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Monday, October 19, 2009

VIDBELL CIRCUS--STANFORDVILLE, NY


Big top has Stanford stop
The Poughkeepsie Journal - Poughkeepsie, N.Y.Author: Rasheed Oluwa Date: Sep 30, 2009
STANFORDVILLE - It's not every day the circus comes to town.
In the case of the Town of Stanford, it's an occurrence that takes place maybe once every 20 years.
So when Frank Torre heard the Circus Vidbel was performing Tuesday at the Stanfordville Recreation Park, he jumped at the opportunity to watch the show with his daughters Emily, 5, and Isabelle, 7.
"I haven't been to the circus since I was in the city," said Torre, a former New York City resident who now lives in Stanford.
"It's my daughters' first time at the circus. I figured it would be a fun time for my kids. It's nice, since most of their classmates will be there," Torre said.
Hundreds could be seen going inside the 1,000-seat circus tent for the first show, which was sponsored by the Stanford Republican Committee.
The circus had shows at 6 and 8 p.m.
Town Clerk Ritamary Bell, who helped organize the event, said the show sold out its 500 pre-sale tickets a day before the event.
The circus, based in Windham, Greene County, has been operated by the Vidbels for 25 years. The circus tours the Northeast from May to October.
Circus acts included Suzanne Vidbel and her aerial cloud swing display, the foot-juggling performance of the Ashton Family and the comedy horse routines of Carlos Swenson.
Bell said the town hosted the Circus Vidbel 20 years ago to help raise money for the construction of a playground.
"It was a very fun thing we had 20 years ago and it just sort of came to me when we're thinking of ways to fund raise for the Republican committee," Bell said.
Suzanne Vidbell said the circus was inactive for several years before her family started it up again last year. She remembers performing in Stanford 20 years ago.
"It's just strange things that you remember when you're on the road," said Vidbell, who wowed the crowd with two aerial displays. "The road becomes more of a home than your own home and you just remember certain details about each spot you pass through."
While there were no elephants or tigers on display Tuesday, attendees were entertained by horses and stunt goats.
"We try to keep it very old-fashioned," Vidbel said. "We don't have dancing girls or big productions. A lot of the things you'll see are things you would have seen in the old days."
Bell isn't sure if the Republican committee would consider hosting the circus as an annual event.
"I think this is special because we haven't had anything like this in Stanfordville in 20 years," Bell said. "I think if you had it all the time it would make the show kind of commonplace and people might not go at all."
The Poughkeepsie Journal - Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Author: Rasheed Oluwa
Date: Sep 30, 2009

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