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The Circus is Coming

03/03/2008

pt_barnum_greatest_show_on_earth.jpg“The Circus is Coming!”

There was a time in American history that simple statement would send thrill, joy and anticipation pulsing in youngsters hearts and brains, even adults would race to see the caravan pull into town whether by parade on main street, coming down the river by riverboat or arriving at the train station. The sound of the calliope was the announcement of something wonderful about to take place.

In the winter of 1952, when I was six years old, we were visiting Sarasota Florida and my parents decided to take me to see the Ringling Brothers and Barnum/Bailey Circus. What a trill to be under the “Big Top” with its three rings of, what seemed to a child, “organized chaotic fun” and laughter.

The highlight of that event was seeing Emmett Kelly as the clown Weary Willie. Of course that character has now faded into history as has the circus itself.

Here in the “Valley” we will be able to glimpse a little of that nostalgic history on March 7th through 9th at Youngstown’s Chevy Center when the Ringling Brothers Circus comes to town.

Performances will be March 7th at 7pm; March 8th at 11am, 3pm, 7pm; and Sunday March 9th at 1pm.greatest.gif

The “Big Top” is gone but the family fun and dreams are still there.

If you don’t get a chance to go to see the circus, may I recommend renting the 1952 Cecil B DeMille’s movie the Greatest Show on Earth. Pop some popcorn, gather the family around for this also brings the circus to life for young and old alike.

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