Season planning for the circus stranded in Offenbach is still difficult due to the coronavirus pandemic. Director Marco Frank would like a plot of land in the city that has grown dear to him.
The llamas, camels and donkeys graze with relish on the Buchhügel area in Offenbach. Since December, there are also caravans and huge trucks in the square and in the streets. This is where the Circus Barus literally pitched its tent seven months ago. “It will be a sad affair when we have to move on,” says circus director Marco Frank. The 46-year-old and his family now feel at home in Offenbach. “We didn’t know that before.” To be at the Christmas circus in Hanau for three weeks in a row was the highest of emotions until then. More than 16 months have now passed since the circus was stranded in Offenbach due to Corona.
In the second half of the year, Frank hopes that he will be able to give the first performances on the spot in Offenbach. He has not yet received any commitments from other cities. “And if I get an acceptance somewhere, it doesn’t do me any good if I don’t get it somewhere else,” explains Frank. After all, he has to plan his routes, make sure that he doesn’t use too much fuel from A to B, advertise and always have a fixed place where he can stay with his entourage. Now there are 15 people, when the season starts, artists will join them.
“We have 20 locations throughout the season. And it is also unlikely that they will agree in quick succession, since they also need a lead, ”explains Bianca Frank. Especially since other unusual festivities have to be rescheduled in many cities. So much is still in the balance.
The city’s help, on the other hand, is very specific. The circus does not have to pay a space rent, and the electricity bill has been waived because it has no income. He only received one-time aid of 9,000 euros from the state. Nevertheless, leasing rates, insurance and the TÜV are due for the vehicles alone. A few months ago, Frank had to sell a tractor and camping trailer to keep afloat. When the season starts again, he’ll have to get a new one.
“There are still a lot of people coming to support us,” reports Frank happily. In the mornings there are school classes, parents with their children or the adjoining daycare center. The latter has even taken on the sponsorship of the goat lambs. People come by who bring food for the around 40 animals or throw money into the donation box at the entrance. The circus people also got a pool or fridge as a gift. You can stock up on drinks free of charge in a drinks market. “We developed a lot of friendships,” says Frank. From 10 a.m., when the animals have been taken care of, the doors of the Frank family and the circus are open until 7 p.m. for anyone who wants to come by.
Since yesterday the circus people have been assembling the stands and have to think about hygiene concepts. Individual seats in the stands, a one-way street by the toilets or Plexiglas panes in the box. Before the Circus Barus makes a guest appearance, it has to be there. Until then they will stay in Offenbach for the first time.
“It would be a dream for us to have our own property,” says Frank. But that would only be financially viable in East Germany. The circus, whose registered address is in Schlitz in northern Hesse, sees its home in Hesse. “We would like to have something of our own in Offenbach. Maybe someone has something for us, ”says Frank hopefully.