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 23, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Circus stops in Des Plaines
Seven elephants unload from their train and lead a menagerie of animals for this season's Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus shows at Rosemont's Allstate Arena on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2006 in Des Plaines. (Chicago Tribune photo by Chuck Berman)
By Jennifer Delgado, Tribune reporter, October 21, 2010
The circus is coming to town – well, sort of.
The Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus train will stop in Des Plaines Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. so the animals can make their way to the All-State Arena in Rosemont for a series of shows.
Police and members of the “Citizens on Patrol” will help block streets and intersections for the animal parade, which has happened for about 10 years, said Chris Terrazzino, the city’s community policing coordinator.
In the past, as many as 1,000 people have showed up to the event, Terrazzino added.
The parade route will start around 8 p.m. at the train tracks near Howard Street and Wolf Road, then continue east on Howard to Lee Street and finally east on Touhy Avenue to Chestnut Street. The animals are expected to return to the tracks shortly after their last performance, around 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14.


The Circus Pitches its Tent in Panama City Beach

The Cole Brothers' Circus comes to Bay County.

Oct 21, 2010 Reporter: Chad Mira

Panama City Beach - The Cole Brothers Circus rolled into Panama City Beach late Wednesday night and put on its first of nine shows, Thursday afternoon. With about 40 crew members working to set up for Panama City Beach's first show, Ring Master Chris Connors said they work pretty much around the clock.
"About a quarter til 6 this morning they started staking out the ground, start putting the stakes in. That's the very first thing that goes up," Connors said.
That's six in the morning, after doing a show in Georgia last night. The Cole Brothers traveling season goes from March until November, and the curtain call in one town simply means, time to get to work in the next one.
"We came down from Georgia, about 200 miles. We did a show there last night. We arrived here early hours in the morning and the crew goes right to work," Owner John Pugh said.
Setting up the tent, the seating, the props and caring for the animals, the crew worked hard all day to prepare for their first show on Thursday afternoon. Connors said they will get only four days off during the whole season. He said you got to love what you do, and he refers to all of his co-workers as his "circus family." Despite all of the hard work, he says when the show starts, its all worth it.
"The expression, the yelling, the screaming, the people going crazy because this is thrilling and that's when it gets to you, and it makes it all easy," Connors said. The owner agreed saying that that feeling is almost better than getting paid because of the sense of accomplishment he gets knowing he made somebody happy.
The Cole Brothers calls themselves the world's largest circus under the big top, with a tent that seats two thousand people. The plan is to keep expanding though, getting a new tent next year that will fit even more. Connors said the circus' success has come from its ability to keep popular, traditional acts like the human cannonball as well as keep adding newer ones as well such as a new "free-style motor show" with daredevil drivers.
The Circus will be here through Sunday, October 24, with its final show at 4:30 pm that day.

No Net for the Man in Charge
Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times
Barry Lubin, better known to circus regulars as Grandma the Clown, flying on wires at the Big Apple Circus, which has a new artistic director, Guillaume Dufresnoy, a former aerialist. By FELICIA R. LEE Published: October 21, 2010

GUILLAUME DUFRESNOY, the artistic director of the Big Apple Circus, has always worked close to the edge, one way or another.
Mr. Dufresnoy began his circus career as an aerialist, making magic with a partner some 45 feet up. This season, after almost two decades in management at Big Apple, he faces his biggest challenge yet. Promoted to artistic director in the midst of a tour last year, he is for the first time responsible for creating a show that both carries on the Big Apple tradition and takes into account a recession-gouged budget in an era of tough competition for family audiences.
At stake is not just Mr. Dufresnoy’s reputation but also a 33-year-old circus whose cachet hinges on intimacy: no seat is more than 50 feet away, and up to 1,700 people can sit in a one-ring tent, compared with the razzle-dazzle of three-ring competitors. Over the years critics have praised the family-oriented, unpretentious Big Apple, whose New York season at Damrosch Park began on Thursday, as a whimsical marriage of traditional theater and classical circus.
“I have inherited a beloved institution: it’s not like, ‘Here’s a circus, do whatever you want with it,’ ” Mr. Dufresnoy said the other day after a performance in Manville, N.J., the previous tour stop. “This is the Big Apple circus! What’s crucial to me is yes, to be a keeper of the flame and yet push the envelope a little bit, go visit slightly new territory.”
One example, he said, is to work with creative teams that are not familiar with the circus. “Next year it will be a team that has done mostly opera,” the French-born Mr. Dufresnoy said in the soft accent of his native Bordeaux. (His surname is pronounced Dew-fren-WAH.). “The following year it will be a very theatrical director. It will give us a variety of styles and images.”
Audiences will decide if he has brought fresh elements to the show, said Dominique Jando, a renowned circus artist, teacher and circus historian who is also a former associate artistic director of Big Apple. “It’s like everything else in show business — does the show jell or not?” Mr. Jando said. “In the case of the Big Apple, they have 50 percent repeat audiences in places like New York and Boston, so they are tougher.”
“I’ve seen Guillaume growing into this business,” Mr. Jando continued. He mentioned a “charming act” created by Mr. Dufresnoy last year that involved two dancers doing acrobatic tricks with dogs, which he called “a good sign” for Big Apple’s future. Much of what is innovative in the circus is happening in Europe these days, he said, where there are more circuses and more circus schools.
Mr. Dufresnoy said he fished for ideas and talent all over the world. This season’s edition, “Dance On!,” is a $3.6 million production about the universality of dance that features 35 people, 13 horses, 3 goats and 5 dogs.
Despite an operating budget that dropped to $17 million from $22 million two years ago, as well as staff layoffs and furloughs, “nothing has changed in the investment in the product,” said the newest lord of the ring. read more at:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/22/theater/22apple.html?_r=1
Elephants from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey eat lunch
Elephants from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey eat lunch on McLevy Green in downtown Bridgeport, Conn. Wednesday, Oct. 20th, 2010. The circus opens at the Arena at Harbor Yard on Thursday. Photo: John Burgeson / Connecticut Post

