The Al Ringling Theatre in downtown Baraboo will host several circus-themed events on Saturday as part of a Circus Heritage Day. The Baraboo Big Top Parade winds around the courthouse square beginning at 2 p.m. and will feature 12 historic circus wagons.
BARRY ADAMS | Wisconsin State Journal
July 21, 2013
The circus parade is back.
It’s not the Great Circus Parade, last held in 2009 in downtown Milwaukee, but a scaled-down version designed to be part of a daylong event on Saturday in Baraboo that celebrates the city’s circus heritage.
The 60-unit Baraboo Big Top Parade will feature 12 historic circus wagons from Circus World Museum, former circus performers and dignitaries, three high school marching bands, clowns, a rocket bike, floats, and horses that will pull some of the wagons.
Organizers expect 10,000 people but emphasize there will be plenty of parking and spots to watch the parade, which starts at 2 p.m. and winds around the city’s courthouse square.
“The parade’s going to bring a lot of circus life to this town,” said Nanci Caflisch, co-chair of the event. “I think it’s going to be a really exciting day.”
Circus Heritage Day will include several events at the Al Ringling Theatre. Five circus wagons not in the parade and a steam calliope will be on display in front of the historic landmark, where tours and an organ demonstration will begin at 11 a.m. A reading of “Ice Cream Seven Times a Day,” the story of the Ringling brothers, will take place at 12:30 p.m. in the theater, constructed in 1915.
Later in the day, the theater will host showings of the documentary, “A Circus Life” at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The 90-minute film chronicles the efforts of C.P. “Chappie” Fox to save and collect historic circus wagons for Circus World Museum.
Between 1963 and 2009, the Great Circus Parade was held 30 times in Milwaukee. The last parade in Milwaukee featured more than 50 colorful wagons, 250 horses and 30 bands on the two-hour route. A smaller version was held in Baraboo in 2004 and 2005.
Other features of the Circus Heritage event include a car show, food court, farmers market and walking tours.
“It’s a very scaled-down event from the Milwaukee parade so you’ll be up close,” Caflisch said. “Anybody with any kind of circus interest will really enjoy the day.”
Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/circus-heritage-parade-brings-out-the-wagons/article_4efd7ab5-86c9-5db6-908e-6248ffe2a9f4.html#ixzz2ZmFMvZJJ