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Circus Walk Summary
Event Overview: Each year in March, Ringling Brothers' Barnum & Bailey Circus arrives in New York with ten elephants, nine horses, and two ponies. Because the elephants can't go up the Penn Station elevators, they must stop at a rail yard in Queens and walk into Manhattan via the Queens Midtown Tunnel. The event, known as the Circus Walk, begins at midnight and ends around 12:30am, when the circus animals reach Madison Square Garden.
What to Expect: Crowds of spectators. Also, the Circus Walk has recently begun to attract organizations protesting the treatment of circus animals, so you can bet there will be a few protesters.
- An Unforgettable Experience: There's nothing that can compare to the surreal experience of watching ten elephants stroll through the tolls at the Queens Midtown Tunnel. The elephants, which are between 11 and 51 years old, walk single-file, holding one anothers tails. Interestingly, while they appear to be moving slowly, these majestic animals are in fact moving quickly enough that circus trainers must jog to keep up with them.
- Cold Weather: The Circus Walk takes place every year in March and begins at 12am. Expect cold temperatures (maybe even snow!).
Inside Knowledge: The Elephant Walk is a longstanding tradition in New York. In a single year, the elephants of Ringling Bros. Circus travel an average of 16,000 miles and visit 40 North American cities. They are transported to Queens by a mile-long train comprised of 59 cars, including 19 flatbed cars, 30 coach cars, and one restaurant car.
- Stand at 35th Street and 2nd Avenue: If you want a particularly breathtaking experience, view the Circus Walk from 35th Street and Second Avenue, near the Queens Midtown Tunnel exit. You'll be among the first to see the elephants as they walk into New York.
- Dress Warmly: Because the Circus Walk takes place in March, between midnight and 12:30am, the weather is often chilly. Be sure to dress warmly, with layered clothes. Snow is not unlikely.
- Arrive Early: If you want a good view of the Circus Walk, be sure to arrive ten to fifteen minutes before midnight. Note that sometimes the Circus Walk runs a few minutes late.
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Circus Walk Reviews
*Some images shown above are not actual photos from the venue, but category representations. Visit the hotel's web site for actual photos.
Mar 22,2013 - Mar 23,2013
The World's Most Majestic Animals in the New York City Circus Walk
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Event Quick Facts
- The Circus Elephant Walk began at midnight and ended around 12:30am at Madison Square Garden each year until 2011.
- The Elephant Walk took place every year in March, when Ringling Brothers' Circus arrives in New York City. It stopped last year when the Ringling Brothers' Circus stopped visiting NYC for the first time in 80 years.
- The Elephant Walk was viewed from anywhere on 34th Street in Manhattan.