Tuesday, October 31, 2006 

The last weeks of the 2006 outdoor circus season saw the Carson & Barnes Circus move through North Carolina, then jump into Georgia for a successful stop in suburban Atlanta before moving into Alabama. A brief stop in Mendenhall, MS yesterday marked the final southeastern date before making a long jump today into East Texas for shows beginning tomorrow.


It's hard to play East Texas without think of George W Christy. One hundred years ago, Mr. Christy made a success of a two car railroad show, and from his headquarters in what would become South Houston he ultimately built a 25 car circus noted for it's parade wagons, fine performance and feats of logistical magic. On several occasions the Christy Circus did the seemingly impossible, playing in two towns on the same day. Setting up, performing, tearing down, moving and doing it all over again one hundred miles down the track. George Christy closed his circus during the Great Depression, but kept his elephants, sometimes seen helping with road work around South Houston. Later the last of his equipment helped to frame the Cole Bros Circus under Jess Adkins and Zack Terrell.


Our East Texas dates include Wharton, TX, San Leon, TX, and Pearland, TX on weekend. The tent crew goes home after that, many to Mexico. We'll see them again next March. The tent itself will go to Hugo, and the rest of the circus will move to Tulsa for an indoor date. Elephant boss Randy Peterson goes home to Wisconsin. By the end of November we're all towners again. With a mudshow it's like that. Eight months of incredible effort and oustanding work, then we go home.

Sunday, October 29, 2006 

UPDATE. I said that I'd sometimes have something to say. Or maybe I just miss writing in the blog. Sometime today or tomorrow I hope to post an update recapping a bit of the swing through the southeast over the past three weeks. Carson & Barnes Circus will make the longest jump of the season in the next few days, from Mississippi to Texas. The tented show will close, it's season ending after the east Texas dates, then the mudshow becomes an indoor circus with weekend dates through November.

Friday, October 06, 2006 

Every good thing comes to a close, including circus seasons. The Carson & Barnes Circus has another four weeks left to the tented circus season, but this virtual route book is going into Winterquarters. I’ll be working for the show from a California office for the remainder of the 2006 season. It’s been a pleasure and an honor to write in this blog, and to meet so many people who seem to have enjoyed it. When winter really comes, given the time I promise to go back and add material to earlier entries.

The history of the classical American circus, the popular circus is a story of change as much as it’s an incredible story of continuity. When Spring comes there will be another circus season. Count on it. Some old shows will be off the road; maybe some new shows will be born. Thus it’s always been.

Carson & Barnes will be starting its season in March in Texas and moving north and south and east and west. Count on that too.

Come the Spring, I’d like to think that on somebody’s circus I’d be writing another blog.

Ben Trumble



Jumps from Charlottesville

Clarksville 115 miles
Burlington, NC 68 miles
Wilson, NC 110 miles
Raleigh NC 50 miles

A week with its share of challenges. Our bookers and promotions and marketing team spent a year preparing for a date in Wilmington, NC. With ten days to go before the date the Cape Fear Fair announced that they would ask for enforcement of an obscure law prohibiting competing outdoor entertainment within 30 days of a fair. We scrambled and found a lot in Raleigh.

A poultry truck plowed into the rear end of one of our midway trailers, housing the giant snakes, a concessions booth, and a ticket booth. The trailer was lost. (Snakes okay!)

A chemical plant near Raleigh caught fire as the show was jumping into the Wake County Speedway today. 16,000 people were forced to evacuate, and some roads were closed. Raleigh media isn’t telling circus stories today.

But the tent went up and the show goes on with all of its glitter and charm.