BRIDGEPORT -- To the delight of about 100 squealing schoolchildren and dozens of astonished office workers, nine elephants from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus lumbered onto McLevy Green at noon Wednesday to have lunch.
The pachyderms will be performing at the Ringling Bros. circus that will be at the Arena at Harbor Yard for a four-night run beginning Thursday.
About 11:45 a.m., they made their way from the arena, about four blocks away, to McLevy Green, where they were no doubt happy to see nine tables piled high with lettuce, cabbage, loaves of bread, bananas and other healthy fare. In spite of the volume of food, it only took them a few minutes to "clean their plates."
The children, ranging in age from toddlers to teenagers, were so excited that at one point, the circus roustabouts had to signal them to quiet down so as not to excite the 5,000-pound beasts
"It's not something that you see every day," said Perri Mucci, who works downtown at People's United Bank. "We wanted to have lunch with the elephants."
Roosevelt School, about six blocks away, was represented by a number of pupils, including a half-dozen eighth graders, who said that their visit had more to do with scholarship, not enjoyment. They'll have to write a paper about the big-eared herd, according to their English teacher, Carolyn Henderson.
"We're going to write about what they eat, how they perform, what cities they visit, everything," said, Jocelynn Bendolph.
"You can tell where they're from by looking at their ears," said Timnashia Burl.
The elephants dined in the shadow of McLevy Hall, Bridgeport's first city hall where President Abraham Lincoln, then a candidate, spoke on March 10, 1860.
Mayor Bill Finch was disappointed because he only caught the tail end of the spectacle. He was delayed because he was meeting with the editorial board of the Connecticut Post.
"I guess they had to eat and run," he said. "But I'll be at the circus -- I understand it'll be a great show."

SAD NEWS FROM CASEY GIBBS--

Just recivied this news from Cathy Hetzer.
Casey, Hello friends,If you have not heard, dear Walter Patterson passed away peacefully this morning. The visitation will be Monday, with the services on Tuesday. I do not have the specifics of where the services will be held in Nashville, but if I do obtain them soon, I will let you all know. What a lifelong friend to me and my family. Wendy is in Nashville with her mother, Ruthie.
Saddened,Cathy

PLUNKETT BROS CIRCUS 1994 &1997 (FROM BILL PRICKETT)

PLUNKETT BROS OLD TYME
AMERICAN CIRCUS, 06.12.1997

Bobby Gibbs, Corky Plunkett & John Herriott
Peoria Shrine Circus
06.06.1996

Corky Plunkett
Peoria Shrine Circus
06.06.1996
Corky & June Plunkett
Producers
Peoria Shrine Circus 06.08.1994
Weiner & James Plunkett
06.08.1994



James & Jeffrey Plunkett
06.08.1994


Christine (Wiener) Plunkett
with Star (age 4) and James (age 2)
Peoria Shrine Date
06.06.1996

PLUNKETT BROS CIRCUS #2

Jeffery Plunkett
Peoria Shrine Circus
1994


Col. John Herriott
Peoria Shrine Circus
06.08.1994


Mary Ruth Herriott
Peoria Shrine Circus
06.08.1994


Bucky Steele
Peoria Shrine Circus
06.08.1994








BOOTLEG MERCHANDISE DISCOVERED AT NC STATE FAIR!


