Saturday, May 8, 2010
"Tuffy" Nicholas, owner/producer
Some of the world's most internationally acclaimed circus, aerial and acrobatic performers are coming to Guam and Saipan.
The International All-Star Circus, featuring 18 acts from sharp-shooter crossbow arrows piercing apples right off people's heads, amazing split second quick change, clowns, skilful magic and the amazing wheel of death -- will perform in Guam and Saipan from May 14 though 19th, 2010. The performance includes two hours of breath-taking, high-energy entertainment for adults and children.
"This is modern circus at its best," said Cornell "Tuffy" Nicholas, Owner /Producer and Ring Master of the International All-Star Circus. "We want the people of Guam and Saipan to experience the amazing skill, grace and strength of some of the best performers in the world."
Don't expect elephants or lion trainers. The modern circus is all about people performing for people. Modern circus started in London in 1768 and became one of the main forms of entertainment through much of the world in the 19th century. Even as recent as the early 1990s, circuses like this one were hugely popular in countries of the former Soviet bloc with 70 permanent and 50 traveling circuses performing more than 100 different acts at one point.
Performers in the International All-Star Circus coming include professionals from Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, The US and Germany, including (2) sixth and seventh-generation members of the world famous Flying Wallenda family. Ringmaster Tuffy Nicholas has lived his entire life in the circus. His father was a ringmaster with Ringling Brothers for 27 years and his mother, also with Ringling Brothers, was a polar bear trainer. Acts in the shows will include aerial acrobatics tricks and stunts, gravity-defying hand balance and tumbling, clowns, illusionary magic tricks, highwire feats, a strong man demonstration of strength and agility, skip rope, unicycle tricks and more.
Aaron Rider as "Melvino" on Culpepper & Merriweather Circus, Charleston, Illinois, 2010
Miss Paulette, Spanish Web
(Story Updated: May 7, 2010 at 12:58 PM EDT)Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton)
The circus is in town this weekend and it's all for a good cause.
Multimedia Watch The Video, ABOVE,
The Kalurah Shriners present the Royal Hannaford Circus at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
The circus benefits Shriners Hospitals for children.
Thursday was opening night.
WBNG's very own Howard Manges was on hand to kick off the show.
Kids gazed at acrobats, jugglers and dancers.
There were even high flying dogs and elephants!
"It's a marvelous family occasion where families can have fun together. There's something for every member of the family. Whether it be the animals, the daredevils, clowns, the costume people that change so quickly, it's just something for everyone," said Billy Martin, Ringmaster.
If you missed Thursday's performance, don't worry you have two more days to catch it!
Tickets begin at just ten dollars.
Saturday at 10:30 am, and 2:30 pm and 7:30pm.
The Carson & Barnes Circus can trace its history through four generations of family ownership. Proving that size does matter, their big top makes a total "footprint" of 500 feet by 400 feet, allowing an unobstructed view, they promise, for up to 2200 people to witness the animal acts, trapeze artists, clowns and contortionists.
Carson & Barnes also boasts the second largest herd of elephants in the United States and proudly supports, they state emphatically, the Endangered Ark Foundation for the preservation of the extremely endangered Asian elephant and other animals. Proud of their large and varied educational exhibit of over two dozen types of domestic and exotic animals, the circus opens as a zoo on circus morning. It’s free to everyone who wants to watch the animals arrive, watered, fed and cared for.
Employing performers from around the world, Carson & Barnes announces that their featured artist for 2010 is the world-renowned "King of Circus Comedy," Alex, who will entertain with hilarious high-bounding feats on the trampoline.
Click here for a map to the fairground. Shows take place at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit the Carson & Barnes website or call 580-326-2233.
Friday, May 7, 2010
The Circus is back with Chinese Acrobats, The Human Cannonball and much, much more! So bring the whole family out for an evening of clowning around! Coupons are available in the main office. For more information on this event and to purchase tickets online please go to www.tickets.com.
Show Times:Friday, May 7, 4:30 & 7:30Saturday, May 8, 1:30, 4:30 & 7:30Sunday, May 9, 1:30, 4:30 & 7:30
Admission cost:VIP Seats $17 Reserved Seats $15 General Admission $12
by Brent Peterson
Stillwater Historian Published: Thursday, May 6, 2010
Recessions in the economy come and go, and some are worse than others. It seems as though the current recession may be getting better, but others in the past lingered for years.
As Minnesota was to become a state, the Territorial Legislature passed a railroad bill of $5 million to entice and help the railroads reach Minnesota. After all the money was spent not a track was laid, and with a corresponding national recession, Minnesota was in a terrible way.
The lumber industry of the St. Croix Valley was hit hard. Many lumbermen were without work and had no way to pay for basic items for their families. Still, with the hardships going on, there were traveling shows that would stop from time to time in Stillwater to help people forget about their troubles — even if it was only for a short time.
