All Aboard An Amazing Adventure
Let's have lunch on the circus train!
What is over one mile long, moves at about 35 miles per hour, and is home to elephants, clowns, and pie? It’s the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Train!
That seemingly never ending stretch of silver railroad cars was the first glimpse I got on Tuesday of my assignment to cover the Ringling Brothers new show Barnum's FUNundrum. I climbed up into the pie car with several other hungry reporters. We were there for lunch and interviews.
The pie car is a special part of the train that looks very much like the inside of a diner. It’s where the performers eat and gather to chat.
I was there to interview Nicole and Alana Feld, the producers of Barnum's FUNundrum. The Feld family owns the circus, and these two sisters are the first women to produce one of the company’s shows.
The ceiling over the booths is a shiny circus red with big round lights. Pink shades cover the windows. On the walls inside the train hang framed photos of the circus past and present. The tables were decorated with orange, red, and yellow flowers. I expected to hear circus music at any minute!
A very tall man dressed in a sparkling, mirrored outfit commanded everyone’s attention as he stepped into the car. It was Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson, the first African-American and also the youngest ringmaster ever for Ringling Brothers Circus.
But let’s get down to an unusual and exotic lunch. The meal included honey brushed scallops w/strawberry and pistachio risotto; spinach and goat cheese salad with blueberries, roasted cashews and pomegranate vinaigrette; and Hudson valley foie gras w/ sweet pea cream. Not so kid friendly, I agree, but maybe that’s what the peanut butter grits further down the menu were for!
We ate a lunch that could have been served in one of the world’s fanciest restaurants. I received a little special surprise from the chef who made me the most flavorful and delicious French fries I have ever had. (Now, that’s more like it! Thank you Chef Michael Vaughn!)
FUNundrum is a celebration of P.T. Barnum’s 200th birthday. You’ll see more about that story later from another Kid Reporter. Meanwhile I’m working on my story for Women’s History Month about Nicole and Alana Feld. Check back later for more from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus!
PHOTO: Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson and Kid Reporter Danielle Azzolina aboard the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Train. (Photo Courtesy Danielle Azzolina)