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Saturday, November 27, 2010

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Circus comes to Galveston
Bo, a 23-year-old Asian elephant, opens his mouth for a drink while receiving a shower from his trainer, Larry Carden, on Tuesday afternoon at Moody Gardens in Galveston. The El Mina Shrine Circus will be in town for three days.
Mustafa, a 4-year-old lion, reacts playfully to a nuzzle from Nana, a 3-year-old tiger Tuesday afternoon at Moody Gardens in Galveston. The El Mina Shrine Circus, featuring 20 acts in three rings, will be in town for three days
Daredevil Marilyn Espana rigs the Cyclone, an aerial motorcycle acrobatic platform, on Tuesday afternoon at the Moody Gardens Convention Center in Galveston. The El Mina Shrine Circus, featuring 20 acts in three rings, will be in town for three days.


Last chance to see the circus
By Angela Taylor
The Daily News
Published November 26, 2010

Today is the last day to get the “hottest ticket in town” for the annual El Mina Shrine Circus.

Show times are at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. today at the Moody Gardens Convention Center, 7 Hope Blvd., in Galveston.

The show features performers from 15 countries, and it’ll also give audience members a chance to go into the ring before and after the circus — and during intermission — to meet the stars, ride ponies and elephants, and take photographs.

Tickets are $12 for children 12 and younger, and $16 for adults. Facility fees may apply. Tickets are available 11/2 hours before each show. Visit www.galvestoncircus.com.
Hadi Shrine Circus
Reported by: Josh Breslow
With the blow of a whistle, the 77th Annual Hadi Shrine Circus is underway in Evansville.
Families pack the seats at Roberts Stadium on Thanksgiving day, watching in amazement, as performers take to the sky and animals roam the stage.

"It's very much an Evansville and Tri-State tradition," said Brian Ball with the Hadi Shrine Circus. "We've actually seen third and fourth generation coming back, seeing the circus. Great grandparents, bringing great grand kids."

The circus first performed in downtown Evansville back in 1933. It was a much smaller show, with the performance held outside. The circus moved around a little as it grew and in 1957, the act took the stage at Roberts Stadium.

"It's been a great venue for us. The city has made accommodations for us to be here each and every year," said Ball.

But this will be the last year the circus will swing through Roberts Stadium. Next year, it will move on to Evansville's new downtown arena. The shriners say they've been working through the logistics with the city, and so far, it seems everything at the new venue will work out just fine. But there are still some issues that need to be figured out and the shriners will work on those as a later time. For now, they're focused on making sure their last show at Roberts Stadium is one people will remember for years to come.

"We're gonna go out with a bang. I can guarantee you that," said Ball.

Show Times:
Thanksgiving Day - 2:00pm, 7:00pm
Friday, Nov. 26 - 9:30am, 2:00pm, 7:00pm
Saturday, Nov. 27 - 9:30am, 2:00pm, 7:00pm
Sunday, November 28 - 3:00pm

FROM AUSTRALIA




Narre Warren South's Brady runs away with the circus

Brady and Stephanie Wills.
by Sam Landsberger
BRADY Wills grew up a talented gymnast and was destined for glory at national level.

But at 16 the Narre Warren South resident traded in his sporting outfits for circus tights and is now on the cusp of graduating from the National Institute of Circus Arts.

Wills, 22, dreams of opening a circus company of his own and travelling Australia. And he hasn’t looked back since making the switch in 2004.

“When I was 16 I got bored of gymnastics and wanted to find something new to do, so I tried circus,” he said.

“I did that because it had so many similar aspects to (gymnastics) but was different enough at the same time.”

“I loved it straight away because I could have so much fun with it and be a bit more comical, whereas gymnastics is much more serious.”

Wills, and his elder sister Stephanie, will next month graduate from the NICA with a showpiece performance they have been crafting for three years.