In early June 1858, just a month after Minnesota became a state, a show called “The Great Monkey Circus and Burlesque Dramatic Troupe” stopped in Stillwater for several performances. The show had trained dogs, monkeys and the Billy Birch Minstrels. The Stillwater Messenger later said, “The Monkey Circus fully equaled the expectations of the public, and (was) largely attended. The performances of the trained monkeys, dogs, & etc. afforded a rich treat to the curious in such matters.”
Even with all the jovial entertainment, the harsh realities of life were just around the corner. There were men fed up with employers not paying their wages, and protests and conflicts came to a head as the minstrel show was ending.
According to accounts in the local papers, there was a group of “lawless characters, under cover of the hard times” who started for the levee, where they planned to cut rafts of lumber loose and let them float away. They also planned to enter the stores and houses of citizens to help themselves to whatever they wanted.
As the leaders of the gang reached the Minnesota House Hotel, at the corner of Main and Chestnut Streets, the city police and the City Light Guard militia captured them and brought them to the state prison. Several efforts to rescue the leaders of the group were fought off by the police and militia.
In the meantime, the performers were on their steamboats the Banjo and the James Raymond and were trying to push off and leave the city. One of the performers, described as a “three-year-old Pigmy Woman,” was actually 16-year-old Lavinia Warren.
Warren would later marry Tom Thumb and travel the world with P.T. Barnum and his circus.
When Warren got older she wrote down memories of her incredible life. Although she met Presidents Lincoln and Grant, traveled the world and saw incredible sights, she remembered that time she spent in Stillwater and the riot that took place.
“At Stillwater, Minnesota, a great lumber country, the lumbermen came down the river from their camps on rafts to visit us,” she wrote. She had described the lumbermen as “red shirts” and said that they were a “terror to peace-loving people.” As for the riot going on, she said “firearms were freely used,” and that those red shirts “would cut no more lumber that season.” Warren then expressed that “considering discretion the better part of valor, we chose the better part and left the locality before daylight next morning.”
The Monkey Circus would not come back to the Midwest, and the leaders of the riot were punished and put in jail. The economy eventually regained strength and made Stillwater and the St. Croix Valley one of the most prosperous lumber centers in the world.
Brent Peterson is the executive director of the Washington County Historical Society and author of “Stillwater: The Next Generation.” He can be reached at 651-439-5956.
from the St. Croix Valley Press
Transformation: The world famous Arestovs perform an awe-inspiring and unbelievable quick-change act. Watch closely as they amaze you with their transformation. (Photo courtesy of Ruder Integrated Marketing Strat)Community effort
As part of the fun, local promoters, Tropical Productions, held a coloring contest for local elementary school children in public, private and military schools. The five winners from each category will be announced at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Guam Premier Outlets. winners will receive a grand prize of 10 VIP ringside tickets. More than 4,000 children participated. Finalists in each category will receive tickets to the show, says Ruder Integrated Marketing Strategies' Sally Malay.Finalists must be present for the grand prize announcements.The circus also will be performing at various schools on island next week. Also, $1 from every ticket sold to the 5:30 p.m. May 14 show will go to help the Guam Girl Scouts, who will have 10 scouts performing in that opening act."I love seeing the look on people's faces when they see the show for the first time, so I'm very excited to be coming to Guam and Saipan," Nicholas says.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars Under the Big Top will be presented at 5 and 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, May 17-18, at the U-Sell Flea Market, 2896 S. Delsea Drive, Vineland.
Hosted by South Vineland Fire Company No. 2, the circus will include white tigers, elephants, the flying trapeze, the globe of death, zebras, camels, clowns, dogs, llamas, ponies, aerial ballet, freestyle motor show, a human cannonball and more.
Tickets are: General admission $17 for adults, $12 for children ages 2 to 12; for reserved seats add $3; for VIP seats add $5. Free tickets for children are available at http://www.freekidstickets.com/. Discount tickets may be purchased through Sunday, May 16 in Vineland at: J&J News Agency, 792 Main Road; Todd’s News Agency, 235 Delsea Drive; and from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday and Friday and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the fire company, 876 E. Sherman Ave.
The big tent will be set up at Lions Memorial Park, with performances at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Come see the aerialists, comic magic, Liberty horses, jugglers, acrobats, clowns, and other thrilling surprises!
Advance tickets are $8 per person (children under one are free) and are available from Saturday, May 1 through Thursday, May 13 at the Upper Saddle River Library. After that, tickets will be available at the gate for $10 per person.