From: NBC-17 Oct. 21

RALEIGH, N.C. - A raid at the N.C. State Fair Wednesday uncovered more than $80,000 worth of counterfeit trademarked goods, according to Secretary of State officials.
The raid was conducted by agents with the North Carolina Secretary of State's Office, Fairgrounds Police, Raleigh PD, and the Wake County Sheriff's Department.
Agents charged 50-year-old Martin Cohen, of Florida, with one count of felony criminal use of a counterfeit trademark for selling items that featured Disney characters and professional sports team logos.
James Paul McDermott and Teresa Ann McDermott, of Missouri, were charged with misdemeanor trademark violations for selling alleged counterfeit designer handbags at the fair.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ESCAPED CHIMP

Circus train more than a mode of transportation for performers, crew; it's home on the road
Thomas Ondrey/The Plain Dealer
Ninja clown Anthony Hoang, from Worcester, Mass., left, and motorcycle daredevil Carmen Torres from Paraguay relax in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus's Pie Car while the circus train is parked near downtown Cleveland. While the kitchen can prepare chicken cordon bleu, beef tamales or Italian wedding soup, Hoang usually opts for a burger after performances.


Wallaby reported dead from ecstasy and booze at disco
October 20, 2010 -
From The Sydney,Austrailia Morning Herald
Detectives in Dublin have questioned a circus owner about allegations that a wallaby died after being plied with ecstasy and drink at a birthday disco.
The marsupial was let loose among more than 150 revellers dancing at the Clarion Hotel in Liffey Valley, west Dublin, to the theme tune of Australian television show Skippy The Bush Kangaroo.
Outraged animal welfare campaigners sparked an official garda investigation when they passed on complaints about the alleged mistreatment of the animal.
Advertisement: Story continues below Alexander Scholl, owner of Australian Super Circus Sydney, 500 metres away from the hotel, told officers on Tuesday he had two wallabies - Skippy and Sydney - but dismissed claims either was used in the incident.
"They think it was one of my wallabies but it definitely was not. I would never lend them out to a nightclub with all the noisy music," he said.
"Someone told them the wallaby was given an ecstasy tablet and now it is dead. I said if it is dead then it is not one of my wallabies. I showed them Skippy and Sydney."
Officers launched an inquiry after complaints were passed on from a witness at the 30th birthday celebrations and others who saw a video uploaded to Facebook.
They have been handed CCTV footage from the hotel.
Hotel manager Garret Marrinan said a duty manager became suspicious when he noticed a commotion around the dance floor in a hired function room about 11pm on Saturday.
"By the time he got down through the crowd, the animal and the box were gone," he said.
"We had no idea where it came in or how it got out of the hotel. The whole thing was all a bit upsetting to be honest with you."
The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) said it had received five complaints including from one person who claimed to be at the party.
DSPCA operations manager Orla Aungier said the marsupial was more likely a wallaby than a small kangaroo, because they were easier to buy in Ireland.
"At some point during the party, what we believe to be a wallaby was brought on to the dance floor and it was being handled as Skippy The Bush Kangaroo was played loud as the back track," she said.
"We have also been told that after the party, the animal had died. That is only alleged, but the most important thing for us is to find out where the animal is and if it is OK."
The circus owner said he holds the keys for the trailer in which Skippy and Sydney, both 5½, are kept at night.
"I put them in the box, me myself, so no one else has touched them," he said.
Mr Scholl said he bought his wallabies in Cookstown, Northern Ireland, earlier this year.
Wallabies are classified as exotic animals in Ireland so there is no legislation on their breeding or ownership.
The DSPCA said websites were also offering zebras and emus for sale.


Big Fresno Fair 2010 attendance up 5.55%
Written by Business Journal staff
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
The 2010 Big Fresno Fair, which ended its run this past weekend, announced unaudited attendance of 542,537, an increase of 5.55% from 2009.
In addition, concession numbers were up by 12% from 2009, which fair officials believe is due to discounted and free admission specials including Save Mart Supermarkets $2 Tuesday and the "Feed the Need" food drive. The food drive netted 51.7 tons of food in a single day, the largest single-day, single location food collection in U.S. history. Fair goers who donated food received free admission on Oct. 14.
Numbers for horse racing revenue dropped slightly, down 4% in on-track handle.
The fair is also expected to bring notoriety to the region through two television programs. Go Go Luckey Productions filmed concessionaire Chicken Charlie (who specializes in deep frying everything under the sun) around the fair for a Travel Channel reality show pilot. PBS's Huell Howser also picked the fair as one of the featured segments of his upcoming "California Golden Fairs" series.

