Barracks setting for big top circus experience

The historic surrounds of Castlebar's Military Barracks is to come to life in a colourful display of acrobats, jugglers, aerialists, ponies, and clowns as the world's longest running and oldest traditional circus makes a welcome return to the town.

The Fossett Brothers have not performed in Castlebar in their iconic blue and black big top tent setting in 21 years because they could not find a suitable venue.

However, after working with the town's tourism officer, Michael Baynes, of Castlebar Chamber, the circus will now be accommodated in the historic surrounds of the old Military Barracks.

Charles O'Brien, marketing manager with Fossett's, said that while the 126-year-old circus did visit the town in 2009 for a successful and enjoyable indoor performance in the Royal Theatre, they were reluctant to return until they could bring the full, 700-seater, big top experience to local families.

“We have been looking for a suitable site in Castlebar for many years now,” he said. “Michael Baynes made our visit possible by arranging the use of the barracks as a venue. It is a very exciting space and is surely an ideal location for seasonal events and productions.”

The circus will perform in Castlebar from Wednesday to Sunday, September 24 to 28. It then moves to Swinford Amenity Park for Monday and Tuesday, September 29 and 30, and then on to the grounds of Westport House from Wednesday to Sunday, October 1 to 5.

“Countless generations have brought their sons and daughters, grandchildren and cousins to be thrilled, amazed, and entertained under the Fossett Big Top,” said Mr O'Brien.

“It is a family tradition that has continued from way back and which shows no sign of going away.”

Booking for Fossetts Mayo dates is advisable at


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