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, February 12, 2011




Sebring is first stop of fair season

News-Sun photo by KATARA SIMMONS Ride operator Charles Gouker makes sure his ride is working correctly Thursday in Sebring. The Highlands County Fair opens today at 5:00 p.m.
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
February 11, 2011
SEBRING -- High-lands County is the first stop of the 43-week fair season for Reithoffer Shows Inc. The company has been going strong since 1896 with generations of men and women working hard to provide safe, affordable and fun experiences for all.
Former general manager Mike Bronchik was busy Thursday morning assisting manager Gary Alberry in the inspection checklists and various other details.
News-Sun photo by KATARA SIMMONS David Vaughn and Kesha Scott ready a ride to be inspected before opening day.

The Highlands County Fair will open today with tons of rides, food, and games for all to enjoy. "We have 27 rides and about 50 staff members who work them," Bronchik said. "This year we have a new piece, the Dutch Wheel."
The Dutch Wheel is one of the highest portable Ferris wheels. At 120 feet, the Dutch Wheel is sure to be a great addition to the traditional thrills at the fair.
Bronchik explained the hard work and labor it takes to stay in the carnival business generation after generation. He himself was born into the business. Both Bronchik's father and grandfather worked in the carnival business, and Bronchik as well as his own son continue the tradition today.
"We got here last Saturday. We are taking our time setting up. It can all be put up in a day, but we spread it out over five days so we get it right and so the inspections go smoothly," explained Bronchik.


News-Sun photo by KATARA SIMMONS Ernest Feaster checks light bulbs Thursday morning in preparation for opening day of the Highlands County Fair in Sebring.
One of the most tedious inspections belongs to the popular ride Starship 2000. The ride completely encloses standing patrons up against padded panels. Riders then experience pressure three times the force of gravity as the machine spins to maximum speeds up to 24 rpm.
"Starship is inspected twice," said Bronchik. "Once when he get here, then again at the finish once it's put together. It's added safety precaution for this ride because there are so many components to it."
Reithoffer Shows is also taking a step into the future by becoming a "green" fair. Bobby Hepburn, one of the show's maintenance workers, stated that the company has a five-year Green Plan and is about halfway through the process.
"It's a $3 million project to change all the lights in the rides to LED bulbs and that's what we are doing," said Hepburn. "Each of these LED bulbs cost around $2.66 each and several of the rides -- the Himalaya, Pharaoh's Fury, the Dutch Wheel -- they're all totally LED now," Hepburn explained.

News-Sun photo by KATRA SIMMONS Glenn Meritt prepares Scott's Grill for the Health Department inspector Thursday morning at Firemen's Field in Sebring.
Hepburn also stated that the sister Ferris wheel that is in use at the Florida State Fair in Tampa owned by Reithoffer Shows cost $390,000 to make it a "green" ride.
"When we complete this, it'll lower so much costs. We can use less electricity in the trailers, then that lets us use less generators, less diesel for the generators, so it makes a big difference," Hepburn said.
The Highlands County Fair is located at Firemen's Field in Sebring and will open doors today at 5 p.m. Various livestock shows, entertainment, displays and exhibits will take place throughout the week at the convention center adjacent to the fairgrounds. Reithoffer armbands are $20 each day of the fair and various discounts will be available for students, military and seniors.
For more information visit www.hcfair.net



