Museum Prepares for Great Circus Parade

By: Dana Brueck
By: Dana Brueck

Dozens of exotic animals, story book characters, and a series of antique wagons will stroll down one local community one week from now. It is Baraboo's Great Circus Parade.
The Circus World Museum's wardrobe department is where fairy tales take shape.
"Take them both in there with you," Linda Nyholm, co-director of the parade, says to a man getting fitted with a costume.
Glitz and gold grace its racks at every turn, like every turn of a story book page.
This year's parade theme is story book characters like Cinderella.
Nyholm says, "each of these costumes can have 6, 8, 10 pieces to it."
Making some of the 1,200 costumes here as heavy as the responsibility of tailoring them.
Museum employees pushed up their sleeves this morning, fitting people for next weekend's Great Circus Parade.
Co-director Dave SaLoutos says, "like the Ringlings said, we divide the job and stick together. So we've got ... animals, wagons ... another crew that's greasing the wheels."
The two-hour parade rolls back the calendar 100 years ...
"So they can see the magic that took place years ago," SaLoutos says.
All week workers will prepare antique circus wagons, groom elephants, work tigers and hundreds of horses.
"It's wild," SaLoutos says.
One sizeable change in this year's parade is the bill for emergency services. City leaders agreed to pick up the tab to the tune of nearly $60, 000.
Baraboo Mayor Pat Liston says, "circus world museum is part of Baraboo, our heritage ... culture."
The city's contribution makes it one of top donors for the event.
It pays for the much needed, extra personnel from outside the city.
"The revenue that we save through city ... goes directly into perpetuating programs at museum," Museum President Larry Fisher says.
Like preservation of its artifacts or its education and outreach.
"You see smiles ... kids, grandparents ... that's what makes it worthwhile," SaLoutos says.
Saturday's parade kicks off at noon in downtown Baraboo.
The two-hour event is free, or parade-goers can buy bleacher seats.

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