Circus Spectacular Ringling Festival Offers Visitors the Chance to "Play Circus and Clown Around"
Jan. 28-29, 2006
SARASOTA, Fla. – Jan. 13, 2006 – Join a unique two-day celebration of circus sights, sounds, and silliness for visitors of all ages, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 28-29, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. The Ringling estate will be transformed into a “center ring”, enabling visitors to become star performers while demonstrating their new skills as part of a One-Ring Circus that begins at 1:30 p.m. each day. Children and children-at-heart can learn clown tricks, participate in hands-on circus and art activities and enjoy a wide variety of circus food treats from local vendors.
Bill Hall will play vintage circus tunes on his DeDrei Krandsen, an 80-key, book-operated Gravioli/Mortier street organ built in the 1880's. Circus Sarasota stars, hosted by Pedro Reis, will thrill visitors with traditional circus skills, such as juggling, magic, clowning, balancing on rolling balls, walking a tight rope and swinging from a trapeze. Reis co-founded Circus Sarasota in 1997 with Dolly Jacobs as a not-for–profit, performing arts educational organization. Jacobs, one of the great American circus artists of all time, started her career 30 years ago as a Ringling Bros. aerialist and thrilled audiences for eight seasons with her wonderful “Roman Rings” act that branded her the undisputed “Queen of the Air”.
Saturday only at 2:30 p.m., Windjammers Unlimited, a world-renowned musical group dedicated to preserving the music of early twentieth century circus bands, will perform. “Windjammers” is the name show folk gave circus musicians of yesteryear, who literally “jammed” music through their horns to accompany circus acts for two shows each day.
Sunday from noon –3:00 p.m., MGM’s classic film, “The Greatest Show on Earth,” filmed at the Ringling Circus Winter Quarters in 1952, will be shown at the Circus Museum. Interestingly, the studio employed Ringling performers as stunt doubles for Betty Hutton and Cornel Wilde. Two of the many Ringling extras, circus legend LaNorma Fox and clown Jackie LeClaire, will be on hand to reminisce about their experiences during the film’s special viewing.
Visitors can experience the majesty of the Ringling circus empire through tours of the Circus Museum that are available all day. Once inside, the thrill of circuses past come alive complemented with an opportunity to view the new Tibbals Learning Center that doubles the Circus Museum’s exhibition space and traces the circus from antiquity through the modern Cirque du Soleil.
As always, there will be the chance to make circus themed crafts, have a child’s face painted by Pitter Pat and sample delicious circus food. Children of the Tallevast Community Center, an after-school program partner with the Museum, assembled the craft project models.