The Circus Has Come to Town

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s The Greatest Show On Earth will be in Chicago on November 20th through December 1st with shows at both the Allstate Arena and United Center.

This is the circus’ 143rd edition of The Greatest Show on Earth and in celebration of this milestone, each city has a different theme for the circus.

Chicago’s theme is called Built To Amaze and features acts which range from acrobats moving in The Steel Vortex to clowns having a paint fight.

Ana Gonzalez, mother of three, decided to take her children to the circus this year, and was pleased with the show.

“The opening act was great; I enjoyed it a lot!”

She went on to add that for her, the highlight of the show was the elephants.

“My favorite act was when the elephants came out and stood on the stools and did some amazing tricks,” Gonzalez said.

Although the elephants didn’t come out for the closing act, Gonzalez still enjoyed the show and says she will definitely be going next year.

Vianey Gonzalez, Gonzalez’s seven year-old daughter, had a different favorite act from her mom.

“When people were in the spinning thing (Steel Vortex) and the men were jumping rope on top of it was my favorite,” she said.

The major act that made the show exciting for Vianey was when the tumblers were doing all kinds of crazy flips.

She is eagerly looking forward to next year’s show.

Ashley Almazan, a sixteen year old high school student from Morton East, was looking forward to this year’s show since she has not gone in six years.

“I’m excited to see what kind of acts they will be doing!”

Almazan has gone to the circus only a few times, so when she heard the circus was in town she decided to do a little research and get some tickets.

The circus has a special offer that allows babies that are 12 months or younger to get in the circus for free!

Interested parents just need to go on the circus’ website and sign up for Baby’s First Circus. Once the ticket voucher gets to you in the mail, take it to one of the shows and get your free ticket!

Additional perks include free parking, and if you buy your tickets and arrive an hour early you can participate in the pre-show.

According to their website, the circus all started with P. T. Barnum in 1870 when he debuted “P.T. Barnum’s Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan, and Circus.” Later, in 1881, Barnum joined forces with James A. Bailey and James L. Hutcherson, to launch a new show called “Barnum & London Circus.”

Barnum and Bailey separated in 1885 but came back together in 1888 to launch the “Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show On Earth.”

Barnum passed away in 1891, and Bailey took over the circus and sold half of the circus to the Ringling Bros. In 1906 Bailey passed away leaving the Ringling Bros. the other half of the circus. Both circuses, “Ringling Bros. Circus” and “Barnum and Bailey Greatest Show on Earth” came together in 1919 which became know as the now famous “Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, The Greatest Show on Earth.”

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