In 1967 a forgotten piece of history in Central Florida took place. A train derailed in the city of Longwood, Florida. Losing its brakes before arriving in the station the train skipped the track, crashing through the station and coming to rest in an open field (which today is the Sun Rail parking area.) Fortunately on that night, no one was hurt, but the passengers on that train were the clown core of the recently closed down Seven Brothers Circus. With no place to go, with no money, they silently moved into an abandoned building near the crash site and began to rebuild their life.
The circus life and clowning was all they knew so they opened the first ever International Clown University (ICU). Things did not go well for ICU. Due to weak vetting, a poor application process, and failure to administrate their program successfully, the ICU became home for many who had no place else to go, were attempting to hide, or were trying to escape their past. In an environment where their true identities could be hidden under grease paint, the ICU became a place for a less than respectable band of people. The group that infiltrated were not inclined to entertain or teach history, instead they used the university to pursue their own interests.
After a series of criminal Clown Capers in Seminole County, city officials attempted to close the university. Eventually clowns were banned from public appearances if they were not licensed under the National Clown Compliance Laws of 1977. After some mysterious events occurred at the International Clown University, the public outcry to have the facility permanently closed reached a fever pitch. In an agreement with government officials, the university would be closed and the contents and displays would be made available for public viewing for one month every ten years.
The Clown Capers were never solved. The clowns who banded together to take over the university reportedly all left the area. The mysterious events and odd happenings within the museum were never explained, investigated, or explored.
Under a special contract with the creators of Face the Fear, in 2017 the remnant of the International Clown University is once again open to the public. Every precaution has been taken to insure that none of the previous inhabitants of the university have returned for the ten year reunion, although Face the Fear officials have made it clear that it is difficult to know who is under the smiling face of a clown.
Dates & Times:
October 21-22 and October 27 – 29
$13.00 per adult
$6.00 per child (10 and under)
Concessions and Souvenir shirts will be available
The Longwood Village Inn
300 N Ronald Reagan Blvd in Longwood