Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Wisconsin’s circus heritage is deeper than just being home to the Circus World Museum in Baraboo.

In “Bareback Riders and Educated Elephants: Wisconsin's Amazing Circus Heritage,” learn about the many local circuses that called Wisconsin home.

This History at Home program will be held Thursday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. in the McLane Room at the Fond du Lac Public Library.

When it comes to this big-top heritage, few states compare with Wisconsin. More than 100 shows emanated from within its borders. Communities such as Antigo, Wonewoc, Sparta, Racine, and Janesville can all claim to be the hometown of a circus. 

Delevan served as the home base, at one time or another, to 26 shows. Some circuses lasted only a few weeks while others, like the Ringling Brothers, grew to be the standard bearer of the industry. 

Listen as Pete Shrake, archivist at the Circus World Museum, explores this amazing, outstanding, splendiferous, and magnificent part of the state’s heritage.

History at Home programs focus on stories about the area's past every month. Programs are held on the second Thursday of every month at 6 pm in the McLane Room. The programs are free; no registration is necessary to attend. Those who are unable to attend in person may watch live via Facebook at Many History at Home programs also are captured on video and shared on the library's YouTube channel.