Kiosk Panel 15: South End


The coming of the circus was a great event in the life of a town. Excitement would start building when the publicity man came to advertise the circus. Others came with posters to keep the anticipation high. When the train bearing carloads of animals, equipment, and performers, finally came, people, especially the younger citizens, clamored to be at the depot to see the arrival of the circus.

Circus Elephants on Bush Street as the Circus Arrives in Town

Circus Elephants on Bush Street as the Circus Arrives in Town

As the circus unloaded, a parade would form and people could watch the performers and animals walk to the circus grounds to begin the process of setting up the big event.

Red Wing Parade

In 1915 the Ringling Bros. parade in Red Wing consisted of:

  • A lead buggy
  • 3 mounted men carrying banners
  • 6 mounted buglers
  • 15 musicians in the first bandwagon
  • 2 cages
  • Ladies tandem and gentlemen tandem
  • 3 cages
  • Lion tableau with eight musicians
  • 8 cages
  • Tableau float drawn by four zebras
  • The “Egypt” float drawn by sixteen camels
  • 3 cages
  • The “Great Britain” tableau with fourteen musicians
  • 18 mounted ladies
  • 2 Roman chariots
  • 2 cages
  • The hippopotamus cage
  • The clown band wagon with nine musicians
  • The “Spanish” float
  • The “India” float
  • The “Russia” float with six top riders
  • The “Germany” float with twelve musicians
  • 30 mounted men with banners
  • The “United States” float with twelve top riders
  • 30 elephants
  • Tableau with five top riders
  • 3 cages
  • Tableau with six top riders
  • Steam calliope

Strict Parade Rules

This parade included 279 horses, thirty ponies, twenty-nine units, and six mounted parade marshals. It must have been quite a sight! In order to provide the grandest spectacle possible, strict parade rules had to be followed.


There often were two performances each day at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Each show lasted about two hours. While the circus was being set up, the people who had followed the parade were entertained by the side show.

Concession Stands

Concession stands sold all sorts of wonderful things, including cotton candy and pink lemonade. When the circus left, things returned to normal, but some people dreamed of the next time that the circus would come to town.