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!
The Oklahoma-based Culpepper and Merriweather Circus will travel to five towns in the Texas Panhandle starting April 1. The circus features wild cat acts, trapeze artists, jugglers, pony rides, concessions and more. The touring schedule is as follows: • April 1: 5 and 7:30 p.m., Clarendon College Livestock and Equine Center, Clarendon • April 2: 2 and 4:30 p.m., Bert Wooldridge Arena, Claude • April 3: 2 and 4:30 p.m., Rita Blanca Lake Area, Dalhart • April 4: 5 and 7:30 p.m., County Barn, Vega • April 5: 5 and 7:30 p.m., City Park, Dimmitt Advanced tickets are $9 for adults and $6 for children. Tickets at the gate are $12 for adults and $7 for children.
from: thechronicle.com.au NOT many people can claim that they have literally run away from home and joined the circus. But for Toowoomba resident Michelle Black it's all true. As a child Ms Black was enamoured with the Enid Blyton's stories about the circus. “I used to walk along the back fence with an umbrella,” she said. When she was 18, Ashton's Circus came to Toowoomba. Ms Black naturally attended. One thing led to another and Ms Black found herself a part of the troupe. “I ran off and joined the circus,” he said. She was taught trapeze by Hungarian circus performers and travelled not only Australia, but also Europe, South Africa and South East Asia. These days, Ms Black is a busy mum, but as she says: “You can take the girl out of the circus, but you can't take the circus out of the girl”. She has passed on her circus skills to her 11-year-old daughter, Stefanie, and her friend 15-year-old Rhiannon Thompson. Stefanie has a talent for solo trapeze (and even has a trapeze rigged up in the garage) while Rhiannon is an aerial silks performer. “Circus skills need to be passed on,” Ms Black said. “They are a dying art in Australia.” Both girls are performing in the Ashton Circus big top at the 2011 Heritage Building Society Toowoomba Royal Show. “It is a wonderful way for young people to get fit,” she said. “It is great for their fitness, balance, flexibility, mind and self esteem.” Ms Black is also currently in the process of establishing a circus school in Toowoomba. For more information or to register your interest contact Ms Black on 0438 899 415.
Show time! El Zagal circus performers say life in spotlight gets in blood
One of Neecha Braun’s dogs stands on its two front feet as she balances the dog in her hand during the Friday night performance of the El Zagal Shrine Circus at the Fargodome. Photo by Dave Wallis / The Forum
April 02, 2011from:infourm.comFARGO – Running away to join the circus isn’t easy, and for the unseasoned, it’s not a profession likely to last long, say circus veterans. After stops in Bismarck, Dickinson, Detroit Lakes, Minn., and Jamestown, the El Zagal Shrine Circus arrived at the Fargodome on Friday, with scheduled performances through the weekend. Under the management of Cindy Migley Productions, about 20 acts take the stage from the classics of elephants and lions to the death-defying acts of Jennifer Smith, the human cannonlady, or the World Famous Wallendas. Inside the three-ring circus is a tight-wound family, generations of performers who have circus in their blood. Migley said most of the acts performing are at least second-generation; many are rooted even deeper. “There’s not too many ‘normal’ people that would jump into this. We’re all born into it,” she said. Migley, who calls Sarasota, Fla., home, was born to a performer mother and circus manager father. Her grandfather also owned his own circus, she said. Every year she scouts local theme parks such as Busch Gardens or Disney for new acts to come on the road. Ringmaster Timothy Tegge, a third-generation circus master, said he has seen the popularity of circus performing rise as athletes find allure in regular performances. Circus schools that claim to teach performing have also cropped up around the nation. Still, Tegge said circus life isn’t something you can just learn. “This isn’t a business; it’s a lifestyle you commit to,” Tegge said. “It’s almost like people going to Hollywood to become a star. I think they’d have better luck doing that than lasting here.” Many parents raise their children in the circus family. At Cindy Migley Productions, a tutor travels with the company, teaching the children at least three hours every day, including weekends. However, Migley and Tegge concede that they are actually seeing more children running away from circus life than running to it. They said societal and economic factors have had an impact on the circus. “The circus in America is on shaky ground. Europe has always grasped it as one of its original art forms,” Tegge said. Fortunately, the U.S. seems to be coming around once again, Migley said. Migley has already sold out many locations this season. “The real challenge is getting them here, but once they’re here, they’re hooked,” Migley said. This year marks the eighth year Migley’s circus produced Fargo’s El Zagal Shrine Circus. Circus proceeds are used for El Zagal Shrine operations, said Bruce Ridgway, El Zagal Shrine media and advertising chair.
