Carson & Barnes Circus brings fun for families to Waukesha Co. Expo Center: "It's something very unique"

WAUKESHA -- Wisconsin was home to more than 100 traveling circuses around the turn of the century, and as a result, our state has a great deal of circus heritage. This weekend, many enjoyed the good old days when they visited the Waukesha County Expo Center for the Carson & Barnes Circus under the big top!

Carson & Barnes Circus

The Carson & Barnes Circus is billed as the world's biggest big top show.

There were six shows this weekend at the Waukesha County Expo Center.

"We practice every single day. We never stop learning," Jairo Ojdea, ringmaster said.

The Carson & Barnes Circus is a family-owned and operated show. This is their 79th year in production.

"It`s something very unique," Ojdea said.

Carson & Barnes Circus

The goal is to offer families quality time together -- away from the phone and computer.

"Here, you rarely see the phones up. You see families enjoying each other`s company, enjoying a live show like they did when they were kids," Ojdea said.

What really sets the Carson & Barnes Circus apart from the others is this is truly a family show. For example two jugglers who take part in the show are brothers -- who grew up in the circus.

Carson & Barnes Circus

"We grow up together on the same lot. We're with each other for eight months every single day, so we get a very close bond,"

Preparations for each show begin very early. At 8:00 a.m., the miniature horses get a bath and the stars of the show -- the African elephants get all dressed up.

Armando Loyal is part of the ninth generation circus family, and the head elephant handler.

"It`s a feel, I don`t know how to explain, and almost that something so big cares for you as much as you care for it to take care of it. It`s just a really great experience," Loyal said.

Portions of the proceeds from the circus show benefit the Endangered Ark Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that provides a retirement ranch for circus elephants, and helps to educate the public about this endangered species.

Carson & Barnes Circus

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Endangered Ark Foundation.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Carson & Barnes Circus.