The show, which runs from December 1 to 11 at the National Circus Centre in Prahran, is staged to highlight Australia’s top circus talent before they explode on to the world stage.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

FROM MIKE NAUGHTON:


All December West Palm Beach Celebrates “Circus Holiday”
Nov 23, 2010 - Community Events, Waterfront
When: VARIOUS DECEMBER HOLIDAY MAJOR EVENTS, SEE DATES BELOW
Where: WEST PALM BEACH WATERFRONT AND CLEMATIS STREET
A UNIQUE MONTH LONG HOLIDAY CELEBRATING THE CIRCUS
Special tree lighting, free vintage circus exhibition, free concert, even a rare FREE preview performance of
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® A Magical Holiday Spectacular!
23 November 2010
In December, the new West Palm Beach Waterfront is the Magical place to be. Beginning on December 2, Clematis Street will transform into a magical circus themed holiday venue as shop owners decorate their windows with colorful animals and props and the street magically illuminates with thousands of overhead lights which lead to the largest live Christmas tree in the county located on the Waterfront.
Then, beginning on December 9th, the free holiday circus exhibition opens at the Waterfront Pavilion. Inside, a first of its kind exhibit featuring the pageantry and showmanship of “The greatest show on earth” as vintage props and costumes are on display from decades of performances of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® circus.
December 17th, before you go shopping or to dinner, bring your family and join your friends for a major event sure to put you in the holiday spirit…a RARE FREE preview performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® A Magical Holiday Spectacular! This sampling of acts and animals from the holiday show includes magicians, acrobatic and kung fu performances, even Santa arriving on in a train of elephants. Immediately following the show, grab your hot chocolate and watch two classics on a giant movie screen, the “Grinch” cartoon and “Miracle on 34th street”. All under the lights on the Waterfront!
The holiday festivities culminate on Sunday, December 19th as “Still Surfin’-Beach Boys Tribute Band “plays a mix of classic holiday tunes and summer classics.

Circus troupe reaching out to hard-hit locals

Mark AdamsWed, Nov 24, 2010
Circus Vargas will spread some holiday cheer to families affected by the recession as it brings big-top entertainment to the Valley beginning Thursday.
The circus troupe is giving away 1,000 tickets to unemployed Las Vegans and their children for its 4 p.m. show at the Rio hotel-casino on Thanksgiving Day. Circus Vargas President Nelson Quiroga says the company wanted to show its appreciation for 40-plus years of fan support.
Those interested in the free tickets are asked to bring an unemployment pay stub or layoff notice to the Rio box office at least one hour before Thursday’s show. As many as two adult and two child general admission tickets may be redeemed per party.
Circus Vargas will perform 10 other shows Thursday through Monday


Lions await trip to US refuges

A lioness looks through its cage at a provisory shelter in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010. British organization Animal Defenders International, ADI, will send twelve female and five male lions that were recovered from circuses along Bolivia, to wild life refuges in the U.S. (AP Photo/Juan Karita) (Juan Karita - AP)

The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 24, 2010; 3:55 PM

SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia -- The last of Bolivia's rescued circus lions - 12 females and five males - are now in the hands of animal rights activists, who say the big cats will be sent to wildlife refuges in the United States.

An Associated Press photographer visited the lions on Wednesday.

The felines, though still caged, were under the care of Animal Defenders International. ADI obtained them from circuses that gave them up in compliance with a pioneering Bolivian law that took effect in July prohibiting the use of all animals, domestic and wild, in circuses.

In May, ADI sent four lions to a sanctuary in California. In September, a baboon was sent to a primate center in Britain.

ADI is feeding the lions red meat and vitamin supplements - a big improvement from the chicken parts they received as circus animals - and covering veterinarian and other costs.

ADI spokeswoman Karla Velez told the AP that the organization is evaluating various offers from refuges in the U.S. to take the 17 lions. She said no date has been set for their departure.

