Baraboo residents appear on national TV broadcasts

April 28, 2017 GMT

Baraboo will star on national television for the second time this week when “CBS Sunday Morning” airs a segment about the community’s ties to the Ringling Bros. Circus.

The weekly newsmagazine’s exploration of the closing of the Ringling circus and its affect on Baraboo will air at 8 a.m. Sunday. Interview subjects included former Ringling clowns Greg and Karen DeSanto.

“They wanted to know our perceptions of our time with the ‘Greatest Show on Earth,’” said Greg DeSanto, who now serves as executive director of the International Clown Hall of Fame.

Joining the DeSantos as familiar faces on the small screen was Baraboo grandmother Marlen Buchanan. ABC News’ David Muir interviewed her as part of a piece on how residents of battleground states grade President Trump’s first 100 days in office. His report aired Monday.

Interview subjects in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin gave the president grades good and bad, with Buchanan handing Trump an F. “I am very uncomfortable with Donald Trump,” the Hillary Clinton supporter told Muir. “He has done some things that I don’t agree with and he has also placed people in positions who I feel are definitely not qualified for the roles that they have in his administration.”

Buchanan said a producer approached her Saturday as she read on a park bench on the Sauk County courthouse lawn. ABC visited counties where the margin between Trump and Clinton was 1 percent or less. Trump won Sauk County by only 109 votes.

Buchanan said she was disappointed only one of her comments was included, as she also railed against Trump’s handling of health care. But she’s pleased her grade left little doubt about her thoughts on the president. “I’m not shy about that,” she said.

A few days before ABC’s visit, CBS came to Baraboo to shoot locations such as Circus World Museum, the International Clown Hall of Fame, the local Ringling homes and the Al. Ringling Theatre. “CBS Sunday Morning” was interested in the circus reunion planned for this summer in Baraboo, which will coincide with the annual Big Top Parade just two months after the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus closes.

“It attracted some press, and they contacted all of us,” Greg DeSanto said. “We were honored that they came to us.”

He took the opportunity to remind viewers that Feld Entertainment’s decision to close the Ringling circus doesn’t signal the demise of the American circus. “The brand of Ringling Bros. is ceasing to tour, but the art form of the circus is still very strong, and still very active,” he said. “The circus always evolves, it always changes.”

Greg DeSanto said the circus will always be integral to Baraboo, hometown of the Ringling brothers. “It really has defined this community,” DeSanto said.