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Behind The Scenes

  • Calendar

  • Gen. Information

  • Data Sheet

  • Sanitation

  • Touring Staff

  • Behind the Scenes

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Branchwater Productions, Inc
DBA Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars
1038 West Martin Street
DeLand, Florida 32721
Phone 386-736-0071 Fax 386-738-7860

Cole Bros. Circus provides quality entertainment for the entire family.  Performing at over 100 venues each year from spring through fall, Cole Bros. Circus delights “Children of all ages.” Parents, grandparents, and children equally enjoy the Circus, laughing at the clowns, marveling at feats of daring performed above the rings, and gazing in wonder at the expertise, grace and skill exhibited by circus artists from three continents. 


General Information

Producing the finest Circus under the Big Top in a safe and courteous atmosphere, Cole Bros. Circus invites the families of your community to join its Circus Family at our performances.  Cole Bros. Circus' innovative Crimson and Gold Big Top measures 136 feet wide by 186 feet long.  Under the Big Top, general admission sections accommodate 560 patrons, and multi-level VIP and reserved chairs seat 1580. Circus Tent-Raising, open to the public free of charge, takes place on the morning of opening day.  At noon, the Circus is ready for inspection by local officials.  Cole Bros. Circus presents matinee and early evening performances Mondays through Saturdays, and two matinee performances on Sundays.  Performances last approximately two hours.  Allowing adequate time for patrons to return to their vehicles and exit the show grounds following the day’s final performance, all is quiet on the circus grounds by 10:30 p.m.

Trained personnel monitor safety in the Big Top and on the show grounds.  Chemical and pressurized water fire extinguishers are placed in the Circus Big Top area; safety equipment is also found in all show vehicles, including the electrical generator trailer.  "No smoking" is imprinted on the top of the interior of the sidewall surrounding the tent, where absolutely no smoking is permitted.  Circus staff members continuously monitor the cleanliness of the interior of the tent and the show grounds during the engagement, and make a thorough final cleanup of the grounds prior to the Circus' departure.  Refuse is placed in dumpsters provided by a local sanitation contractor.  No mechanical rides or games of chance are operated by or in conjunction with the Circus.

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Touring And Production

  • John W. Pugh, President/CEO
  • Brigitte Pugh, Artistic Director
  • Elvin Bale, Vice President-Operations
  • Tetyana Sinovyat, Vice President-Finance
  • Jaime Ramirez, Superintendent
  • Teo Ramirez, Rigging Master
  • Robert Green, 24-Hour Man
  • Sheila Morales, Concession Manager
  • Ponciano Ramirez, Tent Master
  • Vandeir Dos Reis, Sound & Lighting Director
  • Christopher Connors, Ringmaster/Performance Director
  • Yurii Bardakov, Mechanical Supervisor
  • Alber Vonderheid, Purchasing Agent
  • Leigh E. Ketchum, Director Of Music/Webmaster
  • Filipp Lonski, Artist/Community Outreach
  • Gyulverd Agaverdiev, Artist/Community Outreach
  • Magdalena Dabova, Artist/Community Outreach
  • Sandro Lopez Ramos, Artist/Community Outreach
  • Anita Vonderheid, Ticket Sales

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Just how do we move the World's Largest Circus Under The Big Top from city to city? It's a combination of machines, muscle and organization.


From mid March through end of November, Cole Bros. Circus travels 10,000 miles, appears in 90 to 100 different cities, and may have only two or three days “off” during its entire season.  Typically, Cole Bros. Circus performs two shows a day—and 3 on Saturdays—7 days a week. You may wonder how does Cole Bros. Circus accomplish this?  Thanks to highly skilled and dedicated crew members, specialty equipment designed and built by the circus to maximize efficiency and minimize time and labor, reliance on teamwork and organization, we do.  Here’s a “behind the scenes” view of how it’s done:

While the circus performs at its current venue, the circus "24 Hour Man"--so named because he travels ahead of the show by one day--prepares for the arrival of the circus at its next engagement.  The 24 Hour Man travels at night, marking the route the circus will follow the next night.  He carefully reviews and measures the show grounds to determine the optimal location for the Big Top and the circus trucks and private RV units, and he marks the precise spot for each vehicle and piece of equipment.

9:30 p.m. on final night of Cole Bros. Circus engagement

When the performance ends and patrons exit the Big Top, the task of dismantling the circus and loading it on trucks and trailers begins.  A virtual army of workers arrives in the tent to remove rigging, lighting and sound equipment and fold and fold 2,140 chairs and take apart the grandstands.  Forklifts and bobcats come to their aid, carrying the heaviest equipment and loading it on trailers.  Circus artists store their props, feed and water their animals, then load themselves and their entourages into their vehicles and head for their next town.

setup_sidewall_open10:30 p.m.

With equipment removed and sidewall down and folded, the tent can safely travel down the six masts to the ground where crew members unlace the sections.  They roll each into a tidy bundle that the forklift will carry to the flatbed trailer that transports the tent from town to town.

11:30 p.m. - 11:59 p.m.

Just a few circus trucks remain on the show grounds; thousands of seats, hundreds of stakes, acres of canvas, and miles of rope and cable have been packed away.  The circus superintendent checks the grounds for the last time, to make sure that it is clean and that every piece of equipment has been loaded.  Satisfied that everything is in order, he signals to turn off the lights.  The remaining vehicles and crew members bid farewell to today’s location and embark for the next location.


If the “jump”—travel distance from one engagement to the next is short, some Circus trucks and trailers may arrive at their new destination while the last of the show’s vehicles pull off yesterday’s show grounds. The 24 Hour Man greets each driver and directs each vehicle to park at its designated spot.

setup_dawn5:00 a.m.

The clatter of the circus stakedriver pierces the quiet morning, signaling time to wake up and build the circus!   The crew assembles to drive stakes, offload and place, secure and erect the six masts.  Assisted by forklifts and bobcats, they unload equipment.

7:00 - 9:00 a.m.

The canvas they unfastened and rolled last night is unfolded and laced this morning; crew members must do the heavy lifting themselves to fasten the canvas to the bail rings around the masts.  Guy lines are secured, side poles raised, and after double-checking to ensure that the tent is ready, the superintendent signals to start the motors that hoist the massive canvas skyward.. 

thumb_setuo_rigging9:30 a.m.

Crew members set to work, swiftly, quietly, and efficiently, to place sidewall, unload and place electric cables, lights, sound equipment, and construct the grandstands that can accommodate over 2,000 spectators.  They return the 2,140 chairs that were folded and packed away last night to the Big Top..


The seemingly impossible task of constructing The World’s Largest Circus under the Big Top has been accomplished by an extraordinary crew in an astonishingly short time—six hours, from start to finish. On a parking lot or grassy field that was empty the day before, our mobile city of entertainment awaits you today!


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