Feld Entertainment recently announced that The Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus will end its 146-year run in May. We are sad to hear this, as the circus is deeply engrained in the history of Sarasota and has been since John Ringling relocated the circus headquarters here in 1927. Our entire city reflects this rich heritage – from The Ringling Circus Museum and Ca’ d’Zan, to Ringling Boulevard and the Ringling bridge.
This news actually came on the heels of an announcement earlier in the week that for the first time in the history of Ringling Bros., a female ringmaster is running the show. Kristen Michelle Wilson is a natural in this role, and we are proud of her accomplishment and wish her well as the circus comes to a close.
We at Key Culinary Tours are big fans of the circus, and our St. Armands tours proudly pay tribute to the Greatest Show on Earth. Our talented guides eagerly share circus history along our tour routes, particularly relating to John Ringling, who purchased St. Armands Key in 1917. We visit the Circus Ring of Fame in the center of the Circle and talk about famed performers – human and animal alike! This is a favorite stop for our guests, as they don red clown noses in the spirit of the circus.
The historic Ring began 30 years ago, and each winter honorees are nominated to receive bronze wagon wheel plaques. On January 14, six more performers were officially inducted into the Ring, including “Rogana” - Dora Foster of the swaying ladder; The Pedrolas, wire walkers, aerial cradle and more; Henry Ringling North, co-owner of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus; Reggie Armor, trapeze artist; Allen Bloom, marketing & sales; and Starless Night, a black horse who appeared in numerous circuses! We invite you to stop by and view these amazing awards.
In addition, locals can still enjoy Circus Sarasota, a production filled with international circus all-stars including Nik Wallenda, February 10 through March 5 under the big top near the Mall at University Town Center. Just another reason to love living in Sarasota!