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Elephants on Pratt Street


... 1/8 TC There is something thrilling, yet so innocent, about a circus coming to town. We know an artist, now retired, who spent his vacations following circuses throughout the country. To him, circuses and the people associated with them offered a dose of magic not obtainable anywhere else. He felt reinvigorated after a couple of weeks of animal acts, clowns and trapeze wizardry.

Fans of all ages have cause for celebration because the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is back in Baltimore for the first time in five years. It's here until Sunday. Although other circuses -- including a smaller Moscow Circus touring group -- visited the city during that time, nothing could fill the void caused by disagreements between Ringling Bros. and the Pollen organization that runs the Baltimore Arena. Those quarrels now are in the past: The Ringling Bros. circus and Walt Disney's World on Ice will be coming here every year until 1998.

Hundreds of Baltimoreans witnessed the march of the elephants, zebras and other attractions from their disembarking point at B&O; Railroad Museum to the arena. There were shouts of joy and surprise. One area resident even followed the spectacle with a bowl of lima beans and neck bones in his hand.

Elsewhere in the metropolitan area, carnivals are being set up, a sure sign of spring and approaching summer. Let your imagination fly, be a kid again. For a few hours now and then, it is good to forget about the daily grind and rediscover the wonder of laughters and smiles.

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