Baraboo, Wis, Years ago I had booked a gig to work the bally stage for world of wonders sideshow. I was headed to St. Paul Minnesota to the state fair and my route took me through Baraboo.
Baraboo Wisconsin is home to the Circus world museum and this is where my companion and I found ourselves in the early morning. Gazing through the gates at the buildings. We eagerly wanted to go in but the clock said 7am and the grounds did not open for a few more hours. I decided one day I would come back to explore it.
Jump to July 2014. The sounds of circus music reached my ears as soon I left the jeep. Across the road and over the river I could see The bright colored Big top tent and see elephants.
The museum areas of Circus world are filled to the brim with old circus posters, parade cars and memorabilia from the Ringling Brothers and family. The Buildings that were once the winter grounds for the circus elephants, camels, gorilla's and more now hold colorful costumes and old pictures of the circus's many stars.
Across the bridge leads to more circus attractions. Old circus railroad cars sit empty and open to explore, The smell of popcorn and cotton candy drifts with the breeze and the sounds of various circus music plays in the background.
I venture into a giant tent with sideshow banners, inside set along a massive stage is a tribute to old legendary sideshow performers and working acts. Life sized statues of performers such as Jo-Jo the dog faced boy and Serpentina the snake charmer stand ready for pictures and I oblige them.
The next tent is the Big top circus and I make my way there to find a seat and enjoy the show. I can not stress enough how family friendly and clean Circus world is. The working animal acts showed healthy Elephants, ponies and dogs. The clown acts were funny and child friendly, the magic act and Aerial performers were beautiful and filled with ooohs and ahhhs from the crowd. After the show was over all the performers lined up outside to greet and thank everyone for coming and to stand for pictures.
Circus world has many shows throughout the day, Including the award winning Tristan Crist Illusion show and a Clown show.
A working carousel plays music off in the distance as I stop to take pictures of old circus wagons that once rolled down the main streets of home town America. These are just a few of the old treasured wagons that once traveled all over the World. I walk up the small hill to the next building now houses most of the finely preserved circus wagons. Each ornately decorated on the outside and painted with rich, vibrant colors. This building is packed full of Wagons and parade cars of all sizes and each has a story to tell. Every few steps I am stopping and taking taking more pictures, trying to capture every detail of each. As I stand looking at each Parade wagon, I can imagine what a lavish production each parade would have been. These colorful wagons filled with circus performers and animals rolling down the once quiet streets of a small town or big city. The music and spectacle that would have drawn people young and old to stop and watch.
With my 16GB Sd card almost full and my battery running low, I bid farewell to Circus world. I am happy that I had returned and explored Circus world. To walk the grounds and see the exhibits up close, Instead of straining to see them from behind the gate.
To visit Circus world and find out more, please visit https://www.circusworldbaraboo.org/
550 Water St
Baraboo, WI 53913
Call Us: 608-356-8341
Toll Free: 866-693-1500
Spring and Fall hours and admission price.
March 17 - May 16, 2014 (Spring Season)
Open Weekdays 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sept. 2 - Oct 31, 2014 (Fall Season)
Open Daily 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Senior Citizens (65+):
Children Under 5:
Summer hours and admission price.
May 17 - June 13, 2014
Open Daily 9:30 am - 6:00pm
June 14 - Sept. 1, 2014
Open Daily 9:30 am - 6:00 pm
Senior Citizens (65+):
Children Under 5: