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!
Passengers left hanging upside down for 4 minutes when ride shuts off at NY State Fair
file photo, balloonman
By Associated Press,
Published: September 2
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Forty passengers on an amusement park ride were stuck upside down for four minutes when a safety system caused the ride to shut itself off at the New York State Fair.
Assistant Fair Director Troy Waffner tells the Syracuse Post-Standard nobody was hurt and no one had to be rescued after the ride shut down Thursday night.Waffner says the safety system sensed too much pressure on the over-the-shoulder harnesses that keep passengers in their seats and shut the ride down. The pressure could have been caused by a passenger who was tall or big.
The fair’s ride inspector checked the ride and ran it about a dozen times before allowing passengers back on.
Spirited effort to clear damage preserves 170-year-old tradition
Bonnie Peck, 4-H Extension educator for Fulton and Montgomery Counties, cleans a garbage can that had been in the recently flooded Cooperative Extension Building at the Fonda Fair during Tropical Storm Irene, just a few hours before the 5 pm start of the annual fair on Thursday Sept. 1, 2011, in Fonda, NY. Peck said that several exhibits in the non animal building were destroyed, including some that had earned Best in Show ribbons in photography and fine arts. Many volunteers helped clean up the fairgrounds from the flood damage inflicted by the storm. The fair was shortened by two days as a result. (Philip Kamrass / Times Union)
By CAROL DEMARE Staff writer
Friday, September 2, 2011
FONDA -- For 170 years, the Fonda Fair has gone on as scheduled, attracting those from the surrounding farm communities as well as outsiders who come for the food, the rides, the entertainment and even the monster trucks.
This year, Tropical Storm Irene and the Mohawk River got in the way, delaying the opening by two days. But even the onslaught of floodwaters couldn't make this popular fair a wash-out.
Fair-goers and exhibitors alike -- all of them fair lovers, of course -- came to the rescue. They cleaned the 60-plus acres of the Montgomery County fairgrounds over more than two days, doing what amounted to grunt work.
On Thursday, as he drove around the property in a golf cart, past the numerous amusement park rides, the cotton candy stands, the barns with the livestock and horses, the junk cars that the monster trucks would go to work on, the huge arena where Kellie Pickler will perform Saturday night, no one could be prouder of how it all came together than fair president Richard Kennedy. Officially, the gates opened Thursday at 5 p.m., and the fair will run through Monday. The seven-day event originally was scheduled to open Tuesday.
Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Floodwaters-can-t-stop-Fonda-Fair-2151935.php#ixzz1WshrfZq9
There’s a lot to see when you stroll a fairgrounds
.pete g. wilcox file photo/the times leader
By Mary Therese Biebel
When city folks arrive at the Kiwanis Wyoming County Fairgrounds this weekend, the first thing they’re likely to notice are the parking attendants on horseback. • It’s charming. It’s bucolic. It makes you feel like you’ve finally arrived in cowboy country. • It’s also practical and safer, fair volunteer Marge Singer said.
Jeff Askey is about to win a Bareback Bronc Riding competition at the Kiwanis Wyoming County Fair.
AIMEE DILGER FILE PHOTO/THE TIMES LEADER
“You’re up higher where people can see you. They can see the horse better than just a person on the ground,” she said. “And they’re more leery. They’ll steer clear of a horse.”
After your mounted, highly noticeable guide has told you where to park, you’ll find plenty of other opportunities to soak up the rural atmosphere and, at least for a while, forget the world of office high-rises and honking horns.
You can admire rabbits, cows, sheep, goats and chickens that were raised on local farms and cheer on the horse competitions, both English-style jumping and Western-style rodeo.
The rodeo events include bull riding and bronco busting for boys, while girls aim for speed and try not to knock over any barrels as they guide their horses through the barrel-racing course.
But fairs are not solely an opportunity to celebrate agricultural life.
At the Sullivan County Fair, which continues through Monday in Forksville, a New York-style hot dog vendor is expected to bring a taste of Manhattan to the rural site.
