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Circus Vargas is an American circus based in California. It was built on the premise to bring an old time circus to everyone; currently it has been billed as one of the world’s biggest traveling circuses still using a big top tent. Owned and operated by Tabares Entertainment, the circus currently produces a truck circus show, throughout the western United States.
In the mid-1960s Clifford E Vargas began laying the foundation that would lead, not only to his recognition, but also to his domination of the world of circus.
Vargas’ mission to rejuvenate the Big Top was undoubtedly influenced by his childhood fascination with the circus. He was a frequent spectator at circuses that every year visited his hometown of Livermore, California, where his Portuguese-descended family maintained a farm. Vargas began as the ticket seller, doorman and ringmaster. During his life with the circus, he transformed it into a three-ring spectacular, traveling the world and competing with the best of the best, all the while in old circus style canvas tents.
After the death of Clifford Vargas in 1989, the show was left to Jack Bailey, longtime Vice President of the company and Joseph Muscarello, the show's general manager. Bailey sold his interest to concession manager Roland Kaiser. Kaiser and Muscarello, both longtime friends of Vargas and management executives with the show, joined forces and took the reins of the circus. Through their tenure, there were many obstacles; rising costs and declining attendance were just a few. Both men were instrumental in transforming the circus into a more intimate one-ring ‘European style’ circus. They continued running the circus until they retired in 2003. It was then that the Circus went on hiatus looking for a buyer. Two years later the Tabares Family stepped in and have been running Circus Vargas ever since.
When the Tabares family heard of the closing of Circus Vargas, the circus that launched their career, they were truly saddened. They became US citizens and launched Tabares productions to become the new proud owners of Circus Vargas. During their tenure they have brought back the family friendly feeling of the show, as well as steering away from wild animal acts and concentrating on the human spectacles.
(Note that this list is by no means exhaustive)