Lions sit inside a cage at a provisory shelter in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010. British organization Animal Defenders International, ADI, will send twelve female and five male lions that were recovered from circuses along Bolivia, to wild life refuges in the U.S. (AP Photo/Juan Karita) (Juan Karita - AP)


Hadi Shrine Circus set-up is a three-ring job
Stadium transformation made by experienced hands with fond memories

JASON CLARK / Courier & Press
ABOVE: Crews continued Wednesday to prepare Roberts Stadium for the start of the 78th Hadi Shrine Circus. This is expected to be the last Shrine Circus performance in the stadium, as work on the Downtown arena continues.

By Garret Mathews
Evansville Courier & Press
November 24, 2010
The task requires dozens of workers, from electricians to Jason Gardner, who'll help run the special-effects lights from a corner of the arena next to the sound board.

There's Chance Kagerer, a 16-year-old high school student who hawks cotton candy.

And Gail Bailey, a member of the Order of Eastern Star, who sells concessions on the main concourse.

The money raised will support service projects such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The Courier & Press followed the three-day process of this massive operation
read more at:http://www.courierpress.com/news/2010/nov/24/circus-is-a-three-ring-job/

EVANSVILLE SHRINE CIRCUS SET-UP PICTURES
ROBERTS STADIUM, EVANSVILLE, INDIANA
Photo by Bob Gwaltney
Keith Bannister, is light director and assistant floor manager for the Hadi Shrine Circus and sometimes a performer. He was setting up the mirrored ball on Monday. Banister comes from a circus family and has spent everyone of his Thanksgivings in Evansville for the circus. “I grew up in this building,” say Bannister as he reminisces about the Stadium.

Photo by Bob Gwaltney
On Monday evening, Nov. 22, 2010, Jason Gardner of Evansville cleaned the mirrored ball that will hang from the center of the Hadi Shrine Circus at Roberts Stadium. For the last 10 years Gardner has worked with the circus during the time it comes to town.
Photo by Molly Bartels
Shane Hansen, an aerial rigger and performer, practices juggling the rings in preparation for the Hadi Shrine Circus at Roberts Stadium in Evansville on Tuesday, November 23, 2010. The circus begins Thanksgiving day and runs through Sunday. Hansen, like many of the performers, does several acts with his wife and daughters.

Photo by Molly Bartels
Riggers and performers set up for the Hadi Shrine Circus at Roberts Stadium in Evansville on Tuesday, November 23, 2010.

MORE SET-UP PICTURES FROM EVANSVILLE

Photo by Molly Bartels
Shane Hansen, back left, Manny Barrello, back right, Jose Ayala, front left, and Keith Bannister, front right, help hoist up the wheel of death while preparing for the Hadi Shrine Circus at Roberts Stadium in Evansville on Tuesday. Bannister, who is now the assistant floor manager and lighting director, grew up in the circus. It's been in his family for 8 generations. "It makes me sad to think that they would tear this place (Roberts Stadium) down. This is like home for me. It's tradition," he said.
Photo by Molly Bartels
Madison Hansen, 4, left, and her older sister, Olivia, 6, right, keep themselves occupied while their parents assist with the rigging for the Hadi Shrine Circus at Roberts Stadium in Evansville on Tuesday. The girls perform acts with their parents, Shane and Alecia Hansen
Photo by Jason Clark
Elephants gather up hay while eating at Roberts Stadium Wednesday before the start of the 78th Hadi Shrine Circus in Evansville.

Photo by Jason Clark
Crews continued working on Wednesday as they prepare Roberts Stadium for the start of the 78th Hadi Shrine Circus in Evansville. This is expected to be the last Hadi Shrine Circus performance in Roberts Stadium as work on the new downtown arena continues.
Photo by Jason Clark
Ashleigh Taber of Flint, Michigan twirls cotton candy on a paper stick at Roberts Stadium Wednesday as she prepares for the start of the 78th Hadi Shrine Circus in Evansville.


The 77th Hadi Shrine Circus begins its four-day run Today with 2 and 7 p.m. performances at Roberts Stadium.
Robert Pattinson & Reese Witherspoon: 'Water For Elephants' First Look!