Then there’s the pure Americana; for example, the animal-dressing contest set for 4 p.m. Sunday.
“We never know what’s going to show up,” Sullivan County Fair secretary Jody Lambert said. “We had one little boy who dressed up in a toga and so did his cow. Once there was a chicken dressed as a cowboy with a little hat and a little gun.”
At 2 p.m. Sunday, a giant ice-cream sundae will be served to all comers. It contains anywhere from 9 to 12 gallons of ice cream, Lambert estimated, and is decorated with chocolate sauce.
For impressive feats of strength, you can see draft horses, ponies and even miniature horses pulling weights that are appropriate for their very different sizes.
Speaking of animals and their amazing feats, did you know pigs can swim?
Robinson’s Paddling Porkers will be at the Great Allentown Fair this weekend, proving that piglets are willing to race through a 24-foot pool – called “the hogwash” – just as they’re willing to race on the ground if there’s an Oreo cookie waiting at the other end.
That’s just part of the fun at the Allentown Fair, where big cats and canine stunts are on the schedule and such Pennsylvania Dutch-style treats as fried green tomatoes and corn pies will add to the hometown flavor.
Then on Wednesday the Luzerne County Fair begins, proving that such time-honored handicrafts as quilt making and home-canning tomatoes have not died out in Luzerne County.
“We want to bring crafters back because it seems they’re becoming a dying trade,” Brenda Pugh, publicity coordinator, said. “We want to invite those that are out there back in so people can see the wonderful crafts they have and what they’re capable of doing.”
Pugh also said the fair committee aims to expand its vendor pool.
“We have lots of food on the grounds, so now we’re trying to bring in new and exciting things for people that they can become educated on, whether it’s tractors or home improvement.”
This year lumber mills and wood carvers are added to the vendor list.
Of course, there’s still enough farm equipment that “bring-your-own-tractor” competitions can take place, such as the tractor obstacle rodeo that will take place Sept. 11. A barnyard Olympics that day will allow participants to try their hands at activities such as a hay bale and egg toss or wheelbarrow race.Times Leader staff Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/entertainment/When_city_folks_arrive_at_the_Kiwanis_Wy_09-01-2011.html#ixzz1WskNTbSe
Carson and Barnes circus setting up at Lake Storey soccer fields
NICK ADAMS/The Register-Mail.
The Carson and Barnes circus is in Galesburg today for two performances at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. The tent is being put up this morning with the help of the circus' elephants. It is being set up at the soccer fields at Lake Storey.
By LISA COON The Register-Mail
Posted Sep 01, 2011
GALESBURG — Seventy-five years of circus tradition is in town today as the Galesburg Noon Lions Club brought the Carson and Barnes Circus here for two shows.
The two shows, 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. today, will be at the Lake Storey soccer fields under the tent of Carson and Barnes.
The tent is huge and elephants are helping today to it up.
The acts included in the nearly two-hour shows include elephants, camels, clowns, acrobats, aerialists, horses, jugglers, dogs, flying trapeze and a variety of other performances.
Tickets on the day of the shows are $10 for children and $18 for adults.
Carson and Barnes Circus performers ride elephants into the tent during the second part of the show at Lake Storey Park on Thursday night.
By ERIN MCCARTHY The Register-Mail
Posted Sep 01, 2011
GALESBURG, IL — The moment Vicki Brooks of Abingdon saw a marquee at Hi-Lo Grocery advertising the Carson and Barnes Circus coming to Lake Storey, she knew exactly who she’d bring to see it.
Brooks said she attended several circuses throughout her childhood and wanted her grandson, 3-year-old Jeremiah Huxtable of Galesburg, to have the same experience.
They even arrived a half-hour early to the circus Thursday, so he could “soak it all in.” And seeing the ear-to-ear smile on wide-eyed Huxtable as he rode around on a pony, she knew she made the right move.
“This is his first time at the circus, and his first time on a horse,” said Brooks. “He’s really liking it.”
