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Friday, July 31, 2009

Coming Up: Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus

August 12-16 in Oakland and August 19-23 in San Jose

Get your peanuts that don’t cost peanuts! Get your really expensive cotton candy!

It’s circus time again.

We’ve gone three of the past seven years, and it’s actually a good show, with motorcycle riders in the big flashing cage-ball. There are tightrope walkers, clowns, dancing dogs and cats, and of course the animals (see below for more on them). And there's a free pre-circus show an hour before the regular show starts (plus you can see th animals).

If your kid is under 12 months, you can sign junior up for a FREE TICKET – with no expiration date! My daughter has one (but we still haven’t used it). Here’s the deal: they send you the coupon, but you have to cash it in at the box office or mail it to the box office. BUT if you just show up at the door and don’t care where you sit (bring binoculars), you should still be able to do it all that day. Especially if you get the cheapie nose-bleed seats like we do (you can see just fine). It’s usually empty up there – plenty of room for the kids to run around. And you save on the nasty Ticketmaster fees (plus they’re notorious for spamming your email before every Def Leppard concert).

Now I can’t post this without mentioning the circus controversy. Each year we see protesters decry the treatment of these animals, especially the elephants. I’m not sure what the truth is, so I’ll print both sides. Animal welfare activists are suing the circus, claiming the elephants are chained up far too long, and claim the trainers use inhumane bull hooks on them. The circus argues that they treat the animals well. You can judge for yourself.

Oakland Oracle Arena – August 12-16
San Jose HP Pavilion – August 19-23
Cost: $15-100
Once you're on their mailing list, you'll start getting promo codes and coupons for any upcoming Ringling Brothers Circus in Oakland or San Jose.

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