“He is not my friend.” That’s what my 3-year-old daughter, Campbell, said when she first laid her eyes on a clown at Ringling Bros. and Barnum Bailey circus. We went an hour before the show to the All Access Pre-Show. All ticket-holders can go early to take pictures with the clowns, get performers’ autographs, meet the performers, and even see an elephant paint. I found it a good way to introduce my first-timer to the circus.
Once the show started, Campbell was dazzled (I was, too). Magic tricks. White tigers. Hilarious clowns. Amazing stunts. This circus is far more impressive than the one I remember from my childhood—more Cirque de Soleil than Ronald McDonald.
One tip: bring extra money for all the toys your little one will want. Campbell seemed to be more interested in a light-up thingie than the show at times (and she’s still talking about cotton candy).
By the end of the night, my daughter wanted her own red nose and asked, “Can the clowns come to our house to play?” We haven’t had any of them over (yet), but we will know we’ll be visiting them next year – under the big top.
Here’s a list of upcoming 2009-2010 tour dates.
Huntsville, AL Thu 2/26/2009 – Sun 3/1/2009 Von Braun Center
Norfolk, VA Thu 4/16/2009 – Sun 4/19/2009 Norfolk Scope
Hampton, VA Wed 4/22/2009 – Sun 4/26/2009 Hampton Coliseum
Miami, FL Wed 1/6/2010 – Mon 1/18/2010 American Airlines Arena
Nashville, TN Fri 1/22/2010 – Sun 1/24/2010 Sommet Center
Charlotte, NC Wed 1/27/2010 – Sun 1/31/2010 Time Warner Cable Arena
Columbia, SC Thu 2/4/2010 – Sun 2/7/2010 Colonial Life Arena
Raleigh, NC Wed 2/10/2010 – Mon 2/15/2010 RBC Center
Atlanta, GA Fri 2/19/2010 – Sun 2/28/2010 Philips Arena
Highland Heights, KY Wed 3/10/2010 – Sun 3/14/2010 The Bank of Kentucky Center
Washington, DC Wed 3/17/2010 – Sun 3/21/2010 Verizon Center
Fairfax, VA Wed 3/24/2010 – Sun 4/4/2010 Patriot Center
Baltimore, MD Wed 4/7/2010 – Sun 4/18/2010 1st Mariner Arena
Charleston, WV Wed 4/21/2010 – Sun 4/25/2010 Charleston Civic Center
Tulsa, OK Tue 6/8/2010 – Wed 6/9/2010 BOK Center
Oklahoma City, OK Fri 6/11/2010 – Sun 6/13/2010 Ford Center
San Antonio, TX Wed 6/16/2010 – Sun 6/20/2010 Alamodome
New Orleans, LA Wed 6/23/2010 – Sun 6/27/2010 New Orleans Arena
Corpus Christi, TX Wed 6/30/2010 – Sun 7/4/2010 American Bank Center
Austin, TX Wed 7/7/2010 – Sun 7/11/2010 Frank Erwin Center
Houston, TX Wed 7/14/2010 – Sun 7/25/2010 Reliant Stadium
Dallas, TX Wed 7/28/2010 – Sun 8/8/2010 American Airlines Center
Fort Worth, TX Wed 8/11/2010 – Sun 8/15/2010 Ft. Worth Convention Center
Lexington, KY Wed 8/25/2010 – Sun 8/29/2010 Rupp Arena
Kansas City, MO Wed 9/8/2010 – Sun 9/12/2010 Sprint Center
Visit www.Ringling.com for information and to purchase tickets.