As soon as the pony ride was over, Huxtable took his grandmother by the hand and already had his mind set on the next adventure: the “C & B Train.”
And after that, he wanted to go on the inflatable, or what he called, “the bumpy thing,” but Brooks explained the show was about to begin, and they hadn’t even gone inside the gate, yet.
Huxtable was disappointed at first, until he saw what awaited him inside — camel and elephant rides, and a petting zoo. He took one camel ride and the pair entered the big top.
Flipping in mid-air while blindfolded, Maurico jumps into the arms of Fabio during the Carson and Barnes Circus. The Galesburg Noon Lions Club brought the circus to town for two shows at Lake Storey Park.
In the moments before the circus began, Huxtable and his grandmother discussed what was about to happen.
“That’s where the animals will be, in that ring,” said Brooks.
“Like maybe a tiger?” asked Huxtable.
In the 1 hour show that followed, Huxtable never did see a tiger, but he didn’t seem to notice among the excitement of elephants, camels, clowns, acrobats, aerialists, horses, jugglers, dogs, trick cyclists, tight-rope walkers, flying trapeze and more.
But the glitz, glam, big band music and stunts were no match for the heat of the tent. At intermission, the edges of Huxtable’s hair were damp with sweat, and the two walked out to the evening breeze, not to return for the second half.
Instead, seemingly having found his second wind, Huxtable took full reign of the attractions outside the tent, first bouncing around in the inflatable, then taking a second round on the train and finishing up at the petting zoo.
NICK ADAMS/The Register-Mail. Clown Alex juggles Thursday during the Carson and Barnes Circus at Lake Storey Park
And Brooks was just happy to see her grandson enjoying himself.
“He was getting too hot in there,” she said as the music and applause could be heard coming from inside the tent. “And he just wants to do everything. He’s really liking absolutely everything.”
Huxtable confirmed his grandmother’s assumption. He said his favorite part was the train ride, but the “coolest part” of the circus was the camel — and the “grrrrr” noise they made.
“And the elephants,” he added to his list. “And the clowns were very funny. And I liked the horses, too.”
Just before calling it a night, Brooks again noted how much her grandson enjoyed the circus, and how happy she was to have been the first to take him.
“He’ll be talking about this for a long time,” she said. “I’m sure of it.”
A handful of animal activists protested this week outside Glendale City Hall over the design of the city's circus elephant float for the 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade.
The activists from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals waved signs before a City Council meeting Tuesday that said, “Sink the Circus Float” and “Circuses Are No Fun For Animals.” The float features a circus elephant towing a carriage, the Glendale News-Press reported.
Matt Bruce, an assistant campaigner for PETA, said he hoped the city could do “what they can to stop the float,” echoing concerns from animal activists who say the design glamorizes unfair treatment of elephants used for entertainment.
But with construction on the float in Pasadena nearly completed, City Council members on Tuesday said there was likely little they could do to change the design that was green-lighted by the Glendale Rose Float Assn.
“Isn’t there some way we can change the theme? Come up with something better?” Councilman Frank Quintero said.
Mayor Laura Friedman suggested the float builder change things around to display the elephant in a wildlife setting. Councilman Rafi Manoukian said a sign could be placed on the float noting the city doesn’t support the use of circus elephants.
Design has historically been selected by the Rose Float Assn., but some officials asked that that responsibility be transferred to the city’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department last week. In addition to the design controversy, the float also encountered fund-raising issues and was saved largely by major donations from business owners.
The only reason I publish these articles is to show
Cole Bros. Circus, which is coming to Myrtle Beach next week, says its show will go on despite animal-welfare charges filed by the United States Department of Agriculture.
“We deny the allegations. Our attorney is working on this, and we feel confident that the charges will be dropped,” said Renee Storey, vice president of administration for the circus, which is based in DeLand, Fla. “It changes nothing about the way we operate.”
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent out a press release this week saying that after it lodged complaints against the circus last year regarding the treatment of two elephants, the USDA filed charges that include failing to provide proper veterinary care for underweight elephants and improper animal sales.
