The circus could soon be coming to Southington – but only for a limited time.
Southington town officials are exploring whether the drive-in property could be a good location to host the regional showing of the Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars in 2013, a show that features an old-fashioned circus underneath the big top.
The show, which usually takes place in Meriden, needs a new location for one year due to development work taking place at the hub, Meriden officials confirmed Tuesday, and the city has reached out to members of the Southington Drive-In Committee to request the town host the show for one year, said Councilwoman and drive-in committee member Dawn Miceli.
“This is something that would be a win-win for both communities,” Miceli said. “The circus itself pays for everything including use of the field and we’d be helping a neighbor while providing a good show that will highlight our community.”
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Meriden began looking for an alternative location for the show, which is tentatively slated for summer 2013, when it became clear use of the hub property would not be an option. If the city is unable to secure a new location, they will be removed from the list of annual host communities.
Cole Bros. was founded in 1884 and remains one of the oldest continuously running traveling shows in North America. Here’s a little history from the company’s website:
“Hundreds of circuses have come and gone since the mid-1800s. Circuses large and small, carried by horse-drawn wagons or on dozens of railroad cars, three-ring circuses and dog-and-pony shows alike crisscrossed the North American Continent bringing entertainment to the public. Cole Bros. Circus remains the only circus to have survived a century still appearing much as it did over one hundred years ago under the Big Top.”
"Since 1884, three generations of Americans have thrilled to the sights, smells, sounds and feats of skill that typify the Cole Bros. Circus. The Cole Bros. trademark has enjoyed longevity because it represents value and integrity to the American public. Today, the Cole name continues to signify quality family entertainment that has captivated million of Americans."
Miceli said the town will still need to take a look at whether it’s logical to bring the circus to town and whether the Southington Drive-In will have enough space.
The show would be conducted underneath a big top, one tent, and would be set up in the area that cars usually park for showings. She said the goal is to determine if this would leave enough space for parking and for all of the circus needs.
The fields around the drive-in and in front of the screen were planted with seed last year, but these areas would not be used, Miceli said.
“They will handle all of their own police services, ambulance needs, waste disposal and anything else in conjunction with the show. The would also be leasing the drive-in site,” Miceli said. “I’m not sure whether we could accommodate them appropriately, but we are looking into it to see if a show would be feasible here in Southington.”
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