Baraboo is an important place in the nostalgic beginnings of the circus – the Ringling Brothers Circus was founded there. It should not be the place where Wisconsin’s proud circus tradition ends.
Historically, much of the loss of circus culture across our great state and nation was due to the financial pressures that ultimately doomed many events and organizations. Unfortunately, Wisconsin’s treasured Circus World Museum may face the same fate, if not for the current proposal by Gov. Scott Walker to transfer operations to the Wisconsin Historical Society.
The last several years have not been easy for any business owner, much less any not-for-profit or tourist attraction. Circus World Museum is no exception. The current operators have done their best, but the reality is the Circus World Museum Foundation has declined tremendously in the recent past, ending every year of the last decade with a budget deficit, compounded by admissions revenues that have dropped by more than 50% over that period.
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