Saturday and Sunday, July 23-24, 2016

American Steam Calliope Wagon

If you’re looking for a cornucopia of colossal fun, then mark your calendars now for the 4th Annual Baraboo’s Big Top Parade & Circus Celebration on Saturday and Sunday, July 23-24, 2016 in Downtown Baraboo.

The two-day celebration will commemorate Baraboo’s stupendous circus heritage as the historic home of the world-famous Ringling Bros. Circus. The weekend will be brimming with concerts, children’s activities, a classic car show, an antique and artisan fair and more.

The “center ring of entertainment,” however, is the Big Top Parade, which will step off at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, featuring over 75 traditional circus parade units and circus-theme entries created by community groups and businesses.

In addition to the many special activities scheduled throughout the weekend around downtown Baraboo’s historic courthouse square, you’ll want to make time for the shows, tours, displays and concerts at Baraboo’s renowned circus attractions, including Circus World, the International Clown Hall of Fame & Research Center, Al. Ringling Theatre, Al. Ringling Mansion and Ringling House Bed & Breakfast.

Spend the weekend enjoying all that Baraboo has to offer in the city that Smithsonian Magazine named the 4th Best Small Town to Visit in 2013.

Keep checking back to this site for more information about the 4th Annual Baraboo’s Big Top Parade & Circus Celebration and “Follow Us” on social media!

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As of 7/12/2016  *Subject to Change

1. Baraboo Police Department
2. Tribute to Local Law Enforcement Agencies
3. Celebrity Judges Tom Farley, Stephanie Klett and Ted Perry in Bleu Belle Farm Vis-à-vis Carriage
4. Big Top Parade Co-Chairs Nanci Caflisch and Doug Hill in Baraboo Motors Group Jeep
5. Cycropia Aerial Dance Stilt Walkers and Performers
6. Zor Tin Lizzies of Eau Claire
7. Baraboo Fire Department
8. U.S. Marine Eagles Nest Detachment Color Guard
9. Living Flag of Sauk County
10. Various Units Saluting Our Local U.S. Military Veterans
11. Village of West Baraboo Board President Dave and Kati Dahlke
12. City of Baraboo Mayor Mike and Bonnie Palm
13. Baraboo High School “Thunderbird” Marching Band in Clown Costumes
14. Grand Marshals: The Gollmar Bros. Circus Family
15. Gollmar Bros. Mirror Bandwagon, featuring Circus Celebrities Kathy Huebing and Peter & June Sturgis
16. Circus Celebrity Inge Vinicky Smaha
17. Sauk County Historical Society
18. David Deppe/Wilbur W. Deppe’s Classic Country Circus
19. Ronald McDonald House/McDonald’s
20. Clowns Melody and Windy Lindy
21. Al G. Barnes Elephant Tableau Wagon
22. Elephants
23. Clowns Doodlebug and Twinkle
24. Baraboo Public Library
25. Dual County Community Band
26. Royal Italian Band Carriage/Culver’s Scoopie
27. All Sky Energy
28. Hugs the Clown
29. Cole Bros. Asia Tableau Wagon
30. Sauk Prairie High School Marching Band
31. JAK Frost
32. Clowns Across the River
33. Bug Tussel Wireless
34. Barnum & Bailey Mother Goose Pony Float
35. Baraboo Cub Scout Packs #377 and #393
36. Clowns Bloopers and Oofty Goofty
37. Sauk County Fairest of the Fair
38. Sauk County Junior Fairest Ambassador
39. Presto the Clown and Friends

40. Baraboo Roller Derby/Bootown Bally Bombers
41. Ringling Bros. Cage Wagon
42. Soon-to-be-Famous Lodi Band
43. Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages
44. Baraboo Valley 4-H Club
45. Ringling Bros. Snake Den
46. Miniature Circus Train
47. Stage III Theatre for Youth
48. Bucky Badger
49. Echoes of Camp Randall/UW Band Members
50. Boys & Girls Club of West-Central Wisconsin
51. Anytime Fitness
52. Wells Fargo Stagecoach
53. Community First Bank
54. Wisconsin Morgan Horse Club
55. Habitat for Humanity of Wisconsin River Area ReStore
56. Clowns of Waukesha
57. Waukesha North High School “Northstar” Marching Band
58. Midwest Labor
59. International Crane Foundation
60. Forward Marching Band
61. St. Croix Hospice
62. Richland Center Tourism
63. Just for Kicks Dance Studio
64. Al. Ringling Carriage
65. Barnum & London Cage Tableau Wagon
66. Ringling Bros. United States Tableau Wagon
67. Reedsburg Area High School Marching Band
68. Ringling Bros. Giraffe Wagon
69. Timbavati Wildlife Park
70. The Wild Rumpus Circus/Mazo Movement Arts Center Stilt Walkers
71. The Wild Rumpus Circus/Mazo Movement Arts Center Puppeteer
72. Barnum & Bailey Golden Age of Chivalry Tableau Wagon
73. International Clown Hall of Fame & Research Center
74. Ringling Bros. Lion Tableau Wagon, featuring Prof. Gerald Stich’s Original Baraboo Circus Band
75. Cole Bros. America Steam Calliope Wagon
76. T.J. Howell’s Everyone’s Favorite Tow-Truck
77. Bubble Buggy
78. Baraboo Fire Department