Double your circus pleasure in Asheville this weekend
This weekend's biggest Asheville show is Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at 2 and 6 today and 2 p.m .Sunday at the Asheville Civic Center arena. / John Fletcherfirstname.lastname@example.org Apr. 2, 2011 Written by Tony KissASHEVILLE — What a weekend for circus fans – two very different shows are both playing here today and Sunday. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus presents its Gold Unit “Zing Zang Zoom” shows at 2 and 6 today and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Civic Center arena. It’s a high-energy one-ring version of the famed “Greatest Show on Earth,” with performing elephants, thundering horses, dogs and cats, aerialists, gymnasts, Asian martial arts, magic and roaring motorcycles in the “Globe of Steel.” Tickets are $25, $35 and $10 for children at the Civic Center box office. Asheville’s own Runaway Circus and the Looses Cabooses play at 7 tonight and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Odyssey School, 90 Zillicoa St. The show features acrobats, jugglers, and trapeze artists and a live musical score. Admission is a $10 suggested donation, but no one is turned away for lack of money. At 12:30 p.m. Sunday, the circus will parade from Pritchard Park to Odyssey School. The Runaway Circus will return next weekend.
Circus Vargas is coming to San Bernardino County later this month.
By TIFFANY AUSTIN-SUNIGA
Special to The Press-Enterprise Shows under the big top start at 7:30 p.m. April 14 at Ontario Mills mall, just north of Interstate 10 at Milliken Avenue in Ontario. The circus will move to San Bernardino, at I-10 and Waterman Avenue, for shows starting April 28. Trapeze artist Katya Quiroga, who owns the circus with her husband, Nelson, is a seventh-generation circus performer. The couple became the owners of Circus Vargas in 2005 and take their theater-style tent, which seats 1,500, to California cities throughout the year. Jon Weiss, host of the event and a balancing artist, said Circus Vargas is different from other circuses. "This is the place that people go if they are looking for something upscale, more intimate and more family oriented," Weiss said. Weiss performed for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for 26 years before joining Circus Vargas four years ago. Long-time friends of the owners, Weiss and his wife, who also performs in the show, were looking for a more "family-like" environment, he said. The small cast of Circus Vargas will be featured in the film "Water for Elephants," which opens April 22 and stars Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson.READ MORE AT--http://www.pe.com/localnews/sbcounty/stories/PE_News_Local_E_ncircus02.2201784.html
Send in the clowns, and the rest of the circus as well!
The Shrine Circus will make its first appearance at Consol Energy Center April 8-10, with five performances throughout the weekend. “The great thing about the circus as a whole is that it’s the one rare art form that the entire family can come together and have a good time,” said Bello Nock, the clown who bills himself as "the world's one and only comic daredevil." “Four generations can laugh at the same joke without feeling embarrassed or rolling their eyes. It’s the one art form that can bring families together, and all of them enjoy it and have long lasting memories." Bello Nock will be featured along with the Amazing Spiderman, animals, dancers, acrobats and even some dogs during the 64th year for the Shrine Circus. The event is the largest fundraiser for the Shriners of Pittsburgh, which helps support the 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children across the country.“You can travel the world and never leave your seat for the price of one admission,” Said Bello Nock. “You will be stimulated, excited, energized and the best part of all is the price of the admission has legs that work towards helping other people. The money goes to the Shrine and helps kids in need. That’s the magic of what life is!”
Bello Nock is no stranger to the Pittsburgh area. He performed four times at Mellon Arena with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, and also performed a full season at Kennywood Park. So if you find yourself going “Hey, I’ve seen that guy before,” you’re probably right!
“I’d say my show is like nothing people have ever seen before,” he said. “But that’s a lie because I’ve been on tour and over 40 million people have seen my show live. My show is a form of storytelling though, but at the same time it’s extreme. I’m not clichéd or expected, but my brand is newer. I may do the most difficult task with the greatest of ease and then 30 seconds later trip over my shoelaces and fall on my face.” read more at:http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/hayleystory/04-02-2011-hayley-shrine-circus
Steven Martens The Quad-City Times Posted: Saturday, April 2, 2011 CLINTON, Iowa — In its heyday, Clinton’s Riverboat Days was a four-day festival that drew thousands of visitors to the city’s riverfront for carnival rides, demolition derbies, concerts and a wide variety of other activities. But due to lagging ticket sales, budget constraints and difficulty in finding new volunteers, the event’s board of directors has voted to cut back this year’s event to a Fourth of July parade and fireworks show on the riverfront. Board member Mike Fullerton said the decision was difficult for the current board members and other longtime supporters of the event, now in its 50th year. “They’re very distraught about it,” Fullerton said. “It’s not what we wanted.” Dwindling ticket sales in recent years have drained the event’s financial resources, Fullerton said. “We just don’t have the money in the bank to put on a big festival,” he said. Riverboat Days will continue its other community activities, including an Easter egg hunt, scholarship program and Dirt Days, an event held in Miles that features some of the events that used to be staples of Riverboat Days, such as mud volleyball and tractor pulls. Fullerton said the board hopes to put on a festival for Riverboat Days again in future years. Clinton Jaycees president Ryan Steines said his organization will continue to hold its annual carnival, which coincides with Riverboat Days. This year’s carnival is scheduled for June 30-July 4 at Riverview Park. Steines said the Jaycees are considering expanding their event to include other forms of entertainment, but plans have not been finalized.
