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Moundsville, West Virginia: Circus and Carnival Mini-Museum (Closed)

An English phone booth and elephant head decorate the front of the ice cream shop building; inside are items from amusement parks. The small museum of circus and carnival items is upstairs.

Johnny Shar's Big Dipper

Johnny Shar's Big Dipper. 10th St. and Jefferson St.; facing the Grave Creek Mound and west of the WV State Penitentiary.
Nov. 2015: Reported closed and for sale

Visitor Tips and News About Circus and Carnival Mini-Museum

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Circus and Carnival Mini-Museum

Johnny's Big Dipper is closed and is for sale. Tried to visit 10-31-15.

[Jessica, 11/02/2015]
Circus and Carnival Mini-Museum

Sorry to say, I tried to visit in June 2015, and because of a change of hands the museum is being dispersed and no longer available to the public.

[Michelle, 10/02/2015]

Roller coaster cars.

Circus and Carnival Mini-Museum

Johnny Shar's The Big Dipper is an old fashioned ice cream shop with throwback music, great service and a menagerie of circus and clown items. Crazy cool! And wonderful milk shakes to boot!

[Scott McGee, 06/23/2015]

Amusement park items.

Circus and Carnival Mini-Museum

We stopped by here after visiting the penitentiary across the street and are so glad we did. This place is like stepping back in time. Everywhere you look is a piece of carnival, circus and general pop culture history. They even had an old episode of Bozo the Clown on the television, not to mention all the old television themes that were playing in the background from the juke box.

After eating our ice cream sundaes (try the coconut almond ice cream - it is fantastic), we went up stairs to the museum and received a personal tour by Sharon aka Shar. She was able to tell us so many details about many of the various items in the museum. All have been restored and look like they were just built and are ready to be enjoyed by children and adults at your local carnival. We are so glad that John and Sharon have decided to share these items with everyone (they used to only be accessible at the owners home).

Make sure you note that they are only open from April thru October. Hands down, this was one of the best attractions I've come across that I never would have known about before. It is not only worth a stop but is well worth a detour. It was actually very easy to get to if traveling along I-470.

[Bigfoot & Squirrel, 04/29/2014]
Circus and Carnival Mini-Museum

Ice cream shop with circus and carnival museum upstairs.

[Fred, 04/26/2013]

John and Sharon Yeater decorated their shop with old roller coaster cars, and the second floor collection includes items from amusement parks -- Coney Island, Kennywood, White Swan....

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