Ah, the Circus, that magical spell that casts over us at the sights of the huge and colorful Circus Posters on Billboards, TV spots and Commercials of the daring young people on the Flying trapeze followed by tons of thundering performing pachyderms and the wafting smells of freshly cooked popcorn, sawdust, and canvas.
Nothing brought more pleasure to the masses than the Circus in America. For over 200 years the general public has been awestruck at the sounds of the first steam engine pulling the circus train into town until the lights finally went out late that night. No where else could be found the rhythm of six strong backs swinging a sledge hammer in a sequential unison to drive the five inch round wooden tent stakes in the ground in just a short amount of time.
Teams of horses, elephants, tractors, and trucks all pulled wagon after wagon off of the circus trains which were so large it took the steam and diesel Locomotives to pull four separate sections of train cars into your town bringing 1500 workers, performers, musicians, and management staff to make that one day in your town the most fantastic day to remember for a very long time.
The Circus was a world of wonder as it arrived, unloaded, started to unfold, and slowly created an entire new town of its own complete with a fulltime restaurant staff, generators to create their own electricity, physicians and veterinarians, Postal services, Legal Counsel, Press Departments, Blacksmiths, Mechanics, Wardrobe personnel, Designers and Choreographers.
Inside the massive flapping tents of canvas, was found the mysteries of the world that only had been read about in books or magazines but never seen in person before. Oddities from around the world were there for all to see. People with rubber skin, girls allowing electricity to pass right through their bodies, sword swallowers, fire eaters, they were here for one glorious day and one day only.
Inside the menagerie were animals from the exotic parts of the world as well as right here at home. Lions, Tigers, Zebras, Giraffes, and Elephants were practically expected when the Circus came to town. So they brought more than you expected like the rare and unusual Burmese White elephants, or the most terrifying creatures ever known like Gorillas, Hippopotamus, Rhinoceros, Sea Elephants, or Cape Buffalo.
The early morning activities usually included a fine parade through the streets of downtown with glamorous Show girls finely costumed, Horsemanship, magnificently carved parade wagons with bands on top, a display of many of the circus animals, including a line of elephants and the screeching of the boisterous Steam Calliope acting as the Pied Piper to the world to come see the Circus.
Once the performance began, the sights of one man facing twenty lions and tigers were amazing but three rings of fun, action and excitement at the same time was too much to see all at one. The beautiful spectacles as the paraded around the tent showed many finely costumed circus performers and Circus themes. The daring aerialists and the incredibly loud cannon as it shot a person across the tent all remained with us for a lifetime of memories.