Fifty percent of all advanced ticket sales go directly to the Youth Guidance Council to fund the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program, as well as other anti-drug, anti-alcohol, and anti-violence programs and activities for the youth of our community. However, only 25 percent of the gate sales on the day of the circus will benefit these programs.
Talk show host Jerry Springer speaks to the crowd with Bello Nock, the world famous daredevil clown, and star of the Big Apple Circus in Columbus Park on Tuesday May 4, 2010 in Stamford, Conn.
Look, up in the sky, it's . . . a clown on a stickBello Nock, the famous clown and star of the Big Apple Circus performs a balancing stunt atop a 92 foot pole in Columbus Park on Tuesday May 4, 2010 in Stamford, Conn. The performance was held to promote the Big Apple Circus' 32nd all–new show, Bello is Back! as it makes its first ever appearance under the Big Top in Mill River Park from July 9 through July 25. Photo: Katheen O'Rourke / Stamford Advocate
So did the waiters outside Bobby Valentine's Sports Gallery, the pedestrians turning from Summer Street, the clusters of people cooling themselves beneath the trees and the 50 schoolchildren crowded at the point of Columbus Park. All eyes remained on the tuxedoed man swaying wildly 92 feet above them.
Bello Nock, the daredevil clown of the Big Apple Circus, was in the midst of his stunt, a series of gymnastics atop the slim pole, which bent sharply in the wind like a straw. Spectators gasped and screamed, some muttering "Oh my god" in hushed tones and pointing cameras skyward as Nock flipped, dangled and swerved from the pole.
Nock's outrageous stunt was part of a promotional event to announce the appearance of the Big Apple Circus at Mill River Park from July 9 to 25. In concert with the city of Stamford, the Mill River Park Collaborative and the Downtown Special Services District, the circus will perform the full show "Bello is Back!" under the big top, an event that is expected to draw thousands.
"We knew we wanted to do something special in Stamford," said Phil Thurston, public relations manager for the Big Apple Circus.
Setting up a pre-show promotion is a usual procedure for the circus, and the feat Nock performed on the swaying pole is original: His father invented the stunt using the trunk of a Swiss pine tree.
"It was designed to do exactly what we're doing today, which is to draw awareness to the circus coming to town," said Nock. "It's a free climb -- there's no ropes when you climb, no ladders, no nothing."
Nock, whose family has been performing in the circus since 1772, spent the morning setting up the massive pole. It was hoisted with the help of a crane and anchored in a 300-gallon tank of water, which acts as a ballast to keep the pole from tipping completely over as it sways. Helping Nock with the mechanics were fellow stunt performers John "Mercury" Morgan and David Martins, as well as Nock's son, Alex.
Nock said that, though executing daring stunts doesn't faze him, he likes to handle all the preparations himself.
"As a daredevil, people think you're a thrill-seeker, that you're careless or living life on the edge recklessly. That's actually the furthest thing from the truth. I want to live life to the fullest, to experience life to the highs of emotions," he said. "In the world of circus, I'm the biggest celebrity and look at my hands: calluses and dirt, and I'm in work clothes."
Dressed in a plain black shirt and jeans, Nock looked quite different from the persona he exhibits beneath the big top. By the time a crowd began to gather at noon, Nock was in costume, with his shiny tuxedo, red bowtie and stovepipe hair in place, ready to meet Mayor Michael Pavia, members of the DSSD and representatives from UBS, the event's lead sponsor.
At the head of the crowd was a group of students from Julia A. Stark Elementary School, for whom the day was a treat.
"It was a reward for the kids who had perfect attendance," said Educational Assistant Monica Frattaroli. Stark is the partner school for UBS in Stamford.
Speakers addressed the students and the assembled street spectators before and after the stunt, including Chris Wearing, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Big Apple Circus; Robert Wolf, chairman and CEO of UBS Americas; Pavia; DSSD President Sandy Goldstein; and a surprise guest: Jerry Springer.
At Springer's appearance, the students from Stark began chanting loudly, "Jerry, Jerry!"
"Boys and girls, you shouldn't know me. Where are your parents?" Springer said, adding a joke about his television show no longer being the only circus in town.
In his brief speech, Pavia outlined two volunteer initiatives, Stamford Community Day and "Give in Service, See the Circus," which reward community volunteers who sign up with participating agencies free tickets to a circus performance on July 13.
As Nock climbed to the top of the pole, he drew attention from all corners of the park and the surrounding streets. He waved his arms, clung on with one hand, and flipped upside-down with both feet in the air as the pole bent an arc across the sky.
"This is just a smidge of what he does," said John "Mercury" Morgan, standing amidst the crowd. "He's really a modern-day Harpo Marx -- there's not a lot of comic daredevils out there."
Below, Elaine Lodato watched in awe. Lodato heard about the circus event from a friend and decided to come downtown to have a look. She confessed she was amazed.
