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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Great Circus Parade Returns to Milwaukee




On July 12, 2009, for the first time in six years, the Great Circus Parade will wind its way through the streets of downtown Milwaukee delighting spectators of all ages. The two hour parade, celebrating an American tradition, steps out at 1:30 p.m. and will include over 50 antique circus wagons, clowns, marching bands and exotic animals.

"We are proud to welcome this tradition back to Milwaukee," said Doug Neilson, president and CEO of VISIT Milwaukee. "This event not only offers entertainment for the whole family, but, in these economically challenging times, provides a unique Milwaukee experience that is free for everyone. Our city always has been, and will continue to be, a great value destination; a fact brought back into the spotlight by the Great Circus Parade."

The parade is the culmination of a festival beginning on June 28 and running through July 5 in Baraboo, Wis. Called Wagon Roll-Out Days, this display of antique circus wagons as they are prepared for the trip to Milwaukee takes place on the grounds of Circus World. Events then move to Milwaukee's lakefront where the Great Circus Parade Festival runs from July 8-11.  Here circus performances, a petting zoo, animal rides and parade practice runs greet those looking for some good old family fun.

This will be the 30th parade staged in Milwaukee. The Great Circus Parade tradition dates back to 1963 when it enjoyed its inaugural season, and ten subsequent years, in Milwaukee. The event spent the next 25 years alternating between Baraboo, Chicago and Milwaukee. The parade has been on hiatus since 2005.  For more parade details go to


VISIT Milwaukee markets Greater Milwaukee to tourists, convention and meeting planners nationally and internationally and is dedicated to ensuring our guests are warmly welcomed and enjoy an enriching experience in this jewel of the Great Lakes. VISIT Milwaukee has over 700 members, including hotels/motels, restaurants, attractions, services and area businesses. Tourism generated $2.6 billion in spending in Greater Milwaukee in 2007 and supported nearly 65,000 local jobs. The Spirit of Milwaukee and Potawatomi Bingo Casino are strategic partners with VISIT Milwaukee, providing funding support for conventions and tourism programs.  For more information call 1-800-554-1448 or visit