Sarasota Visit: Ringling Museum

Entrance to the Ringling Complex

Since Sarasota is the best place to live in Florida, according to the internet, decided to visit. Had not been here in 46 years and little has changed, it remains lovely, but pricey. First stop, the Ringling Museum.

What a great collection of memorabilia well displayed.

In this building was a fascinating circus display, view the movie where the man who developed the display explains his work. Sadly, Ringling would not allow him to use his name on the circus items, therefore, it is known as the Howard Brothers Circus.

My favorite part of the exhibit – reminded me of swimming with the elephants in Thailand.

Some circus antiquities..

Ringling has a Clown College with over 1300 graduates.

The grounds of the complex are lovely for picnic or exploration. Mrs. Ringling’s gardens are on site for visit.

There were five Ringling brothers and each handled a portion of the circus. They began their operation in Wisconsin with a small show in their community, and the rest became history. John, who owned this property was the most astute in business, and later art, all self taught. Their train, the Wisconsin, was used for transport to the circus towns.

It took 1000 men to upload the 100 rail cars of circus items for a show. Care of the animals was impeccable, and the circus draw was due to the lack of zoos at the time. Side shows appeared when walking in to the circus grounds, and were the show money makers. The cookhouse tent was the first tent raised as with 1300 workers, 3900 meals were served daily.

It has been 50 years since the last Ringling Circus, however read on for a Sarasota surprise.

Next: The Ringling Home and Art Museum

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