Carnival rides please many of the younger crowd attending the 15th Annual Arab International Festival last June. Some city officals say they may have to charge such events for the cost of police service and things like cleanup after it is over, given the city’s financial problems. (File photo by Millard Berry/ P & G)
Published: Friday, April 01, 2011By J. Patrick PepperPress & Guide Newspapers DEARBORN — For years the city has been a generous supporter of privately sponsored special events, providing public services at no cost in the name of community benefit. But with the city now facing its largest budget deficit since the Great Depression, this municipality’s munificence is history. “Really, it’s something we’ve done for years and there hasn’t been a need to look at it because money hasn’t been an issue,” said Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly in an interview. “Obviously things are much different now and we need to get our costs in line.” The city’s official policy on special events is that sponsors must reimburse the city for services provided — anything from Department of Public Works employees who set up barriers and pick up trash to police presence, But a Press & Guide inquiry found that as much as two-thirds of the 100 or so special events the city provides services for annually are not charged anything. Last year, for instance, there were 91 special events authorized by the city. Of those, the police department was by far the largest biller, sending invoices for 33 of the events. Other departments billing for services included DPW, which issued charges for three events, and the Department of Parks and Recreation, which charged for services at four events. City officials say the collection rate was 100 percent for a grand total of $161,161. The majority of events were not billed, though, something that’s due to a non enumerated policy the city has used for years, officials said. The policy holds that events which appeal to a broad audience, directly increase commercial activity, and strengthen the city’s image are considered to be an overall benefit to the public and therefore are not subject to charges. Those that have more of a singular purpose and attract a limited audience, on the other hand, must reimburse the city. But there are no codified standards as to how that determination is made, At a City Council meeting last May, for example, two special events were on the agenda; the Arab International Festival and the Motor City Corvette Concourse. Council made resolutions supporting both, which both required street closures and some police presence. But only the Concourse was required to reimburse the city. O’Reilly said it’s because Les Stanford, a for-profit entity, was the sponsor of the Concourse, whereas the American Arab Chamber, a nonprofit entity, sponsored the Arab Fest. Continued...http://www.pressandguide.com/articles/2011/04/01/news/doc4d96155bcb6c4907665310.txt
Clown Sherri Shepard visits with Carl Wahl, a resident at Spring Creek Health and Rehabilitation Center, to promote the upcoming circus. (Ed Galucki) By Ed Galucki / Staff Writer / email@example.com Thursday, March 31, 2011 Travel? Fun? And get paid, too? Turning a hobby into a career meant being in the right place at the right time, and “practicing” for 15 years, for “self-made” clowns Sherri “Carlee” and Dave “Charlie” Shepard of Sarasota, Fla. The Shepards were at Cabot on March 23 making promotional appearances for the upcoming visit by the Kelly Miller Circus. The circus is sponsored by the Cabot Rotary Club, and a portion of the proceeds will go to the club, which supports the community through several projects. The circus will perform April 6 on the campus of Cabot Southside Elementary School at 2600 S. Pine St. Shows will be at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at First Security Bank locations in Cabot and the Days Inn in Cabot. Advance tickets cost $10 for adults and $6 for children. They cost $15 for adults and $7 for children the day of the show. “This is what we do now. Travel about two weeks ahead of the circus to help our sponsors promote the show,” Sherri Shepard said. “Which do you think gets more attention? A poster? Or this?,” she asked performing a pirouette in her colorful clown persona, finishing with a “Ta-Da!” and a spread-arm flourish.The Shepards spoke about Kelly Miller Circus and their own work during a visit at Spring Creek Health and Rehabilitation Center. “This is our first year with Kelly, but we have been independent clowns for 15 years,” Sherri Shepard said. Becoming clowns was his wife’s doing, Dave Shepard said. “She started it, then got me into it.” Sherri Shepard said growing up almost next door to the winter headquarters of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus drew her attention to clowning. “I went to libraries, got books on it and learned it myself,” she said. Dave Shepard said the job is great. “We get to meet lots of people and do lots of shows,” he said. “And you get to make people feel good.” “Excuse me,” Dave said taking a resident’s outstretched hand, kneeling to get close to her. “Time to go to work.” Other stops at Cabot for the day included Cabot United Methodist Church CDC Daycare, Cabot Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Magness Creek Early Learning Center, Mount Carmel Daycare, Spring Creek and Gordon Tubbs Residential Facility. Rotary Club member Tiffany Duhamel said Rotary International is an organization of business and professional leaders who work to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world. Rotary members find and support community service projects, Duhamel said. Proceeds from fundraisers, such as the circus appearance, go to support community projects in Cabot. They include sponsoring an exchange student, awarding a $1,000 scholarship to a local senior and providing 100 families with Thanksgiving food baskets. “This will allow us to give back to the community,” she said of the show
