If you were planning to catch swinging trapeze artists outside the Oaks Mall this week, you’re out of luck.
Despite what advertisements around town still display, Cole Brothers Circus of the Stars is not performing in Gainesville tonight due to financial issues.
The Cole Bros. group has not performed locally since March 2013, said marketing director Bruce Pratt.
“We thought we were going to be able to do it this fall,” he said.
The Deland-based act opted for an abbreviated Florida tour that ended Sunday in Port St. Lucie. That also eliminated stops in Lakeland, Naples, Cape Coral and Bonita Springs.
Pratt said his team members distributed coupons to local restaurants and businesses, but when the circus was cancelled on Nov. 3, “unfortunately we had to send them back in to pick them up.”
But on Monday, the McDonald’s on the corner of Southwest 13th Street and West University Avenue was still offering free admit-one child tickets for customers, said manager Whitney Young.
“Honestly I’m not sure what happened,” Young said. “We have the tickets sitting in front, so yes, they’ve been grabbing those.”
UF interior design senior Jannel Pacheco, 22, had already grabbed four admit-one child coupons — which also reduce adult admission by $5 — before she found out the circus was canceled.
She took two from her job at the Floor Store of Gainesville, Inc. and then two more at Splitz Bowling Alley on Nov. 8.
But when Pacheco went to buy her tickets online, the Gainesville date wasn’t on the website.
“I feel like people are just going to show up and be like, ‘Where’s the tent?’”
For questions concerning cancellations or future tour dates, call 1-800-796-5672.
[A version of this story ran on page 4 on 11/18/2014]