Did you ever think you could see the past; the present and the future all come together in one town in the same week? It’s going to happen during the week of July 17th to 20th. The Circus Historical Society, Inc. an International organization will be holding their National Convention in this tiny town about seventy miles north of Indianapolis.
Peru, Indiana was the circus winter quarters to a variety of circuses for nearly 100 years. Ben Wallace, an astute businessman from Peru, caught the circus fever and began a pathway of elephants, horses, train cars and show folks that would keep the town abuzz for many generations to come. To the east of town the circus winter quarters were built where animals were kept all winter and acts were trained and polished. Equipment was built, new coats of paint were added and the gaudy circus look was new again each and every year.
This summer the Circus Historical Society brings its National Convention back to the Circus City. Our week of fellowship, comparing of notes and fact checking will include a huge circus concert band of 60 pieces performing some of the greatest circus music ever written. Some of the finest circus historians from around the country will be there offering a few presentations on specific circus topics. A real treasure for one and all is the annual fundraising auction that is full of old circus posters, books, and cards and rare and one of a kind item that would make Sotheby’s take note.
The old historic circus era is captured at the former circus winter quarters which now houses the International Circus Hall of Fame. A couple of the original buildings still exist which now house some of the historic circus wagons and displays. The circus present is offered in the circus under the Big Top at the International Hall of Fame, where a dazzling array of professional circus performers will present a couple performances each day. The circus of the future will then be seen in town at the Peru Amateur Youth Circus where the rising stars of the circus world have been learning and honing their skills that have taken some of them to the Monte Carlo Circus Festival and to a career on the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
The grand circus parade will step through downtown Peru on Saturday with all the events going on all day long. Our convention will then join the International Circus Hall of Fame’s induction banquet where the newest members of the Circus Hall of Fame will be enshrined. The Circus Historical Society will also announce the winner of the highly coveted Stuart Thayer Prize for the finest circus article, book, film, documentary or other definitive piece was created in the year of 2012.
The Circus Historical Society, Inc. is found on the web at www.circushistory.org where you can find out more information about the Convention. Anyone may register to attend. You don’t have to be a CHS member but you are missing out on a lot of circus if you aren’t. Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/