Parade Route Map

Creature Comforts A Priority At Baraboo’s Big Top Parade

Baraboo is ready to strut its circus stuff and welcome you for a fun and colossal day on Saturday during the 4th Annual Big Top Parade & Circus Celebration!

The comfort and safety of all creatures great and small are the primary concerns for an enjoyable Big Top Parade & Circus Celebration.

Therefore, if the forecast calls for a hot summer day, be sure to hydrate, wear sunblock and bring sun umbrellas (especially for children and older adults).

Cooling Stations

Cooling stations will be available at the Baraboo Public Library, 230 – 4th Avenue, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and the Sauk County West Square Building (Rooms B24 & B30), 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The Baraboo Fire Department’s mighty Ladder One aerial ladder fire truck will be located on 4th Avenue near Birch Street, 11:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m., pumping out water for those who wish to cool down under its “shower.”

Parade planners will closely monitor the temperature and heat index on Saturday and may make changes to the parade line-up, as needed, in order to accommodate the comfort and safety of the human and animal participants scheduled to be in the parade.

Smoke Free Area

The grounds of the Downtown Baraboo historic courthouse will be tobacco free for the Big Top Parade & Circus Celebration on July 23.

Animals In The Parade

All animals in the parade are being cared for by their owners and handlers, with the animals’ safety and comfort paramount. Parade planners are carefully monitoring the temperature and heat index and may make changes to the parade line-up, as needed, in order to accommodate the comfort and safety of the human and animal participants scheduled to be in the parade.

Weather And The Parade

The parade is scheduled to take place, rain or shine. In the event of a thunderstorm, the parade would be delayed.

Parking With Shuttle Bus Access To Downtown

Two park-and-ride lots will be open on Saturday, July 23 with handicapped-accessible shuttles to and from Downtown Baraboo, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.:

Pierce’s Market parking lot, 615 Highway 136 (corner of Highways 12/136/33) and Circus World’s east parking lot, 550 Water Street.

There will be signs at both locations. Passengers will be dropped off and picked up one block north of the historic courthouse square at the corner of Oak and 5th Streets.

Avoid the congestion and possibly parking where you shouldn’t – RIDE THE SHUTTLE – it’s easy and parking ticket free.

Pierce’s Market Parking Lot

Circus World Parking Lot

Parade Route Detour

On July 23, handicapped-accessible parking spaces will be located in the parking lot at the corner of Oak and 5th Streets, the parking lot at the corner of Ash and 4th Streets and in both park-and-ride lots (Pierce’s Market parking lot, 615 Highway 136 – corner of Highways 12/136/33 and Circus World’s east parking lot, 550 Water Street).

Oak & 5th St. Parking Lot

Ash & 4th St. Parking Lot

Pierce’s Market Parking Lot

Circus World Parking Lot

On the south grounds of the Downtown Baraboo historic courthouse there will be a First Aid Station. There will also be a Misting Area for those who may need relief from the heat at the Big Top Parade & Circus Celebration on July 23.

Food vendors will located on Oak St. throughout the day, or choose from any of the wonderful restaurants in our Downtown area.

Parade Day Vendors

  • Klaus Treats: shaved ice, iced coffee, lemonade, canned soda
  • Heavenly Smoked Roasters: beef brisket, pulled pork, all beef hot dogs, chips, soda, bottled water
  • Edwards Ice Cream: ice cream, corn dogs
  • T.J. Howell: cotton candy, snow cones
  • Baraboo Masonic Lodge #34: grilled chicken, BBQ sandwiches, chips, soda, bottled water
  • Our Saviors Lutheran Church: cheese curds, soda, coffee
  • Pat & Davids Vending: brats, hot dogs, pop corn, soda, chips
  • Baraboo Youth Hockey: Dominoes pizza, soda, bottled water
  • Olde World Almond Company: flavored almonds and cashews
  • Broadway Diner: pulled pork, bourbon glazed bacon on a stick
  • Chippy’s Kettle Corn: kettle corn

All Seats $5.00

After the Big Top Parade on July 23, audiences can see even more antique circus wagons – in fact the world’s largest collection of them! – at Circus World, 550 Water Street in Baraboo, and take in a special 4:00 p.m. Big Top Performance for the one-time post-parade admission rate of only $5.00 per person.

