The Greatest Show On Earth is Unforgettable! #RinglingBros

I remember going to the circus when I was just a little girl, living in New Jersey with my family. Memories of tiered seating, larger than life animals, clowns, balloons, and caramel popcorn flood my mind when I think about it. When I found out that Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus was soon to be in a city near me, I was once again filled with wonder. We were given the opportunity to attend The Greatest Show On Earth in Charlotte, and spent the week beforehand excited, to say the least.

We caught the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baily Dragons circus show at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC, about forty-five minutes south of where we live in Salisbury. This was the first time any of us had been to this arena. We got a little confused and turned around, but once we found the box office and picked up our tickets, we were good to go, and had no trouble finding our seats (which were awesome, by the way).

We couldn't wait to see who would walk through the curtains, first!

My mother-in-law, B, and my hubby, waiting for the show to begin at Tie Warner Cable Arena...

This was both my husband and my son's first trip to the circus, so I hoped that the show would really make them smile. Because we had a bit of a drive to the arena from home, we missed some of the pre-show activities, like seeing some of the animals up close and personal, but we enjoyed watching the clowns perform for us, down on the floor.

The singing of our national anthem...

Our Ringmaster, John Lee Iverson...

When the lights went down, Ringmaster Jonathan Lee Iverson was swept into the arena on a moving star-shaped pedestal, welcoming ladies and gentlemen, and boys and girls of all ages- to The Greatest Show On Earth! We were asked to stand, as he sang our national anthem, and a beautiful woman, riding an elephant, and holding the American flag, circled the arena. Mr. Iverson makes a fantastic Ringmaster- he has a knock-out personality, dazzled in his sparkling costumes, and wowed us with his voice- both while singing and speaking. The show then kicked off with a big musical number, featuring a parade of sorts, of all of the animals and artists/performers, coming into the ring. We even caught a few glimpses of the dragons the show was centered around.

Elephants and performers, parading into the ring...

Dragon chariots and dancers...

The theme of the show was Dragons, and the question 'Do you have the dragon in you?' was repeated throughout the show. Ringmaster Iverson explained that having the spirit of the dragon inside takes courage, strength and heart. For the first half of the show, we watched a very brave lion tamer (Alexander Lacey) inside of a caged ring with several tigers and lions. We were amazed by the Sky Wheel Drivers and performers, spinning from ropes in mid-air. The Sirens captivated us by emerging from clear balls, hanging from the ceiling, and bending, twisting and turning in ways that make my body hurt, just when thinking about it. We watched men and women (The Cossacks) ride beautiful horses into the ring, and they then proceeded to have us on the edges of our seats as they did flips and tricks, while riding the horses (or even standing on the horses!).

Riding in on horses, while standing!

The Sky Wheel Performers...

Alexander Lacey and the lion...

The Sirens of the Sky...

Winding down to intermission...

After a brief intermission, the show was back on in full force, and we were introduced to even more incredible troupes! We watched three small rings, filled with different animals, all doing tricks for the audience. We were highly impressed by some of the things the cats were doing, like riding a ball across a rope! Troupe Scala wowed us, as they did floor stunts for us- piling on top of each other, and flipping one another into chairs on stilts, etc! The Kung Fu Kings jumped through rings of swords and flames, and the Flying Caceres amazed us, as they flew threw the air and performed stunts on the trapeze!

Trapeze artists, tumbling through the air...

Troupe Scala, doing stacks, flips and tumbles on the floor...

For our family, the highlight of the evening came toward the end of the show. Balian in particular, could not wait to see the elephants, and when they came out, he was so excited! I think we all watched, just amazed by the majestic animals, as they gracefully circled the ring, lined up, held one another's tails, and almost danced to the music.

Here come the elephants!

Amazing creatures... so graceful!

We loved how the elephants held onto one another as they came in, and as they were leaving.

To top off a truly spectacular show, a huge (16 foot) steel globe was brought into the ring, and the Torres Family of motocross drivers, came into the ring (six of them). We watched, shocked, I think, as the six motor bikes drove into the steel globe, sat stationary, and then one by one, started zipping and whipping around inside of that globe! After they came to a stop, another driver (#7), came out, and drove into the globe, and they performed again! And just when we thought it was all over, they brought in a record-breaking eighth driver, and we watched, almost breathless, as these motocross drivers sped around and around inside of that tiny cage! AMAZING! Balian was on my lap during this part of the show, and he flipped out when the motor bikes drove in- he absolutely loved them!

Steel Globe, filling up with motocross riders!

The show closed with Ringmaster Iverson and the entire circus cast blowing us away with one final over-the-top musical number, and the unveiling of what we had waited all night to see- the dragon, who 'flew; through the arena, and breathed green flames! 

The dragon!

Closing number...

We had such a wonderful time at The Greatest Show On Earth! It was a great outing for the entire family- and we were so impressed that Balian, who is only two years old, did so well through the whole show! We took one potty break, bought a box of popcorn, and he was good for the two hour spectacular show! With so many lights, and different things to see, he was captivated the entire time, and so were we! We can't wait for the next Ringling Bros. circus tour!

What's a circus show without some popcorn?

We had a great time!

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is on tour, and coming to a city near you! Check for locations and show times. And hey Charlotte and surrounding area residents, Dragons will be at the Time Warner Cable Arena through this Sunday, February 3rd! You can also catch the Red Tour in Greensboro, NC and the Gold Tour in Fayetteville, NC, also in February!

Wanna Go?

Get your tickets, and enjoy the show!

Special thanks to FELD Entertainment and Time Warner Cable Arena for allowing us to attend the show and share our experience!

My MBP Signature

Disclosure: My family was provided with tickets to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents: Dragons! in order to facilitate my review, however, all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own. We had an amazing time!

1 comment

  1. We went to see this show when they came to Chicago and it was one of the best shows I have ever seen! We LOVED the music and the dragon theme!


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