Blog Editor's note--
It goes on to state that Cole Bros doesn't even own the animals!
Chris and Genevieve start their journey discovering new foods at the Illinois State Fair. Stay tuned for more! Wake up with Chris and Genevieve every morning from 6 to 9 CST on 98.7 WNNS, 80s, 90s & Now online at www.WNNS.com
I was asked to spread the word that BUZZ BARTON, "The Ice Man", also known as Jeweler to the Stars, broke his hip several weeks ago. He is recuperating at HEALTH SOUTH, Sarasota and would like to hear from friends. Spread the word, please, it is boring there!http://www.healthsouthsarasota.com/default.aspAccording to the web site, the general number is 941 921 8600.The address is: 6400 Edgelake Drive, Sunny Sarasota.Caution, if you are going to visit don't bring cash, he might want to sell you something, it is just his hip that broke not his ability to make a deal!
Stephen Wikoski of Springville is a vendor at the Wyoming County Fair who specializes in wood burning stoves. The fair is in its 26th consecutive year and will run through Monday. An estimated 47,000 people are expected to attend the event over the next six days despite Tropical Storm Irene over the weekend and its aftermath.
MESHOPPEN TWP. – Instead of doing homework, Darcy Berry’s son and daughter were eating ice cream Wednesday.She and her mother, Elizabeth Beebe, brought them and Berry’s other daughter, Nadiya 4, to the Kiwanis Wyoming County Fair on the first day it opened.
Berry’s school-age children, 9-year-old David and 8-year-old Rebecca, had the day off because of the damage caused over the weekend by Tropical Storm Irene. They attend Evans Falls Elementary School, which had no electrical power due to the storm.
The family has been coming to the fair regularly but moved up their visit this year.
“We usually come on Friday nights,” said Berry, of Tunkhannock.
The fair, in its 26th consecutive year, runs through Monday, and an estimated 47,000 people were expected during the six-day event, even with parts of the county still struggling to recover from flooding and power outages. Opening day was overcast and the fairgrounds were still soft from soaking rains, but people walked among the food and merchandise vendors and children screamed on the amusement rides in the midway.Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/Fair_weather_in_Wyoming_Co__09-01-2011.html#ixzz1Wn2yxEST
The magic will continue: Circus World extends Crist's show through September
Magician's assistant and aerialist Hannah Crist, at left, a young audience member and Roger the Clown perform during a recent show by Circus World comedy illusionist Tristan Crist (hidden behind child).
News Republic file photo
Brian D. Bridgeford, News Republic Posted: Thursday, September 1, 2011
Fans of Circus World are in store for more magical fun this fall.
Baraboo illusionist Tristan Crist has signed on to continue his "Ring of Illusions" show twice daily through Sept. 23.
It includes magic and a daredevil trapeze act by his sister and magic assistant, Hannah Crist.
Performances will take place seven days a week at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., Tristan Crist said, beginning Monday and ending Sept. 23.
The show is scheduled to take place in the Moeller Hippodrome building, in order to facilitate Hannah's trapeze act.
However, Crist said he will bring in some illusions suited to the smaller, "more intimate" audiences he said he draws for his shows in the auditorium of the Irvin Fled Exhibit Hall.
Crist promised lots of fun and chances for his audience to participate in illusions.
"We'll do the sawing-in-half illusion we're kind of known for," he said.
"I think we'll also do the routine where we borrow an audience member's $100 bill.
"I won't tell you what we'll do with that," Crist said with a chuckle. "They'll hopefully get it back in the end - it might change into a $50."
A young audience member becomes a magician during a rrecent show by Circus World comedy illusionist Tristan Crist (hidden behind child).
Normally, Circus World would hold its final circus performances through the Labor Day weekend and continue operations simply as a museum through October, said Steve Freese, executive director. However, because Tristan Crist is a Baraboo resident, he offered the opportunity to continue performances for an additional month.