Check out the first official images of Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson from the big-screen adaptation of Water for Elephants.

The pics are from the inside sleeve of the latest edition of Sara Gruen’s novel.

Rob plays Jacob, a young veterinarian who joins a traveling circus after the death of his parents. Soon after, he meets Reese’s character Marlena, and her animal trainer husband August (Christoph Waltz).

Water for Elephants opens in theaters everywhere on April 15, 2011!
Read more: http://justjared.buzznet.com/2010/11/24/robert-pattinson-reese-witherspoon-water-for-elephants/#ixzz16IGd29ta

Kenner welcomes the Shrine Circus

A clown greets Raina Gordan, 2, and her grandmother, Marie Gray at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner during the Jerusalem Shrine Circus
Thursday, November 25, 2010
The circus is headed to Kenner and the Jerusalem Temple Shriners will once again entertain crowds.

The 64th annual Shrine Circus will begin Friday and run through Sunday.

Performances will be held Friday and Saturday at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday at 1 and 5:30 p.m. at the Pontchartrain Center, 4545 Williams Blvd.

Shriner Philip Gilligan says the family event will have something for everyone, especially children. This year the Shriners have provided vouchers to students in schools in Jefferson, Orleans, St. Tammany, St. John the Baptist, St. Charles, St. Bernard, Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes.

“We are excited about the circus this year and we want to make sure all children have the opportunity to enjoy the performances,” Gilligan added. “We are all still children at heart and it will be a show to remember.”

The big top will feature the flying trapeze, a high-wire act, tigers, elephants, acrobats, motorcycle daredevils and, of course, clowns.

During each show’s intermission, the Shriners will award one boy and one girl a bicycle.

Children may sign up for the giveaway through a coupon offered in the show’s program books.

The circus will be performed by the Royal Hanneford Circus.

Proceeds from the circus benefit the local Shrine in Destrehan and its community activities. The circus is the organization’s largest fund-raising event. “The Shrine Circus provides a quality, fun-filled, family experience with proceeds going to a great cause — the good work of the Jerusalem Shriners in your community,” Gilligan said.

Tickets cost $18 for adults, $9 for children ages 3 through 12. Children younger than 3 are admitted free.

Tickets are available at the Shrine Center in Destrehan at 1940 Ormond Blvd., by calling 985.725.1716, through Ticketmaster or at the door. For information, visit www.jerusalemshriners.com.

Circus Vargas makes people its stars

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

Circus Vargas brings its colorful Big Top to Las Vegas today for a long Thanksgiving weekend of animal-free performances at the Rio, 3700 W. Flamingo Road.

Shows are at 4 and 8 p.m. today; 3 and 8 p.m. Friday; 1:30, 4:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday; and 7:30 p.m. Monday. Tickets are priced from $25 to $70 for adults and $20 to $70 for children ages 2 to 10. They can be purchased at the Rio box office, by phone at (877) 468-3861, or online at www.circusvargas.org.

Thirty minutes before each show, fans can participate in a pre-show peek into the world of Circus Vargas, hosted by reality TV personality John Weiss from "The Amazing Race." Weiss will guide participants through a crash course in circus skills.

Ringmaster Ted McRae will introduce performances including jugglers, a hula-hoop production, aerial bungee-ballet, motorcycle daredevils, clowns and the Flying Tabares.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

SAD NEWS---

Joanne Tite Swika
Joanne Tite Swika, formerly of Carbondale, died Nov. 3 in Sarasota, Fla.

Born in Carbondale, on Nov. 10, 1937, she was a 1957 graduate of Benjamin Franklin High School, Carbondale. Joanne was a hard-working, fun and loving person, always ready with a smile or a joke. She had a large group of friends who loved her feisty spirit and quick wit. She will be missed by the many lives she touched.

