Tag Archives: barnum & bailey

The Greatest Show On Earth

So, maybe the title is a slight exaggeration. Surely there are other great shows out there, but I don’t fault them for using the phrase. It really is one GREAT ass show.

 

If you haven’t already figured it out by now, I’m talking about the circus; Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey LEGENDS to be exact. And it was AMAZING! I don’t know when the last time I went was, I was probably so young that the memory is too fuzzy to recall, and so being there yesterday was almost like the first time. It didn’t matter that I am about to turn 33 and had no children in attendance with me, for one night I was 5 all over again and completely captivated. No, seriously, my mouth was dry from hanging open in amazement for so long. There was so much to see, my eyes could hardly keep up.

 

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We had excellent seats, which helped enhance the event, though I don’t think there were really any bad seats necessarily, just better ones. We had the better ones. The entire show is a burst of color, covered in glitters that catch the lights perfectly and draw you in. Actual performance aside, it was just visually stunning. The level of talent and bravery these performers have just blows my mind; they don’t miss a beat and thank God for that because several times I was equally amazed and horrified that I was about to watch someone meet certain death… like for instance the maniac motorcyclists in the video below. This video isn’t even the final count, we just wanted to watch the last round with our eyes instead of the phone lens, but they literally had 8 bikes in there! EIGHT! The program I bought says they ride at 60 mph, 4″ apart. That’s just insane.

 


Other bits of insanity involved the Big Cats. Now, I love cats, especially the big ones. In my mind, I think: Awww, wouldn’t it be so awesome to hug one of them! But I’m not stupid. Their mass and ferocity is terrifying and I know better. But Alexander Lacey doesn’t. He’s like, 11 big cats? YES, put me in a cage with them! This is where the line between brave and stupid blurs in my opinion. Thankfully, I didn’t have to witness the man be mawed to death, but I will say there were moments when I wasn’t sure. And while I loved seeing the Big Cats, I have to admit they didn’t seem happy.

 

When I was excitedly telling people I was going to the circus, I was met with a touch of nastiness like, “How can you support an event that is so cruel to animals?” There were actually even picketers there. I hadn’t even thought it that way. Only a small portion of the circus includes animals and all of them, with the exception of the big cats, seemed to enjoy their role in the show. Call it silly on my part (re: crazy imagination that believes animals have minds like us), but I think that some animals actually enjoy being used in something so spectacular. Dogs definitely enjoy learning tricks and getting treats for successfully pulling them off. No one hates on trainers who enter their talented dogs in Dog Shows, right? And horses seem to love to be ridden; they’re runners by nature so how much cooler is it for them to have a rider who gives their run a direction and purpose? I know the circus just recently announced their phase out plan for the elephants by 2018 and I understand and respect the decision to focus more on their preservation than on the money they help bring in, but I have to say that even the elephants looked like they were having a good time. The only animal I felt didn’t want to be there were the Big Cats and that did make me sad for them. However, the program I bought has a section on Alexander Lacey and his Big Cats and apparently his family has been raising them for decades, so these aren’t wild cats turned circus, they were born for this. Maybe this is just their usual demeanor? I don’t know. I suppose the cats will eventually go with the elephants and maybe they’d be happier? Or maybe that’d just put more of them in the wild for murder? Ugh, animal protection is such a tricky thing. :/

 

Back to the show, though… The drama kid from my past surfaced in me and I couldn’t help but also marvel at more than just the show itself, but all that I know has to go on behind the scenes for it to unfold so flawlessly. No one missed a beat. The lights, the music, the set changes, it just impresses me like you can’t imagine. How many hands go into making a show of this magnitude go on so successfully? I don’t know, but bravo to them. Every last one of them are stars in my opinion.

 

I’m sad to say we don’t have a ton of great pictures to remember the event by, but you can sort through the ones we did get in the slideshow below. I wasn’t sure they’d let me in with my good camera and phone cameras, while surprisingly decent these days, just don’t know what to do with all that light and movement. Still, I got a shirt and a program, and a hat with my cotton candy. Oh and a squeaker nose for good measure. 😉 It was awesome to take my mother-in-law (to be) and see her have such an awesome time herself, since lots of her days have been filled with sadness since Bobby passed. I’m still feeling the buzz of happiness today, that I had the whole ride home. So cool to get out and do something so fun for a change! If you’ve never seen the circus, I highly recommend it!