Woman Injured on Revolving Ride at Pattaya Beach Road Carnival

A Thai woman has received minor injuries after falling from a showground ride at the ‘Grand Sale Fair’ on Pattaya’s Beach Road on Tuesday night.
Pattaya, the 19th of October 2010 [PDN]: On Tuesday night, the Sawang Boriboon Foundation were notified of an accident at the Pattaya ‘Grand Sale Fair,’ where one woman was injured having fallen from a revolving showground ride.
At the scene, rescue services attended to a Thai woman, now known to be Ms. Supansa Sangchanchai [30]. Ms. Sangchanchai had minor cuts and bruises to her body and a suspected hip injury. She was transported to a local hospital for further treatment.
According to Ms. Sangchanchai, she was riding the fairground attraction known as ‘Tagada’ with her friends when she lost her grip on the rides railing and was thrown to the floor, while it was in operation. She noted that the speed of the ride seemed to increase and that she was unable to hold on to the metal railings.
Since being discharged from the hospital, Ms. Sangchanchai has reported the incident to police claiming that the ride owner/operator was negligent in his dealings with the ride, namely the lack of safety features present for its users. She is now seeking compensation for her medical bills.
The ‘Tagada’ is a circular disk-like attraction that revolves and pivots around a center point. Passengers sit on a bench seat that runs the circumference of the disk. The ride typically has two or three speed settings increased incrementally from its start, while fastenings, seat belts and harnesses are not provided.



Vivonas waiting in the wings for Florence fair operations
By DWIGHT DANA Published: October 15, 2010
FLORENCE, SC --The varsity squad of Amusements of America (AOA) consisting of brothers Morris, 90, Dominic, 78, and Phil Vivona, 75, provides the rides and everything involved with the Eastern Carolina Agricultural Fair under way through Saturday at the fairgrounds.
The family has been in the carnival business since 1940. Before that they were in the frozen custard business.
But the junior varsity squad is ready to move up and take over first-string play from the varsity.
The JVs consist of cousins John, his brother Rob, and Marco and Dominic Vivona Jr.
John is the maintenance supervisor for AOA and the fairgrounds; Marco travels with the circuit and is in charge of all rides; Dominic Jr. is the comptroller; and Rob was not present because he was en route to Charleston to get things ready for the Coastal Carolina Fair.
“We think they are about ready to pass things on over to us,” Marco said.
“We hope we are coming on strong,” John said, “because we’re all good at what we do.”
John likes the creative and mechanical aspects of his job. He is rebuilding a 15-year-old ride titled “Music Express.” It’s a musical ride that swirls around in a circle.
“It will be better than it was when it was new when I finish rebuilding it,” John said. “We plan to have it on line next year.”
Marco said it’s a lot of work setting up the rides. The fair closes Saturday. The rides will be disassembled that night and taken to North Carolina on Sunday. Workers will spend Sunday night getting them ready for the next fair.
“It’s tiring, but we never get tired of it,” Marco said.
“We grew up in the business,” John said. “It’s in our blood.”
And it’s been there for a long time.
The Vivonas started out with a frozen custard machine that they took to different carnivals. They made the custard in front of their customers and they had to dip it.
But the owner of the carnival told them in 1940 that he was putting in his own ice cream.
They decided to start their own carnival. They purchased a Ferris wheel that was left over from the 1939 New York World’s Fair.
They took it and the ice cream machine and played local festivals in New Jersey. They expanded by buying a merry-go-round, a swing ride, an Octopus and more equipment.
Amusements of America’s first southern headquarters were in Sumter from 1954 to 1972. They moved to Miami from 1972 to 2008.
The company is now headquartered in Florence.
John and Marco both live in Florence.
“Moving to Florence was the best move we ever made,” John said. “Our wives and kids love it here.”
Although the 2010 fair season will end next month, the Vivonas are planning a treat for the Pee Dee from Nov. 26 through Jan. 2, 2011.
“We are going to have a Christmas park out here at the fairgrounds,” John said. “We will have a Santa’s village, petting zoo, rides, food and all kinds of other good stuff for the kids.”
Circus life works for performer with Jersey roots
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
BY MIKE KERWICKThe RecordSTAFF WRITER
WHERE: Lincoln Center/Damrosch Park, 62nd Street between Columbus Avenue and Amsterdam Avenue, Manhattan; 800-922-3772.
HOW MUCH: $15-$92.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: bigapplecircus.org.
Jenny Vidbel had just finished telling us about the highlight of her act – a goat riding a pony – which led to this inevitable follow-up:
How do you get a goat to ride a pony?
"They're very food motivated," Vidbel said during a recent phone interview.
When it comes to motivational carrots, goats like actual carrots. Or hay. Or apples.
But when Vidbel wants one of her three goats to ride atop one of her 12 white ponies, she relies on a special concoction. She puts together an enticing mixture of corn, grain and molasses.
Before you know it, you have a goat riding around on a pony.
Vidbel, an equestrian trainer and presenter with the Big Apple Circus, will have 10 minutes to floor the audience during the organization's performance of "Dance On!" After a three-week tuneup run in Manville, the show opens at Lincoln Center on Thursday, with performances running into January.
"It's a real intimate setting," Vidbel said. "Everyone in the audience is up close and involved in all of the action."
There is lots of action. The show includes Chinese acrobats, an Ethiopian juggler, Mongolian contortionists and a Bulgarian hand-balancer.
And, of course, there is Vidbel – a third-generation circus performer whose family has roots here in Jersey. Her grandfather grew up in Trenton before running off to join Ringling Brothers, where he met Vidbel's grandmother.
Vidbel said it was never a question of what she loved most about the circus, what kept her tethered to this line of work.
"I think the question is, 'What would make me want to leave?' " Vidbel said. "It's such an exciting life. You meet all different kinds of people."
It is not always easy. The combination of animals and live performances leads to the unpredictable.
"Sometimes they leave," Vidbel said, "and I'm left holding the whip."
But she loves her animals and is constantly in search of new ones. Her current lineup card includes one horse, three goats, six dogs and 12 ponies. A few more animals – including a porcupine – are in training.
The show stays at Lincoln Center until Jan. 9, when the performers get a much-deserved 2 1/2-month break. Vidbel enjoys the time off but is always anxious to get back.
"What's hard is knowing it's coming to an end," Vidbel said. "It's a small group of people and we all become family very close, very fast. Toward the end, it's more of a sad kind of thing."