Looking ahead to the New York Toy Fair - key themes, major events,
RelaxnewsScheduled for February 13 to 16 at the Jacob K Javits Convention Center, the 108th American International Toy Fair in New York is one of three key events in the industry's calendar. In addition to hosting an average of 7000 new product launches a year, the event also holds the Toy Awards, dubbed the "Oscars of the Toy Industry."
The New York Toy Fair is the final of three major winter toy industry events including The Toy Fair London (January 25-27), and the Nuremberg Toy Fair (February 3-8). These trade-only toy shows help retailers predict the big toy trends of 2011 and often feature the launch of this year's 'must-have toy.'
One of the emerging themes of this year's New York toy event is the continued popularity of toys linked to movie franchises; among others, toys inspired by both the Green Lantern and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides movie franchises are expected to be launched in New York, and Harry Potter toys proved popular at the London Toy Fair.
Another key theme of this year's toy fairs is that of eco-toys. This year eco-conscious toys include those constructed from environmentally friendly materials such as MYZOO wooden animals by Art House or those that inspire environmental awareness such as the E-Rangers Future Power Base by Playmobil, both of which made the finals of the Nuremberg Toy Awards.
This year key events at the 108th New York Toy Fair include the Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards which honor the most innovative and creative games and entertainment products. Similarly to the Toy Awards in Nuremberg or the "Best New Toys" in London, the TOTY awards are seen as an indication of this year's must-have products. The TOTY award winners will be announced on Saturday, February 12.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Silverdome will be home for Great Lakes Agricultural Fair
Feb 8, 2011 By ELISHA ANDERSON Detroit Free Press Staff Writer
The Great Lakes Agricultural Fair coming to Pontiac in September will incorporate elements found at the former Michigan State Fair without using taxpayer money to help fund the event.
Organizers, wanting to fill a void left when the state fair ended in 2009, came up with the agricultural fair, which will run Sept. 2-5 inside and outside the Pontiac Silverdome.
The fair will have midway rides, arts, crafts and livestock. Reptiles also will be part of the livestock program.
"We've purposely designed this event to help merge both rural and urban cultures," Silverdome general manager Grant Reeves said at a news conference Monday.
Music will be a big part of the fair, with each day having a theme:
• Friday -- R&B/hip-hop day.
• Saturday -- Country music.
• Sunday -- Classic rock.
• Monday -- Battle of the bands competition.
The names of the artists performing at the fair were not released.
"It's a great thing for the city," said Pontiac Mayor Leon Jukowski. Local restaurants and hotels will benefit the most.
Reeves said funds for the fair will come from a partnership between the Great Lakes Agricultural Fair nonprofit corporation and the Silverdome.
"We truly do believe we have a financial model that can make this thing a success," Reeves said.
Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm said the need for state funding required her to close the Michigan State Fair.

BIG TOP CIRCUS, 1996 PART #3, FROM BILL PRICKETT

Big Top Circus, N. Baltimore, Ohio, 6-15-96, Photos by Bill Prickett
1 thru 4 Horse Act (I failed to get names for ID as I was busy in office trying to settle with sponsor. I never did get to see show
that day. The crowd said it was GREAT. I hope these are the photos that Dan Wallen inquired about. Would like to ID for record.
Please let me know. Bill Prickett )
lLet it never be said that we don't work FAST!
Hope this is what you were hoping for Mr Wallen!










Kenny & the Kids Step right up for showmanship at Kosair Circus
Karoly Zeman’s BMX bicycle stunts are designed to dazzle. He is said to have pedaled his way to the top of his class at the Hungarian Circus School. He’s performing this weekend in the Kosair Shrine Circus.
Feb. 11, 2011
Written byKen Neuhauserkneuhauser@courier-journal.com
Once again Bo is in town and ready for the tusk — err, task — at hand.
Bo, “The All American Elephant,” is the star of the 86th annual Kosair Shrine Circus, which opened Thursday at the Kentucky Exposition Center.Remaining performances of the traditional three-ring circus are at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. today; and 10 a.m., 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Broadbent Arena. The doors will open one hour before each show. Pony rides will be available before each performance and at intermission.Marvel's main man, Spider-Man, will greet fans 30 minutes before each show and during intermission.In addition to clowns, jugglers, hula-hoop razzler-dazzlers, acrobats, high-wire artists and captivating canines, there are all sorts of specialty acts, including the Extreme Riders' Motorcycle Madness featuring daredevil riders zooming at crazy speeds inside a metal globe.Other attractions include Ms. Vincenta Pages and her all-white tiger troupe; the “awesomely agile” aerialist Miss Luisa, “The Lady on the Moon”; and the BMX bicycle stunts performed by Karoly Zeman, who pedaled his way to the top of his class at the Hungarian Circus School.As always with circuses, promoters like to embellish the descriptions of their acts with all sorts of hyperbole, but I'll accept the promoter's word that Zeman is the only active world champion bicycle rider today who performs a double somersault on the bike.The “stunning” Miss Audrey Michelle is the ringmistress.The circus is produced by George Carden Circus International. Carden, a fifth-generation showman, has been in the circus business all of his life. His son, Larry Carden, is Bo's trainer. Larry Carden has taught the Asian elephant more than 60 maneuvers, including playing the drums, trumpet and harmonica, dancing like a ballerina and skipping.Tickets are $16 and $18; a limited number of floor-seating tickets cost $22. They are available at the box office and through TicketMaster. For more information, call (502) 585-5497 or (800) 745-3000 or visit www.kosaircircus.com.From THE LOUISVILLE COURIER-JOURNAL
Dollywood lands new Barnstormer thrill ride
Feb 10, 2011
Written byBeth Haynes WHIR, NBC 10, Knoxville, TN
A flying circus is landing at Dollywood, paying tribute to the 1920's barnstormers that often flew over Dolly Parton's family farm.
The $5.5 million dollar family thrill ride is the theme park's newest attraction. It sits in the middle of a barnyard themed area called Owens farm after Dolly's family. The new attraction is adjacent to the Mountain Slidewinder.
With 2 pendulum arms, the Barnstormer carries 32 riders on a giant-sized swing that is wheel chair accessible.
"This really is a family thrill ride. It's set up for kids about 7 to 8 years old with a 48 inch height requirement," says Pete Owens, Media/Public Relations Manager for Dollywood. "It's like a big swing, but it's a swing on steroids reaching speeds of 55 mph with an arc of 230 degrees. It's not going to be like any backyard swing you've ever been on."
In addition to the Barnstormer ride, the attraction will feature a kids play area complete with a pig pen and other farm themed activities.
Barnstormer opens March 25th to season pass holders and March 26th to the general public. Dollywood guests should be able to enjoy the ride the entire season. The barnstormer will operate as long as the temperature is above freezing.
For more information on the Barnstormer and Dollywood's KidsFest Celebration visit www.dollywood.com.
A Circus That Lets Its Freak Flag Fly
Bradley Henderson with the members of the circus ensemble 7 Fingers.
By ZACHARY PINCUS-ROTH
February 9, 2011
Los Angeles--DOES a circus seem more dangerous when one of the performers confesses that he’s clumsy?
“When I’m not focused, stuff happens,” said Mason Ames, the performer in question, in an interview between shows at the Ricardo Montalbán Theater in Hollywood. “I bump into people.”
Unlike the mega-productions of Cirque du Soleil, which employ dozens of godlike athletes hiding behind costumes, “Traces” asks its seven performers to reveal something of their real selves.

