Big Top Circus Parade

This July 22nd, the Baraboo Community celebrates the 5th anniversary of the Big Top Parade and Circus Celebration in downtown Baraboo. For this monumental year, the parade will honor all of the current and former members of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, by naming them the parade’s grand marshals.

Baraboo will be all-things-circus the weekend of July 20-23. The Big Top Parade & Circus Homecoming will feature concerts, children’s activities, carnival games, food vendors and live performances. The main event – the Big Top Parade – on Saturday, July 22, kicks off at 11:00 a.m. Along with our grand marshals, the parade features over 75 traditional circus parade units and circus-themed entries created by community groups and businesses.


Pre-Parade Entertainment – Rocket Cycle – T. J. Howell

1. Marine Post Color Guard
2. Baraboo Police Department – little or big truck
3. Parade Judges (riding in Vis-à-vis – ponies)
4. Wheelman
5. Baraboo Motors Jeep with Parade Co-Chairs
6. Merlin & Jenele Zitzner in convertible
7. Baraboo National Bank Wagon – CWM CAT
8. Zor Shrine Tin Lizzies
9. Antique Fire Department Truck
10. B&B Our Country Tab. – (2 Belgians) – Dillion Kruger
11. Veterans plus Dells VFW jeep and ¾ ton truck
12. Marty Krueger in a convertible
13. Mayor Palm in a convertible
14. Dave Dahlke in a convertible
15. Ringling Lion & Mirror (4 Percherons) Gildernick
16. Ringling Ringmasters (walking)
17. Ringling Dancers (walking)
18. Ringling Publicists (walking)
19. Ringling Management (walking)
20. Elephants (3)
21. Ringling Floor Crew (walking)
22. Ringling Pie Car (walking)
23. Ringling Band Members (walking)
24. Whistles on Wheels Calliope
25. Ringling Performers (walking)
26. Ringling Concessionaires (walking)
27. Ringling Crew (walking)
28. Ringling Clowns (walking)
29. Baraboo High School Band
30. Inge Vinicky Smaha (in Thurow’s convertible)
31. Charging Tiger Tableau (Mack Truck)
32. Baraboo Soccer Club kids walking
33. Ronald McDonald with van
34. Corky and Melody the Clowns (convertible)
35. Wild Rumpus – stilt walkers and Jacob the fish
36. Curves – ladies pulling a Curves van
37. Pawnee Bill Bandwagon – Fabic CAT
38. Festival Foods Cart w/Bloopers & Oofty Goofty
39. Silly Nilly Clowns (3)
40. Too Sweet & Giggles the Clown
41. Joe Barney – Clown (P.T. Barnum)
42. Dual County Community Band
43. Midwest Labor – truck pulling trailer w/statue
44. Jak Frost
45. Hanneford Band Carriage (4 Haflingers) Jim Wilbor
46. Fairest of the Fair & Junior Fairest (2 convertibles)
47. Community First – Penny the Frog in a convertible
48. Sauk Prairie Marching Band
49. Gollmar Brothers – (4 Percherons) – Ken Koester
50. Bug Tussel walking unit (Specialty Car & character)
51. Mother Goose Float (4 Welsh Ponies) Hailey Sawtelle
52. Clowns across the River walking musical unit
53. Royal Italian Band Wagon (4 Percherons) Bob Smith
54. Lodi – Soon to be Famous Band on a flatbed trailer
55. SSM St Clare Rickshaw & other bikes
56. Craniolfacial Foundation of America – truck
57. Baraboo Public Library walking wagons & strollers
58. Slug Bugz & Micky (husband & wife clowns)
59. Oak Park Place Bus & walkers
60. Morgan Horse Club riding troupe 8 horses/10 people
61. Ringling Bros. Snake Den (4 Percherons) Kim Stenner
62. WCA Clowns with Presto, Twinkle, Dotty & Calliope
63. Clowns of Waukesha (6 Clowns)
64. Mini Circus Train – Tim Howell
65. Baraboo Roller Derby/ Circus City Derby Dames
66. Bucky Badger – riding in a truck
67. U.W. Echoes at Camp Randall – marching band
68. Little Super Truck – T. J. Howell mini monster truck
69. Wells Fargo Stagecoach pulled by horses
70. Youth Horse Riders – (2 horses, 3 people)
71. Kobussen “Goldie” the little school bus
72. Cub Scouts – walking
73. MOPS – Mothers of Pre Schoolers
74. Forward Marching Band
75. Boys & Girls Club & International Clown Hall of Fame
76. Bob Roltgen Little Circus Train
77. Hugs and Pitter Patty (convertible)
78. Habitat for Humanity – Stilts, Construction Clowns
79. Inter. Crane Foundation – walking unit/2 vehicles
80. Al Ringling Carriage (1 horse) Kassie Tempus
81. U.S Bandwagon – Fabic CAT
82. Ringling Bros. Giraffe Wagon (4 Suffolks) Liza Howe
83. Golden Age of Chivalry (4 Clydesdales) Darin Brooks
84. America Steam Calliope – (8 Clydes) Merle Brooks
85. Bubble Buggy – Tim Howell unit
86. Baraboo Fire Department

Parade Day FAQ’s

What is the schedule for parade day?

