Hugo’s legacy as a circus community began in 1942 when big circus names such as Carson & Barnes, Kelly-Miller and Culpepper & Merriweather called Hugo home. This town, referred to as Circus City, is where more than 300 part-time circus performers from 20 different circuses have wintered their animals for over 60 years. A great place to learn about the city’s circus history is Angie’s Circus City Diner. Take a seat and indulge in some of the best home cooking in Southeast Oklahoma, while filling your mind with all things circus. Look around and see the walls filled with Circus Memorabilia.
Next stop, the Frisco Depot Museum, it captures the essence of the Circus of years past, featuring a miniature circus, a clown collection, circus posters and a five-ring circus. Visitors can also pay their respects at Showmen’s Rest—the final resting place for many circus performers that is filled with unique markers honoring those they represent. If you are looking for something a little more interactive, you will want to plan a tour of Endangered Ark Foundation. The Foundation serves as sanctuary for retired Circus elephants and has the second largest herd of Asian elephants in the United States. This stop will thrill children and adults alike!
For the locals who want to do more than learn the history of Circus City and become a part of the city’s legacy, they can head to Circus City Center. This group educates Hugo and Choctaw County on circus skills that will preserve the rich circus heritage and tradition.Hugo has a great legacy as Circus City USA! These are just a few of the ways this city ensures, the Show Will Go On under the Big Top!