SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A well-known circus said people are trying to sabotage ticket sales, as it prepares to open in Santa Fe Friday night. The circus has been met with protests by animal rights activists around the country.
“We’re trying to keep the American circus tradition alive,” said Erik Bautista, a ringmaster with the Carson and Barnes Circus.
Bautista said the circus is his life and he lives to entertain, but clearly, some people don’t feel the same way about the big top culture.
“Posters, banners, they’ve been ripped apart they’ve been shred to pieces,” he said.
He and the rest of the Carson and Barnes traveling circus crew got into Santa Fe Friday to see their banners and posters torn from the fence surrounding the Rodeo de Santa Fe. A spokesperson with the circus said people have also been clearing out the stacks of ticket coupons from stores, going around saying the show’s not happening.
“They’ve been spreading rumors that the show’s going to be canceled because of weather. We’re here to tell everybody that the show will go on,” said Bautista.
Carson and Barnes said it’s received a lot of calls from angry people in Santa Fe accusing the circus of animal abuse. While they do not know who is responsible for the vandalism, they said it’s something they’re used to.
“We always have that controversy, but like I said we don’t have anything to hide,” said Bautista.
The Carson and Barnes Circus has shows all weekend.