‘World’s funniest horse’ among Cole Bros. circus acts
‘World’s funniest horse’ among Cole Bros. circus acts The Cole Bros. Circus performs as part of the 63nd Annual North Carolina Azalea Festival on the grounds of Wilmington International Airport Thursday, April 8, 2010. By Alex PomplianoAlex.Pompliano@StarNewsOnline.comFriday, April 1, 2011 One of the Azalea Festival’s most anticipated events is returning again this year. The Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars – so named because its dome interior replicates a deep blue nighttime sky peppered with sparkling stars – will bring elephants, aerial ballet and clowns and more to Wilmington April 7-10. Billed as “the world’s largest circus under the big top,” the circus will cover more than an acre of ground. Nine two-hour performances will feature costumed characters, acrobatics, clowns and an international cast of entertainers with their trained and exotic animals. For more than 125 years Cole Bros. has been hailed as one of the country’s most beloved circuses. Last year, John Pugh, president and CEO of Cole Bros., was inducted into the Circus Ring of Fame, which stated: “Few have done more to preserve the traditions of the traveling, 3-Ring, Tented American Circus.” In addition to drawing some of the biggest crowds at the Azalea Festival, the highlights of this year’s circus will include a talented trio of elephants, motorcycle maniacs in the Globe of Death, clever canines, teeterboard acrobats, trapeze artists, aerial gymnasts, the world’s funniest horse and The Human Cannonball.
San Andreas sanctuary officials say 50-year-old former zoo and circus elephant Ruby has died
By Associated Press, Thursday, March 31, 8:20 PM
LOS ANGELES — Ruby, an African elephant who was moved to a Northern California sanctuary four years ago amid protests over her confinement at the Los Angeles Zoo, has died. She was 50 Ruby died Tuesday at the Performing Animal Welfare Society elephant sanctuary in San Andreas, director Pat Derby said Thursday. A veterinarian, the elephant staff and Derby were all with Ruby when she died. A necropsy was being performed at the University of California, Davis, Derby said. Ruby spent 20 years at the Los Angeles Zoo, after being transferred several times and performing with Circus Vargas, Derby said. Los Angeles Zoo officials said Ruby was one of the oldest African elephants in captivity. The zoo sent Ruby to the sanctuary, southeast of Sacramento, in mid-2007 after years of lobbying by animal rights activists. Entertainer Bob Barker donated $300,000 to help pay Ruby’s sanctuary expenses. Before being retired, Ruby had been off-exhibit and living alone because her companion, 48-year-old Gita, died in 2006. Ruby was sent to the Knoxville Zoo in Tennessee in 2003 to act as an “auntie” in a breeding program, but she never fit in. Taking her away from Gita inflamed animal rights activists because they said it endangered her health. In 2004, former Mayor James Hahn ordered Ruby returned to Los Angeles. When Gita died, a zoo investigation found that keepers failed to begin emergency procedures for nearly eight hours after she was found in distress. Animal activists wanted the zoo to retire Ruby because she was alone, didn’t have enough room and because nearly a dozen elephants had died at the zoo since 1968. When Ruby was sent to the sanctuary, she blended in well with three other elephants, quickly becoming the matriarch, officials said. A private tree planting memorial will be held for Ruby in the next few weeks, Derby said. “Obviously, Ruby’s life was the ultimate cause of her death,” Derby said. “The loss of this magnificent individual is a direct result of captivity and its traumatizing effect on elephants. We must stop the senseless capture and export of wild elephants and keep elephants in the wild.” With Ruby gone, the Los Angeles Zoo was left with one elephant, a 21-year-old Asian bull named Billy. In late 2010, he moved into a staunchly debated, court-contested, $42 million, $3.8-acre “Elephants of Asia” habitat at the zoo. Tina and Jewel, a pair of Asian elephants who had been together for 25 years, arrived from San Diego to keep him company. There are about 35,000 Asian elephants left in the wild
Dick Garden drove in with the first vehicle Tuesday morning from Concord, N.C., near Charlotte, hours before the Piccadilly Circus' two shows inside the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Almost 70 years old, he loves the lifestyle. "I was born in it," said the longtime manager, standing on the loading dock, "like most of us." His son and co-manager, Zack Garden, who minutes later oversaw setup of Piccadilly's performance ring, lights, a motorcycle globe, ticket booths and everything else in this road show, agreed. "I couldn't imagine doing anything else," said the father of two, the fourth generation of Gardens in the circus world. "It's the greatest job in the world."