Florian Zumkehr of 7 Fingers.
The show, which closes in Los Angeles on Sunday and opens in Denver on March 11, is the creation of the Montreal-based group 7 Fingers, founded in 2002 with the mission of bringing circus to a human scale. The British newspaper The Guardian called it “circus for the Facebook generation.”
Combining circus acts with emotion and intimacy to win over the audience is a tenet of the new circus movement that started in the 1960s as a countercultural departure from the stunt for stunt’s sake philosophy of traditional three-ring circuses like Ringling Brothers.
Bradley Henderson with the members of the circus ensemble 7 Fingers.
Combining circus acts with emotion and intimacy to win over the audience is a tenet of the new circus movement that started in the 1960s as a countercultural departure from the stunt for stunt’s sake philosophy of traditional three-ring circuses like Ringling Brothers.
But “Traces” goes deeper in its relationship with the audience, as the performers open up about their personalities, vulnerabilities and obsessions. One cast member’s parents are revealed to be psychologists. Another hates when people don’t put the cap on the toothpaste. The show is “really trying to connect with the audience members as if we’re just like them,” said Bradley Henderson, one of the performers. “We’re not superheroes.”
read more at:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/theater/13seven.html?_r=1&src=twrhp

Rotary Club 13th Annual Valentines Parade and Festival is February 12
Written by Publisher, Wakulla.com, Wednesday, 09 February 2011
The Rotary Club of Wakulla County, FL will host the 13th Annual Valentines Day Parade and Festival on Saturday, February 12, 2011 in downtown Crawfordville. The event will begin with Breakfast in the Park at 8am in the pavilion at Hudson Park. This will be followed by the Sweetheart Parade at 10am down Highway 319.
The excitement will continue with the Festival in the Park, featuring free musical entertainment all day, arts and crafts vendors, delicious food, and kids carnival rides! Carnival rides this year will include the Human Hamster Water Ride, Mechanical Bull, Mini Hi-Striker, Pony Rides, Bouncey House, and the ever-popular Euro Bungee! Cotton candy will also be whipped up throughout the day for the young and young at heart.
Bring the family out for a fun-filled day and support the Rotary Club of Wakulla County! All monies raised at the event will benefit charitable organizations in Wakulla County.

