Teri Silver is not only a journalist, she is a longtime lover of the circus. Teri now lives this dream through words and her circus friends.
Despite the closing of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey (May, 2017), circus performances continue to amaze and amuse audiences in the United States and around the world. (In fact, these shows now have more incentives and opportunities to play a fuller schedule). Some of these circuses have animal acts; others do not. Here in America (and globally), traditional circuses are STILL bringing their Big Top or coming to a venue in a city or small town near you!
Circus in America
These circuses are listed in alphabetical order: Visit each show's website link for more information on performances, locations, photos/video and ticket prices. Some shows are on hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Circuses may not have all of their "normal" or promoted acts in each performance. To determine what you might see in any particular show, contact that company directly. Performances are subject to change due to any number of unexpected circumstances.
All American Circus
Calling itself a "real family circus," All American Circus features aerials, acrobatics, clowns, pole artists, and a host of other traditional and modern circus acts. This 90-minute show is headquartered in Florida but tours the Eastern USA. Visit the All American Circus website or Facebook.
Big Apple Circus
Big Apple Circus is New York's "hometown" show, performing at Lincoln Center. Check the site for updates.
Billy Martin Presents the Cole-All Star Circus
The Cole All-Star Circus got its start in 1938 as a fundraising campaign for school groups and organizations in New York State; it continues to operate today. Mainly set up for school auditoriums, the show features acrobats, canines, clowns, cyclists and other floor acts. Performances are added as scheduled (with schools and communities that host the show; mainly in New York and Pennsylvania). Ticket offers may admit kids under the age12 free (with a paying adult). For information, check their website.
Bindlestiff Family Cirkus
Beginning in 1995, the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus has presented a unique kind of show featuring traditional circus acts, burlesque, sideshow and vaudeville. Based in New York City, this company works with community organizations to produce festivals and performances – it also presents circus workshops, children’s after-school and summer camp programs. Check out the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Website.
Carden Circus International
Carden Circus International works with many Shrine organizations to bring traditional circus to select American cities. Along with acrobatics, aerials, clowns and the like, animals are special stars of this show. The circus is committed to the exemplary care and treatment of animals, as noted on their website. Buy-one-get-one-free passes for children are often available online. For information, call 417-848-4394 or visit their website.
Carson & Barnes
Carson & Barnes calls itself the World’s Biggest Big Top Show. For more than 80 years, the Carson & Barnes circus (based in Hugo, Oklahoma) has brought traditional circus acts (aerialists, acrobats, clowns, etc.), domestic and exotic animal presentations to audiences of all ages. Carson & Barnes books a limited number of performances each year but the schedule is always changing—the circus is also available for hire by municipalities, community organizations and charities to create family events and fundraisers.
Carson & Barnes complies with all regulations to ensure the safety and welfare of their performing animals as well as show entertainers and audience members. Tickets are available online or in person; discount coupons and free ticket vouchers may be available. For more information, contact Carson & Barnes Circus at 580-743-7292 or visit their website.
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In Oakland and San Francisco, California, Circus Bella features "Circus in the Park." With rope-walking, single trapeze, juggling, hula hoop spins, contortions and more (no animals), this one-ring circus under the open-air sky schedules many free performances throughout the season; fairs, festivals, community events, and the like. Performances, with live music, are anywhere from 20 to 90 minutes, depending on location and event. For scheduling and other information, visit their website.
Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Circus Flora presents aerial and floor acts under a Big Top in various locations; trapeze, clowns, acrobatics and more. The show works with community organizations to bring instruction and entertainment to underprivileged children and their families. Check it out on their website.
Circus Hollywood brings its old-school show to state fairs, shrine fundraisers and other corporate, private, and public events. Aerials, animals, acrobats, clowns, contortionists, the Globe of Steel, and more ... just a few of the traditional circus elements of this three-ring spectacular, all under a Big Top. Circus Hollywood has racing pigs and its own Animal Encounters menagerie! Visit their website for more information.
Circo Hermanos Caballero
Touring in various California communities, Circo Hermanos Caballero has two units: Red and Blue. Both units have aerials, trapeze, floor acrobatics, motorcycle globe, trampoline, contortionists, clowns and the like, under the Big Top. On the Red Unit, Ruben Caballero Jr. (III) leads the flyers—watch him throw quadruple somersaults to his brother and catcher; Marco Antonio Caballero. For performance information, visit their Facebook page.
