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Family circus makes stop in Watsonville

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 10th, 2013

Alex Ramos and Abdula, an Arabian camel, review a poster for the Ramos Bros. Circus Tuesday. The show starts today on Riverside Drive between Walker Street and Harvest Drive. (Photos by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE — Camels, trapeze artists and the “Cage of Death” in Watsonville?

The circus must be in town.

The Ramos Bros. Circus has currently set up shop on 290 Riverside Drive for the next leg of its Northern California tour. The circus opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. and will run through July 22.

“It is a fantastic show,” said Alex Ramos, who helps operate the circus.

Running a circus has been a tradition in the Ramos family that has extended for five generations. Beginning in the early 1900s, the Ramos family consisted of acrobats who performed in the circus, later forming their own business in Mexico City.

In the 1950s, the Ramos family reopened their show under the name Circus of the Dead, which folded in 1970.

The third generation came to the United States in 1983 to work for the Carson and Barnes circus. They were the only Mexican act to include three catchers, the black light and the Russian swing, according to the Ramos’ website.

In 2005, the Ramos family opened their own circus on the west coast, where the Las Vegas-based act thrills audiences from up and down the coast with dare devil stunts, jugglers, clowns and more.

“It’s in the blood,” Alex Ramos said of his family’s circus tradition.

The circus has now made its way to Watsonville for the third time, Ramos said. They previously performed in Salinas, and after their stint in Watsonville is over, the group will bring their act to audiences in Gilroy.

Each show typically draws more than 1,000 people, Ramos said. The circus will be presented entirely in English.

One of the stars of the show, a camel named Abdula, made headlines in November after she escaped from her trainer during a stop in Los Angeles. The camel ran down a busy street, halting traffic, until she was quickly caught.


The Ramos Bros. Circus, located on 290 Riverside Drive next to Annieglass, opens today and runs through July 22. Show times are Monday through Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for adults and $10 for children. For information, visit www.ramoscircus.com.

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