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Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Castle Museum in Saginaw opens circus exhibit on Friday



Published: Tuesday, August 02, 2011
By Carol Zedaker Booth Mid-Michigan The Saginaw News
"Under the Big Top," an exhibit showcasing the circus in all its glory, will open at the Castle Museum of Saginaw County History on Friday, Aug. 5.

The centerpiece of the exhibit is a unique 1,200-piece miniature circus, hand-carved by John Mackay of Syracuse, N.Y. Each wooden figurine took Mackay from four to 40 hours to carve and paint.

Mackay, who died in 1982, spent more than 35 years on this project as a hobby. The exhibit is on loan from the Tri-Cities Historical Museum in Grand Haven.

The exhibit also will feature Mackay’s workbench and his tools, posters and circus act props.

A companion exhibit developed by Castle Museum staff will feature some of Saginaw’s circus greats, such as William Hulme, popularly known as The Flying Zeno, Fred Jenks, The Flying Melzoras and others. Photographs and artifacts will be on display, including a video of the Melzora family performing in a circus.

The exhibit is open through Oct. 30.

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