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Big Top Circus leaves a lasting impression

Big Top Circus leaves a lasting impression
Alex Ramos introducing the horses

Alex Ramos introducing the horses

The Ramos Bros. Circus, setup on an empty lot on Highway 62 in Yucca Valley last week. They will be performing nightly until January, 31st when they head back to Las Vegas.

What is it about the Circus that creates such excitement? Even with the current distrust of animal shows, there is still something that ignites the child spirit in many. Probably because it’s ‘Entertainment.’ A Beautiful woman flying through the air, acrobatic men perfuming dangerous feats, decorated horses, brilliantly colorful costumes sparkling in the rays of the stage lights, the sounds, and smells – it’s pure theater. The Ramos Bros Circus carries on that tradition through five generations.Three brothers, their sons, daughters, and grandchildren, raised in circus life, choose to stay in circus life.

According to Wikipedia, the modern circus was created in England by Philip Astley a cavalry Sergeant-Major. Astley, who had served in the Seven Years’ War (1756-63) as part of Colonel Elliott’s 15th Light Dragons regiment, became an expert trainer and rider. Upon his discharge, Astley performed trick riding, with increasing success all over Europe. The modern commercial theater was developing in London during that time and Astley’s trick riding became a celebrated event. The building in which he performed and taught had a circular arena that he called the circle or circus. That arena would later be known as the ring.

The Ramos family have been in the circus business for over 100 years, and currently, the five generations live, work and travel together. The school age children like Angel Ramos, 11 and his slightly older cousin, live in Las Vegas. Angel, who has aspirations of being a lawyer and a circus performer when he grows up, is excelling in his studies. He wins awards in everything from ‘Student of the Year’ to gymnastics which gives him a good base for his circus training.

Angel says, “I don’t know why I like the circus, I just like it.”

Alex Ramos said weather was a big factor in setting up. It will take approximately 20 people 30 hours to erect the Big Top. The circus caravan arrives a couple of days before the first show and stays two weeks. Opening night is a big event, and the Ramos family pass out lots of free tickets. It’s important to get those tickets early; they go quickly. Breaking down the tent is a little faster, and the family is then back on the road.

“We can not call this a job,” said Alex Ramos, “because we love to do this for the people. When the people come to the circus, and they are laughing, they go to the show, and the clowns are performing… I look at the people. I enjoy how the people enjoy the clowns. That is part of my life.”

Originally from Mexico, Alex Ramos has lived in the United States for over 30 years and says, he loves this country; it’s his second home.

Alex and most of his relatives have been trained as trapeze artists. He has performed in the Ringling Bros Circus, Circus Circus, and the Shrine Circus over the years, starting his circus with his two brothers 11 years ago.

The circus is strategically placed right on Highway 62. Exposure is everything. The big tent and the array of colorful trailers catch the eye of locals and tourists and draws a nightly crowd.

Angel, 19, Corley, 19, Nathan, 19, and Devon, 19, four Marines stationed in Twenty-nine Palms, said they were driving by and had to stop to go to the show.

Kyle Stratton and his wife Jennifer brought their two children as a surprise. Five-year-old Lillie couldn’t stop jumping up and down, and Connor 12 seemed to be holding the excitement back, slightly.

Kyle Stratton said, “It’s nice to see people going out to be entertained.”

I went to the Monday night show and was thrilled to be reconnected with a magical world that I had long forgotten. A man flew out of a canon, rolled up into a glittering ball and landed on a net. He stood up, arms out wide, and bowed to the crowd. A young woman twirled from a rope high up in the air. There were clowns, dancing dogs, horses, and camels. This show was not as large or as flamboyant as I remember from my youth, but it was fun and defiantly entertaining. Angel came by in make-up and clown costume selling popcorn and cotton candy.

The family-run circus ran into trouble when two of their stunt motorcycles were stolen early Saturday morning. After the family had posted the loss on Facebook, the bikes were returned, and the show went on as planned. Alex Ramos dismisses the incident with a wave of his hand and says, “We have lovely people, (indicating the residents that were gathering at the front gate). “A lovely crowd and we are happy to come back again next year.”

For more information go to the Ramos Bros. Facebook page,

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