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.

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.

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 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 www.circusworldbaraboo.org.

What is the parade route?

An updated parade route map will be available here.

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.

Will traffic keep me from driving into downtown Baraboo?

No, parking is available (an updated route map with parking areas noted and the detour map will be available here).

Two park-and-ride lots will be open on Saturday 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)
  • 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?

(an updated route map with parking areas noted will be available here)

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

  • Parking lot at the corner of Oak and 5th Streets, the
  • Parking lot at the corner of Ash and 4th Streets
  • park-and-ride lots (Pierce’s Market parking lot, 615 Highway 136 – corner of Highways 12/136/33 (Park-and-Ride lot)
  • Circus World’s east parking lot, 550 Water Street (Park-and-Ride lot).

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

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.

Where is the nearest first aid station?

On the courthouse lawn near Oak Street.

Will the parade be televised?

Details and an updated for the 2017 Parade will be available here.

2016 – Yes! And it will be live streamed! 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.

The parade will also be live-streamed at www.bigtopparade.com.

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

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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
  • Soon To Be Famous Lodi Band
  • Jerry Stitch Band
  • Echos of Camp Randall
  • Dual County Community Band

*check back for list updates

2017 Judges

  • Tom Farley

In The News

Milwaukee Business Journal 5.1.17

CBS Sunday Morning 4.30.17

WISc News 4.28.17

WISc News 1.17.17

 2016 Parade Video

2016 Parade Video

Catch the video replay of the parade last year! The 2016 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 WRPQ.com

Commemorative T-Shirt

Parade Commorative T-ShirtSize: S-3XL   $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.