The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus came to town and last weekend we took Paul to experience his first real circus. He loved it, and honestly I did too.
I can’t say where my childhood memories of the circus come from. I can’t remember if my parents ever took me to one, but I think they did. If not an actual circus, they must have taken me to a carnival or something similar. Regardless, what I remembered wasn’t pleasant. I didn’t like it at all: the sights, the smells, everything about it, and I was fairly reluctant to take my son to “enjoy” the same thing.
This was different: it was very well done and it was fun! The theme was dragons, which added a little something unique to the usual things found at the circus. The usuals were there though, acrobats, lions and tigers (but no bears), elephants, trick dogs and cats, many motorcycles driving around inside a small, spherical steel cage, but everything had the mystery of dragons running through it, drawing from various cultures from around the globe. Very cool.
Before the show the actors/athletes were on the floor, rings assembled, rehearsing various aspects of the main performance and we were allowed onto to floor to see them up close, meet the actors, and even have them sign our program. This was a nice touch. Paul even ended up getting picked to participate in one of the rings!
We made our way to our seats, the show began and everything about it was fantastic. Multiple acts, multiple rings, and a build up to the emergence of a very well done, full sized dragon at the end. My only criticism is over the length of the show. Even with an intermission, it was long. The performance began at 11:30 a.m. and didn’t end until almost 2:00 p.m. Paul started getting fidgety about the time time intermission came, and even with the break, he was a little restless for the rest of the show. That said, we got what we paid for and didn’t feel short changed at all. There is no way anyone can see this show and complain about the quality or quantity of the experience.
Would I go again? Absolutely yes, and so would my son. Well done, Ringling Brothers!
It’s great to be a dad!