Piccadilly Circus worker Red Cunningham sets up some of the ringside 150 folding chairs as he prepares for two performances of the circus later this day at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Myrtle Beach sits in the middle of having two circuses roll in and out of town within a week. The Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars, from DeLand, Fla., near Dayton Beach, will erect its tent for shows at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, across from the convention center in the former Myrtle Square Mall parking lot. Mobility matters most for a circus, because the entourage of various recreational vehicles and trucks hits the road again the evening after a performance to start a whole new cycle in another city or state. Zack Garden, who steers a semi-trailer that houses sleepers for 15 people in the front half, and equipment in the rear, said arranging the circus stage takes about 90 minutes, and disassembly takes about 30 minutes. It's a routine the crew has down pat, and performers and circus hands team up to fulfill many roles to make the system work. "Everybody knows where everything goes," Zack Garden said as a crew hoisted light panels onto poles around the ring. "Setup never changes. Everything has its place." Garden, who has spent much of his life in circuses, said by age 13, he had visited five countries and 49 states. Although Piccadilly utilizes only an indoor circus unit this year, with plans to bring back a tent unit next year, he finds its presentation "homey and cozy" with about 50 people overall and about 20 animals, including three monkeys and a kangaroo.
Photos by Steve Jessmore firstname.lastname@example.orgPiccadilly Circus worker Mike Blake carries the sides of the one ring as he helps prepare for two performances of the circus later this day at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. The Piccadilly Circus was the first of two circuses to play Myrtle Beach within a week; Cole Bros is here April 4-6.
The Piccadilly caravan, based in Sarasota, Fla., departed Tuesday night, heading back toward Charlotte for its next stop, in Fort Mill, on Thursday. Zack Garden said typically he'll pull out with his rig 45 minutes after the show ends, when elephant rides continue for patrons staying afterward. He quoted a common question from his 2-year-old daughter, already comfortable atop a pachyderm in the show: "We're ready to go to the next town, Daddy?" Cuinn Griffin, promotional director for Piccadilly, said crews start taking down parts of the circus stage even during a show, in the background. "You do a new town every day, pretty much," he said, summarizing a coast-to-coast calendar lasting from February into December, with "a week or two off here and there." Matching wants with likes Today, Cole Bros. begins three days of shows in Ladson, north of Charleston, before trucking up the coast to head to Myrtle Beach with a tent for its three rings and bleachers and seats. After its Grand Strand gig, the troupe will set up at Wilmington International Airport for four days through April 10.Read more: http://www.thesunnews.com/2011/04/01/2072178/setting-up-a.html#ixzz1IGN0kBbV
By JESSICA STARRWJBK myFOXDetroit.com HAZEL PARK, Mich. (WJBK) - The Shrine Circus is in town through Sunday, April 3 at the Hazel Park Raceway. Recently, FOX 2's Jessica Starr got a sneak peak at one of the acts and chatted with Ringmaster Devin Chandler. "We have our beautiful performing horses," Chandler told Starr. "Our traditional circus treats, popcorn, cotton candy, our beautiful Asian elephants ... our dogs, something for the whole family." Ticket prices range from $15 to $50 and can be purchased online or at the Shrine Circus box office, located at the Hazel Park Raceway on the corner of 10 Mile and Dequindre. You'll find discount coupons at Hungry Howie's and Genisys Credit Union. For more information on the show, including performance times, visit www.DetroitShrineCircus.com.
Park District Bringing Zoppè Circus to Bolingbrook
The Bolingbrook Park District will pay the Zoppè Family Circus $20,000 to perform six shows over four days in late June and early July. By Brian Feldtfrom: bolingbrook.patch.com The circus is coming to town. The Bolingbrook Park District will bring in the The Zoppè Family Circus to perform six shows between June 30 and July 3. The Zoppè Family Circus is an Italian family production and has been performing for more than 160 years. Today, the company travels across the country and has stopped in nearby locations such as Hanover Park, Des Plaines, Chicago and Addison. Brian Meyer, the park district’s superintendent of recreaction, said the it is the first circus to perform in Bolingbrook. The troupe will set up a giant circus tent in Central Park that will seat up to 600 people and be visible from I-55, Meyer said. According to the Zoppè website, the circus stars Nino the clown and focuses on a central story instead of individual acts. The show will feature acrobatic feats, equestrian showmanship, cainine capers, clowning and plenty of audience participation. “Everything will be in one big ring,” Meyer said. “It’s really a nice family show and very kid friendly. It will have horses and dogs. It’s really how the circus used to be when it first started, even with the concessions they sell.” Tickets are on sale now and prices range between $15 and $20. The park district, Meyer said, entered into a one-year contract worth $20,000 to bring the show to Bolingbrook. If the show is a success, Meyer said the park district could renew the contract to make the circus an annual event.
