Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will open in Tampa on Wednesday, January 4 and run through Sunday, January 8.

In 2012, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will provide The Greatest Show on Earth with an interesting twist. In the Chinese calendar, 2012 is the year of the dragon. The circus will pay homage to the dragon by making the already exciting show dragon themed.
“The inspiration behind the theme of the show was the year of the dragon,” said Alana Feld, executive vice president and producer of the show. “We are creating a once-in-a-lifetime experience and we are going to celebrate the year of the dragon only the way Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey can.”
The goal for the show this year is to try to capture the attributes of the mythological dragon, and convey that in the performance. Some attributes represented will be strength, courage, wisdom and honor.
Dragons, as the performance is appropriately named, will have 142 performers working hard to entertain.
“Having 142 performers is appropriate because this will be our 142nd edition of the circus,” said Feld.
The performance will have all the acts that circus lovers have come to love. There will of course be clowns, dancers, aerial acrobatics and the entertaining ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson. Along with the traditional acts, there will be the motorcycle daredevil family, the Torres, performing, 10 lions and tigers performing, 22 Shaolin monk warriors from China and, of course, the beloved Asian elephants.
“We have so much going on,” said Ringmaster Iverson. “Of course, we have the world’s funniest clowns.”
The animal performers are as exciting as the human performers. This year, new Big Cat trainer Alexander Lacy will show how majestic both the lion and tigers can be.
“Everything we do with the cats are extensions of their natural abilities,” said Lacy. “People will see never-before-seen acts that involve both lions and tigers together.”
“In addition to what you expect of our show; there will be the added lure of Dragons,” said Feld. “It will definitely bring a fantastical element to our show.”
The producers and performers are as excited as ever to show this creation of Dragons to the public. It will be a great treat for circus lovers in the area and around the world.
At a preview of the show at the Florida State Fairgrounds, producers mentioned there would be a surprise at the end of the show. There are rumors that a real dragon will make an appearance at the end of the show, which would make for an exciting finale.
“This year’s performance has an unbelievable premise. We have assembled the most talented performers for the most thrilling display of entertainment,” said Feld.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus begins Wednesday, January 4, and runs through Sunday, January 8. It will be held at the St. Pete Times Forum. Tickets are available at any Ticketmaster outlet or at the St. Pete Times Forum Box Office, or by calling 800-745-3000.
For more information, visit www.ringling.com.

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