By Ed Harris
Town officials are investigating whether it’s feasible to bring the Cole Bros Circus to town later this summer, as a favor to neighboring Meriden.
Cole Bros has performed in Meriden, at the hub, for the last three years, but work there has forced the city to explore other options. Ed Sibert, the mayor’s liaison in Meriden, said he immediately thought of seeing if Southington could host the circus at the drive-in property, rather than trying to force the show into a smaller venue in Meriden.
“It just kind of fits,” Sibert said.
Sibert brought the proposal to Southington Town Councilor Dawn Miceli, a friend. Miceli then floated the idea at the Town Council meeting on Monday, Feb. 25.
“It’s very preliminary right now,” Miceli said, adding that representatives from Cole Bros had not yet had the opportunity to see if the drive-in property would be accommodating.
Miceli said the circus, which is big top only and does not include a carnival, would need about a 300 x 400 foot space. If possible, Miceli would like to use the area near the screen at the drive-in, where cars park to watch the movies.
Cole Bros has performed around the country since its inception in 1884. The circus leases the land it uses in each town and according to both Sibert and Miceli, the company covers any police, fire, ambulance and water fees that it may incur.
“They pay for all the associated costs,” Miceli said, adding that she did not want the town to incur any costs if the circus does come to town.
Depending on how things shake out, the circus would look to stop in Southington for three days over the course of a weekend in June. It would perform two shows a day over the course of those three days.
“It’s an unbelievable opportunity,” Sibert said of the circus. “The kids love it.”
Miceli has stressed that everything was still in the preliminary stages and said that she had not had the opportunity to discuss the matter in detail with other town officials. If need be, Miceli said Sibert would attend a future Town Council meeting to answer whatever questions he could.
“I just want to make sure that the town of Southington did everything it could to help its neighbor,” Miceli said.