CIRCUS OF THE SENSES ‘Dance On’ reaches out to audience
PHOTO: BERTRAND GUAY/BIG APPLE CIRCUS
From America, the beautiful Jenny Vidbel fills the ring with a playful chorus line of 12 white mini-horses in “Dance On!” the 33rd season show of the Big Apple Circus! By R. Scott Reedy, correspondent GateHouse News Service Mar 31, 2011 Boston — For the 12th consecutive year, local children with sensory impairments – including students from North Easton’s Carroll Center for the Blind, Brockton’s Downey Elementary School, Franklin’s Education Cooperative, Hanson’s Maquan School, Pembroke’s New England Village, Plymouth’s Pilgrim Area Collaborative, Middleboro’s Reads Collaborative, and families from Braintree, Canton, Milton, Quincy, Sharon, Taunton, Wareham, and Weymouth – will be among those gathering under the Big Apple Circus Big Top on Boston’s City Hall Plaza to experience the magic of “Circus of the Senses” on April 7.The free performance is accomplished by providing headsets to children with vision impairments to hear a lively, running description of the action in the ring narrated by Big Apple Circus founders Paul Binder and Michael Christensen. Spotlighted American Sign Language interpreters will narrate the show for the hearing–impaired. Large-print and Braille programs are available for the vision-impaired and scripts are sent to groups in advance of the performance to help them prepare for the experience. Prior to the performance, volunteers will bring costume fabrics and other materials and props for sight–impaired children in the audience to feel, to help them better understand the show as it is being audio described. Following the hour-long performance, a group of sight–impaired children will be invited into the Circus ring for a “touch session.” They will be able to feel the sawdust, touch the fabric of the elegant costumes and meet some of the two-legged and four-legged performers up close and personal. According to Artistic Director Guillaume Dufresnoy, the Big Apple Circus “allows children and adults with significant challenges to experience the performing arts in a meaningful and compelling way. Circus of the Senses exemplifies the circus’s commitment to the community and its capacity to transcend the boundaries represented by language, age, culture and physical ability.” Founders Binder and Christensen say they believe that, “Circus of the Senses is at the core of the Big Apple Circus’s mission to reconnect people with positive emotions. Circus of the Senses makes the wondrous sights and sounds of the ring accessible to a broader audience.” Now in its 33rd season, the Big Apple Circus is currently presenting “Dance On!” which features a troupe of Chinese monocyclists and lasso twirlers, Mongolian contortionists, gravity-defying Kenyan athletes, 12 miniature horses in an equine chorus line, an Ethiopian juggler, ringmaster Kevin Venardos, and clowns Rob Torres and the legendary Barry Lubin as the irrepressible Grandma. “Dance On!” will be under the big top at City Hall Plaza, Government Center, Boston, Saturday, April 2 to May 15. For tickets and information, call 888-541-3750 or go online at bigapplecircus.org.Read more: http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/archive/x1306272895/CIRCUS-OF-THE-SENSES-Dance-On-reaches-out-to-audience#ixzz1IDfw4Xy0
Shrine Circus Elephants Dine at the Dallas Farmers Market
Intrepid intern Katie Minchew ran away with the circus—for the afternoon. Read up on her adventures with the elephants at the Dallas Farmers Market:
March 31st, 2011
by Nancy Nicholsfrom: sidedish.dmagazine.com
The Shrine Circus is in town at Fair Park Coliseum until Sunday. Yesterday, despite the unseasonably chilly weather, three of the show’s Asian elephants—Cindy, Betty, and Bo—presented a little side show at the Dallas Farmers Market where the public was invited to “lunch with the elephants.” Cindy and Betty worked up their appetite giving the kids (and policemen) rides around the ring while Bo lounged behind the scenes awaiting the feast of fruit supplied by the Dallas Farmers Market. Larry Carden, son of the George Carden of George Carden Circus International, talked me through the feeding of these magnificent pachyderms. They eat 150 squares of hay per week, one thousand dollars of produce each week, and 20 bags of feed every day. They don’t usually get this much produce at a time so “this fruit table will be a treat for them,” said Carden.
