THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO MY TWIN BROTHER, BILL DYKES (1943-1995). WE WERE NOT ONLY BROTHERS BUT PARTNERS IN BUSINESS AND BEST FRIENDS! AND TO ALL THE "BUTCHERS" THAT HAVE PASSED ON TO THE BIG LOT IN THE SKY!

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

RBBB FUNUNDRUM (NEW PRODUCTION FROM CIRCUS VERN)

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® is roaring into town with Barnum’s FUNundrum, a celebration of P. T. Barnum so big, it is an event 200 years in the making!
Hop aboard and go on an unbelievable excursion that brings together performers and characters from exotic countries all over the world - even from places for which there are no geographic borders. From the moment that you arrive, the momentum explodes as The Greatest Show On Earth® comes to life in a way that can only be inspired by the greatest showman who ever lived.
Thrill-seekers may pay for the entire seat, but will only need its edge as a rip-roaring motorcycle troupe performs an incredible feat where seven motorcyclists brave fear and physics in the 16-foot Spherical Miracle. Height-seeking high-wire artists perform atop a wire no wider than your thumb 40 feet in the air, all while at a 45 degree angle. Masters of Musculature use their bodies in the ultimate test to see how far the human body can be pushed in a mind-blowing world of distortion and contortion.
Just as the Ringling Bros.® train keeps traveling from city to city, Barnum’s FUNundrum keeps the energy going with electrifying aerialists, daring acrobatic artists on a two-tiered trapeze and teeter-tottering troupes catapulting high above the arena floor. Each extraordinary act blends thrills and contemporary spectacle to over deliver a heart-racing experience that, until now, was beyond imagination!
And what would Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey be without the funomenal animals leading the way? Barnum’s FUNundrum features fantastic tigers, esteemed elephants, prancing ponies, horses and goats that authenticate the affinity between animals and humans.
At Barnum’s FUNundrum, the funtastic and funbelievable experience answers the conundrum so get your tickets today before this train leaves the station!

BILL STRONG (PETE ADAMS FROM CIRCUS VERN)


I am sorry to report of the death of Bill Strong.

He passed away peacefully having been on Hospice care this past week.

Please keep Trudy in your thoughts and prayers as well as the entire Wilson Family.

Dear friends and family,At 9:20 pm, October 18, William Neil Strong passed away in his sleep. It is what he wanted, what he wished for. Wishes do come true.

He was surrounded by love. His wife of 50 years, Trudy and his son David and five dogs, were at his bedside. He was 75.

Many of his friends and family have been visiting since his return from the hospital including his younger son Steven who flew in from LA. He mentioned how he enjoyed all the good words and prayers.

He will be missed by many and was a great force in the Circus community. The fascinating history that he shared with us all, performer and gaujo alike, will stay with us forever. This blog was a passion for Bill and he was checking it as recently as Saturday. "Buckles, will have to pick up the slack", said Bill. The 24 hour man sets the route to the next lot. Please follow the arrows Bill. You will find your way home. You will be missed.


Pete Adams

LARRY SHEFFIELD (FROM RENEE STORY TO CIRCUS VERN)


The Cole Bros. Circus family mourns the passing of James "Larry" Sheffield, who embarked on his final journey on October 16, 2009.

Larry began his circus career with Sells and Gray Circus, where he met and fell in love with Sheila Frazier, the woman destined to become his wife and best friend. A native of Sanford, North Carolina, with no previous connection to circus, Larry embraced life "on the road" with enthusiasm and an undying love for show business, the hardships it entails, the lasting bonds among show folks, and the wonderful people who make it endure. Larry justly earned the title of "Showmman."

Larry was the Concessions Manager for Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus, later Cole Bros. Circus, where his smiling face and cordial presence welcomed patrons, friends and fans for many years.

Prior to beginning the 4:00 p.m. Mass at St. Peter's Church in DeLand on Saturday, October 17th, Father Frank Zammit pointed to the spot that Sheila Sheffield usually occupied, noting the reason for her absence and asking the faithful gathered in the church to remember Larry in their prayers.

I send to you Father Frank's request.

Renee Storey

STATE FAIR REPORT FROM FOX8 WINSTON-SALEM

 

DIXIE CLASSIC FAIR (FOX8--WINSTON-SALEM)

From the first week of October 2009


Friday, October 23, 2009

RINGLING ANNOUNCES PARTIAL ROUTE FOR NEW GOLD UNIT




Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey ® Presents ILLUSCINATION℠, a fantasy-filled world where thrills, wonderment and magic intersect with unparalleled powers of imagination. Young thrillusionist, David DaVinci invites audiences to join him in this awe mazing, mystiflying adventure as he bridges the believable world in which we all live and the seemingly impossible one of the circus. Welcome to a new dimension of wonder. Get your tickets today!