Greene County Fair bumps up dates
By Jane DeGeorge, February 10, 2011
The Greene County, VA Fair is taking over town earlier this year.
The fair will take place a week earlier than usual from Tuesday, Aug. 2 through Saturday, Aug. 6.
"This is a big deal," Greene County Fair Board President Ed Lumadue said of the date change. "People will have to change vacation dates."
The cause for the change is due to a scheduling conflict with the fair's carnival ride provider, Rosedale Attractions.
"Rosedale Attractions had a conflict last year and we had a smaller fair last year," Lumadue said regarding the number of carnival rides available.
"Moving this back will give us a much larger fair, with more rides," he said.
The fair board's president said that the county's top summer event attracts many out-of-town visitors who come every year for the carnival rides, food and most importantly, the music.
"We're known for our bluegrass," he said.
This year's fair will feature the bands Lost & Found, Junior Sisk and Rambler's Choice, Dark Hollow, The Virginia Ramblers plus Mill Run and others.
Last year's top attraction at the fair, black bears trained to perform certain stunts, will also be back again, according to Lumadue.
"That is the biggest attraction we've ever had...it's just packed," he said. "People will be happy to hear that [they will be back]."read mpore at:http://www2.greene-news.com/entertainment/2011/feb/10/greene-county-fair-bumps-dates-ar-834043/

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Step right up!
But keep your cash in your pocket. We've got a few deals you can look for when the Florida State Fair kicks off tomorrow.
New food at the Florida State Fair: mashed potatoes and gravy on a stick
Mashed potatoes and gravy.
Really, it doesn’t get any more comfort food than that, does it?
Wait, the Florida State Fair thinks it does.
How about fried -- on a stick.
Yes, friends, get ready for this year’s Ultimate Fair Food Snackdown!!
The 2011 fair, which runs from Feb. 10-21, will feature several new menu items, plus some new rides to entice you into the fairgrounds, according to a press release sent by the fair.
In addition to the mashed-tater caloric colossus, look for the Grilled Meatloaf Sundae. It’s a complete meal, served up in a cup: mashed potatoes, topped with meatloaf, gravy, shredded cheese, and a cherry tomato to finish it off. (We’re betting they offer a Spork to eat it with.)
Joining it in the meal-in-a-cup division is the Hog Wild Sundae. This belly-stretcher includes pulled pork, coleslaw and tortilla chips and is drizzled with a chipotle barbecue sauce and topped with jalapeño peppers. (Look for it on a Taco Bell menu soon!)
Hey, what’s a sundae diner without dessert? This year’s picks at the Best Around Concessions (just around the corner from the Giant Slide) include the new Red Velvet Funnel Cakes. And everyone’s favorite duo -- sugar and bacon -- is back this year as the Maple-Bacon Cupcake, courtesy of Tampa’s the Cupcake Spot. It’s a buttermilk cupcake topped with maple-bacon frosting and a crispy piece of bacon.
Stop, stop, you’re thinking. This is way too much to digest. But wait, there’s more!
• After last year’s Krispy Kreme burger by Carousel Foods proved so successful, look for the French Toast Burger.
• And you really need to take a deep breath for this one: Carousel will be offering the Ice Cream Burger, consisting of your favorite cheeseburger, stuffed with fried ice cream. (Wait, is this even possible?)
• That traditional staple Kettlecorn is so last decade. Popcorn Creations now offers an assortment of gourmet popcorn, including Oreo Crunch, Cheese and Bacon or Dill Pickle. Bonus: You can mix your favorite flavors together for your own custom blend.
• This isn’t wacky, but if you’re getting queasy just thinking of any of this, you can go for classic New York deli fare with pastrami and reuben sandwiches sold at the Big New York Taste in a Small Space booth.
Don’t forget the midwayThe fair will have 106 rides to whirl around on, including the Giant Wheel and Hydro Shock.
New this year is the Daytona Kiddie Ride, which is an interactive ride allowing the rider to steer the car (for the budding NASCAR members of your family). And for the little ones, there’s also the Hillbilly Train (maybe there’ll be a Jethro Bodine sighting).
New for older daredevils is the Roller Coaster (Comet) Riptide from Deggeller Attractions and something called Remix, where guests go on a high-flying, spinning adventure.read more at: http://www.tampabay.com/


Alan Slifka, philanthropist, coexistence advocate, diesPrograms he backed train people who share his passion for repairing the world

