Florida has unique ties with legendary circus stars, from ringleaders to performers and sideshows. Here are some of the unique museums where you can still see the glitterati from these hometown greats.
- Ringling Circus Museum – Sarasota: Located in the Ringling Museum complex, this museum is dedicated to the history and art of the circus. It features a collection of circus memorabilia, costumes, and props.
- Showmen’s Museum – Gibsonton: Walk back in time and see photographs and artifacts spanning over a century of traveling shows with memorabilia from carnivals and midways of yesteryear.
- International Clown Hall of Fame – Lake Placid: This museum celebrates the art of clowning and honors famous clowns from around the world. It displays clown costumes, props, photographs, and provides information about the history of clowning.
- Tibbals Learning Center – Sarasota: Also part of the Ringling Museum complex, this centerpiece features a “miniature” 3,800 square foot replica of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Visitors can see detailed models of circus wagons, performers, and tents.
- The Clown House – Lake Worth: This museum showcases a collection of clown memorabilia, including costumes, makeup, photographs, and props. It also offers clowning workshops and classes for aspiring clowns.
Please note that museum hours and exhibits may vary, so it’s always a good idea to check their websites or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information before planning a visit.