FROM ALASKA----


THE PLUNKETTS---











FROM THE UK---




Tuesday, October 19, 2010

DATE LOCATION BUY TICKETS
Sat 10/2 Fairbanks Carlson Center 12:00 4:00 7:30
Sun 10/3 Fairbanks Carlson Center 1:00 4:00 7:00
Wed 10/6 Wasilla Curtis D. Menard Memorial Center 5:00 8:00
Fri 10/8 Soldotna Soldotna Sports Center 5:00 8:00
Sun 10/10 Juneau Juneau Centennial Hall 12:00 2:30 5:00 7:30
Tue 10/12 Sitka Sitka Performing Arts Center 4:30 6:30 8:30
Thu 10/14 Ketchikan Ketchikan High School Auditorium 4:30 6:30 8:30
Sat 10/16 Anchorage Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center 12:00 4:00 7:30
Sun 10/17 Anchorage Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center 1:00 4:00 7:00
Tue 10/19 Kodiak Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium 4:30 6:30 8:30
Thu 10/21 Nome Nome Recreation Center 4:30 6:30 8:30

Monday, October 18, 2010

LAST DAY OF MISSISSIPPI STATE FAIR---

Big Fresno Fair ends on busy note
GARY KAZANJIAN / THE FRESNO BEE - Fairgoers stand in line for one last chance at some food Sunday at The Big Fresno Fair.

Oct. 17, 2010 By Marc Benjamin / The Fresno Bee
Thousands shrugged off cooler weather, occasional raindrops and overcast skies Sunday to take in the last day of The Big Fresno Fair.
Fair officials said they are confident this year's attendance will exceed last year's tally of 514,000 visitors.
The final count should be completed today or Tuesday, officials said.
Occasional raindrops weren't enough to stop Robert Aguilar, his girlfriend, Jodie Biggs of Clovis, and her two sons from catching the fair's final day.
"We are out here having a good time," said Aguilar, of Los Angeles, as the boys climbed the steps of Catfish Falls. "We're not leaving."
Seated a few feet away with his wife and young daughter, Guillermo Enriquez of Fresno said his children were looking forward to the fair.
Sunday was their first chance to go.
"I'll just stay where it's covered," he said of the rain threat.
Other than the first and last days, when light rain fell, weather was the major reason for the fair's success this year, said John Alkire, the fair's chief executive.
"The weather has been just near perfect," he said. "I would say we are ahead of last year at the same time. Concessions are up, food and beverages are up and our gates should be a lot stronger than last year."
One of The Big Fresno Fair's more experienced hands, Ron Boeger, who has operated the Happy Day Pony Ride concession at the fair for 45 years, agreed that the crowds were strong and that the economy may have had something to do with it.He said Valley residents will come to the fair for their vacation as an economical way to have fun without going out of town.
Read more: http://www.fresnobee.com/2010/10/17/2121903/big-fresno-fair-ends-on-busy-note.html#ixzz12klVCYTg

FROM EGYPT....

