While driving along Mar de Caribe the
other day I noticed a bigtop tent surrounded by trailers
and paddocks in what used to be Parque Infantile. I stopped
to talk to a roustabout and he showed me the owner's trailer.
A rap on the door took Antonia Brusini, wife of Circo
Padillo's owner, away from an air conditioner and into
the heat and humidy of a San Felipe June afternoon. She
was very cordial and offered to talk to me inside the
bigtop, where raised canvas walls created a nice cross-breeze.
Padillo in San Felipe - Click to Enlarge
I discovered the Cicro
Padillo comes to San Felipe every two years
with its collection of circus artists, animal acts, music,
confections, clowns and lights. It is one of several migratory
entertainment industries, which include other circuses
and fairs, that follow the calendar up and down the Baja
all year 'round.
Circo Padillo is owned by three brothers,
Francisco, Fernando and Rollando Padillo. Antonia infomed
me that most circuses are started by ex-circus performers.
Her husband Francisco was a trapeze artist, whose own
father owned a circus. Francisco has been all over the
world with his act, Brazil, Spain, Germany, even the Festival
de Monaco, where he won the local press' popularity prize.
He also entertained with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum
& Bailey Circus for three years.
hams it up.
Antonia Brusini was a teeter-board artist.
She met Francisco while he was working for a circus in
Germany. They fell in love and went to England together.
Then later, Acapulco.
While in San Felipe, the Circo Padillo offers
evening engagements that include juggling, a high wire
act, trapeze artist, clowns, and several animal acts.
Of course, the usual Mexican circus attractions will be
there, cotton candy, popcorn, nachos, chicharrones, sodas
I asked Antonia if the circus was a good
life. She replied that nothing is good all the time. The
circus was no different. It is a good life sometimes,
and sometimes it is not so good. But she liked it.
She also told me that running a circus was
not an easy thing. "You can't just set up anywhere
you want." Two weeks prior to their visit to San
Felipe, she and Francisco had to connect with the local
delegado and begin the paperwork. There were taxes to
be paid. And although the Circo Padillo has their own
generator for the bigtop lighting, their private trailers
had to be wired into the local grid, so there were electrical
bills as well. And water fees. And location rental fees.
Also, two men were supplied by the delegado to be on hand
while tickets were being sold and taken. This was to ensure
there was no fraud involved. These men have to be paid
by the circus as well. So it is an involved and costly
process to bring a circus to a town.
There are two shows Saturday and
|Circo Padillo will be staying in San
Felipe approximately 10 days and will proabaly leave
for their next destination, Valle de Trinidad, Thursday,
June 12th, 2003. From there, they will move on to