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Barnum & Bailey Day

Step right up and join the fun on Barnum & Bailey Day! Celebrate with thrilling circus acts, delicious treats, and unforgettable memories.
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March 28
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United States

Step right up and join the circus, because March 28 is Barnum & Bailey Day! This day celebrates the famous traveling circus created by P.T. Barnum and James A. Bailey in the late 1800s. With its daring acrobatics, exotic animals, and thrilling performances, the Barnum & Bailey Circus became a beloved form of entertainment for people all across America. Even after its closure in 2017, this legendary circus continues to inspire us with its legacy of excitement and wonder. So grab your popcorn and cotton candy, it's time to celebrate Barnum & Bailey Day under the big top!

History of Barnum & Bailey Day

Barnum & Bailey Day Dates

Barnum & Bailey Day Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1871</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>P.T. Barnum's Grand Traveling Museum</div><div class='timeline-text'>P.T. Barnum established "P.T. Barnum's Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome," a predecessor to the famous circus.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1881</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Formation of Barnum & Bailey Circus</div><div class='timeline-text'>P.T. Barnum partnered with James A. Bailey to form "Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show On Earth," later known as Barnum & Bailey Circus.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1907</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Ringling Brothers Take Over</div><div class='timeline-text'>After James Bailey's death, the Ringling Brothers bought the Barnum & Bailey Circus and continued to run it as a separate entity for a while.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1919</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Formation of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey</div><div class='timeline-text'>The two circuses were merged to form "Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus," often referred to as "The Greatest Show on Earth."</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1956</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>End of Big Top Era</div><div class='timeline-text'>The circus holds its last "big top" tent performance in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as the show moved to permanent venues.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2017</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Barnum & Bailey Circus Closes</div><div class='timeline-text'>After facing declining ticket sales and backlash from animal rights groups, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus held their final performance.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Barnum & Bailey Day

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Host a circus-themed party</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Invite your friends and family over for a fun-filled Barnum & Bailey themed party. Decorate with circus props, serve circus-inspired food, and play games like pin the tail on the elephant or a ring toss.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Watch a circus performance</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Find a local circus or acrobatic performance and attend with your loved ones to celebrate Barnum & Bailey Day. You can also watch a recorded performance online if you can’t find one near you.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Visit an animal sanctuary</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>In honor of P.T. Barnum’s love for animals, visit a local animal sanctuary and donate to their cause. You can also volunteer at the sanctuary and help take care of the animals.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Dress up as a circus performer</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Get into the spirit of Barnum & Bailey Day by dressing up as a circus performer. You can be a clown, a ringmaster, or even an acrobat – the possibilities are endless!</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Make your own circus treats</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Get creative in the kitchen and make some delicious circus-themed treats like cotton candy cupcakes or popcorn balls. You can even have a bake-off competition with your friends to see who can make the most creative treat.</p></div></div>

Why We Love Barnum & Bailey Day

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It's a celebration of circus history</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Barnum & Bailey Day is a tribute to the famous traveling circus that was founded in the late 1800s. On this day, we remember the performances, animals, and larger-than-life characters that captivated audiences for decades.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It's a chance to relive childhood memories</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Many people have fond memories of attending Barnum & Bailey circus shows as children. National Barnum & Bailey Day gives us an opportunity to reminisce about those exciting experiences and feel like kids again, even if just for a day.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It showcases incredible talent and skills</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>The performers in Barnum & Bailey were some of the most highly skilled individuals in their respective fields - from acrobats to animal trainers. This holiday pays tribute to their hard work and dedication, reminding us of the amazing feats that humans are capable of.</p></div></div>

5 Wonder-Filled Facts for Barnum & Bailey Day

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Barnum & Bailey's "Greatest Show on Earth" was One of the First to Travel by Train</h3><p class='facts-content'>The Barnum & Bailey Circus was one of the first to use the railroad to transport its performers, animals, and equipment, revolutionizing not just the circus industry but also prompting advancements in the railway system itself.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The Circus Played a Major Role in Introducing Elephants to America</h3><p class='facts-content'>Barnum and Bailey's were instrumental in popularizing elephants, specifically the Asian Elephant, in America. Their star elephant, Jumbo, became so famous that his name entered the language as a term for anything unusually large.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Barnum & Bailey Participated in Conservation Efforts</h3><p class='facts-content'>Despite its controversy, during its time, Barnum & Bailey participated in animal conservation efforts. The circus worked with various organizations to help preserve endangered species such as the Asian Elephant.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The Circus Was an Early Adopter of Electric Light</h3><p class='facts-content'>Barnum & Bailey's was a pioneering entity in the adoption of new technology like the electric light, bringing awe-inspiring illuminations to towns and cities that had never seen it before.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Barnum & Bailey Created Opportunities for Many Performers</h3><p class='facts-content'>The circus provided performance opportunities for many unique acts, artists, and entertainers from all walks of life, often elevating their status from outcasts to celebrated performers.</p></div></div>

Barnum & Bailey Day FAQs

When is Barnum & Bailey Day?

Barnum & Bailey Day is celebrated on March 28 every year. In 2024 Barnum & Bailey Day will occur on a Thursday.

Barnum & Bailey Day Dates



Mar 28



Mar 28



Mar 28



Mar 28



Mar 28


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