Watching the elephants feast was the most entertaining event of the afternoon. With one swoop of her trunk Cindy swiped all the pears in her section to the ground for easier access while Bo curled a pile of whole bananas and carrots into his mouth before sticking his trunk over Cindy’s mouth to check for scraps. Halfway through the feeding, Bill Cunningham, executive director of the circus, announced his PR speech of the day: “Bo, Cindy, and Bo only eat produce from the Dallas Farmers Market when they’re in town, and you should too.” After the show, I briskly strolled the market. The colors of the fruits and vegetables were so bright that I never wanted to step in a Target or Tom Thumb again You can catch Bo, Cindy, and Betty and their colleagues of the Shrine Circus through Sunday (www.2011circus.com). You can find the ripe fruit and vegetable at the Dallas Farmers Market seven days a week from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. (www.dallasfarmersmarket.org).
A TRAVELLING circus could face a frosty reception from animal lovers when it arrives in Leigh next week. Bobby Roberts Super Circus opens next Wednesday, April 6 on land alongside the Greyhound Roundabout on the East Lancashire Road at Glazebury. Now its star attraction, Anne, a 58-year-old Asian elephant, is the centre of attention after a video and article was published by a national newspaper showing her being beaten with a pitchfork. The Journal received scores of messages and phone calls from people voicing concerns over the treatment of the elephant. The video showed Anne being hit with a pitchfork and kicked by a groom. The pressure group Animal Defenders International planted a camera at the circus’ winter base after becoming concerned about Anne's welfare. The Asian elephant has been travelling with the circus since the 1950s when she was bought by Mr Roberts's parents for around £3,000 read more at: http://www.leighjournal.co.uk/news/8941148.Outcry_over_circus_elephant/
Construction under way on Morey's Piers' "it" ride in North Wildwood
A work crew begins to install the support legs of the ride. Pieces of the new amusement ride IT arrived at Morey's Surfside Pier, and were construction began, Monday March 30.
By TRUDI GILFILLIAN, Staff Writer pressofAtlanticCity.com
March 30, 2011 NORTH WILDWOOD - An overcast sky and 40-degree weather made summer seem a long way off Wednesday, but the brightly colored red, green and yellow supports for Morey's Piers' newest attraction hinted it is closer than it appears. "It" is the key word here. The two-letter word happens to be the name of the pier operator's latest $1 million-plus attraction. On Wednesday, "it" started to take shape. A crane lifted the first of the ride's support arms onto the Surfside Pier at 26th Avenue and the Boardwalk as a crew from KMG, the ride's manufacturer, and Morey's employees worked to position "it." The process began Tuesday and will be completed in late April, when the second half of the ride makes its way from a plant in the Netherlands all the way to Five Mile Beach. "It's a guy's form of giving birth," said Jack Morey, vice president of the company, noting that "it" has been years in the making. "We keep our eye out for attractions that might work for us."
Mary Oakes holds an old Coleman Bros Shows poster from yesteryear while standing in front of a new kiddie ride, "Acceleration Station." Oakes, the granddaughter of founder, Dick Coleman is a third generation Coleman involved with the daily operation of the 95 year old carnival which opens today at 6 p.m. at Palmer Field and runs until April 9. Gates open at 6 p.m. weekdays and from 1 p.m. on the weekends. Thursday, March 31, 2011 By CLAIRE MICHALEWICZ, Press Staff MIDDLETOWN — As a possible snowstorm looms over the area this weekend, Middletown is gearing up for an annual tradition — the Coleman Brothers Carnival, which opens tonight on Washington Street for its 95th year. Carnival organizer Mary Oakes said the carnival has earned the nickname “The Rainmaker,” over the years, because it seems to rain whenever the show arrives in town. Oakes joked that she hopes the name isn’t changed to “The Snowmaker.” Still, Oakes, the granddaughter of the carnival’s founder, said she’s looking forward to the carnival, the first one the Florida-based company puts on each year. While Oakes and other Coleman family members now live in Florida, the company was based in Middletown for decades, and still stores their rides and equipment on Newfield in the winter. In many ways, she said, the Middletown carnival is like a homecoming for her, since she grew up in the city and attended Mercy High School. “It’s kind of neat to see my friends,” Oakes said. “It’s just nice to come back to your hometown.” From the spring through fall, she explained, Coleman Brothers puts on about 25 different carnivals throughout the Northeast. Middletown is always the first, because it’s their hometown. Over the winter, Oakes said, she doesn’t really get a break, as she provides carnival rides to events in Florida. Getting back into the carnival and fair season isn’t usually that difficult, she said, though it involves traveling around the Northeast for several months with family members and the carnival’s many other workers. For Oakes, the carnival is still very much a family affair. She and her brother, Tim Coleman, run most of the show, and other family members help out. Oakes’ niece Kristy Coleman said she’d grown up around the carnival, and she’d spent every summer of her life traveling with her family. “It’s kind of like the same thing every year,” she laughed. “I don’t really now anything else.” READ MORE AT:http://middletownpress.com/articles/2011/03/31/news/doc4d93f1d0c07cd130661639.txt
