Our own Jack Belles, longtime H/AREA Board member, has been studying the history and logistics of the circus business for 70 years. His love of the circus began when the enormous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus steamed into his town on almost one hundred railroad cars. He was fascinated as he witnessed them unload the train, set up everything for two performances, and then take everything down and reload the train; accomplishing all of this in about 20 hours.
In his presentation, Jack will take us from the beginnings of the circus in the mid 1800’s - how Barnum got started (surprise here – he never owned a circus), when Bailey came into the picture, and how the Ringling’s evolved and eventually created “The Greatest Show on Earth”. Then he will take us through the trials and tribulations of the show under a total of 12 management changes through the 20th and early 21st century up to its closure in May of 2017.