West Palm Beach, FloridaDec 23, 2009 - Dec 28, 2009
Sarasota, FloridaDec 31, 2009 - Jan 03, 2010
Fort Myers, FloridaJan 07, 2010 - Jan 10, 2010
Lakeland, FloridaJan 15, 2010 - Jan 17, 2010
Savannah, GeorgiaJan 21, 2010 - Jan 24, 2010
Tallahassee, FloridaJan 28, 2010 - Jan 31, 2010
Macon, GeorgiaFeb 05, 2010 - Feb 07, 2010
Shelbyville, TennesseeFeb 11, 2010 - Feb 14, 2010
Florence, South CarolinaFeb 18, 2010 - Feb 21, 2010
Fayetteville, North CarolinaFeb 25, 2010 - Feb 28, 2010
Knoxville, TennesseeMar 03, 2010 - Mar 07, 2010
Chattanooga, TennesseeMar 11, 2010 - Mar 14, 2010
Augusta, GeorgiaMar 18, 2010 - Mar 21, 2010
Salisbury, MarylandApr 01, 2010

THURSDAY AT THE SOUTH CAOLINA STATE FAIR (THE STATE)

The front gate traffic was heavy at the South Carolina State Fair Thursday. – Tim Dominick/tdominick@thestate.com/

Carolina Culbreath, 6, of Columbia, paused between games for an ice cream at the South Carolina State Fair Thursday




Dennis Lee, aka Denny the Clown, gets his photo take with Margaret Dillon, of Camden at the South Carolina State Fair Thursday.

Fairgoers enjoy the food at the South Carolina State Fair Thursday.





WORLD OF MIRTH WAGONS (FROM HAL GUYON)

Dick, Here are a few picture I took in 1986 of a couple of the old World of Mirth Shows wagons that were left here in Columbia, SC when they left for the last time after wintering here in 1962-1963. You could still read that one of them carried some of the scooter. These wagons have now completely rotted away, what a shame. Hal Guyon
Thanks Hal!











Wednesday, October 21, 2009

S. C. STATE FAIR ATTENDENCE DOWN!

Fair Attendance Down; Not Just Because of Weather

Columbia (WLTX) - State Fair officials say attendance is down so far this year, compared to this time last year.
General Manager Gary Goodman says as of Monday night, 177,960 had attended.

That's down more than 22,000 from 2008.He attributes the slow attendance to three things: the weather, the economy, and the swine flu.

Goodman says this year, there were four cold and rainy days in the first six days, compared to only two last year.
"We came today because it was cold yesterday and today it was warming up a bit," said fairgoer James Couser. The Sumter County man doesn't let many things stop him from going to the fair: he's been 40 years in a row!


The Hutto family started their day bright and early at 10 a.m. and stayed until after dark. They say the key to getting through changing temperatures throughout the day is layers.The economy is one thing that almost kept them home this year, though."We were able to do it though. For the kids, we did what we could," said Jenny Hutto, mother of two.One thing she says didn't stop her was the threat of swine flu. She says her family is pretty healthy, and she made sure her two young sons washed their hands enough throughout the day.


Goodman says a slow start to the fair could affect profitability.

Because 85%-90% of the fair's yearly income comes in during these two weeks, he says less money could affect future programs. Those being projects like improvements to the grounds.


While the overall sales at the fair might be down, one place that has seen it's fair share of people is the hot chocolate stand."We ran out the other night of hot chocolate, cappuccino, and we had to order more coffee!" said Tonya Adams

TUESDAY AT THE SOUTH CAROLINA STATE FAIR (THE STATE)

Fairgoers check out the view from above,Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at the South Carolina State Fair. – Gerry Melendez/gmelendez@thestate.com/The State Media Company

Peyton Rose Hughey, left, and her mother Gina celebrate after winning a stuffed pig at the Big Water Race, Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at the South Carolina State Fair.

Fairgoers head down the Euroslide, Tuesday



Two-year-old Cohen Prince feeds his mother Tiffany ice cream



David Mullaney, left, enjoys a turkey leg


Gracie Branham, 7, and Sydnee Clark, 8, laugh as they make their way through Hillbilly Village,





MORE INFO ON LARRY SHEFFIELD--(FROM THE DAYTONA NEWS-JOURNAL)


James "Larry" Sheffield, 64, DeLand,

passed away on October 16, 2009 at the Florida Hospital DeLand.
Larry was born on September 29, 1945 in Sanford, North Carolina to Elijah Abraham and Eula Alice Culberson Sheffield.
For many, many years he worked as the Concessions Manager for Clyde Beatty Cole Bros. Circus. He was a true showman, one of the last of a dying breed.