Frank Bellino / The Press-Enterprise Jon Weiss, the host of and a performer in Circus Vargas, balances a shopping cart on his chin as workers set up the big top in the parking lot of The Promenade mall Tuesday. The shows start tonight. Weiss has spent 30 years in the circus world, the last four years with Circus Vargas.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
By TIFFANY AUSTIN-SUNIGA, Special to The Press-Enterprise Circus Vargas is back for a second year in Temecula. Shows under the big top start tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the circus located in the parking area near Macy's at The Promenade mall. The circus will be in town until April 11. Circus Vargas extended its typical one-week stint because of the overwhelming "appreciation" performers felt from local patrons, trapeze artist and owner Katya Quiroga said. "Last year was like a test coming here for a week," Quiroga said. "But we were so happy with the response we went to two weeks because of the audience here." Quiroga, who owns the circus with her husband, Nelson, is a seventh-generation circus performer. She and her husband became the owners of Circus Vargas in 2005 and take their theater-style tent, which seats 1,500, to California cities throughout the year. Jon Weiss, host of the event and a balancing artist, said that Circus Vargas is different than other circuses. "This is the place that people go if they are looking for something upscale, more intimate, and more family oriented," Weiss said. Weiss performed for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for 26 years before joining Circus Vargas four years ago. Long-time friends with the owners, Weiss along with his, wife, who also performs in the show, left Ringling Bros. to join Vargas in search of a more "family-like" environment. That environment is what he said he and performers feel when they come to Temecula. "Every city has something special to offer, but we really enjoy the way people here really embrace us and the show," Weiss said.
Workers raise the Circus Vargas sign on top of the big top. The circus can seat 1,500. The small cast of Circus Vargas will be featured in the film "Water for Elephants," which opens April 22 and stars Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson. "Out of all the top-notch circus acts in the world, we were chosen to appear in that movie because we stay true to the historical roots of the circus," Weiss said. Leo Garcia, who performs motorcycle acts in a cage, said this year's production is better than the 2010 version. "We can't give too much away, but this year it's like an entirely different show," Garcia said. "Our equipment is better, our performances are better. We are doing things we've never done." Circus Vargas is known for excluding animals from its show. But officials said they don't believe the lack of animal acts detracts from their circus' appeal. "Showing everyone that we care for animals by not using them seems to only enhance the show," Garcia said. Weiss urged the public to take a brief reprieve from reality at the circus. "We want to make a difference in people's ordinary, stressful day," Weiss said. "Our job is to create that moment, that memory of the circus that will last a lifetime."
World's youngest sideshow performer to appear at tattoo show
Mar 30, 2011
By Matt Miller, News Director
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The world's youngest professional sideshow performer will appear for 2 shows with "FreakShow Deluxe" at the Tattooed Life Tour tattoo convention at Paul Brown Stadium. The 5-year-old performer, billed as "The Green Monster," will perform during 2 daytime shows during the 3-day convention, which features tattoo artists from around the country, tattoo contests, vendors and entertainment by the FreakShow Deluxe. FreakShow Deluxe, billed as Hollywood carnival-style sideshow, was originally founded in Xenia, OH in 2001 before moving to Hollywood, California in 2004. Since the move, the show has toured the U.S. multiple times and been featured on such television networks as MTV and the Discovery Channel. The company was awarded Best Circus/Cabaret at the 2010 Hollywood Fringe Festival. The Tattooed Life Tour tattoo convention is Friday, April 8th from 4pm – 11pm, Saturday, April 9th from 11am – 11pm, and Sunday, April 10th from Noon to 7pm. Tickets are $10 a day, or $25 for the weekend. FreakShow Deluxe's shows (included with admission) are Friday at 9:00 pm, Saturday at 3:30 and 8:00 pm, and Sunday at 3:30 pm. Additional details at http://www.tattooedlifetour.com/Cincinnati-.html and http://www.freakshowdeluxe.com.
The Hejaz Shrine Circus has added a Thursday performance, and all the proceeds will go to the victims of the Cleveland Park miniature train crash, organizers announced Tuesday. The performance is scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday at Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium, 385 N. Church St. Tickets are available at the auditorium’s box office for $10. Sherwood Kaiser, circus executive administrator, said the group wants to help those injured in the crash and support the community that has supported the circus through the years. “We’re just trying to make a fundraiser for these families, and we just want it to be a big success,” Kaiser said. On March 19, Sparkles, Cleveland Park’s red-and-gray train, derailed, injuring 28 people and killing 6-year-old Benji Easler of Gaffney. In the days since, many family members have talked about the difficulty they are having paying medical bills. Steve Jones, general manager of the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium, said the Shriners talked with him Monday night about the charity event. If the show sells out, the group could raise $13,500. “It’s coming from the heart,” Jones said.