Circus World’s 2016 show under the big top features a “Take a Walk on the Wild Side” theme, starring clowns, elephants, performing dogs, juggling, hula-hooping and trapeze artists, a singing ringmaster, a live band and much, much more.

For more information, call or visit their website:

(608) 356-8341




Size: S-3XL

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Limited Quantities Available At:

Baraboo Area
Chamber of Commerce*

Spa Serenity*

Coffee Bean Connection*

*Cash Only

Commemorative T-Shirt


For more information about the 4th Annual Baraboo’s Big Top Parade & Circus Celebration, contact the Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce.

(608) 356-8333

For a listing of other circus attractions, activities and events scheduled in Baraboo over the July 23-24 weekend, visit the Chamber website.


On parade day there will be an Information Booth located at the corner of Oak and 3rd St.

Big Top Circus Parade logo
Make plans for the weekend!

Weekend events, area attractions and more.

Events & Activities Calendar

4th Annual Baraboo’s Big Top Parade & Circus Celebration to Honor


A century after their show came to an end, Baraboo’s Gollmar Bros. Circus is about to be in the spotlight once again. This year marks the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Gollmar Bros. Circus and 100th anniversary of the conclusion of their show. Descendants of the original Gollmar brothers will appear as the grand marshals of the 4th Annual Baraboo’s Big Top Parade & Circus Celebration on Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. in downtown Baraboo. The Gollmar Bros. Circus will also be recognized in a new exhibit opening this spring at Circus World, 550 Water Street in Baraboo.

Although lesser known than their Ringling first cousins, the Gollmars made lasting contributions to American circus history and figure prominently in Baraboo’s rich, circus heritage. The Gollmar Bros. Greatest of American Shows operated out of a winter quarters complex on Baraboo’s Second Avenue from 1891 to 1916. Gollmar brothers Walter, Fred, Charles, Ben, and Jake were the show’s proprietors.

“We are proud to honor one of Baraboo’s premier circus families by naming the Gollmars this year’s Big Top Parade grand marshals,” said Nanci Caflisch, co-chair of the committee that plans the event on behalf of the Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce. “Our community is unique in that more than one famous circus got its start here. That is certainly something to celebrate.”

Gollmar Bros. Circus Poster

Gollmar Bros. Street Parade

While operating a world-class show that traveled the U.S. for a quarter-century, the Gollmars cultivated the idea for their circus at a family Christmas gathering. “There is an account that the Gollmar brothers decided to launch their circus at the 1890 family Christmas gathering in their parents’ home,” explained David SaLoutos, Circus World’s Performance and Marketing Director and Ringmaster. “Five months later, that new show was touring the Midwest and the brothers began building their reputation.”

Despite their fame and travel, the Gollmars remained dedicated to family and their hometown. “I have always found it interesting and very human that the Gollmar brothers made sure their circus parade in Baraboo traveled past their parents’ home on the corner of Third Avenue and Birch Street,” SaLoutos said.

“The route for Baraboo’s Big Top Parade will follow one of the same streets that the Gollmar Bros. Circus used for their hometown parade over 100 years ago,” Caflisch explained. “We have an archival photo that shows the Gollmar circus parade from circa 1907 traveling past some of the landmarks that still exist in our downtown today.”


Three celebrities will judge entries in this year’s Big Top Parade. The distinguished panel of judges will include Tom Farley, a motivational speaker, mortgage lender, New York Times best-selling author and founder of The Chris Farley Foundation in Madison; Stephanie Klett, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, 20-year Emmy Award-winning host of Discover Wisconsin and former Miss Wisconsin; and Ted Perry, Baraboo High School graduate, news anchor and reporter with Fox6 in Milwaukee and winner of nine Emmy Awards.

Local entries that display the most creative use of the parade’s circus theme will have an opportunity to receive the Best Commercial Entry, Best Non-Commercial Entry and Grand Prize Winning Entry awards.  Each winner will receive $100.00 in Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce “Chamber Bucks” which can be used at more than 150 area businesses, and a trophy donated by Supreme Awards of Baraboo. The winner will be announced at the conclusion of the parade.

Entry Winners Announced!

Best Commercial Entry Cycropia Aerial Dance Troupe of Madison (stilt walkers and other performers)
Best Non-Commercial Entry Forward Marching Band of Madison
Grand Prize Entry Baraboo High School Thunderbird March “Clown” Band

Baraboo’s Big Top Parade will be broadcast live locally on retro-TV Channel 43 (Baraboo area Charter cable channel 10) and WRPQ Radio 99.7FM/740AM.



Don’t miss a moment – catch the replay of the Big Top Circus Parade 2016 on YouTube. Click the image to watch.

parade live stream on youtube

DVDs of the parade telecast will be available by contacting WRPQ at (608) 356-3974 or visiting WRPQ.com

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2016 Circus Parade Sponsors
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