Surviving are two sisters, Nan McPherson Wade and husband, Tim; and Arlene McPherson Jackovitz; a brother Bruce McPherson, and wife, Ruth; a son, Stephen Swika III and wife, Paula; three daughters, Cherylann Swika-Post and husband, Michael; Saundra Belcher and husband, David; and Valerie Swika-Bundy and husband, Scott; nine grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her mother, Wilhemenia Tite McPherson; father, Charles Tite; step-father, Clell McPherson; and a sister, June McPherson Braswell.

Memorial services will be held Saturday, at 10:30 a.m. at the Montdale United Methodist Church, 961 Lakeland Drive, Scott Twp. Memorial contributions may be made to Tidewell Hospice, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34238.
Published in Scranton Times on November 21, 2010

Nikulina Circus in Strasbourg
Photo: RIA-Novosti

Nov 20, 2010 09:13 Moscow Time
On Friday, Moscow's Nikulina Circus,began touring the city of Strasbourg in eastern France.

The tour of the oldest circus in Russia was organized under the Russia-France exchange year, and is to become one of the most significant events of the final phase of the many months long cross-cultural marathon.

The circus prepared a new program called "Come on!" for the local circus goers, which fully reflects the traditions of the Russian circus school.

The show consists of a dizzying number of acrobats, jugglers and masterly performances by trained dogs.

The first performance was in the presence of one and a half thousand spectators.

Circus gets ready for Thanksgiving parade
November 19, 2010 (CHICAGO) (WLS) --
Chicago's Thanksgiving Day parade is several days away, but ABC7 caught a sneak preview of the opening act Friday.

It's a two-minute routine called 'Fun-Un-Drum'.

The cast of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus held a rehearsal Friday at the United Center.

The number includes more than 60 performers, including clowns, acrobats and dancers.

They will join 100 giant balloons and 15 marching bands as the parade marches down State Street next Thursday morning.

Hadi Shrine Circus starts Thanksgiving Day

EVANSVILLE — The Hadi Shrine Circus is back in Evansville for Thanksgiving Day and this weekend!

The circus performances will be 2 and 7 p.m. Thanksgiving Day at Roberts Stadium, also 9:30 a.m., 2 and 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Reserved seats are $17, $19 and $22. There’s also general admission tickets for $12, but they are sold only through Wednesday.

Ticket outlets include the stadium, some area retail outlets, Hadi Temple at Walnut Street and Riverside Drive in Evansville and online at www.hadishrinecircus.com

You can charge by phone at (812) 425-4376 or (800) 66-CLOWN.

Tickets ordered after Nov. 18 will be held at the Shrine Circus Ticket Office at Walnut and Riverside Drive until three hours before showtime; after that, they can be picked up one hour before the show at the “Will Call Ticket Window” between Gate 2 and Gate 3 at the stadium.

Another option is Ticketmaster outlets or (812) 423-7222, which includes a service fee.

Elephant walk to new arena planned Wednesday
By Staff Report
Evansville Courier & Press November 22, 2010

EVANSVILLE — Circus fans have a treat in store Wednesday during the lunch hour.

That’s when Viola, lead elephant for this year’s Hadi Shrine Circus, will be escorted down Main Street to the new arena, which will be the circus’ home starting next year.

Joining the elephant around 12:30 p.m. will be ringmaster Joseph Bauer, a few circus performers, the Hadi Funsters and the Hadi Calliope, according to Joe Vezzoso, executive circus director.

Vezzoso said the walk will begin on Main near Fifth or Sixth streets and arena construction workers will escort Viola.

Viola is part of a troupe of elephants in town from Oklahoma for the 77th annual circus which begins Thursday at Roberts Stadium and runs for nine performances through Sunday.

