On Saturday, August 6, 2022, my wife, Janet, and I went to Vasona Lake County Park in Los Gatos, California. The park has a miniature steam engine train, called Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad.
We spotted the train, and were surprised to hear music from a brass band! We looked more closely and saw musicians playing brass instruments in the train cars! Janet said, “Let’s follow them to see what’s going on.”
Five minutes later, we were enjoying an afternoon concert of popular music by the San Francisco Brass Band.
The conductor had wisely used a strategy to attract an audience widely used many years ago, the circus parade!
From the late 1800s through the early 1900s, it was quite an occasion when the circus came to town. The town publicized “Circus Day.” The day was observed as a local holiday. Schools closed so the children could watch the circus parade. Businesses closed early so workers could also be with their families and watch the parade.
The streets were lined with crowds of people.
The circus parade featured horse-drawn ornate, hand-carved wagons. Some of the wagons displayed exotic animals, like lions, tigers, and kangaroos. The parade included people riding other animals, like elephants and camels. The circus band played exciting music on the wagons and as band members rode horses. Other performers, like jugglers and clowns, would perform as they walked or rode on wagons.
Children would walk next to the circus wagons while holding on to them. Other bystanders rode bicycles and horses alongside the parade. Some bystanders dressed up in costumes.
At the end of the parade, the crowd followed the parade to where the circus was to take place. They would watch as the circus tents were erected and bought tickets for the shows.
Although the circus parade is a relic of a bygone age, businesses can still promote themselves using spectacular events or publicity stunts that they publicize.