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Adventure at the Circus
Elephants help raise the Bigtop

July 16, 2005
Viola and circus wagon
Kelly Miller Circus comes to town.
July 16, 2005, was the day the circus came to town.  In the morning, people were invited to watch the elephants raise the bigtop.  Viola, the powerful elephant, is entering with her trainer.  For the next few minutes we would frequently hear, "Viola, back!" or "Viola, stop!"   This circus sets up in a new place about 200 times a year, and we had the impression that the verbal commands were probably unnecessary.

bigtop laid out on the field
  This event takes place in one of the fields of the fairgrounds.  Before we got there, the roustabouts had laid out the bigtop.  At the far end of the bigtop there was a piledriver pounding the stakes in.

From the circus website, we learn:  "The show travels on a fleet of 25 vehicles and requires an area of some 90,000 square feet to set up on. The circus big top, imported from Italy, has a seating capacity of 1500 and is made of waterproof vinyl. The tent is 120' by 130' and 37 1/2 feet high and is supported by more than a quarter of a mile of heavy gauge aluminum tubing as well as several miles of rope, steel cable and chain."  Kelly Miller Circus.

men begin raising sides

At this point, it is still people doing the work.

men raising sides of the bigtop

Here comes Viola, ready to work.
Viola entering

From the corner of her work collar a chain hangs down on each side to a loop behind her.

There is a metal sled-like brace that the workers put behind a pole while it is tilted, and, on command, Viola moves forward, pulling the pole to vertical.
Viola pulling

These people, and Viola, work smoothly and efficiently.  It takes 1 1/2 hours to set up the tent and will take 1 1/4 hours to take it down.
Viola Pulling center pole up

Viola peeks out, after a job well done.

Elephant peeks out

And there are camels.


e-mail us here.

Here's a link to all the rest of the grandkids' pages.

This has been a spring and summer of getting around.

You can see those pictures:

We went to the Utica Zoo
Then we went to the Syracuse Zoo
Wickwire House in Cortland
A trip to babysit the grandkids
A visit to Boston to see a Red Sox Game
Drive through Edmeston area to see the animals
Ithaca Herbert F. Johnson museum trip
And there are lots of pictures of our trip out west.


Other interests: 


Leslie designed a webpage for:
Stride of Central New York

Flower and Garden 
Flowers, etc
Pink and Purple 
June 6, 2000
July, 2000 


Flower and Garden 
Animals hummingbirds
robin baby
Insects  - moth pictures - polyphemus
Hummingbird Moth
Oxford House
Tree Disaster
In Autumn    Before/After Exterior
July 98
Christmas 98
Liz/George Wedding
Wendy & Sam

Links to all the Baby pages for Frankie and Peri


Published 7/16/05
Photos by Leslie or David

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