Jamaican-born Surgeon Dr. Camelia Lawrence Becomes First Black Woman Ringmaster at P.T. Barnum Festival

Jamaican-born breast surgeon Dr. Camelia Lawrence etched her name in history as the first Jamaican woman to be appointed as the ringmaster of Bridgeport’s  P.T. Barnum Festival. The announcement was made recently at a ceremony held at the Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater. This prestigious role also marks her as the festival’s second female ringmaster, its first mother in this role, and its first woman of color to hold this esteemed position.

Dr. Camelia Lawrence sharing lens with her mother and father

Bridgeport’s Time-Honored Tradition

Since its inception in 1948, Bridgeport’s P.T. Barnum Festival has stood as a symbol of community building, uniting the diverse tapestry of the region. This annual event has thrived for 76 years, continually honoring the enduring legacy of P.T. Barnum in Bridgeport and its surrounding communities. It acts as a catalyst for fostering community spirit while hosting an array of outreach events that touch the hearts of many.

A Vision for the Future

As she embraces this pivotal role, Dr. Lawrence envisions a future where the festival’s mission resonates even more profoundly with younger generations. Her aspiration is to captivate the millennial crowd and involve them in the rich traditions of the P.T. Barnum Festival.  In a recent interview, Dr. Lawrence said, “I do think there’s an opportunity to revitalize. We’d like to get more of the millennial crowd, the younger crowd involved. We’d like to continue the tradition. In order to do so, a succession plan is important, so I hope that we’ll have more activities that cater to a younger crowd as well.”

Photo – Dr. Camelia Lawrence’s Facebook Page

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