Free Street Parade of the Sells-Floto Circus


This colorful lithograph advertises the upcoming street parade of the Sells-Floto Circus, promoting ticket sales to the local residents for the twice-a-day shows. The artwork captures the grandeur of the American circus parade in the 1920s. The parade is led by a rider wearing an 18th-century costume and carrying a circus banner. Behind the rider is a group of mounted horsemen, elephants in costumes worn in big production number during the show (“spec costuming”), a band, and a number of circus wagons. Several of the elephants and wagons promote the Sells-Floto name. The circus parade was presented daily on the streets of the local hosting community before the first performance of the day and consisted of as much entertainment and grandeur as a circus could muster. The Sells-Floto Circus was formed in the early 1900s from a combination of the Floto Dog & Pony Show and the Sells Brothers Circus. It toured the United States as an independent circus until 1921, when it was incorporated into the American Circus Corporation. In September 1929 this corporation’s circuses were acquired by John Ringling, and by 1933 Sells-Floto ceased to exist.

Last updated: December 14, 2012