Circus Invades Woodland Park

by Rick Langenberg



And nope, we are not referring to certain local political forums, which often offer their own form of entertainment. The Carson & Barnes Circus, the world’s biggest Big-Top Show, is headed to town for two performances on Thursday, May 24, scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The performances will feature full-fledged, family-friendly circus shows, capped by amazing trapeze acts, a petting zoo, elephant and camel rides and a wide assortment of animals performing tricks.  And then, there are the infamous “High-Wire Motorcycle” and “Death Defying Dual Wheel of Destiny” antics.  The shows will occur at a prime location off U.S. Hwy. 24, across from the Swiss Chalet, on property currently owned by the Woodland Park Saddle Club.

The event is being sponsored by the Pikes Peak Rotary Club, and serves as a major fund-raiser for the group. A good portion of the proceeds from the event are used for the club’s literacy program and to help pay for college scholarships for selected high school students.  In addition, the circus company tries to work with local vendors in putting on the shows. The Carson & Barnes Circus has been a mainstay event for the area for several years. This year, the circus company, which started doing family performances in the late 1930s, is visiting more than 200 towns through eight states. “It has really been a fun event,” said Vera Egbert, branch manager of Peoples National Bank in Woodland Park, one of the main ticket outlets for the circus. “This is a real circus,” added Egbert, who is involved with several local organizations.  

Plus, the timing of the circus during the final day of school, make it a prime family affair. For the 2012 show, the Rotary Club has taken the lead role in sponsoring the event, which previously was organized by the Woodland Retail Alliance.  Proceeds raised from the event help with the club’s literacy program that assists certain kids in obtaining needed tutors.   The circus has gained much notoriety as one of the more popular family events of the season. It also has garnered much allure as a great community event, serving as a big boost to the Rotary Club and even the local Harvest Center.  According to many reports, elephant droppings provide ideal fertilizer material.   

Local leaders are especially bullish about this year’s event, which has received more pre-event attention than previous shows. It also may represent one of the last times a major event can occur at this unique Saddle Club site, next to where the club does gymkhana competitions. The Woodland Park Saddle Club is mulling a major move to a new location in Divide.

Tickets are available at several local locations, including Peoples Bank, City Market and in front of Wal-Mart. Plus, tickets can be obtained on-line by visiting