Destination Circus? Southington May Host Big Top Event

Meriden will be unable to host the Cole Bros. Circus this year due to development work at the hub, but the town is exploring whether the Southington Drive-In could be a good spot for the big top in 2013.

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.”

Would you be interested in seeing the circus come to town? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Nick March 01, 2013 at 04:03 PM
It's typical to see people with nothing better to do then complain about circuses and bring up animal cruelty issues. Circuses will always be around and your opinions aren't going to change that. If you have a problem with circuses don't attend, it's that easy.
arlene March 04, 2013 at 01:47 PM
Nick, If it were only that easy for the abused animals to have a choice to not perform if they didnt want to.If people dont attend, then circuses will not be around to continue the abuse.After all it is all about money.
Ruth Stanley March 11, 2013 at 12:55 AM
Animal abuse? Yes, some of that DOES happen with the circus and SHOULD be reported, but I do not consider ALL animal trainers as bad people at all. Many of them love te animals they work with, and tbh many KIDS fall in love with animals because of the circus! But seriously? People will complain about the circus coming to town (not in my backyard mentality) but I do NOT hear your voices screaming loudly for the tax dollars used to KILL wild animals that do not "fit" in man's lifestyle throughout this country these days. Take a look at what is happening to the gray wolf in this country for starters. The numbers will surprise you.
Cj Ellie March 13, 2013 at 03:10 PM
Last year Carson’s head elephant trainer Tim Frisco appeared in Meridian with Cole Bros. This is how Frisco trains elephants behind closed doors. "You can't do it on the road," Frisco says. "I'm not going to touch her in front of a thousand people." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iouGQD6lf6A Families who came to ride the elephants in two different communities videotaped the same handler using his bullhook to beat and injure Viola, Nina and Kelly on tour with Cole Bros. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIn82TqSP2M http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rx4hC7OOuek
Sandie Gibbs March 20, 2013 at 12:01 PM
I am ashamed that the circus is coming to my home town. Anybody who attends is only teaching their children that it is OK to abuse and exploit animals. I will be there protesting them. WE DO NOT WANT YOU IN OUR TOWN COLE BROS!


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