Ringling Bros. Circus comes to Seattle in August 1903.

  • By Paul Dorpat
  • Posted 2/26/2001
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 3003

In August 1903, the Ringling Bros. Circus comes to Seattle. A circus parade including at least 12 elephants as well as tableaus (carved wagons that resembled the gilded fantasies of a deranged royalty) makes its way down 2nd Avenue.

As advertised these Ringling Bros. shows were probably the "greatest." Formed as a wagon circus in 1884, Ringling switched to trains in 1890. A turn-of-the-century Ringling train numbered more than 80 cars, and most of the circus's stays were for one day.


Paul Dorpat, "Now & Then: "The Circus Parade," The Seattle Times, Northwest Magazine, December 11, 1994.

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