Thursday, January 3, 2008

It's circus time in Sarasota

Now that the holidays are over, eager Bradenton Herald readers have been inquiring about what seems to be the next big ticket in the Bradenton-Sarasota area — the circus.

The clowns, the exotic animals and all those unique stunts are a big draw for circus lovers — especially for those living in the circus haven of Sarasota.

I must have been about 5 or 6, when I went to see the circus for the first time. I tagged along with an aunt I barely knew and a younger cousin. I remember being completely enamored by the elephants marching in and performing tricks. I laughed at the clowns, sat in wonder at sight of the ringmaster and got all the popcorn and candy a kid could ever want. But I don't think I ate it all, because when you're a kid going to the circus for the first time, food is probably the last thing on your mind as you take in all the dare-devil action and glorious fun.

Looking back on that experience, it's easy to see why some people literally want to run away and join the circus. Though it's exciting, I don't remember that thought ever crossing my mind. I don't think I could live with all the animal smells 24-7. But I guess one gets used to that.

If you haven't had the opportunity to check out the circus, want to expose your kids to the thrills of the big top or basically re-live a moment of your childhood, don't miss these following circus events at our back door:
— Ringling Bros. And Barnum and Bailey all new Gold Tour, various times Jan. 17-Jan. 21, Robarts Arena, Sarasota. Information: (813) 287-8844
— Circus Sarasota, various times Feb. 1-24, 1500 Stringfield Ave., Sarasota. Information: 355-9805. — January Holmes

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