Vezzoso said the Shrine is looking forward to moving to the new arena next November. Not only will the floor will be larger, he noted the roof itself will be able to hold more weight for the various gadgetry used in acts such as the incline motorcycles.
Circus comes to town 22 Nov 10
Australian-born Americus will perform her hula-hoop routine with other top acts.
FROM out of Africa, the Loritz Circus has arrived with its exciting show which is touring Australia for the first time, including a visit to Brisbane’s Mt Gravatt Showgrounds.
The circus features acts from across the globe including the Royal Kenyan Acrobats and eight-year-old Australian-born Americus, who will perform her sensational hula-hoop routine as she did on Oprah’s show on the Most Talented Kids in the World 2009.
There will be clowns, juggling acts, bicycle balancing, limbo dancing and skipping.
What you won’t see at this circus are any caged or exotic animals.
The show will be at Mt Gravatt Showgrounds from today to December 5. Tickets, adults $26 and children $18. Phone 0439247287 or visit www.loritzcircus.com

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

FROM CASEY GIBBS--


HUNT BROS CIRCUS POSTERS, 1957 (FROM RICHARD J. REYNOLDS)











Circus electrifies crowds Breathtaking: Jairo Ojeda the Fire Eater sprays a ball of fire during his performance at the Great American Circus in Hagåtña yesterday. The Great American Circus run through Nov. 28 near the Agana Shopping Center. s See more photos at www.GuamPDN.com (Rick Cruz/Pacific Sunday News/rmcruz@guampdn.com)
By Laura Matthews • Pacific Sunday News • November 21, 2010

Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, if you weren't at the Great American Circus yesterday you still have a chance to see the big-top performances.

Scores of families spent the day together yesterday at the Agana Shopping Center where they were intrigued and awed by the breath-taking performances during the circus' opening.
The circus will end on Nov. 28 and there will be three performances on Saturdays and Sundays -- 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m, said Joe McDonald, operations manager for Tropical Productions.
The patrons were able to see:

•A woman whirling hoops around her body including her arms and legs, simultaneously;

•Balancing acts such as the Rolla Bolla during which performers stack layers of rolling metal cylinders while standing on a flat board;

•The Argentinean Gauchos, who were dressed like cowboys, charming their way into the hearts of the families with their acrobatic and musical performances. They juggled props and percussion instrument at the same time;

•Clowns performing water comedy; and

•The Wheel of Death -- the most dangerous stunt during which performers stun the crowd with acrobatics both inside and outside a 30-foot manually-powered wheel which continually rotates.
McDonald said the company wanted to create a venue where families can come and enjoy themselves.
"Oh my goodness, this is phenomenal human skills and you see it on Guam," McDonald said.
Ariane Chabanne, 13, from Nimitz Hill, said she found the show exciting. Her favorite act was the aerial performance. It was her first time going to the circus and she wants to go again.
"It's really good to do things with family instead of staying home," Chabanne said.
Yigo resident Amy Lujan said she went to the circus because she wanted to see something "crazy."
And 8-year-old Faith Murphy said she couldn't wait to see the acrobatics because "they are cool."
The audience watched, tense with anticipation during each performance, and Ringmaster Tuffy Nicholas yesterday said he loved the vibe he got from the crowd.
"It was fabulous. Such a nice crowd here, very energetic and a happy crowd," Nicholas said, adding that those who haven't seen the show should do so. "They are going to see some of the most incredible performers in the world while laughing and having fun at the same time."

Great News Folks,
Mark your calanders for the weekend of Feb 4 - 6, 2011. Both the Ringling Blue Unit & The Royal Hannerford Circus will be day dating each other here in Columbia, SC that weekend. Hannerford will be at The Jamil Shrine Center and Ringling will be at The Colonial Life Arena. Not only that, but the Ringling Red Unit will be in Greenville, SC the same weekend. What a great weekend for Circus Fan`s to be in South Carolina ! As we have done before we will plan to catch The Hannerford Show on Saturday morning and Ringling that afternoon. I plan to go to Greenville, which is only a 1 1/2 hour drive from Columbia on Sunday for the Ringling Red Show. Columbia is easily accessable as we have 3 Interstate Highways into our city, I-26, I-20, & I-77, we are also only 65 miles from I-95 and 90 miles from I-85 each of which connects with one of the other Interstates. If you are interested in attending or know of anyone else that would enjoy this weekend you can contact me and I will send you more information as to hotels and other things you need to know. Lets make this a Fun Weekend and show our support for keeping the Circus Strong & Alive in America !