International Circus Festival: Thinking outside the rings
Photographed by Ali Abdel Mohsen ....
traditional circus conjures certain images--fearless lion-tamers, gravity-defying tightrope walkers and trapeze artists, accident-prone clowns, maybe a bear driving a tiny car. A traditional circus has big tops, balloons, bright lights and cotton candy, enormous elephants sitting on tiny stools, perhaps a cat leaping through a ring of fire.
Contemporary circus, of the sort featured at the Cairo International Circus Festival, focuses on dance, gymnastics, and acrobatics and seems but a distant relative of the storied three rings--less Ringling Bros. than Ringling Third Cousins Once Removed. This might be a welcome change to some people, like grown ups and animal rights activists. To others, it could be a disappointment.
Friday night’s performance at Al-Azhar Park’s open-air Geneina theater consisted mainly of gymnastic feats and acrobatics, as well as one children’s entertainer who lacked makeup and recognizable clown attire (over-sized shoes, red nose) but did, at some point, skip around in a flowery dress. Others of the night’s performances were likewise difficult to interpret.
The night’s program featured three separate acts, starting off with CirkuSzínház, a Hungarian troupe specializing in interpretive dance. The performance began with a young man, dressed entirely in white, slowly snaking his arms and sliding around the stage to a somber soundtrack of Gregorian chanting, before being joined by a similarly dressed female counterpart. The two circled each other for a while, occasionally stroking each other’s faces with the backs of their hands and twisting their bodies around as if to convey some state of emotional discomfort. The pair was then joined by another couple for some more symbolic writhing. Eventually, one of the girls climbed and wrapped herself around a curtain but, overall, the four performers spent too much time jogging around in circles, literally. It probably all meant something, though decoding it would have required more attention than seemed possible.read more at: Home » Culture » ArtInternational Circus Festival: Thinking outside the rings
Staffordians enjoy first county fair in 51 years

Kyle Hartzell (left), 14, and Jacob Jabro, 9, ride the Paratrooper at the Stafford County Fair at Mountain View High School yesterday. MIKE MORONES/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Stafford County Fair returns after a 51-year lapse
Date published: 10/18/2010 By DAN TELVOCK
When you want to have the first county fair in 50 years and its weekend debut must go off without a hitch, there's one family that gets called: the Sheltons.
The Stafford County Fair is back, thanks to Gordon Shelton, Mountain View High School and a host of businesses and volunteers.
The Sheltons have been involved with local fairs for more than four generations.
Gordon Shelton, a lifelong Stafford resident, came up with the idea of having a fair as a fundraiser for the high school. He researched the Free Lance-Star archives and believes the last Stafford County Fair was in 1959.
The school's PTSO quickly made Shelton the fair manager.
And he organized the event in less than two months.
The fair ran last weekend and ended at 7 p.m. yesterday with music by the bluegrass and gospel group One Lane Bridge.
"The vendors and sponsors, everyone did something," he said on the fair's final day. "It's going great. We couldn't do it without the support of the local community."
Burton's Automotive, Fredericksburg Motorsports and Hartwood Grocery were some of the sponsors that donated something to make the fair happen.
The fair had rides, including a Ferris wheel and bumper cars, more than a dozen games, corn dogs, cotton candy and volunteer fire and rescue demonstrations.
Shelton said he wants to have the fair annually, and he asked people to continue visiting the fair's website for announcements.
Admission, parking and the live music all were free. Shelton said he wanted all families to be able to enjoy the fair.
Ride tickets were $20 at the gate or $10 if bought from any of the sponsors.
"For the first time, I didn't think it was that bad," said Nicole Decker, who was cooking hot dogs and hamburgers with students for the school's PTSO.
staffordfair.com

Opinion.

JEFFREY EDELSTEIN: Cirque is the Sinatra & Gatsby of circuses

Published: Sunday, October 17, 2010
If you think running off and joining the circus is just a life of travel, fun and merriment ... well, it kinda is.
“It’s not for everybody, but if you have a love for it, it’s great,” said Sean McKeown. “It’s really quite something.”
McKeown should know. He’s the artistic director for Cirque du Soleil’s newest show, “Dralion,” which is coming to Trenton’s Sun National Bank Center this Thursday through Sunday. McKeown, a native of Australia, spent his teen and early adult years as a performer of all stripes, and then left it behind to get into ... business administration.
But in 2001, realizing how much he missed the world of entertainment, he joined Cirque and has basically been touring the world since then. And his job allows him all the creative leeway you’d think an artistic director with Cirque du Soleil would get.
“We constantly try to reinvent ourselves,” McKeown said. “We basically ask ourselves, ‘What kind of crazy idea can we come up with?’ and go from there.”
He said it’s usually a two-year process, from idea to show, and for this show, the idea was a simple one: East meets West.
“We draw on thousands of years of Chinese acrobatic traditions and merge them with western traditions,” he said. “This show has some really beautiful aerial elements. We have this incredible troupe of Chinese acrobats ... and just wait to you see what they do with skipping.”
Yes. Skipping. That childhood activity is taken to new heights (literally) with this show.
For the record, I am not a circus guy. Never was really one for elephants holding the tails of elephants with their trunks holding the the tails of elephants with their trunks ... Even as a kid, I was not dazzled by blonde men sticking their heads in the mouths of tigers. So a few years back, when my wife informed me she wanted to see a Cirque du Soleil show, I balked. Didn’t want to go. Didn’t want to spend my good money on a circus.
Well, as with many so-called discussions with my wife, I lost, and we did spend our good money of these people.
I was knocked loopy. Blown away. There was jaw agaping going on. Why? Because calling Cirque du Soleil a circus is like calling “The Great Gatsby” a book, like calling Frank Sinatra a singer. It is, of course, a circus, but it’s not. It’s more like a detour into ... something else. Almost like visiting another planet.
“Our goal was to reinvent the circus,” McKeown said. “Putting together the circus elements of acrobatics, dance ... merging it with technology and our production values ...”
Well, whatever it is the curious minds behind Cirque du Soleil do, they got me. I’ve seen four different productions in three different cities, and look forward to adding to that number this week.
It’s a break from reality, this thing. A mental workout/vacation.
“It’s a great escape,” McKeown said.
Read Jeff Edelstein every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at jedelstein@trentonian.com, facebook.com/JeffreyEdelstein and twitter.com/jeffedelstein.
Circus dove found in Dandenong