Alan Slifka
From an anynamous contributor: Thought you might be interested in a gentlemen who was dedicated, an understatement, to The Big Apple Circus.
Alan Slifka, a far-sighted philanthropist who entrusted Brandeis with helping his vision of coexistence flower in communities around the world, died on Feb. 4 after a battle with cancer. A powerful and committed believer in coexistence studies and longtime Brandeis supporter, Slifka was 81.
His Slifka Foundation last year made a $4.25 million gift to the university to expand the nine-year-old Master's Program in Coexistence and Conflict and to continue its pioneering work educating leaders in the emerging field of coexistence and shared societies. The gift established the Alan B. Slifka Chair in Coexistence and Conflict, moved the program to the Heller School for Social Policy and Management and provided additional faculty and program enhancements.
Slifka program alumni serve as diplomats, aid and development specialists, lawyers, journalists, and program managers in trouble spots around the world, including Israel, Latvia, Rwanda, Serbia and Sudan.
In honor of his parents, Slifka created the Sylvia and Joseph Slifka Israeli Coexistence Scholarship at Brandeis. It is awarded nearly every year to two Israeli citizens -- one Arab and one Jewish -- who are committed to, and will work to foster, greater tolerance and understanding between Arab and Jewish Israelis.
Slifka received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Brandeis in 2003. His son Randolph graduated from the University in 1984.
“Alan Slifka was a visionary for the coexistence ideal and helped shape a new approach to conflict resolution that focuses on how one can successfully build shared societies,” said Heller School Dean Lisa Lynch. “He saw the Slifka program at Brandeis as a way to ensure the development of new leaders and thought in the field of coexistence that would re-shape our approach to conflict around the world.”
Slifka was born in New York City in 1929, graduated from the Fieldston School, received his bachelor's degree from Yale in 1951, and earned an MBA from Harvard in 1953.
He founded and served as co-chair of Halcyon Asset Management. He was also founding chair of the beloved Big Apple Circus and co-founded The Abraham Fund Initiatives, the first not-for-profit organization created to further coexistence between Israel's Jewish and Arab citizens.

LAST OF THE HUGO PICTURES FROM LIFE MAGAZINE, 1941 & 1947

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Ringling Bros circus hits 3 NC towns at same time

By: The Associated Press 02/09/11
Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey are bringing a new meaning to the idea of the three-ring circus.
A statement from the circus says it will make history on Wednesday when its blue, red and gold units perform simultaneously in three cities in North Carolina. Shows are scheduled for Raleigh, Fayetteville and Greensboro through Sunday.
Clowns from all three shows will gather at the state capitol on Wednesday for a picture.
The three shows will involve more than 700 performers and 160 animals. A spokeswoman says it's the first time in the 141-year history of the circus that three units will perform simultaneously in North Carolina.Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/entertainment/2011/02/ringling-bros-circus-hits-3-nc-towns-same-time#ixzz1DSlMzpIt

FROM AUSTRAILA

Animal activist unhappy about circus visit to Port Macquarie

The Stardust Ringmaster with his lions (ABC Local: Adam St James)
02.09.2011A mid north coast animal activist is not happy about the current tour of the region by a circus company.
Stardust Circus opens its tent flaps in Port Macquarie today after performances in Taree.
Animal activist Sarah Tilling is hoping people will not support a circus that stages live animal acts.
She says the animals including, moneys, lions and horses are kept in upsetting conditions..
They're kept in small enclosures and made to travel around the country in trucks for the majority of the year.
"To us it's not right, at the moment the lions are kept in an enclosure basically the size of a tennis court."
She says a circus is not the best place to learn about animals.
"I think seeing an animal in its natural environment shows an animal's intelligence.
" Jumping through a hoop is something that we make them do.
"It's not a natural behaviour.
"I think it's good that they do give some sort of presentation on the animal and that is certainly educational.
"But anything that is not normal to the animal's behaviour is not educational," she said.
But the Stardust circus ringmaster Adam St James has defended the way the animals are cared for.
"We have a very strict code of practice in this country.
"The animals are allowed in trailer only for a certain amount of hours of the day then they must be released out into their exercise yard.
"We can be inspected anytime of the day or night by RSPCA or Bio Security, all theses types of organisations.
"These groups also stipulate how big our yards have go to be to keep the animals in.
" So to say that they're carted around the back of the countryside ina truck is a little bit ridiculous.
"They are from town to town and as soon as they get to the town they're released out into their yard again."