At his request, no service will be held at this time. A private memorial service will be held around Thanksgiving in Hugo, Oklahoma.

Survivors include his loving wife and best friend, Sheila Sheffield; his dog, Holly Girl; his two brothers, Gary and Bill Sheffield; his sister, Polly Reynolds and many other friends who are and always will be considered family.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Cancer Care National Office, 275 7th Avenue, New York, New York 10001, or by telephone at (212) 712-8400 or online at http://www.cancercare.org/.

For a personal online condolence or to sign the guest book, please go to www.cfandcs.com.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

FRANK BERGEN'S WORLD OF MIRTH SHOWS

One of Frank Bergen's treasured Gold Passes.
Brother Bill had one of these given to him years ago
by an official of the Anderson County Fair, South Carolina,
I've searched and searched had have not found it yet!




IOWA STATE FAIR--1955 (LIFE MAGAZINE)




Looks like a standing room only crowd in the grandstand!


CIRCUS VIDBEL


FROM MIKE NAUGHTON:

Gary Sladek's customized NY plate as seen on Loomis Brothers Circus. Gary is in top-form with new props, new wardrobe and a whole new outlook on life. Comedy trampoline and chair balancing doing well. Sladek is doing Show Folks Circus on Saturday, December 12, Robarts Arena, in sunny Sarasota, Florida. Sladek available for 2010, Mike Naughton Attractions 518 928 5998.


Dick Kohlrieser prefers these inflatables animals to his previous career as "America's Favorite Dog Catcher" because the inflates don' t need any mucking out!

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
Spectators watch Circus Vidbel, an authentic one-ring big top traveling circus, perform Tuesday, September, 29, 2009, in Stanfordville.
Prince the comedy horse, left, and The Colonel, Carlos Svensson of Furuvik, Sweden, strike a pose before performing with Circus Vidbel Tuesday in Stanfordville.








Ariana Alvarez, 9, of Sarasota, Florida, a member of Circus Vidbel, an authentic one-ring big top traveling circus, performs Tuesday, September, 29, 2009, in Stanfordville.





Papy The Clown, Raul Alvarez of Sarasota, Florida, performs with Circus Vidbel, an authentic one-ring big top traveling circus Tuesday, September, 29, 2009, in Stanfordville.

Susan Vidbel









Sunday, October 18, 2009

THIS ONE'S FOR MIKE NAUGHTON---

VOLUSIA COUNTY FAIR--DELAND. FL

Click on Post Title to go to their web site!

LAST DAY OF KIDDIELAND



LAST DAY AT KIDDIELAND

Last Sun. a private "auction" was held at the now closed Kiddieland in Melrose Park, Ill. Not an auction of the actual rides, but that of retiring each and every ride ceremoniously. The various winning bidders won the priveledge of riding one last time with the proceeds all going to charities. Kiddieland had been officially closed to the public after Sept. 27 and rumors persist it might be relocated. Here is an excellent Youtube vid that shows just a taste of the emotion that has surrounded this senseless destruction. Very hard to keep a dry eye when watching this, especially for those of us here in Chicago who grew up there.
FROM: Matts Carnival Warehouse.com
posted by Rockowheel

video

LARRY SHEFFIELD

LARRY SHEFFIELD
I RECEIVED SOME VERY SAD NEWS YEATERDAY.
A GREAT FRIEND AND CIRCUS CONCESSION MANAGER PASSED AWAY
OCTOBER 16th IN DELAND, FL.
AS SOON AS I GET MORE INFORMATION I WILL PASS IT ON.
MEANWHILE SHEILA, LARRY'S WIFE, HAS OUR DEEPEST SYMPATHY
AND CONDOLENCES!
DICK DYKES

SHOWFOLKS CIRCUS


It's almost time for the Showfolks Circus. We're giving everyone plenty of notice - so, make your plans.
As usual, we'll have 2 performances at Robarts Arena at 2pm and 7pm
We already have some spectacular performers lined up and will be publishing the program soon. It's looking like this WILL be the best year ever for our show and for the club!
Tickets will go on sale in Mid November and will be available thru the Showfolks Web Site.
See You ALL At The Circus!

RITA THE MANATEE (SEAWORLD)

FUN AT THE FAIR (NAME ENTERTAINMENT)


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