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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cole Bros. Circus brings the big top back to Devon


Aerial ballerina Elena Stefanova.

By Walter Ault, Correspondentwww.montgomerynews.com

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The circus has been widely known for many years as the Greatest Show on Earth. One reason for that is the incredible variety of entertainment available, with talented people and clever animals doing amazing things. When you visit the circus, you see acts that excite, mesmerize, shock and delight you. And in the end, you leave having a whole new appreciation of the challenges circus performers face, as well as their unsurpassed skill.
You’ll be able to see some of these wonderful acts Wednesday, Aug. 24, and Thursday, Aug. 25, when the Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars, billed as the world’s largest circus under the big top, returns to the Devon Horse Show Grounds.


Eric doing his famous chair-balancing act.
The people at Cole Bros. are understandably proud of their entertaining acts. But they are also proud of their history and for keeping alive a great tradition.
Legendary animal trainer Clyde Beatty was a featured performer (and part owner) of Cole Bros. Circus in the 1930s. The most famous circus clown of them all, Emmett Kelly, was on the Cole Bros. roster at one time, as were the Cristiani Family bareback riders. The renowned wire-walking act the Great Wallendas and a young aerialist named Burt Lancaster also appeared in the Cole Bros. tent.
As far as tradition is concerned, while the only other big circus remaining in the U.S., Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, hasn’t used a tent in a long time, Cole Bros. still does — something it has done, according to Cole Bros. marketing director Mario Vitali, for the 127 years of its existence.


The Ponces are the flying trapeze stars of the Cole Bros. Circus, coming to the Devon Horse Show Grounds on Aug. 24. and 25.

“In 1956, John Ringling said the ‘time of the tented circus is over,’” Vitali said in a recent interview, adding that many circuses around that time began downsizing. “Well, we’ve proved him wrong. We’re still a big, three-ring circus and we’re still doing things the old way, under the big top. In fact, seeing that big tent,” Vitali continued, “is a treat for a lot of people.”
So for the eighth straight year, as Vitali pointed out, 40 trucks and RVs, carrying 100 people, 35 to 40 animals and one extremely large tent (seating capacity: 2,300) will be arriving in Devon for an exciting, fun-packed couple of days. It is the continuation of Cole Bros. Circus’ annual trek, which begins in March in DeLand, Fla., heads up to New England, then back down the coast again, ending back in Florida around Thanksgiving.
As always, there will be lots of excitement and plenty of laughs — more than enough, Vitali says, to make anyone’s visit a memorable one, especially if you are a kid, which is just what the people at Cole Bros. love to see.read more:http://www.montgomerynews.com/articles/2011/08/16/entertainment/doc4e4a96a943923478889285.txt

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