"We're very excited about that opportunity," Freese said. "Not all of our acts are from Baraboo, and most of them go on to their next gigs, going back to Florida or wherever."
The Baraboo/Wisconsin Dells tourism season is expanding beyond the summer, so having "Ring of Illusions" performances in the fall allows Circus World to respond to that trend, Freese said. It is an attraction that will provide entertainment for day-trip visitors.
"It gives our customers another reason to come here," he said. "We have been working with a lot of the hotels in the Dells and Baraboo, and it will give (tourists) another opportunity to have fun while they are exploring the county.
"The hotels have been calling us to know what's available," Freese said. "We've been telling them we've got this program, we've got the museum open (and) we've got the wagon exhibit up."
Depending on the attendance numbers during the fall, Circus World could stay open as late as November or December.
"It really depends on what the traffic level is like," Freese said.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls… Step right up!
The Circus is coming to Lake in the Hills on Saturday, September 10th.
The Kelly Miller Circus, one of only a few traveling shows still in existence, will appear at Sunset Park, with shows at 2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., thanks to the sponsorship of the Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Jaycees.
Advance tickets are available at all branches of Algonquin State Bank, both LitH locations of Castle Bank, Algonquin Bank & Trust, Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Chamber of Commerce and Cafe Firefly in historic downtown Algonquin (open until 9pm).
The Circus elephants will begin erecting the Big Top at approximately 9:00 a.m. Circus morning, and everyone is invited to come and watch free of charge.
The Circus is a fund raiser for the Jaycees. A portion of this years funds will go to the Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District's Education Fund and the expansion for the Interfaith Food Pantry. The Jaycee will receive a greater share of advance ticket sales than tickets sold on Circus day. Show your support for our community by purchasing your tickets early. Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Jaycees Hotline (224) 829-5963.
The Great Allentown Fair kicks off its week-long festival tonight with a free preview night.
Visitors can get a taste of the food stands, see the livestock, check out the Agri-Plex, have a go on the rides, and listen to the music of the William Allen Chorale, among others.
The fair runs through Sept. 5. Tickets normally cost $6 for guests over the age of 12; free for kids under 12. Senior citizens can take advantage of a $4 admission after 2 p.m. Wednesday.
The free preview night is not a new offering, says fair spokeswoman Terri Schwenk. It's been a way for fair organizers to share the annual fair's new offerings with regular visitors."They get to see what they should come back for," Schwenk says of the preview night. "See what's new and exciting."Schwenk says everything will be operational when the gates open at 4 o'clock this afternoon. Rides will start at 5 o'clock. Opening ceremonies begin at 5:15.
Take advantage of other frugalista opportunities by visiting the fair during Weekdays under the Wire promotions: noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
For more information on the fair, its daily schedule and grandstand shows, visit allentownfairpa.org.
LEESBURG, INDIANA – A circus employee was injured Monday night after falling out of a moving Barnum & Bailey Circus train as it chugged through the county between appearances.
The Norfolk-Southern rail company called the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department just before 9 p.m. Monday, saying a passenger had fallen from a moving train in Leesburg. Police and medics arrived to find a man sitting on the tracks just north of Van Buren Street, conscious but suffering from major leg injuries and complaining of head injuries.
The man, who was not identified by police, was taken to Kosciusko Community Hospital, then airlifted to a Fort Wayne hospital.
Stephen Payne, spokesman for Feld Entertainment, parent company of Barnum & Bailey, said this morning that the man was “going to be OK.”
Payne would not identify the man, saying only that he is a circus worker.
According to the sheriff’s department, the man had been leaning against a door in a vestibule between two rail cars when it opened, ejecting the man from the moving train. The man fell onto the stones just off the tracks below.
Susan Terpay, a spokeswoman for the rail company, said the man may have been standing near steps to board or deboard the train when he tumbled from the locomotive, striking the ground below.
The sheriff’s department said alcohol may have been involved in the incident.
Payne would not speculate what the circumstances were that led to the man’s fall, saying he does not have complete information on the incident, adding that Feld’s priority is safety.
