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Sarasota's Circus History
No other area in the U.S. can claim the rich cultural
heritage, the abundance of circus families and the home base of as many
circuses as Sarasota, Florida and surrounding communities. As a
hub of circus activity for more than three-quarters of a century, Sarasota has earned its
rightful title of "Home of the American Circus."
When the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus moved
its winter quarters to Sarasota
in 1927, the serene seaside resort became a ring of circus activity, attracting
famous circus families and artists from around the world, as well as thousands
of tourists to its famed winter quarters. Sarasota
quickly became known far and wide as Circus
In 1960, Ringling moved its winter quarters 25 miles south
of the city of Sarasota and the impact of the
circus expanded into the larger Sarasota
County area. John and
Charles Ringling, two of the five original Ringling brothers, wielded
incredible influence on the economy, development and culture of Sarasota Bay
which is still evident today.