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Sunday, June 16, 2013

North Dakota has enjoyed the circus for 130 years
from:  bismarktribune.com
By Curt Eriksmoen
June 15, 2013
 
For 130 years the circus has provided entertainment for the residents of North Dakota. During the early years of circus performances in this state, the majority of the population of a town and its surrounding region would turn out to witness some aspect of the festivities created by the circus.
In the morning, a parade led by the circus band and followed by elephants, caged animals, clowns, and circus performers would proceed down the main streets of the town. Afterward, people would gather at the fairgrounds or an area designated for the circus where exhibits, exotic animals, concessions, rides, gaming events, and other curiosity items were available.
The first performances under the big top were held in the early afternoon. With breaks in-between performances, the shows would continue until about 10 p.m.
The American circus started in the 1830s when showman P. T. Barnum put up a tent in a town and provided shows. After the day's last performance, he would have the tent torn down and then travel to the next town to put on more performances.
The coming of the railroad allowed circus owners to greatly expand the territory where their shows could be held. On Oct. 18, 1882, the bridge between Bismarck and Mandan was completed, and trains moving across northern Dakota Territory, as well as north-south rail travel along the Red River were available.
According to my research, W. W. Cole was the first circus to come to North Dakota. Its first stop was at Jamestown on July 10, 1883, followed by Bismarck, Valley City, Fargo, and Grand Forks on each succeeding day. William Washington Cole began his circus career in 1871 and later changed the name to the Cole Brothers Circus, which is still in existence.
read more:
http://bismarcktribune.com/news/columnists/curt-eriksmoen/north-dakota-has-enjoyed-the-circus-for-years/article_48668366-d521-11e2-a213-0019bb2963f4.html

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