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Growing Up In A Circus Town

Growing up, I always knew Sarasota, Florida was unique, that not everyone had a circus museum in their city or the mansion of John Ringling. It wasn’t until speaking to friends about our Greatest Showman Airband theme that I realized just how much circus is ingrained into Sarasota culture. So here are 10 things I realized that are weird in most places but completely normal in a circus town. 

  1. Circus as an after school activity

    1. Circus was as common of an after school activity during elementary and middle school as gymnastics or crew.

  2. The circus kids

    1. Just like every school has the band kids or the theater kids we also had the circus kids that asked everyone to go to their performance on the weekend at Sailor Circus.

  3. Volunteering at the circus

    1. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ORTBS5h3lsqcyeIvKaeGW2ssPjZU6NZ5/view?usp=sharing

    2. My high school partnered with the Circus Arts Conservatory to have us volunteer (for service hours) at the circus as ushers. We casually met all of the circus acts and got a free show out of it.

  4. Having the circus come to your school

    1. The circus came and performed at the school during an assembly to promote the volunteer opportunity.

  5. Clown statues


    2. Someone thought it would be a good idea to make 100 unique clown statues and place them around downtown.

  6. Almost everyone has taken some sort of circus arts class

    1. Hula hooping, aerial silks, acrobatics or just general circus classes and camps are just a few of the options.

  7. Nik Wallenda is a household name

    1. All the TVs were on when Sarasota’s claim to fame walked across Niagara Falls into Canada.  

  8. And a motivational speaker

    1. He’s spoken at college graduations and at my high school about following your dreams.

  9. A circus show for large cats and other animals is normal

    1. Big Cat Habitat Gulf Coast Sanctuary shows off its animal exploitation in typical lions, tigers and other random big cat acts like jumping through hoops or roaring

  10. Clown college isn’t a joke

    1. The Ringling Bros Clown College actually existed in Sarasota, Florida.

Make sure to watch UD Kappa Alpha Theta’s rendition of The Greatest Showman from this years Airband to see a circus in action!

Caroline is a Freshman Early Childhood Education major at the University of Delaware. She enjoys dogs, writing, and netflix. She comes from the beautiful Sarasota, Florida. 
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