Circus Parade Wagons

Circus World is a key partner in the parade, lending its unparalleled collection of historic wagons to the event. Two-thirds of the circus wagons known to exist are in the collection of Circus World Museum, preserved for future generations to see.

The museum is located at the site of the original Ringling Bros. Circus winter quarters in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Collections in the museum include unparalleled holdings holdings of circus and carnival artifacts, a world-class research library, and over 200 historic circus wagons.

Circus World Museum

550 Water St
Baraboo, WI 53913
608-356-8341

circusworldbaraboo.org

Al G. Barnes Tableau No.181

This tableau wagon, was built for the Al G. Barnes Circus which used it from 1921 through 1926. The elephant carvings were presented to Circus World in 1969, and placed on a new wagon body in 1987.

Photo courtesy of Bill Johnsen

Aurthur Bros. Ticket Wagon No.11

Photo courtesy of Tom Williams

Barnum & Bailey "Cinderella" Pony Float

Photo courtesy of Bill Johnsen

Barnum & Bailey "Mother Goose" Pony Float

Fairy tales are bigger and brighter with this gloriously gilded Barnum & Bailey Mother Goose Pony Float. Built in 1882 for the Barnum & London Shows, this float was one of seven depicting characters from such favorite children’s stories as Little Red Riding Hood and Mother Goose. Three of the seven floats exist today, all in the care of Circus World.

Photo courtesy of Bill Johnsen

Barnum & Bailey "The Old Woman Who Lived in the Shoe" Pony Float

Fairy tales are bigger and brighter with this gloriously gilded Barnum & Bailey Mother Goose Pony Float. Built in 1882 for the Barnum & London Shows, this float was one of seven depicting characters from such favorite children’s stories as Little Red Riding Hood and Mother Goose. Three of the seven floats exist today, all in the care of Circus World.

Photo courtesy of Bill Johnsen

Barnum & Bailey Golden Age of Chivalry Tableau
Barnum & London Tableau Cage No.89

The Barnum & London Tableau Cage Wagon, from Circus World’s unparalleled circus wagon collection, toured with the Barnum & Bailey Circus through 1918 when the show combined with the Ringling Bros. Circus. The carved figures on each corner are bearded men, thus giving the wagon the nickname the “Whiskers Cage.”

Photo courtesy of Bill Johnsen

Cole Bros. Air Calliope No.82

This magnificent wagon was built around 1915 to carry an air calliope for Fred Buchanan’s Yankee Robinson Circus. Found in shambles in 1950, the wagon was given to Circus World in 1965 and has been beautifully restored.

Photo courtesy of Tom Williams.

Cole Bros. America Steam Calliope No.76
“America” is the second of the two surviving 1903 Barnum & Bailey continent-themed tableau wagons. Cleaver-Brooks of Milwaukee presented the wagon to Circus World in 1959 as a feature for the Museum’s first season. The wagon has been restored to appear as it did on the 1940 Cole Bros. Circus.

Photo courtesy of Bill Johnsen.

Cole Bros. France Tableau No.80
In 1918, the Bode Wagon Co. of Cincinnati constructed panels for sixteen tableau wagons, each representing a different country. These elaborate carved sides were mounted on truck bodies for Frank Spellman’s new United States Motorized Circus. In 1946 France was bought by the Block & Kuhl department store of Peoria for use in their Christmas parade. Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co. acquired the wagon when they bought Block & Kuhl, then presented it to Circus World Museum in 1962. It has been restored to its 1937 appearance.

Photo courtesy of Circus World Museum

Gollmar Bros. Band Tableau No. 21
Parades are no stranger to Baraboo, Wisconsin where a century ago, the world-famous Ringling Bros. Circus and Gollmar Bros. Circus paraded their wagons throughout the downtown. This spectacular wagon was built by the Gollmar Bros. Circus in their Baraboo winter quarters in 1903. The Gollmar Bros. Mirror Bandwagon was used as the show’s lead bandwagon until 1916. Today, it is preserved at Circus World.

Photo courtesy of Bill Johnsen

Miller Bros. 101 Ranch Bandwagon No. 80
Ringling Bros. "United States" Tableau No. 47

This elaborate 10,820 lb wagon was reconstructed to its original appearance in 1991. The “United States” Tableau typically carries riders clothed in patriotic wardrobe or interpretive military uniforms.

Photo courtesy of Mike Heath

Ringling Bros. Giraffe Wagon No.39

The Ringling Bros. Circus acquired a specially designed wagon for its 1893 touring season to house a giraffe named Mamie. Some years ago, Circus World re-created the Ringling Bros. Giraffe Wagon from an 1894 photograph. Here it features a Massai giraffe from the Timbavati Wildlife Park in Wisconsin Dells.

Photo courtesy of Bill Johnsen

Ringling Bros. Lion Tableau
Professor Gerald Stich’s Original Baraboo Circus Band entertains Big Top Parade crowds in Baraboo, Wisconsin on the Ringling Bros. Bandwagon, also known as the Lion & Mirror Bandwagon, from Circus World. The gold leaf-covered vehicle was built in the 1880s.

Photo courtesy of Bill Johnsen

Royal Hanneford Carriage/Bandwagon
This rare English-built circus wagon of Victorian origin, ca. 1880 was first used in England by Taylor’s A-1 Circus. It traveled with the Hanneford’s in Ireland between 1903 and 1913. It has been restored by utilizing existing layers of original paint that has remained on the wagon. It is one of only five “high Victorian” English circus wagons remaining in existence, all of them located at Circus World Museum.

Photo courtesy of Circus World Museum

Sparks Ticket Wagon No. 20

Photo courtesy of Bill Johnsen

2019 Parade Wagons

Al Ringling Wagon
B&B Golden Age of Chivalry
Beck Calliope
Mother Goose Pony Float
Old Woman in Shoe

Our Country Tableau
Royal Hanneford Band Chariot
Ringling Lion & Mirror Bandwagon
Sparks Sea Serpent Tableau
Ringling Bros. Snake Den
Gollmar Bros. Mirror Bandwagon

Ringling Bros. U.S. Bandwagon
Ringling Cage Wagon
America Steam Calliope
France Tableau
Ringling Bros. Giraffe Wagon