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Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Stepping Out
Under the Big Top with the Cole Bros. Circus
A summer spectacle to bring out the kid in everyone
By Karen Bloom
The new comic duo Carlee and Charlie are ready to clown around during Cole Bros. visit here this month.

Those timeless acts that make up the Cole Bros. Circus are ready to entertain Long Islanders as the circus caravan makes its way throughout the region this month.
A summertime tradition in the area, the circus’ familiar Big Top is a familiar sight in our communities each year. This time around Cole Bros. had added Eisenhower Park to its route here, which also includes Oceanside among other locations the circus visits.
The circus opened in Eisenhower Park on Wednesday, July 3, and continues through Sunday, July 7. It then moves around the area and sets up in Oceanside, Monday through Wednesday, July 29-31, at Firemen’s Memorial Field.
Billing itself as the “Circus of the Stars” it holds true to an American tradition as it celebrates its 129th anniversary this year. The Cole Bros. Circus is a throwback to an old-fashioned slice of Americana: the last of the large traveling tent circuses.
Known as the “The world’s largest circus under the Big Top,” the Cole Bros. Circus continues to showcase all those traditional circus acts — acrobats, aerialists, clowns, and animals —all under its “Big Top” tent. That innovative crimson and gold Big Top measures 136 feet wide by 231 feet long.
W. W. Cole, who inaugurated the Cole Bros. Circus title in 1884, began his circus career in 1871, amassing fortune and fame by bringing to cities and villages the most astounding marvels of the day. Among the amazing attractions promoted by W. W. Cole, incandescent light — a single, glowing glass globe, powered by a steam engine — drew record crowds, with young and old alike filling Cole’s tent to witness the seemingly impossible invention. The brightly lit tent of Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars bears slight resemblance to W.W. Cole’s 19th century Big Top, but the tradition of watching what appears unbelievable happen right before your eyes remains the same.


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