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Elephants To Lead Big Top Parade

Elephants to lead Big Top Parade

The Big Top Parade will return to the streets of downtown Baraboo on Saturday, June 24, 2023, highlighted one last time by Circus World’s elephants.

The elephants were named the parade’s grand marshals in honor of their retirement after the 2023 season.

“Circus World’s elephants are fan favorites every year,” said Nanci Caflisch, co-chair of the Big Top Parade organizing committee. “We want to savor their last appearance in the parade and celebrate their considerable contribution to our event.”

The parade will step off at 11 a.m. June 24, anchoring a weekend full of circus-themed fun in the Ringling Brothers’ hometown. Historic wagons, exotic animals, marching bands and community floats will follow the grand marshals. All will observe the parade’s “Go West” theme, which also is the theme of Circus World’s 2023 big top show.

“It’s a thrill to showcase Circus World’s unparalleled collection of wagons in our parade,” said George Althoff, Executive Director of the Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce. “I can’t wait to see the floats our sponsors and community groups add to the fun.”

The weekend-long circus celebration will start Thursday evening, when Professor Stich’s Original Circus Band performs at Concerts on the Square. The Al. Ringling Theatre will present entertainment throughout the weekend. On Saturday morning, acrobats, aerialists and clowns will entertain the crowd downtown before the parade begins. After the parade, all are encouraged to visit Circus World and see the “Go West” big top show at 1:15 and 3:30 p.m.

“This will be one rootin,’ tootin’ weekend,” said Scott O’Donnell, Executive Director of Circus World. “Help us ‘Go West’ and wish ‘Happy Trails’ to our beloved elephants … ‘til we meet again.”

After the summer performance season, Circus World’s elephants will retire to an elephant sanctuary in Oklahoma.

Watch for updates on this summer’s parade and related events at

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