Everything Circus

Pennant Fever

Debbie McConnell an owner of the Clarksville Speedway in Clarksville, TN found this Circus heirloom in a box of her grandmother’s things. Circus pennants over the years have been collector’s items although their dollar value is mostly in the eye of the beholder.

Rare Stakes

Selecting and harvesting trees for stakes.

A month before the Carson & Barnes Circus leaves its home in Hugo, Oklahoma, on some sunny afternoon, you can hear the short whir and wail of chainsaws radiate throughout the hills.

A short… Continue reading

The Boss of Bosses

Just minutes after the end of the first performance, of the first show, of the 2012 season Barbara Miller-Byrd, the matriarch of the Carson & Barnes Circus family —the boss of bosses— is sitting at the dining table… Continue reading

Father of the Modern Circus

You’ve heard of a three ring circus, right? What about a big top that boasts a five ring spectacle? Have you ever stopped to wonder, why the heck  a ring?

Why not a five square circus? Or a … Continue reading

Circus of Another Kind

Model of ancient Rome in the Imperial era, showing the Circus Maximus (foreground), the Coliseum (top of picture) and between them, the Palatine

The Circus Maximus was a 678-yard long by 159-yard wide, elongated, oval shaped stadium, split at its… Continue reading

The Circus’s Classical Music Connection

Think of the circus. The big top. The clowns. The elephants. The trapeze artists. The high wire. The jugglers. The aroma of hay, sawdust and popcorn.

Now close your eyes and think not just about the… Continue reading

Name That Elephant!

There is an interesting fact about some of the biggest females in the Carson & Barnes Circus and it’s not how they got that big. That’s easy to explain when you think about it. They are the biggest land… Continue reading

You’ve Got Mail

For most of us, getting our mail is just a matter of walking to the mailbox. If you’re part of the Circus family, it’s not quite so easy.

Working in the circus, zig-zagging across America for eight-months at a time,… Continue reading

Clown of Clowns

Grimaldi as "Clown Joey" circa 1820

Disputably one of the most famous and celebrated of all clowns to ever work a show was Joseph Grimaldi (1778-1837).

Grimaldi, born in London, England during the eighteenth century, is considered by… Continue reading

The Wonders of Pachy Poo

Probably one of the least romantic aspects of the circus-life is the responsibility of having to clean-up after the animals, specifically, having to clean-up after the biggest stars under The World’s Biggest Big Top, those wonderful Ponderous Performing Pachyderms.… Continue reading


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