Hal Guyon
hguyon@aol.com
Circus comes to Conroe on Monday

Daredevil acrobats, aerialists, elephants, tigers and clowns are coming to Conroe Monday as part of the Carden Entertainment Circus performing at the Lone Star Expo Center Monday.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
By Brad Meyer
Courier staff

The “big top” tent may be a vanishing part of circus tradition, but the tigers, elephants, aerialists, acrobats, jugglers and clowns still provide thrills and smiles for children of all ages.

The Carden Entertainment Circus comes to the Lone Star Expo Center, located at 9055 FM 1484 in Conroe, Monday with shows at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Special pre-performance activities are being held one hour before each show.

“We’re in our final weeks of performances before the winter break,” said Amanda Tackett, circus spokeswoman. “That, combined with the upcoming holidays, motivates everyone to make each show special.”

More than 200 people and dozens of animals work together to put on each show, Tackett said. It’s a challenge, but it’s a thrill most of the circus family members wouldn’t miss.

“We have acts from 15 countries and some that have been performers for five generations going back 200 years,” she said. “It’s a special bond that is like being part of a family.”

For some, the dream of running away from home to join the circus is a reality. Some attend special circus schools in Europe or South America or the clown college in Sarasota, Fla.

“And some start by helping with staging or caring for the animals,” Tackett said. “Circus people are very friendly and it’s not unusual to learn juggling or how to work with animals.”

While Tackett is not a performer, she said she has learned to juggle and has spent a fair amount of time with the animals in the circus.

“There’s a big difference between ‘carnies’ and circus performers,” she said. “There’s a strong support group in the circus. They are really loveable people.”

As important as those interpersonal bonds may be, the care and well being of the animals in the circus are even bigger challenges. Each tiger eats between 20 and 50 pounds of USDA Choice beef each day. Elephants consume up to 500 pounds of hay, plus bushels of fresh fruits and vegetables.

“The logistics of keeping the animals well fed, groomed and happy is a big job,” said Tackett. “Taking care of the humans is easy by comparison.”

Tackett’s favorite acts are the daredevils, tigers and elephants, but the combination of so many performers packed into one show make the experience special, she said. She’s also proud of Michelle Audrey, a native of Texas, who is the female ringmaster for the circus.

NEW SHANGHAI CIRUS BRINGS AMAZING ACROBATICS AND FEARLESS FEATS TO THE MIRAMAR CULTURAL CENTER

Saturday, November 20, 2010
Astonishing athletes defy gravity and execute breathtaking feats as they stretch the limits of human ability in the spellbinding New Shanghai Circus.


CBS News calls the show "fantastic," and sold-out audiences marvel as they watch this talented troupe of fearless performers with boundless energy bring to life more than 2,000 years of Chinese circus traditions. If it's humanly possible -- and even if it's not - Shanghai's acrobats, jugglers and contortionists defy gravity and delight adults and children alike with spectacular flair and limitless imagination.

Dazzling costumes, awe-inspiring sets and incredible choreography make the New Shanghai Circus an amazing experience for the whole family. Sit back and enjoy the super-human displays of power and extraordinary grace when the New Shanghai Circus comes to the beautiful 800-seat Miramar Cultural Center for one performance only on Sunday, March 20, 2011 at 3 p.m. *Tickets are $15, $25 and $35; kids 10 and under: $10. There will be an educational morning performance on Monday, March 21, 2011 for local schools.

The New Shanghai Circus is sponsored by the United Chinese Association of Florida, the OCA-South Florida Chapter and the Florida Chinese Federation

Read more: http://florida.broadwayworld.com/article/New_Shanghai_Circus_Brings_Fearless_Feats_To_Miramar_Cultural_Center_20101120#ixzz166qBdPLU


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