Circus entertainment grew out of trick-riding equestrian shows in England during the second half of the eighteenth century. Horses were the real stars of these shows! Then came acrobatic clowns on horseback, performing daring flips, balancing tricks and pantomime. America’s love with the old-time circus began in the 1820s. The traveling tent circus, an American innovation, was created by a New York entrepreneur. A menagerie of animals, enthralling all ages, accompanied the big-top shows. Performing arts dating back to ancient Egypt and China, such as juggling, were added to the evolution of this American institution. Two rings were expanded to ten, electrifying aerial shows and rope walkers made it the nation’s top drawing entertainment!