I have to admit I was a little nostalgic when I heard the news about the Barnum and Bailey Circus shutting down for good. As a kid, I have fond memories of going to the circus and seeing the amazing talents of the animals, acrobats, and clowns. When I heard the final circus performances were going to take place in Downtown Hartford, I realized if I did not take my children to the circus at that moment, they would lose their chance to ever have that experience.
After my recent travels in Africa, I thought the last thing I would ever do was support a business that took wild animals out of their natural habitat. After some thought, I realized, regardless if I bought tickets or not, the show would still go on and then the circus would say farewell for the final time. I finally made the decision to go for it and take my kids to the circus.
At first, my son did not want to go because he is afraid of clowns. I can certainly understand how any kid can have this fear based on the scary clown crimes within the past couple of years along with the newly released movie trailer of Stephen King’s It. I decided to pull up images of the Barnum and Bailey Circus clowns on the internet. I immediately noticed the effort they put in to make their clowns look more human and funny instead of creepy and scary. When I showed those images to my son, he sighed with relief, quickly stating he would not be afraid of those clowns.
Photo credit: Miami.com (via Google Images)
We got to our seats right as the lights dimmed because my son’s soccer game ended a half hour before showtime (runitlikeamom style). I was happy the children got to hear the ring master do the same introductory spiel I remember hearing when I was young. It was awesome to watch the high level of talent within the hundreds of circus performers. As entertained as I was watching the show, I was even more mesmerized by watching the expressions on my children’s faces as they sat on the edge of their seats witnessing some very dangerous and well rehearsed stunts.
During the performance, I did not see as many animals as I remembered seeing as a kid. We only saw camels, tigers, poodles, and horses. The camels and horses paraded around the floor, while the tigers and poodles did some very impressive tricks. I just hope and pray their trainers treated all of the animals with love and respect.
Whether I made the right decision or not, I had an amazing afternoon with my children! Not only did I trigger some positive childhood memories of my own, but I helped my children create their own memories. The circus has been around for 145 years. That means most adults had this experience at some point in their lives. Now my children will understand what it means when they hear someone pay homage to “The Greatest Show on Earth”.
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Disclaimer: Barnum and Bailey did not compensate me in any way for writing this blog.