"I'm impressed how he climbed the pole," she said after Nock slid back to Earth. "Then when he came down, he came down so quickly."
WEST COVINA - Katya Quiroga is used to picking up and moving.
We're talking about moving an entire circus - Circus Vargas, to be exact.
Quiroga and her husband, Nelson, bought Circus Vargas in 2005, 2 1/2 years after it had closed because of financial problems and the former owner's retirement. But they've revamped the circus, and the retooled operation rolled into West Covina this week for a five-day run that begins Thursday. The circus will be held in a parking lot next to Sears at the Westfield West Covina mall.
"I think the biggest challenge is the logistics of moving everything," Katya Quiroga said. "And it's always hard to let people know we're here and that we have a new show."
This year, Circus Vargas is housed in a new Big Top tent, with 90,000 square feet of canvas fabric supported by 17 tons of rope and cable.
On Tuesday, workers carefully assembled and raised two 50-foot scaffolding towers to support the tent.
The towers were then anchored by cables running to large bolts driven into the pavement.
"It takes about two hours to get the tent up," Nelson said.
This year's show will feature a wide array of entertainment.
After an opening parade, Techno Rock Jugglers will take the stage, followed by clowns, a synchronized aerial bungee-ballet, a hula-hooping belly dancer and the Marinellis, who will stage a high-flying trampoline act.
And if that isn't enough, the Garcia family will later tackle the "Globe of Death," running at breakneck speed atop a spinning steel sphere suspended high above the ground.
"The show lasts about two hours, but we also have something special for the kids before the show," Quiroga said. "They can come into the ring and try out their circus skills. We have things like juggling and hula hoops. Most of the time, the kids have a blast."
Quiroga said she and her husband are looking to make this year's circus accessible to everyone.
"Even with the economy being bad, people still want a place to take their family where they can forget about bills and worries," she said. "We try to give discounts and we also give free tickets to foster kids."
This year, Circus Vargas is also offering free tickets to people who are unemployed.
"We're giving out two adult tickets and two kid tickets, so someone can take their whole family," Quiroga said. "We do that on weekdays. We couldn't do it on weekends because there's not enough room."
Nelson Quiroga said the circus typically draws 800 to 1,000 visitors a week, with gross revenues running from $60,000 to $100,000.
But there are always lots of expenses - and red tape to deal with.
"Every time we come to a new city, we have to pull permits for everything because we're essentially a traveling business," he said. "We have to get construction permits, health permits ... all kinds of permits. And it's different everywhere you go. What works here won't work 10 miles down the road."
But Katya Quiroga said the couple love what they're doing.
"We work together as a family," she said. "We're all doing something we love. I think that's one of the reasons our show is so successful. People know we're not just throwing it together."
After its West Covina run, Circus Vargas will be at Puente Hills Mall in Industry, May 13-24.
IF YOU GO: Circus Vargas' new Big Top tent includes:
90,000 square feet of canvas
Seventeen tons of rope and cable
500 stakes to support the tent
Seating for 1,200 visitors
Circus act forced out of Baldwin Park
By Maritza Velazquez Staff Writer Posted: 05/04/2010 04:31:11 PM PDT
BALDWIN PARK - A family-owned circus is packing up its act due to a contract disagreement, a circus co-owner said.
Baldwin Park police responded to the site Tuesday morning to tell circus owners to vacate the property at Francisquito Avenue across from In-N-Out Burger, officials said.
"From my understanding, we went out to notify the owners of the circus that they had to get off the property because the property owner didn't give them permission to be on the property," Lt. Joseph Bartolotti said.
The circus, Circo Hermanos Caballero, was scheduled to perform through May 10 and already held several shows since it opened Friday.
Ruben Caballero, Jr., co-owner of Circo Hermanos Caballero, said he and the landowner, Meruelo Maddux Properties, could not agree on the lease agreement and his $2 million insurance policy.
He said they requested a $10 million policy and that he was willing to comply.
"We found (an insurance policy) but they didn't even give us the opportunity. They just said, `No,"' he said.
Three calls to Meruelo Maddux for comment were not immediately returned Tuesday.
Circo Hermanos Caballero has been performing without a contract in place, Caballero said. He said property owners allowed them on the property last week, but they could not agree on the contract as of Thursday.
"We don't know what to do," he said. "We're not from this country and we don't have anywhere to go."
He said he's trying to arrange to arrive early in Oxnard to perform one weekend ahead of schedule.
"All of these people depend on us every week," Caballero said as he pointed to a dozen trailers, which serve as the temporary residences of about 30 performers.
Circo Hermanos Caballero is based in Guadalajara, Mexico. Caballero said his great-great-grandfather founded the family business more than a century ago. Many of the performers are members of the Caballero family.