Circus Blogs: Inside Stories from Men with Sawdust in their Veins

Buckles Woodcock, who hosts Buckles Blog, working with elephants in the 108th Edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey.

Buckles Woodcock, who hosts Buckles Blog, working with elephants in the 108th Edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey.

Circus blogs are an open window to the circus worlds of today and yesterday. The best of these blogs is Buckles Blog, which is updated every day. When searching for the latest and most exciting circus news, those in the know go to Buckles Blog first.

William “Buckles” Woodcock, a legendary elephant trainer whose circus family tree’s roots date back to Hiram Orton’s circus in Wisconsin in 1854. He launched his blog in 2004 and keeps it up to date with daily circus talk from around the world.

He and his wife Barbara were honored as Circus Celebrities by the Ringling Circus Museum in Sarasota, Fla., and Buckles was inducted into the Circus Hall of Fame in Peru, Ind. in 1995 and the Circus Ring of Fame in Sarasota in 1997. He retired from performing in 2004.

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Below is an alphabetical list of other circus blogs. If you know of any others that should be added to this list, please leave a comment below.

The Balloon Man: In his profile Dick Dykes reveals he has been a producer, promoter, booking agent, billposter and more, but the one thing that is closest to his heart is the souvenir business. He peddled balloons once, hence, the blog’s name. The blog is dedicated to anything having to do with the outdoor entertainment industry.

The Circus “No Spin Zone”: This blog has an emphasis on circuses, zoos, animal training and animal welfare/husbandry. Many of the blog entries feature videos of animals performing. The blog is maintained by Wade Burke, an accomplished animal trainer, who has worked with many animals including whales. Burke’s tiger act was featured with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey in the 1980s and 90s.

A Mudshow Season: Ben Trumble is the author of this blog. He works in circuses and carnivals and lists his addresses as Everywhere, United States. He has worked at a little bit of everything, from a circus ringmaster to media relations person. The blog is about his day-by-day travels with the circus with frequent updates. His archives include entries while traveling with Carson & Barnes Circus. More recent blogs chronicle events on the road with Culpepper & Merriweather’s Great Combined Circus. It’s an interesting look at daily life on a circus.

My Days Are Circus Days: This blog belongs to Jim Peterson, who says, “If you know me, no explanation is necessary, and if you don’t know me, it doesn’t matter!” The site has lots of photos, but many are not identified. In following this blog, it helps to have some knowledge of the circus business.

Perky’s Home: Tim Perkins lives in Baraboo, Wis., and his blog centers around the activities at the Circus World Museum in Baraboo. Many of his blog entries include photos of restoration work on historic wagons at the Museum.

Raffael De Ritis’ Novelties and Wonders: Blog contents are odd and unusual—an eclectic collection of entries, making it quite fascinating to read. Raffael has worked with circuses, festivals, operas and magic shows throughout Europe. He is an avid collector and historian of circus and magic. In 1999-2000 he directed the critically acclaimed Feld Entertainment production of Barnum’s Kaleidoscape, and the following year a production of Big Apple Circus in Lincoln Center. Raffael is the author of a number of books on circus, magic and theatre written in Italian, among them “Storia del circo- Dagli acrobati egizi al Cirque du Soleil (History of the Circus – Acrobats from the Egyptians to Cirque du Soleil).”

Random Circus: Many photos and videos are featured on this blog maintained by DanTheBooker@gmail.com. Though there are no historical images, the blog highlights newer photographs, primarily from circuses currently performing.

Showbiz David: Author David Lewis Hammarstrom maintains this blog. He is the author of numerous books, including “Fall of the Big Top: The Vanishing American Circus,” and “Behind the Big Top, Circus Rings around Russia and Big Top Boss: John Ringling North and the Circus.” Hammarstrom has also written books about Broadway and his love of Broadway is a frequent topic on his blog.

Yesterday’s Towns: Bill Strong, who resides in Gibsonton, Fla., an area filled with carnival and circus people, hosts this circus blog. It is filled with historic images and you will spend hours browsing his monthly archives that go back to April 2006.

Larry Kellogg is a WorthPoint Worthologist specializing in circus memorabilia.

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No Comments

  1. Larry,
    Thank you for the list. That’s very helpful and interesting!