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Gainesville, Texas - Leading Citizens Seen as Clown Cut-ups in Big Home-Town Circus

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

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  •  Acrobats perform tricks in the streets of Gainesville 
 
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Begun in 1930, the Gainesville Community Circus was distinct from professional traveling circuses of the day in that its performers were all Gainesville community members with other full-time jobs. They typically had no formal circus background, performed for free, and even provided their own costumes. The circus achieved great success, giving over 300 performances in 57 different cities and towns over a 25-year period. It included bareback riders, trapeze artists, acrobats, tight-rope performers, jugglers, clowns, and trained animals and eventually grew to include seven tents with seating for an audience of 2500. Unfortunately, a 1954 fire destroyed most of the circus' equipment, contributing to its ultimate demise in 1958. This partial clip of a Universal Newsreel shows members of the Gainesville Community Circus performing acrobatics on the street.