SIMON TAIT

Local News18 Oct 10 @ 10:49am by Gilbert Gardiner
ONE of the three doves stolen from Silvers Circus in Noble Park has been found.
The dove affectionately called Baldy, for obvious reasons, was found in a backyard in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.
Baldy was handed in to Mount Waverley’s Animal Emergency Centre, and later identified by illusionist Simon Tait.
``I opened the box and just couldn’t believe it was him,” Tait said.
Two doves named Donald and Daisy remain at large. The breeding pair have matching green bands on their wings.
The doves went missing from the backstage area of Silvers Circus last Saturday, based in Noble Park for three weeks.
Magician, illusionist Simon Tait believes his “little mates, and work colleagues’’ went missing between 8.30pm-9.45pm.
“I love them; they’re the most beautiful gentle birds. So sweet and they trust me so much.
“I hope to goodness if someone has stolen them they’re treating them with love and care.’’
Mr Tait holds grave fears for the birds’ safety in the wild.
“They probably have no fear of cats or dogs. I’m terrified about their wellbeing



Hadi Shriners offering free circus tickets to military families

Posted October 17, 2010
The Hadi Shriners are providing free Hadi Shrine Circus tickets to immediate family members of local military personnel who are on active duty, are currently deployed or have returned from overseas service within the last six months.
The tickets will be accepted during any of the circus' nine performances from Nov. 25 — 28.
Tickets can be picked up from 5-7 p.m. on Nov. 4 at the Hadi Temple parking lot, located at 6 Walnut St. in Evansville.
Those eligible for free tickets include spouses, children and other family members living in the same household as the service member. Shriner representatives will be checking for family military IDs.
Other family members and friends who want to attend the circus may purchase tickets for $12 from a Shriner or by phone at (812) 425-4376 or (800) 66-CLOWN. Purchased tickets can be used for any of the nine shows.
—Dan Latini
Motor home catches fire at Hunsader Pumpkin Festival
WENDY DAHLE/Special to the Herald
Catia Caudill retrieves some of her family’s belongings from their burnt out motor home Saturday at the Hunsader

WENDY DAHLE/Special to the Herald
A motor home caught fire Saturday at the Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival. No one was injured.


EAST MANATEE — No folks, it wasn’t the firefighter training show. This was a real fire.
A motor home belonging to Catia and John Caudill (Johnny Walker) caught fire just before 10 a.m. this morning at Hunsader Farms off of County Road 675. The Caudills operate the Walker Bros. Circus and were performing at the 19th annual Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival. Their 39-foot Fleetwood Excursion was parked behind the circus tent on the northwest end of the festival grounds.
No one was inside the motor home, except for the Caudill’s two dachshunds. The Caudill’s were able to get the two dogs out before the fire consumed the motor home.
Mike Hunsader was near the motor home when he noticed the smoke and broke a window trying to extinguish the fire before firefighters arrived.
“I smelled it and I saw it,” he said shortly after firefighters arrived. “I feel so bad for John Walker.”
The Myakka City Fire Rescue was first to arrive on the scene at 10:10 a.m., but the motorhome was already engulfed in flames, according to Deputy Chief Lee Whitehurst of East Manatee Fire Rescue. They were able extinguish the fire within 10 minutes.
The motor home’s value was estimated at $200,000. Read more: http://www.bradenton.com/2010/10/17/2660193/motor-home-catches-fire-at-hunsader.html#ixzz12ciVTwwD

Sunday, October 17, 2010

SUNDAY FUNNIES



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Circus comes to town
Circus abandons ten lions in Argentina
Ten abandoned African lions were discovered this week in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina.Police said the animals had been left behind by a travelling circus.The animals, consisting of six males and four females, were found divided between six small trailers in an unused campsite, 30km south of Buenos Aires City.Authorities obtained a court order and seized the trailers.The animals have now been transferred to the local zoo.


