This weekend we went to the circus – not a modern Cirque du Soleil, but an old fashion Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus style extravaganza! It is appropriately located in America’s circus home town, Sarasota.
The Howard Bros. Circus is a ¾-inch-to-the-foot scale replica of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus located on the Ringling Estate in Sarasota, Florida. It includes a complete reproduction of the entire circus as it existed in the 1920s).
Howard C. Tibbals asked Ringling management if he could use their name for his circus when he started building it, but they refused. So he called it The Howard Bros. Circus instead. There never was a full-scale Howard Brother’s Circus.
Tibbals began toying with circuses in 1943, at the age of 7. At 12 he was given a lathe and jigsaw, which advanced his model building. Tibbals started working on the model in earnest in 1956. Much of the circus was completed by 1974, but it did not premiere until the 1982 World Fair in Knoxville, TN. In 2004, Tibbals set up the Circus at its current location in the Ringling Estate’s Tibbals Learning Center, which includes a full-scale replica of Tibbals’s workshop. It took Tibbals over one year to set up the circus in its current location.
Up next – The Town That Ringling Built…