus.
Once the performance began, the thrill and pure terror of seeing one man facing twenty lions and tigers was amazing but the three ring circus that was full of fun, action, and excitement at the same time was too much to see all at one. The beautiful spectacles as the paraded around the tent showed many finely costumed circus performers and Circus themes. The daring aerialists and the incredibly loud cannon as it shot a person across the circus tent all remained with us for a lifetime of memories.
The Circus World LLC is a company dedicated to preserving the memories of the circus from long ago to keeping us going to the only form of clean family entertainment in America today that is over 200 years old. Join us at http://www.thecircusworld.com to find great Circus Posters, Circus Books, Trains, and Hobbies, Circus Photos, DVDs, and Free Videos all about the Circus.