“CIRCUS SARASOTA” MAINTAINS SARASOTA’S CIRCUS LEGACY
Sarasota, at the time a small city on Florida’s Gulf Coast, became the center of the circus world in 1927. John Ringling, by 1927, was one of the world’s wealthiest men. He had purchased all his competitors, and his “Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus” really was the greatest show on earth. The circus had previously spent its winters in Bridgeport, Connecticut, but Ringling and his wife had been wintering in Sarasota since 1909. As Ringling became more involved in Sarasota-area new home development and civic affairs, the move became inevitable. After 1927, Sarasota began attracting legendary circus performers and other celebrities as residents. Ringling was relentlessly active in the community, and Ringling circus stars frequently performed in benefits for local charitable causes. Ringling’s nephew, John Ringling North, moved the circus’ winter quarters to nearby Venice in 1959, but that move only enhanced the visibility of the circus in the region. The influence is still evident around Sarasota; every day, visitors tour the Ringling Circus Museum (on the grounds of the old Ringling estate) and check out the Circus Ring of Fame at St. Armand’s Circle.
And since 1997, Sarasota can boast of its own hometown circus, acclaimed for its world-class skill and high-quality entertainment. Pedro Reis and his wife, Dolly Jacobs, two veterans of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, created Circus Sarasota to provide the city with a splendid one-ring circus that features exceptional achievements in the circus arts while simultaneously serving the Sarasota community. With talent from around the world, Circus Sarasota is a joy and a delight to fans of all ages.
Circus Sarasota ticket sales fund several community outreach programs. The “Build-A-Circus” project helps Sarasota and Manatee County students create their own circus performances by working with students and classroom teachers. “Laughter Unlimited” is a humor therapy outreach for shut-ins in nursing facilities, hospitals, and adult care centers. Clowns, other circus professionals, and trained volunteers combine to make Laughter Unlimited one of Circus Sarasota’s most popular projects. Circus Sarasota is a non-profit educational corporation; offices are located at 2075 Bahia Vista Street in Sarasota. Business hours are weekdays from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
William True, Sarasota Real Estate & Exclusive Buyers Broker
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