Step Right Up! Follow us behind the scenes of one of America’s oldest theatrical traditions: the circus. September 1st through October 20th at the Nacogdoches Railroad Depot you will be able to explore the dramatic pageantry, colorful past and living presence of this grand American tradition. The Nacogdoches Historic Sites Department welcomes one and all to run away with the circus and explore a history fraught with intrigue and majesty. 

By the 1900s, there were hundreds of circuses navigating the United States through the use of the improved railroad system brought on by the American Industrial Revolution. Circus promoters and practitioners were known to adapt to all social, political, and technological changes. This is the opportunity to view some of the fruits of their labor, including full-color posters, costume regalia, historic photographs, billboards, oversize graphics, and oral histories from past performers. The exhibit juxtaposes the romanticized imagery, backstage stories, and photographs to reveal both the fantasy and reality of circus life, exploring the illusions that played to the imagination and inspired of so many. 

Step Right Up! is sure to amaze with its opening event held on Thursday, September 8th from 6 to 8 p.m.; where everyone is encouraged to come enjoy carnival games, food, and extended exhibit hours for the evening. There will also be a Family Day on October 8th from 10 a.m. to noon with crafts and activities for the whole family.  

This program was made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Nacogdoches Historic Sites Department, and the Tegge Circus Archives. Step Right Up! will dazzle visitors with the history of the king of early twentieth century entertainment – the circus. Our normal exhibit hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 12 to 4 p.m.

For additional information about Step Right Up!, please contact the Historic Sites Department at 936-560-4443 or email