An Old-Fashioned Circus – RIGHT Here in Honeoye Falls!

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the June 21, 1990 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259I don’t have many childhood memories of going to the circus. (About the closest thing I can think of concerns the Big Tree Firemen’s Carnival, but that’s another story so forget I even mentioned it!)

It’s not like I never went to a circus or anything. The big circuses I visited, though, had too much bigness for a little kid to really enjoy. For example, from the upper level of Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo, one needs binoculars to catch the funny magic tricks clowns like to perform. This cannot represent the kind of up-close-and-personal experience one desires from a circus.

And I never did remember sitting through a circus parade, or watching the roadies unload the circus gadgets, or see the animals and performers all lend a hand in putting up the big top. I’m not saying I’m socially maladjusted because of it. After all, I did get more than my required fill of Bugs Bunny and Road Runner cartoons. I’m just saying I don’t have any fond circus memories.

But I expect I soon will.

Yes, on Sunday, July 1, the Franzen Brothers Circus will be coming right here in Honeoye Falls.

“Where?” you might ask.


That’s correct, under the co-sponsorship of the Honeoye Falls Rotary, the Senior Citizens and the Honeoye Falls Firemen, we’ll all have the opportunity to relive old memories and make new ones. We can all see an old-fashioned one-ring circus at its best.

There will be two shows. One at 2 p.m. and one at 4:30 p.m. The circus will be held at the Honeoye Falls Fireman’s field. It’ll all be done under one tent, so the show will go on rain or shine.

The European style circus features only one ring. Everyone can get close to the act. It means you don’t have to worry about deciding between three simultaneous performances. Finally, one ring and close seats eliminate the need for any binoculars.

But don’t think the size indicates any reductions in standards or diversity. Yes, this circus comes complete with lions and tigers and other circus animals. It even has an elephant!

Of course, we can’t forget about the clowns. There will be lots of clowns to keep the kids – both young and old – laughing. Don’t forget to bring your cameras. What’s a circus without getting your picture taken with a clown?

But that’s not all! There will be a free circus parade on Sunday morning as the crew marches to the Firemen’s field. This will be a great chance to see how they transport all the circus materials. Unfortunately, I don’t have any more details on this at the time of writing.

Now, here’s the best part. We can all benefit from attending the circus in another way. The circus company has promised the sponsoring groups a percentage of the tickets they sell. Most – if not all – of that money will be going to the community of Honeoye Falls and Mendon to support their band – and have fun, too!

As an extra incentive, the circus has promised to donate a portion of the proceeds of the gate if the sponsoring groups can sell more than $2,000 worth of tickets by the Friday before the show. So buy early and buy often.

Now everyone will get a chance to experience the special kind of enchantment that Phineas T. Barnum first had when he opened his “Greatest Show on Earth” in 1871. Granted, there won’t be all those freakish exhibits and extravagance that made Barnum famous. Still, the essential elements of the circus remain.

And we can all benefit from the memories.

Last Week #64: Mendon Water Tower Redux (originally published on June 14, 1990)
Next Week #66: A Graduation Song (originally published on June 28, 1990)

[What is this and why is here? See Interested in Discovering My Time Machine? for more details.]


  1. Chris Carosa says

    Author’s Comment: When one thinks of an editorial written in a small town newspaper, this kind of writing comes to mind. It focuses on the community. It references homespun memories. And it builds up a small-time event with the hype of a big city. The circus went off well. Do you think the people that went remembered it? I sure do.

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