FROM DENZIL McLAREN IN SOUTH AFRICA

Local girl in Hollywood movie

Sitting on a rearing elephant’s back is all in a day’s work for Megan Ourtaev.
Article from the GEORGE HERALD, George, South Africa
Thu, 03 February 2011
ARTICLE: PAULINE LOURENS GEORGE NEWS - Working with circus animals and performing daring stunts on horseback as a stunt woman in the soon to be released Hollywood film, Water for elephants, are all part of energetic Megan Matern Ourtaev’s busy life.
She was hired by Sled and Tamara Reynolds of Gentle Jungle in Cali-fornia to work as a stunt woman in the film, but Megan was also given two small parts to play. She appears in the film as a belly dancer and a menagerie man. It was quite a thrill for her to get to know Reese Witherspoon who has the main role in the love story which is enacted in a circus. She taught Witherspoon to do Roman riding which involved standing astride on two horses while cantering. "I found her to be very friendly and easy to work with. Reese is a lovely, kind, professional actress that helps make everyone on set feel right at home.
"Robert Pattinson is also really a cool guy, yet a very shy man who keeps to himself. He asked me a lot of questions about horses and animals," remarked Megan who noticed women swarming around him when they got the chance.

Megan has grown up on a horse’s saddle.

Animal powerMegan, who shows a special affinity with animals and has grown up on a horse’s saddle, helped teach the "liberty" horses to do their circus acts - to lie down and sit up. She rode the Indian elephant and helped control other circus animals like the camel, zebra, and giraffes. This even involved standing poised with a pitch fork and fire extinguisher when it came to moving the big cats like tigers and lions to and from the circus tent.
Whilst working on location Megan wrestled a lama to the ground, much to the amusement of the film extras who applauded spontaneously. This followed a scene in the film where the animals escaped from the circus. This hands-on approach comes naturally to her. Being in tune with animals means you simply are very sensitive to and aware of their moods. They respond to kindness and the animals are rewarded for their performance.
The film, which also stars Christoph Waltz is to be released on 22 April.
At the Reynolds’ Californian ranch, Frazier Park, animals are trained to be used in the film industry. Filming took place in a valley one hour’s drive from Hollywood.read more at: http://www.georgeherald.com/news.aspx?id=3798


Flying through air with the greatest of ease...

By Aspen Emmett For Farmington, NM The Daily Times,
02/08/2011
FARMINGTON — Even a broken leg couldn't keep David Smith from the circus tonight. At age 68, the human canon ball says every night under the big top is a blast, whether he's flying through the air or sitting in the stands.
Smith traveled 1,700 miles this week from Lansing, Mich., to join Jordan World Circus of Las Vegas at the McGee Park Memorial Coliseum for two nights of big-top action.
Last week, a tangle with the net at the end of a 200-foot launch landed Smith on crutches for the fist time in his 36-year circus career.
"My body still says, Yeah, I can do it,'" Smith said. "But my mind says, You're crazy.'"
Smith, who also built the launching device, may be sidelined for the show, but he's keeping the human cannon business in the family.
Smith's nephew-in-law, Chachi Valencia, crawled into the barrel Tuesday night for his Farmington debut. It marked only the tenth time he'd attempted the daring feat.
Circus life was always a family affair for Smith and Valencia. A Chilean immigrant, Valencia is a fifth-generation circus performer who started out on the trapeze.
Also credited to his circus resumé are the trampoline, cradle catch, perching act and the Russian swing.
Despite his wide circus repertoire, you won't catch him near any of the animal acts.
"I'm afraid of lions and elephants," Valencia admitted. "I stay away from them."

