Conway man reflects on his time with Ringling Bros. - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Conway man reflects on his time with Ringling Bros.

ADVERTISEMENT
Bookmark and Share
A Conway man spent six years as a clown with Ringling Bros. (Source: WMBF News) A Conway man spent six years as a clown with Ringling Bros. (Source: WMBF News)

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – A Conway man is reflecting on his time as a clown with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus after it was announced the big top would be coming down for good after 146 years.

Bryan Fulton described his six years with Ringling Bros., as his version of college. He began his stint at 17 years of age and worked, slept and ate with roughly 400 other performers.

"We were a big family," Fulton said.

He admits his parents weren't initially on board, but it didn't take long for Fulton to change their minds.

"Once they saw me perform actually in the circus, my dad knew that it was the right thing, the right decision," he said. "I kept telling him, 'I can go to college any time; I can't do this any time.'"

With his parents' approval, Fulton went on working for the circus for the next six years of his life.

He had the opportunity to travel all over the world, but his absolute stop was performing at New York City's Madison Square Garden.

Throughout his travels, Fulton met a number of celebrities, such as Mary Lou Retton and Bob Hope. For a while, his life was exactly how he wanted it.

Finally, the day came when he began to get tired of the day-to-day traveling and performing.

"The road kind of wears on you," Fulton said. "You're traveling, you're living out of a suitcase essentially."

That is when he said goodbye to the circus. However, Fulton's love for juggling never left him. To this day, he still travels around the U.S. performing shows as a comedy juggler.

However, the circus will always hold a special place in his heart.

"Ultimately, we all knew it had a shelf life," Fulton said. "I don't think anyone was expecting it to be this soon. We thought it maybe had another 10 years in it."

The decision to close Ringling Bros., stemmed from issues over animal rights and a steady decline in attendance over the past few decades. 

Related story:

Copyright 2017 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • FIRST ALERT: Local rivers rising rapidly, flooding worsens through the weekend

    FIRST ALERT: Local rivers rising rapidly, flooding worsens through the weekend

    Friday, September 21 2018 11:19 PM EDT2018-09-22 03:19:01 GMT
    Waccamaw River floodingWaccamaw River flooding

    Water levels will continue to rise to historic levels on area rivers and the Intracoastal Waterway.

    More >>

    Water levels will continue to rise to historic levels on area rivers and the Intracoastal Waterway.

    More >>
  • Florence County imposes mandatory evacuation orders for zones 1 and 2

    Florence County imposes mandatory evacuation orders for zones 1 and 2

    Friday, September 21 2018 10:16 PM EDT2018-09-22 02:16:11 GMT
    Rising water levels cover someone's yard on Starburst Road in Florence County. (Source: WMBF News)Rising water levels cover someone's yard on Starburst Road in Florence County. (Source: WMBF News)
    Rising water levels cover someone's yard on Starburst Road in Florence County. (Source: WMBF News)Rising water levels cover someone's yard on Starburst Road in Florence County. (Source: WMBF News)

    FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Florence County Emergency Management officials ordered a mandatory evacuation for 1,400 homes along the Lynches River Friday. Zone One (860 homes, 3,010 residents) from the Highway 301 bridge to the Highway 52 bridge was issued a mandatory evacuation Friday morning. Zone Two (540 homes, 1,890 residents) from the Highway 52 bridge to the Highway 378 was issued that afternoon.

    More >>

    FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Florence County Emergency Management officials ordered a mandatory evacuation for 1,400 homes along the Lynches River Friday. Zone One (860 homes, 3,010 residents) from the Highway 301 bridge to the Highway 52 bridge was issued a mandatory evacuation Friday morning. Zone Two (540 homes, 1,890 residents) from the Highway 52 bridge to the Highway 378 was issued that afternoon.

    More >>
  • 'This is the worst I've ever seen here,' parts of Brunswick Plantation under water

    'This is the worst I've ever seen here,' parts of Brunswick Plantation under water

    Friday, September 21 2018 10:13 PM EDT2018-09-22 02:13:40 GMT
    Brunswick Plantation resdents use canoes to check on flooded homes. (Source: Audrey Biesk)Brunswick Plantation resdents use canoes to check on flooded homes. (Source: Audrey Biesk)

    Flooding across the area is causing people to leave their homes behind, wondering when then they can return. People who live in the Brunswick Plantation said during previous storms water never came up to their driveways, but are experiencing a much different story here as more than 3 feet of water is over taking their homes.

    More >>

    Flooding across the area is causing people to leave their homes behind, wondering when then they can return. People who live in the Brunswick Plantation said during previous storms water never came up to their driveways, but are experiencing a much different story here as more than 3 feet of water is over taking their homes.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly