Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Circus...hmmm...

A Clown, a lion, tigers, miniature horses, jugglers, cotton candy, and I wonder about...

A few weeks ago we took our family plus nephew to a traveling circus a few towns away. It was actually fun in an Erie kinda way. I know my statement above could be looked at as kinda judgemental or rude but I cant help but look at it that way.

Of course our kids had a great time watching the clown perform, watch the kids and adults ride the unicycle, seeing the lion and 2 tigers, watching the young man fly through the air through a hoop, the little girl with the pigeons, the balancing act, the incredible juggler who could juggle hats, balls, bowling pins and more. It was a traditional old time feeling of what the circus probably looked like years ago before Ringling Brothers.

But I couldn't help but wonder about the children working in the circus. I mean if the do this every weekend, always on the road, how many hours do they spend practicing their acts? And it seemed like each child performer did other things, one girl was taking money for pony rides then turned around and was a unicycler, then did a bird act. The juggler was also did an act where he flew through the air to make it through a hula hoop. So I wonder do they have to have guidelines on how long these kids "practice." How does the state know if they are working too much? I guess it isn't much different than what child actors do..I guess.

Any time anyone goes to a circus there are always those people who are trying to sell you everything, paper posters, cotton candy, hot dogs, face painting, soda, glow in the dark sticks, balloons, their shoes (GOTCHA) and all for an outrageous price(in my opinion). They don't give up either, they reduce the price right before the end just to entice you some more. Ha! Ain't no thing but a chicken wing, I know they are doing their job, except I am not one to buy into that. I wonder how old the hot dogs are, and if they are being chopped up in the back behind the big rig powering the bounce house, and what sanitary precautions are being practices handling the food. Call me a deep thinker but I just wonder.

I wonder about those poor animals too. I mean, Hey, I know these people are trying to entertain and support their family and all, I get it. But-I cant help but think about the lion and tigers, pigeons and all other animals in the circus business. The miniature horses all chained up ready to give a ride to all the giddy kids, weekend after weekend. Do they get any free time? Do they get time to roam or do they practice all the time, perform, and just stay confined to their cages? Who knows..Well I am sure the circus peps know.

Just to clarify I did run into these issues visiting a local theme park that has tons of animals about their freedom and such but its hard because we as parents want to give our children the opportunity to learn about animals, see the outside world, and see animals up close, and these places give us a personal experience to do so that they otherwise would not get to.

I am not saying, "I hate the circus, or theme parks with animals or zoo's or I'll never go again." We have been there, my children enjoy it, and although this was my first traditional circus experience which was entertaining, I couldn't help but think about all the things "behind" the circus that may or may not go on. Who knows it could very well be ran right, with fresh food, man and beast are best friends, good hearted family people, sanitary handling of all products, and all while following proper guidelines for running a traveling circus. :)

I am just sayin', I wonder is all...

Here's a collage of pictures from our experiece:
Click on picture to see upclose


  1. Watch out for Carnies! I'm just sayin'!

  2. You have some valid concerns. I wonder if any agency makes sure the children get an education. Does the SPCA check on the animals. Does the state health department regulate the food concessions. All good questions. I just wish we had answers.

  3. Yes indeed Sunny Day!! At least I am not the only one thinking about these issues!! :)
    Oh-Manda the Carnies were out that night..I was brave though! :)