Sarasota, Florida - The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is pleased to announce the celebration of World Circus Day, April 17, 2021. World Circus Day is an annual holiday dedicated to circus as an art form. Initiated by the European Circus Association and the World Circus Federation, World Circus Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in April.

“We are thrilled to participate in the 11th World Circus Day,” said Jennifer Lemmer Posey, Tibbals Curator of Circus at The Ringling, “This special day celebrates the legacy of the historic circus and educates visitors on the circus of today. The Ringling serves as a great resource for those interested in circus all over the world.”

The celebration will include performances by the Circus Arts Conservatory at 1 and 3 p.m. on The Ringling grounds. The Ringling Grillroom, the Wandering Chef food truck and Mable’s Coffee and Tea will be offering special circus-themed food and beverages. As a special treat, cotton candy and popcorn will also be available.

The Ringling’s education department has a colossal assortment of learning activities available for both children and adults via the website at

The Historic Asolo Theater will be host a continuous screening of Under the Big Top with Buster Bailey. Buster Bailey was a circus fan and amateur cinematographer. In 2019, Howard Tibbals donated a film collection to The Ringling Archives that consists of 221 films shot by Bailey that capture performances and behind-the-scenes views of the circus. There is footage of circus life in towns across America, including scenes of winter quarters, trains loading and unloading, the backyard, animal acts, spec productions, tumbling acts, clown gags, trapeze and web numbers, and much more. Bailey’s tours of European circus parks, the circus parades in Baraboo, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois, and the Circus hall of Fame in Sarasota, Florida, are also captured in this collection.

Through a Recordings At Risk grant administered by the Center for Library and Information Resources that The Ringling Archives received in 2019, this collection of films has been cleaned, re-housed and digitized. The World Circus Day presentation will serve as the premier for this collection.

To honor circus tradition, all children, 17 years of age and under, will be admitted free of charge for the day with an adult. Adult admission may be purchased online at

The Ringling requires that visitors wear masks or facial covering when inside all venues and practice social distancing on the grounds. More information regarding The Ringling’s response to Covid may be found here:

The Ringling is honored to collaborate withThe World Circus Federation (Fédération Mondiale du Cirque) in celebrating World Circus Day. Founded in 2008, the organization is headquartered in Monte Carlo, Monaco with Princess Stéphanie of Monaco serving as the honorary president of the Federation. The World Circus Federation is a nonprofit organization that aims to preserve, support and promote the art and culture of circus.