Mia West reaches out to pet a horse during Saturday's opener at the Circus World Museum. The 6-year-old from Edgerton enjoyed the face painting and the clowns but the horses were the No. 1 favorite on her list.
By John Morton
May 20, 2013
Alongside the clowns’ antics and the magicians’ tricks came many a giggle and many a high five as Saturday’s opening day at Circus World Museum received favorable reviews.
“We had a blast,” John Braatz said as he and his family posed for pictures outside the park with their new foam clown noses. “It’s the first time I’ve taken the kids here and I haven’t been here in probably 15 years. I’m glad to see it is a lot as I remember it.”
The Watertown family took advantage of a promotional deal through the Wisconsin Historical Society, receiving through membership free or discounted tickets to many attractions.
“Last week we visited Old World Wisconsin (in Eagle), which also has a lot of history,” Braatz said. “But the kids sure enjoyed it here because of not just the history but the fun. The shows were spectacular, especially the interactive ones with the tricks in the ring (of the Hippodrome). They were very cute and funny.”
His 7-year-old son Xavier said he loved to watch the dogs and monkeys interact on stage. With tickets to other attractions this summer, will he want to come back to Circus World?
“Yes,” he said. “One hundred times.”
Employees said opening day brought a steady flow, bolstered by warm weather nearing 80 degrees.
Saturday marked the third straight year Jami West of Edgerton has visited the museum but her first on opening day. She said it was a great way to kick off the summer.
“The kids love it, especially the horses,” she said as her daughter Mia and her daughter’s friend Dacoda Allen, both 6, took turns petting the black horses that were pulling a buggy. “It’s simple here, and I like the fact the circus is in a small area so we can concentrate on it. They don’t feel overwhelmed.”
Many Cub Scout units were in attendance Saturday, including Troop 417 of Milton for the fifth straight year.
Assistant scout master Tammy Whitford said she puts an emphasis on the educational value of the annual outing.
“It’s important they get a sense of the history of the circus, which played such an important role in our state’s heritage,” she said. “The circus means more than just cotton candy and the gift shop. We point out things we think they should learn about. The boys always really seem to like it here.”
Even scout David Hiebert, having a bit of a teenage kind of day, found something enjoyable as the temperatures and humidity kept climbing by late afternoon.
“I learned a lot but what was best was learning about how good the shade feels in the Hippodrome,” he said.