2010 Arizona State Fair Opens

Arizona State Fair
by Megan Stanton on Oct 15th, 2010
The 2010 Arizona State Fair is underway today in Phoenix, AZ. The state fair began back in 1884, and has been running ever since, with the exception of several years when there were issues with cotton crops.
Each year, the Arizona State Fair includes approximately 300 Commercial Sales Booths, and 75 different rides. It is considered one of the top 5 state fairs in the United States.
This year’s fair will run from Friday, October 15 until Sunday, November 7, with the exception of Mondays and Tuesdays. There is sure to be something for everyone.
Tickets to the fair are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5-13, and $5 for adults over the age of 55. Children that are under 5-years-old get in for free. The fair will be open on Wednesdays & Thursdays from 12:00 PM until 10:00 PM, On Fridays from 12:00 PM until 11:30 PM, Saturdays from 10:00 AM until 11:30 PM, and Sundays from 10:00 AM until 10:00 PM.
Parking for the fair is $10 in the main lot located on 19th Avenue and Monte Vista or Encanto Blvd. If you wish to save on parking, you can save $5 by parking in the 20th Avenue and Encanto parking lot.
There will be plenty of entertainment, including performances by Jason Derulo, Blake Shelton, Bret Michaels, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Colbie Caillat, and many more.
This year’s Arizona State Fair is expected to drawl well over 1 million people. The record attendance for the fair was set in 2006, when 1,303,690 people attended the event.
Choreographer juggles his routine for circus

#1 Mount Kisco's Peter Pucci inside the big top of the Big Apple Circus in Manville, N.J., the first stop for "Dance On!" which Pucci choreographed. The circus opens Thursday at Lincoln Center. (Photos by Vincent DiSalvio/The Journal News)
October 17, 2010-- Peter D. Kramer
In the middle of an award-winning choreography career, Peter Pucci joined the circus.For the past 18 months — when he hasn't been teaching Juilliard first-years how to approach a script or choreographing and teaching at Manhattanville College or helping to stage musicals — Pucci has been thinking about jugglers and acrobats.Starting Thursday, the fruit of the Mount Kisco choreographer's labors fills the Big Apple Circus' big top in Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park, as the circus' 33rd season begins its New York run.This season's circus, aptly titled "Dance On!," marks a change on several fronts at the one-ring wonder, where no seat is more than 50 feet from the action.For one, it's the first season under artistic director Guillaume Dufresnoy, who succeeds founding artistic director Michael Christensen.For another, there's Pucci, a former Pilobolus dance troupe member, whose contribution has broken the mold of the little circus.He uses the artists' downtime to make "Dance On!" even more playful, inventive and family friendly than past seasons at the playful, inventive, family-friendly circus.


#2 Mark Gindick, left, as Man Who Dances, has a little fun with Grandma the Clown (Barry Lubin), in "Dance On!" the 33rd season of the Big Apple Circus.
Instead of having the separate acts appear, perform and then sit backstage awaiting the curtain call, Pucci has created a community of players through dance.For example, when the members of the Chinese Hebei Wuqiao Acrobatic Troupe aren't performing, or getting ready to go on, they take to the ring and balance basketballs on their heads or join in the dance moments that fill the spaces between the acts.The central character of "Dance On!" is Mark Gindick as Man Who Dances, a character who mixes clowning with an irresistible love of dance that proves infectious. When Man Who Dances starts moving to the music, the acrobats, contortionists and jugglers can't seem to keep from joining in, wordlessly answering his call to let loose.The effect is a more playful circus. And play is exactly how Pucci managed to get Kenyan pole climbers, Chinese acrobats, Mongolian contortionists and an Ethiopian juggler to accept his plan for "Dance On!"
Former circus performer's science class is a blast for Tewksbury students


Sunday, October 17, 2010
Tiffani N. Garlic/For The Star-Ledger
TEWKSBURY, NJ — Tiny hands shot up in the air as a clownish chemist asked “Who likes chemistry?” during a Slapstick Science presentation at Tewksbury Elementary School last week.
Dr. Quark, a.k.a Ted Lawrence, a veteran science teacher and circus performer, bustled around a make-shift science lab on Wednesday as second graders watched him mix chemicals that expanded, exploded and caught fire.
Lawrence received a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and a certification to teach math and physical sciences from the University of Vermont in 1985, then went on to finishing school at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College in 1986.
read more at:
http://www.nj.com/news/local/index.ssf/2010/10/dr_quarks_science_class_is_a_b.html

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