Last Thursday night, my parents, Erika and I went to see the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. The circus was in town March 2-6, and we Parkers never miss an opportunity to go and see all the latest and greatest circus tricks. My mother isn’t as much of a circus enthusiast as my dad and I; but she’s always a good sport and tags along for the fun.
The VBC is undergoing some renovations right now and so getting into the arena is always a tricky experience these days. We were escorted in through a back door where we walked past the storage crates for the flying trapeze!
Walking in the back door
The Trapeze Crate!
My dad helped my mom get settled into her spot for the show and then joined Erika and I down on the floor for the pre-circus activities. Before he got down there, Erika had the privilege of trying on a circus jacket! It matched the clothes she had on – purple is her favorite color, can you tell?
Erika and I found a seat on one of the rings watching the clowns and a hula hooper. Erika and I are pretty sure we can perform this trick with no problem at all! Ha; then again, maybe not.
My dad joined us just in time to watch a few other circus performers, including a lady that dangled in the air while swinging on a hoop of some sort and some Asian guys that performed tricks with straw hats. Then came the moment we were all waiting for – the elephant!
Every year at the circus, an elephant paints a picture. You can register to win the picture and every year my dad crosses his fingers hoping he will win and unfortunately they never draw his name; this year was no exception. Maybe I can write a letter to the circus and ask them to send him one. We watched the elephant paint a couple of pictures and also catch some sticks thrown by the clown Bibi. After the elephant performed, it was time to go to our seats so the floor could be cleared for the circus to get underway.
Catching sticks thrown by Bibi the Clown
The elephant is painting a self portrait
Painting another self portrait
The clowns got things started by beating on some trash cans and dancing around and then the ringmaster came out and sang the national anthem. After The Star Spangled Banner, the singing and dancing and performing began. This show was called Funundrum, which is the same as last year’s show and a lot of the acts were the same but there were a few different acts as well.
The tigers were one of the first acts and I always enjoy watching them perform. They are very stubborn creatures and you can tell they’d much rather being doing something else.
The tigers look like they want to eat the tiger tamer.
I like it when they stand up like this.
This guy is thanking the Lord he is still alive.
This show also had one of my very favorite acts, the Globe of Steel, or as I like to call it, The Globe of Death.
There were lots of animal acts as well, including horses, a longhorn and of course elephants. Here an elephant is carry a basket with a dog inside. The dog kept wagging his tail and my dad said the dog must be enjoying it. When I got home I asked The Tide if she would ever ride in an elephant basket… she didn’t have much to say in response other than a turn of her head.
Hook 'Em Horns!
A dog riding in an elephant basket
One of the last things I took a photo of was of this duo – he was driving a motorcycle on a tight rope and she was riding some kind of contraption underneath. She was doing flips and all sorts of things. It was pretty interesting, especially considering it was right above our heads.
Do not try this at home!After the circus was over, mother rode a construction lift down to the street and then we headed back to the car and slowly maneuvered our way through the hordes of people so we could head back to our homes for the night.
The circus was a lot of fun this year. I’m glad we were all able to go and that Erika was able to go with us. I think everyone had an enjoyable time. It was one of the better circuses that Ringling Brothers has put on in recent years. You can read more about it here, which is a recap of the Funundrum from 2010. I look forward to the 2012 circus; but until then, may all your days be circus days!