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Saturday, April 23, 2011

'Water for Elephants' puts spotlight on Sarasota's circus heritage



By Laura Bly, USA TODAY

Apr 22, 2011

The Five Graces Circus Band Wagon, once pulled by no fewer than 40 horses when it led the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey traditional circus parades, is displayed at the Museum of the American Circus in Sarasota, Fla.
Step right up, ladies and gentlemen: If you're enamored with the circus history on display in the new film adaptation of Sara Gruen's best-selling novel Water for Elephants, Sarastoa, Fla., the longtime winter home of the Ringling Brothers circus, offers a variety of Big Top-themed travel packages and attractions.
The Ringling Brothers were based in Sarasota from 1927 to 1992, and their legacy includes The Ringling Museum, home of the world's largest miniature circus, Cà d'Zan, a Mediterranean revival estate that served as John and Mable Ringling's winter home, and legendary circus performer Tito Gaona's trapeze school.
Among the movie-themed deals: a Courtyard Marriott Ringling Museum Package that includes room and two "Member For A Day" Ringling Museum passes from $129 per night.

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