The International Independent Showmen’s Museum contains over 52, 000 square feet of American Carnival and traveling show history preserving it for future generations to come. Not to mention acres of show wagons that allowed the carnivals to travel to the cities and towns of America bringing excitement and entertainment to families throughout the years.
There’s one of the first Ferris Wheels in the country, which is assembled and in operating condition inside the museum. There’s also one of burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee’s slinky black beaded costumes, which turned many a head back in the day she performed with the great Royal American Shows Carnival.
Viking Giant Was nearly 9 ft tall and weighed 425 pounds!
And don’t forget the outfit worn by the "Viking Giant" himself, Johann K. Petursson. He stood nearly 9 feet tall and weighed 425 pounds.
You will see his colorful costume and the actual boots he wore daily -they’re the size of a small child. See one of the rings he wore that you could fit a half dollar through.
The museum features thousands of rare photographs of carnivals, circuses, wild west shows and early traveling shows that brought the main and sometimes only form of entertainment that many towns throughout America would enjoy all year.
Visitors will also be able to walk through antique wagons and trailers with ornate facades where show people lived or ran the day to day business of the carnival.
Your support is greatly appreciated. If you would like to make a contribution to the Museum Fund, please click the "donate" button below or if you would like more information on the museum, please visit the museum web site:
The IISA Museum of the American Carnival is located at the IISA club grounds, at 6915 Riverview Dr. in Riverview, Florida.