Two of Baraboo’s signature summer draws, live shows at Circus World Museum and the Big Top Parade, have been canceled this year in response to ongoing coronavirus concerns.

Museum Director Scott O’Donnell said it’s the first time in more than 60 years that the Water Street grounds won’t feature acrobats, clowns, exotic animals and other circus performances over the 2020 season.

“It is a heartbreaking decision to have to make,” he said. It was necessary for safety reasons and the difficulty in predicting how long each phase of the Badger Bounce Back plan, the proposal outlining when public life in Wisconsin can resume, will take, he said.

“It’s heartbreaking in the sense of how it will affect our performer families, of course, because this is their livelihood … So they will be, like so many Americans, forced to search for other avenues of income for the year ahead,” O’Donnell said. “It’s a difficult decision for so many of our guests and our beloved community that embraces our wonderful circus heritage.”

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