Retirement Hobby: Circus Model Building

by Ned
(St Paul, MN)

This hobby started as a model railroad project many years ago but the circus became a larger interest.

I have volunteered at the Circus world Museum and have worked their Great Circus Parade Project over the years also.

I have a street parade that is the equivalent of a mile long in 1/87th scale and have also been working on a tent lay out.

I have enjoyed the hobby and its not only model building but also the History of the circus.

Wendy: Now THAT is unique! Great idea since you volunteered with a project like this!

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Reply to response
by: Ned St Paul

The Twin City Model RR exhibit has been around for many years - first at the St paul Depot then moved to the Bandana shops are. Now they are in a complex on Territory rd in St Paul, not far from the old Amtrack station. They do run a circus train about twice a year and a few circus model builders come in with their added display's.

A 1960's RR layout memory
by: Uncle Bear

Hi Ned,

1960's (bad memory) I visited a layout in St. Paul that was much more a showcase for structures and lifeforms than locomotives and cabooses. My mind tells the builder was medical doctor???

Any ideas?

Circus Model building
by: Ned St Paul

Have not posted here for awhile but still at it always fun to find a new challenge and then build it up.

this past summer have given shows or demonstrations three times, two of them have been at Senior Living complexes and in conjunction with a open house this fall will do a presentation with our cities Historical House tour .

along with still doing research one can kill a lot of time I find the research interesting but so often it takes you down roads you never thought of following and opens up many new area's

Still being able to enjoy our life and look forward to days ahead . might not be as fast as we used to be but we still can get there.

We made the news!
by: Ned

Click here to read about our Circus in the News!

Just did two shows over two weekends, and our local news paper gave it a hit!

Wendy: You did a great job, it looks fabulous! Nice write up too!

Our Summer Project
by: Ned

I am counting down the days to the National Convention of Circus Model Builders At the Circus World Museum in Baraboo May 30th till June 2 2013.

it will be a international show as we have guests coming from overseas, and as of today, will have fifty different displays by members of the Model Builders.

the show is open to the public the only cost is the entrance fee to the museum.

reply to Zenobia
by: Ned

HI thank you for your interest

I have been displaying in the St Paul area at some of the Railroad model shows and will be at a Railroad show at the Eagen Sports center March 23 and 24th.

I have also shown at the Bandana Model Rail road club Circus days every fall.

The circus parade per say is something of the past that I my self had never seen other than in pictures, but helping with the Great Circus parades in Milwaukee and Chicago gave me the insite as to how spectacular they were.

also at the time I stated circus modeling it seemed every one had a big top display and I wanted to do something a bit different.

It started with only a few wagons, and slowly developed into the street parade, that now is 11 blocks long or the equivalent of a mile and one tenth long when its all set up - and it is 36 ft in length so it is not something I have set up at my home.

I have also created a train with most of the wagons that were ever in the parade in Milwaukee and also a train representing the equipment that Ringling carried in about 1950. that train had three sections and has over 100 cars.

Circus World Museum
by: Ned

The Circus World Museum is located in Baraboo, WI, just out side of Wisconsin Dells and about 50 miles north of Madison WI.

Circus Parade History
by: Zenobia

Hello Again!

I have heard of circus parades, although I do not know if they are currently presented. I found a wonderful article about the history and there are some that currently are ongoing in Wisconsin.

Here is a link to the article:

Circus World, Wisconsin History

I would LOVE to bring a couple of my grandchildren to see the display in St Paul, as I live near there... if it is available. Otherwise, I would just love to hear more about it!

Thanks for sharing your wonderful hobby with us!

Circus Museum
by: Irwin L

Fantastic hobby and one that I am sure provides you with hours of entertainment and a sense of fulfillment.

Keep on building!

Circus Museum
by: Joe W.


Hi! I wanted to know where the Circus World Museum is located? Is it in St. Paul, MN?

I've never heard of a public Circus Parade. I thought that the Circus was more of an inside operation without an outside parade.

I often see Animal Rights protesters marching in public but never the Circus itself.

Joe W.

What A Unique Hobby!
by: Zenobia

I used to take my children to the Museum of Science and Industry AKA The Field Museum where there was a spectacular history of the circus display and had so much detail. I love the circus and all of it's history but do not know much.

I am a fan of The Great Wallendos and other trapeze artists.

I would love to hear and learn more about your hobby!


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