Created by a former Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus clown, Circus Kirkus is a one-ring theatrical show featuring aerialists, jugglers, acrobats, and comedy. Traveling in Florida, the show is about 90 minutes long. For information, visit their website or Facebook.
Circus Lena, located in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, offers 90 minute performances 6 days a week at various locations. No animals, but the show highlights traditional floor and aerial acts under a big top tent. Visit Circus Lena for more information.
Located in Florida but with bookings around the United States and Canada, Circus Spectacular features aerialists, acrobats, animals and more. Produced by Cindy Migley, Circus Spectacular books fundraisers, Shrine productions, corporate events, town celebrations, and music festivals. Visit Circus Spectacular on the web or call 941-539-3540 for more information.
Circus United is now a "Shrine Circus of Thrills™" in arenas. Circus United presents shows for communities and Shrine (and other charitable organizations) fundraisers. Acts are tailored for each performance.
Contact the administrators of Circus United for specific information on what will be in the show of your choice. Circus United is on Facebook.
Cirque Dreams is a modern look at circus theatrics. Located in Pompano Beach, Florida, the show combines athleticism with theater arts. Visit Cirque Productions.
Cirque Du Soleil
Since the early 1980s, Cirque Du Soleil has created its own tradition in performance and dramatic arts. Originating in Canada, Cirque Du Soleil is an alternative to “traditional” circus; merging street performances (stilt walking, juggling, clowning, magic etc.) with high-energy floor and aerial acts, acrobatics, dance, drama, music, costumes and lighting. Animals are not part of the Cirque Du Soleil experience. Email email@example.com or visit their website for information.
Cirque Italia is a Water Circus show with two traveling units; Gold and Silver. Under a Big Top, the shows feature stages with cascading curtains of water, colorful lights and vibrant music. Traveling in Florida, the Water Circus Gold Unit has aerialists, acrobatics, trampoline artists, hand balancing, and contortionists. The Water Circus Silver Unit is similar but different, with performances in areas of Texas. The shows are touring; visit the website for more scheduling information.
Generations of circus traditions come to life in Cirque Legacy, based in Arizona. The show has aerials and floor acts but no animals. Check Facebook for more information.
Cirque Ma'Ceo has a long history, focused on equestrienne arts and aerials under the Big Top. This show performs at various state and county fairs. Check out the Cirque Ma'Ceo web page or their more updated presence on Facebook.
Along with traditional circus acts (but no animals), Cirque Mechanics uses industrial gadgets in its performances, including the Open Air Circus. Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, a Cirque Mechanics show is something like "picnic meets circus" with outdoor seating. Visit Cirque Mechanics online for more information.
Cirque Mundial performs at many fairs, festivals and private events; the show's traveling schedule lists mainly midwest and southern states. Cirque Mondial has a Facebook page for updated touring information.
Culpepper & Merriweather
Culpepper & Merriweather circus brings a 90-minute tent show to 17 states, 32 weeks per year. The performances feature trapeze, contortionists, dogs, wire walkers, clowns, horses, big cats and other elements that make up traditional circus. The public is invited to visit the grounds as the Big Top rises; there are free tours where participants can meet the animals and learn about their care.
Culpepper & Merriweather notes the welfare of its animals as a top priority. Animals are regularly inspected by veterinarians and government authorities. For more information, visit their website. Scheduling updates are on Facebook.
Do Portugal International Circus
With headquarters in Louisiana, Do Portugal International Circus performs in The Big Easy, Alabama, and Texas under a colorful big top. Jugglers, acrobats, magic acts, aerials, and of course, beautiful showgirls adorable the circus ring. Do Portugal Circus.com.
El Circo Hermanos Delman
Located in Port Arthur, Texas, El Circo Hermanos Delman perfromes in various locations around the area. The show is presented in Spanish, featuring acrobats and aerials under a spacious tent. Find more information on Facebook.
Extreme Drive-in Circus Live Show
Calling itself the "new generation of circus," Extreme Drive-in Circus Live Show mixes motocross and BMX freestyle riding with traditional aerials. Audience members view the show from their own cars. Performing in Texas and nearby states. Learn more on Facebook.
Flynn Creek Circus
Flynn Creek Circus is a tent show that brings a vintage style to the modern circus. Pole work, trapeze, acrobats, juggling, hula hoop tricks and aerial ropes are some of the acts in this performance—no animals. Flynn Creek offers a circus camp in the summer. Visit their website for more information.
