Teamsters Dean Kruger and Mary Ann Tempus guide the Ringling Bell Wagon through the streets of Baraboo during the 2013 Big Top Parade
By News Republic staff
August 29, 2013
A wagon that’s been on display at Baraboo’s Circus World Museum for three decades will soon be departing. The Ringling Bros. Bell Wagon will travel to Florida shortly after Labor Day to be with its corporate owner, Feld Entertainment. The company will display the wagon as part of its 50-year anniversary of ownership and stewardship of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
The wagon was part of the Feld family’s 1984 loan to Circus World. It was rehabilitated by the museum along with three other wagons, all of which are on display in the W.W. Deppe Wagon Building. Feld Entertainment also lent the museum 1980s costumes, props and floats.
“Not only has the Feld collection brought enjoyment to hundreds of thousands of visitors over the years, but it has emphasized the significant role that Wisconsin plays in the grant history of circus in America,” said Interim Director of Circus World John Lloyd, adding that the museum is grateful to the Feld family.
Lloyd said the Bell Wagon was the first “fancy wagon” built for Ringling Bros. Circus in 1891 by the Moeller brothers – cousins of the Ringlings – at their Baraboo shop. He hopes the wagon can return to Baraboo for the upcoming 125-year anniversary of its first appearance in a Ringling Bros. street parade.
Feld Entertainment Vice President of Corporate Communications Stephen Payne said the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s circus will continue to make circus history, and the Feld family will continue to help Circus World preserve it.