Independent Lens - Season 3, Episode 8 - Rotten Tomatoes

Episode Info

Carnival workers spend most of their time on the road, but where do they go when they're not upping or downing a show somewhere in the American heartland? Chances are good that they spend part of their year in Gibsonton, FL, a small town that since the 1930s has been the winter home for a disproportionately large number of carney workers. The town's appeal is attributable to favorable zoning laws that allow easy storage of carnival rides and housing of performing animals (not every town welcomes elephants) and a large number of like-minded neighbors unlikely to comment upon the presence of bearded ladies in the neighborhood (a former carnival "giant" who stood over eight feet tall was once elected Gibsonton's fire chief, while a midget served as chief of the police force). Gibtown is a documentary that looks at the history of this unusual community, and pays a visit to a number of the people who call it home when their work doesn't call them to the highway.

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