Cole Bros. Circus to roll into Bristol
Friday, June 29, 2012
By STEVE COLLINS
BRISTOL – Somewhere about midnight Friday night, arge trucks will begin pouring into the former mall site downtown hauling pieces of the Cole Brothers Circus of the Stars packed up after its evening show in Willimantic.
As quickly as workers can make it happen, the trucks will be unloaded, gear moved around and a massive red and yellow striped big top tent will rise along North Main Street.
By morning, circus officials told the city, the major work to get ready for Saturday’s shows should be done.
City Public Works Director Walter Veselka said the tent will be placed parallel to the road toward the site for the former Discount Food Outlet.
The Cole Brothers circus, which holds shows up and down the East Coast and as far west as Louisiana, bills itself as remaining “faithful to the tented tradition of presenting wholesome entertainment in a friendly atmosphere” that makes children and adults feel welcome.
The circus includes clowns, a human cannonball, tigers, elephants, acrobats, magicians and more.
Public parking will be in the lot between the Laurel Street entrance and Riverside Avenue, he said.
The circus plans to park its trailers along the rear of the fenced-in section where the mall once stood and to pen its elephants in front of them.
The ticket booth will be in that same area, officials said.
Animal rights protesters are expected to have a peaceful demonstrations nearby at 3 and 6 p.m. Saturday, trying to convince people not to patronize the circus because it uses wild animals. They say the circus has a record of mistreating its animals, a charge the circus denies.
The traditional circus, whose roots reach back to 1884, last came to town in 2000, when its elephants helped set up the large canvas tent on the former General Motors factory parking lot on Chippens Hill for a Rotary Club fundraiser.