Under the Big Top

Posted: Updated:

News 12's Tara Rosenblum takes an in-depth look at the lives of traveling performers in the circus and carnival world.

What is a real carny like in 2018? How do these traveling shows…really an institution in twilight, a bygone era of Americana…survive amidst dwindling attendance, new laws and fierce protesting?

News 12 embedded with one circus as elephants performed for the last time ahead of a new state ban and then spent three days with a traveling carnival.

Part 1 – Kathy and Carlos….Meet a young couple who’s love of family intertwines with love of circus. At 19 and 26, they are heirs to the biggest remaining traveling circus and will be forced to reinvent themselves without elephants. It’s that, or fold up like Barnum.

Part 2 – Saturn. Meet the ringmaster who spent years traveling with Barnum before joining the Royal Hanneford Circus. We spent time with him on the road and learn more about the less glamorous side of travel.

Part 3 – News 12 heads from circus to the carnival and meet a team of “carnys” who hate when people call them that name! It’s a gritty look at the underbelly of the carnival midway.

Part 4 –  News 12 embeds with the new owner of America’s last traditional traveling sideshow. He is one of only a handful of professional sword swallowers on the planet. He takes us into his personal living space to show what life is really like in the back lot!

Part 5 -- A look back at News 12's week long look into the vanishing world of the traveling circus.

EXTENDED FOOTAGE: Interviews with Circus Stars

If you would like to weigh in or learn more, you can email Tara at tdrosenblum@news12.com

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."