Garden Brothers Circus
For more than 100 years, Garden Bros. Circus has been in the center ring. Currently at indoor venues, performances are about 90 minutes long; they include motorcycle daredevils, acrobats, camels, clowns, aerialists and the basic circus fare. The show has been known to have animals (depending on whether the local municipalities allow them), however, the Garden Bros. website doesn't currently mention them. Still, circus tradition lives on with this one-ring show that travels mainly in the northeastern parts of the United States.
During special promotions, the show offers free tickets for children (with paying adults). For more information, call Garden Bros. Circus at 888-620-8936 or visit their website.
Great Benjamins Circus
This show—about 90 minutes long—provides family entertainment in a traditional circus atmosphere; clowns, juggling, contortion, aerialists, acrobatics and etc. The circus offers special online pricing. It tours in select U.S. cities and states, including but not limited to: Illinois, Colorado, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico. They’ll be in Canada, too! Check out the full schedule online.
Hamid Circus features traditional circus acts in the air and on the ground. The show also has its host of animal acts, although performances would vary. Hamid works with communities and charities (including the Shriners) to present family fun entertainment. Acts include (but are not limited to) trapeze and aerials, wirewalkers, stuntmen, clowns, elephants, tigers and more. Hamid Circus is based in New Jersey; visit their website or call 609-646-3340.
Jordan World Circus
Jordan World Circus keeps tradition alive with aerial displays, the big wheel, motorcycle feats, animal acts (elephants, tigers, horses, etc.) clowns and acrobats. Circus officials say the their animals are inspected by licensed veterinarians and the USDA every month).
Jordan World Circus is a touring show that works with Shrine organizations around the United States. For many performances, the circus offers free or discounted tickets for children (with paying adults). Visit their website or their Facebook page for scheduling information.
Lewis & Clark Circus
Calling itself a “Great American Circus,” Lewis & Clark features family entertainment in southern and eastern states on its tour schedule.
Lewis & Clark, based in South Carolina, presents a show with animals (including camels, goats and horses), aerials, clowns, jugglers, acrobats, motorcycle feats and more.
Loomis Bros. Circus
Set in an enclosed structure, Loomis Bros. Circus brings circus to you! Elephants, tigers and dogs are part of this performance — as is a motorcycle globe, aerials, chair balancing, hair hanging, a Wild West show and much more. This three-ring circus (with a live band) travels the United States; the show also puts on performances for shrine organizations. Visit their website.
The Midnight Circus is based in Chicago, Illinois with performances under tents in city area parks. The show features aerial acts, acrobatics, clowns, dancers, jugglers and high wire antics. For more information call 312-952-8591 or visit their website.
Omnium -- A Bold New Circus
Omnium specializes in live and virtual performances, featuring noted stars of prominent circus families. Pole artists, aerialists, hand balancing, and floor acrobatics are just a few of the acts presented; famed ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson takes center stage. Omnium -- A Bold New Circus is opening in Tyson Corners, Virginia on November 18, 2021 to January 9, 2022. Touring schedules are coming. For more information, visit Omnium Circus.
Ramos Bros. Circus
Touring in Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah, Ramos. Bros. Circus is a one-ring show under the Big Top. With aerials, clowning, magic & juggling, horses, motorcycle feats, trapeze and acrobatics, this two-hour show is fun, family entertainment. For details, visit their Facebook page.
Royal Hanneford Circus
The Royal Hanneford Circus is steeped in tradition and history. Under the Big Top or in a structured building, circus acts are the flying trapeze, motorcycle stunts, clowns, illusions, floor work and acrobatics. Animal presentations may include tigers, zebras, camels, liberty horses, elephants and barnyard domestics.
While “old time circus” lives on with Royal Hanneford (which travels to various areas of the United States), the circus works with municipalities and charitable organizations to sponsor community performances throughout the country. Performances may not have all elements, depending on the community contract and location restrictions.
Contact the circus at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 941-504-1164. Visit their website for tour information.
Super American Circus
The Super American Circus 2019 show features Daredevils, Balancing Acts, Aerial Ballet, Acrobatics, Wheel of Destiny and a Somersaulting Motorcycle on the Aerial Platform. Check out the website at Super American Circus and their Facebook page.