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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mayor, as ringmaster, declares 'Barnum Day'


Andre McClain, left, greets Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and his three-year-old son Cooper before the start of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

By Len Barcousky, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Events like the circus show the wisdom of constructing buildings like the Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said this morning.
Mayor Ravenstahl made the remark before he opened the 11 a.m. performance of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus as guest ringmaster.
Accompanied by his three-year-old son, Cooper, Mr. Ravenstahl, standing under a spotlight in the middle of the circus ring, declared Nov. 5 to be "Barnum 200 Day" in Pittsburgh. The traveling show is marking the 200th birthday of one of its founders, P.T. Barnum.
The two-year-old Consol Energy Center is home to the Pittsburgh Penguins. "But events like this, which draw so many families, show that this building is about a lot more than hockey," he said before the morning performance.
The mayor said he had memories of attending circuses with his family when he was a boy growing up in Pittsburgh. "It was exciting then, and it's still great to see all the animals and performers," he said. "I think Cooper, though, is a little scared of the clowns."
When the mayor walked out into the spotlight to be greeted by circus host Andre McClain, Cooper appeared to have gotten over his shyness. The youngster ran in small circles around them while the two men chatted.


Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, left, is made honorary ringmaster by Andre McClain, center. Mr. Ravenstahl's three-year-old son Cooper watches.


Mr. Ravenstahl said he was pleased to see the Golden Triangle looking so busy on a Saturday morning with people coming into town for the Ringling Brothers performances.The mayor was asked if being a circus ringmaster was anything like dealing with Pittsburgh's often fractious city council. He declined to comment.The circus will do its final performances at 3 and 7 p.m. today and at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday.Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11309/1187838-100.stm#ixzz1csKscd12

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