9:00 am – Noon Circus Palooza offering flapjacks, sausage, coffee, milk and juice $5, corner of Oak & 4th St.

9:45 am – 10:30 am Pre-Parade Clown Antics in front of the International Clown Hall of Fame, 102 Fourth Avenue.

11:00 am Baraboo’s Big Top Parade steps off in downtown Baraboo and straight into your hearts. Our special Grand Marshals this year are anyone who worked on the Greatest Show on Earth.

12:15 pm Mazo Movement Arts
Live performances by this amazing group of talented people.

Noon – 4 pm Circus Palooza offers live music (2 bands), grilled cheese sandwiches, chips, water and beer, corner of Oak & 4th St.

7:30 pm Sawdust & Spangles and Dreams show at the Al. Ringling Theatre, 136 Fourth Avenue. Proceeds will benefit Circus Traveling Show Retirement Project & Showpeople’s Winter Quarters, International Clown Hall of Fame, Al. Ringling Theatre and Circus World. ($)

6:00 pm – 10:00 pm Evening on the Al. Ringling Mansion Verandah, 623 Broadway Street. Enjoy live entertainment and a cash bar.

What is the parade route?

Will traffic keep me from driving into downtown Baraboo?

No, but there will be some detours.


Parking is available.

Two park-and-ride lots will be open on Saturday with shuttles to and from Downtown Baraboo, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at:

  • Festival Foods parking lot, 615 Highway 136 (corner of Highways 12 & 136/33) *handicapped-accessible
  • 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.


Is there handicapped-accessable parking downtown?



On July 22, handicapped-accessible parking spaces will be located in:

  • Parking lot at the corner of Oak and 5th Streets
  • Parking lot at the corner of Ash and 4th Streets
  • Park-and-ride lots (Festival Foods parking lot, 615 Highway 136 – corner of Highways 12/136/33 (Park-and-Ride lot)

*Also refer to map for porta-potty locations, information tent location on Oak Street, etc.

What is there to do after the parade?

After the Big Top Parade, there will be a lot going on downtown.

Circus Palooza will be offering live music, grilled cheese sandwiches, beer and water on the corner of Oak & 4th St. until 4 pm.

Wild Rumpus will be on hand to give kids a chance to try out their circus skills.

Make sure to plan on some time for the Circus World Museum where you 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 Big Top Performance. For more information, call (608) 356-8341 or visit

Will smoke free areas be available along the parade route?

The grounds of the Downtown Baraboo historic courthouse will be tobacco free for the Big Top Parade & Circus Celebration on July 22.

Would the parade be cancelled due to weather?

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

Where is the nearest first aid station?

On the courthouse lawn near Oak Street.

Will the parade be televised?

Live Streaming

Live streaming of the parade will be available via Facebook Live on either the Big Top Parade Facebook page or WRPQ’s Facebook page.


The 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.


A recorded version of the parade will also be added toYouTube.
Find area attractions, accommodations, restaurants, shopping and more.

2017 Parade Wagons

Wagons in the Circus Parade

  • Al Ringling Carriage
  • Royal Italian Band Carriage
  • Golden Age of Chivalry
  • Mother Goose Pony Float
  • Ringling Lion & Mirror Bandwagon
  • Miller Bros. 101 Ranch Bandwagon
  • Hanneford Band Carriage
  • Ringling Bros. Snake Den
  • Gollmar Bros. Mirror Bandwagon
  • Ringling Bros. U.S. Bandwagon
  • Our Country
  • America Steam Calliope
  • Ringling Bros. Giraffe Wagon
  • Charging Tiger Tableau

2017 Parade Bands

Bands in the Circus Parade

  • Baraboo High School Marching Clown Band
  • Sauk Prairie High School Marching Band
  • Lodi Soon To Be Famous Band
  • Professor Stitch’s Original Baraboo Circus Band
  • Echos of Camp Randall
  • Forward Marching Band

2017 Judges

  • Tom Farley
  • Ted Perry
  • Tara Ziztner

In The News

Baraboo News Republic 9.12.17

Madison Essentials 5.17

Milwaukee Business Journal 5.1.17

CBS Sunday Morning 4.30.17

WISc News 4.28.17

WISc News 1.17.17

 2017 Parade Video

2016 Parade Video

Catch the video replay of the parade last year! The 2017 Big Top Circus Parade was broadcast live locally on retro-TV Channel 43 and WRPQ Radio 99.7FM/740AM. DVDs of the parade telecast will be available by contacting WRPQ. (608) 356-3974 or

Commemorative T-Shirt

Parade Commorative T-ShirtSize: XLs only.   $20 *cash only please

This high quality t-shirt will become a timeless addition to your collection. Limited quantities available at the Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce.