LRHS junior bids farewell to a historic home

Ranch Reflections are articles written by students who want to share their experiences, thoughts, and concerns. This is a great opportunity for students to branch out beyond traditional news stories.

Kat Stuart – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – About 13 years ago, my family and I joined the Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey’s Circus. My dad was offered a job as the General Manger for what was called the “Blue Show”.

There were three shows: the red, blue, and gold. The red and blue shows were the bigger shows that traveled to the big cities like New York or San Francisco. The gold show went to the smaller cities.

To get from city to city, performers and crew traveled by train or by trailer every Monday and Tuesday. The rest of the week were show days.  It was really cool being able to travel the country with a group of people that were so fun to be around.

Living on the show allowed my family to do so many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities such as washing and riding elephants, hanging out with clowns and even getting to learn some cool tricks. Every once in a while, we even got to do a small part in the show.

In 2007, my dad got a promotion that moved my family to Feld Entertainment’s offices in Florida. Feld Entertainment was owned by Kenneth Feld. Although not traveling on the road anymore, we were still a part of the circus.

My dad oversees the production of the Circus’ as well as Disney on Ice, Disney Live, and the Marvel shows. He goes out to different states and sometimes different countries making sure the shows run smoothly and problems are dealt with.

In recent years, the shows business has decreased due to a protest group called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). This group believes that the caregivers mistreat their animals. Because of them, many cities have banned certain animals from entering their limits.

The decrease in show business took a large tole on the Feld Entertainment.

“I have made the difficult business decision that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey will hold its final performances in May of this year,” CEO Kenneth Feld said on CNN. The shows have been going on for 146 years said Tampa Bay Times.

I never thought that the day I had to say goodbye to the circus for good would come. It is hard to let go of a place that has been apart of my life for so long, but as the people on the show always say, “It’s not far to the circus when you are the circus.”