Three circuses winter in Hugo. The late D.R. Miller was the owner and operator of Carson Barnes Circus which maintained a large herd of elephants. Over the years Mr. Miller saw the need to protect and to save these endangered animals. So he and his family began the Endangered Ark Foundation to provide a safe haven and a breeding facility for their elephants. This has led to a unique arrangement between the family, the Foundation, and the community. In other communities Santa arrives riding a fire truck, a Christmas float, or some other conveyance. In Hugo, Santa arrives riding on an elephant.
The annual Christmas Parade is held the first Saturday in December. The circuses are very protective of their animals and allow the elephants to participate only if there is no rain and the temperature is above 55 degrees. Between 1996 and 2008 Santa only rode on a fire truck once. The weather in Hugo has been that good.