Smith, on the other hand, has had a few encounters with the animal kinds.
"One time I had to fill in or someone, leading a leopard into the ring," he said. "It took a swipe at my hind-end and launched me 15 feet."And while Smith is a first-generation performer, six of his 11 children make their living as human canon balls.
He takes pride in the fact that he built his own canon, and maintains the logistics behind throttling a live subject through the air will always remain a family secret.
"You've got to be smart enough to build it," he said. "But dumb enough to get in it."
Smith's canon career spans four decades, with more than 9,000 launches to his credit. He holds the world record for the farthest launch, but hopes one day Valencia can surpass his accomplishments as human ammo.
Today's performances are at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., and last about two and a half hours, featuring three rings of non-stop acts.
Admission for adults is $16, including two free children's passes, and $12 for each additional child.
74th Highlands County Fair opens Friday
Takes lots of hard work
Ray Ray Burnett, left, and Tim Rahfeldt replace dead lightbulbs on the Flying Tigers ride while getting the ride ready for the Highlands County Fair on Tuesday morning. The fair begins on Friday at Sebring's Firemen's Field.
By JOE SEELIG, Highlands Today, Feb.9, 2011
SEBRING - The mid-way on the Highlands County Fairgrounds was bustling with activity Tuesday as workers and concessionaires with Reithoffer Shows put the finishing touches on amusement rides, games and concessions for opening day on Friday.
In its 74th year, the Highlands County Fair at Firemen's Field is one of the big annual events to hit Sebring, from 5 p.m. Feb. 11 through Feb. 19, attracting fairgoers from around the county and probably beyond.
Admission is $6 per day. Kids age 10 and younger get in for free. Armbands for unlimited rides are $20 per day.

Ruth Donnelly scrubs dirt from one of the ride vehicles on the Kite Flyer ride that she was cleaning to get ready for the Highlands County Fair on Tuesday.

This will be the first year the Highlands County Fair Association puts its air-conditioned convention center building to use for the fair. Half of the building will be used for exhibitor booths, said Tenille Drury, marketing and sales director for the center.
"Everyone at the main entrance will come in through the building," she said. "And the pageants will be in the other half. The cooking contest will be in the building as well (in the pageant section)."
Pageants begin at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11 with the Jr. Miss Highlands County contest. The Miss Highlands County competition will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12.
The Little Miss Highlands County contestants will have their turn at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 14 on Valentine's Day.

Korie Capitanio pins a stuffed animal to the wall in one of the fair game stands while helping set up the stand on Tuesday. Capitanio is from Lake Placid and works some of the fairs around the state each year, following in the foot steps of her mom and stepfather who worked in fairs when she was a kid.
There will be cooking contests from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, for appetizers, entrées, desserts and a junior division, said Barbara Mishoe, office manager.
The main stage will be set up outside of the building, as it was last year. Check schedules for your favorite entertainment.
Working at the fair
It takes about 100 workers to get the rides up and running. Electrician Ron Wallace said they started to set up Saturday afternoon.
"I'm the one who has the bad habit of keeping them running," he said.

George Brooks helps install a row of lights on a ride while setting up the ride for the Highlands County Fair on Tuesday. The fair will be open on Friday and will be open daily through Saturday, Feb. 19.

Korie Capitanio, 28, of Lake Placid, said she works for the local Reithoffer Shows each year.
"The first year I did it I asked, 'Who do I need to talk to to work for you guys?'" Capitanio said as she helped scrub down a canvas canopy for one of the games. "My (mom and step-dad) growing up always worked for the fairs."
So it was in her blood.
"I worked with my mom (with another fair) since I've been able to carry stock and count; so, about 20 years," she said.
She traveled with this fair to Fort Myers, but never left the state with them when they headed north in the spring and summer.
"I'm thinking about going with the show this year to Naples," she said. "If not Naples, I will be with the show in Fort Myers. I love it. I get to see the people, the little kids. You should see their faces."
Each year Capitanio calls Shannon Kirkpatrick and Paul Smith, who contract concessions with Reithoffer Shows, to get some extra work.
Kirkpatrick said all employees are drug tested, for everyone's safety. They have a zero tolerance policy. The show starts in Sebring and is on the move every two weeks until November.
Kirkpatrick, Capitanio and two other ladies were stocking the balloon game booth with lots of colorful stuffed animals. Kirkpatrick said she clears out her stock at each fair.
"Everybody's a winner," she said. "The more (balloons) you pop the bigger the prize."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

FLORIDA STATE FAIR LIVE-CAM
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2011
4:00 pm est

It won't be long, the fair opens Thursday!

Festival International du Cirque de Monte Carlo 2011 - Tigres
SuzanaLinharesTV

JIM DAVIS' BIG TOP CIRCUS, 6.15.96, PART #2, FROM BILL PRICKETT


Jim Dillon (gorilla suit) & Jim Davis (bow tie)

David Terrell, clown & Buzz Robson


Buzz (Thje Birdman) Robson

Charlie DeWein & Ann


Tom Dunwoody (CHF)


Jim Davis (owner/producer) & Bill Prickett

Thanks Bill Prickett for some great photos!
MODERN MECHANIX MAGAZINE
JANUARY, 1931

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