“The safety of all of the people and animal on our trains is of paramount importance to us,” said Payne.
He said Feld will work along side the railway and local law enforcement during the investigation.
The sheriff’s department said Norfolk-Southern Railroad police arrived at the scene and took over the investigation. The railroad police hold jurisdiction over the tracks because they cross state lines.
The train was on its way to Moline, Ill., from a show in Marion.
These five youngsters took an elephant ride shortly before the 4:30 p.m. Carson and Barnes circus show held at the Rec Plex Monday. There was also an evening show.
By Luke Smucker
Pontiac Daily Leader
Posted Aug 30, 2011
Pontiac, Ill. — In a world where the Internet and television screens give people access to all of their entertainment desires in an instant, it’s easy to forget that there was a time when the circus was as big as a summer blockbuster and the clowns, acrobats and animal performers were as popular as movie stars.On Monday, the Carson and Barnes circus came to Pontiac courtesy of P.R.O.U.D. for 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. shows.
“This is the third time that P.R.O.U.D. has brought this event to town,” said Lori Fairfield, executive director of P.R.O.U.D. “You don’t see them as often anymore, so to be able to bring them to our community is really great.”Fairfield said the Carson and Barnes circus has come to Pontiac in the past during 2005 and 2007 and that their great reputation and class acts are what really made the decision to bring them back this year so easy.
Carson and Barnes also allow sponsors to help them out with appearance costs and in return, P.R.O.U.D said they are going to use the funds they receive to help pay for future events such as the Jolly Trolley Holiday Open Houses and the Christmas Light Up parade.“This year, we hope to make a couple thousand dollars to go towards our future expenses,” said Fairfield. “All the funds that we raised off of our event go back into any future special events that we might host. We have a bunch of different things throughout the year, but operating costs is always a big one.”One tradition that Fairfield has held at the circus each time it has come to town, is to ride out on the back of one of the circus’ elephants. At the 4:30 p.m. show, Fairfield was joined on the elephant’s back by Beth Murphy, the vice president of P.R.O.U.D. and Ellie Alexander, the tourism director for the city.“I am kind of becoming an old pro at that,” joked Fairfield. “Your heart gets to pump a little bit when you’re on top of that big elephant. To be able to touch the skin and the hair, it’s a little bit different than you anticipate.”After the end of the 7:30 p.m. show, the circus slowly began to pack up and move on.
“We are now gearing up for the Holiday season,” said Fairfield. “But we are hoping for a good turnout for both shows and we are excited to have the circus here in town.”
News of merger talks between the Police Athletic League’s Sailor Circus of talented young amateurs and Circus Sarasotas’ cast of world-class professionals caused a bit of head-scratching around this old circus town.
Why would the PAL relinquish control of a 63-year-old county tradition? And what could Circus Sarasota gain from taking over an after-school extra-curricular activity? After speaking with PAL’s leader, Sarasota Sheriff Tom Knight, a few common interests emerged that are pushing the talks forward.
But first a little background. The Sailor Circus is unique in the United States. Students from all over Sarasota County train after school with coaches and big-top vets to stage a real-life circus. Clowns, trapeze artists, wire walkers, unicyclists, jugglers, web acts, gymnastics, the quality is exceptional, even breathtaking at times. For locals, it’s a show never to be missed.
But seven years ago, the school system pulled the plug. The old building needed refurbishment, the staff costs were high, and the man holding it all together – Coach Bill Lee – retired. PAL stepped forward and “The Greatest Little Show on Earth” was saved. That motto, by the way, received the blessing of the Ringling show, which agreed it does not infringe on their legally protected logo.
PAL opened up the circus to all school aged children – home schooled, private schooled or public school students. Previously it was open to public school students only. And PAL provided tutors, because students who fell behind in their grades couldn’t participate.
Circus Sarasota is at the other end of the showfolk spectrum. Professional artists in their prime showcase their talents. They come from around the world to perform for one of the world’s most demanding circus audiences. How could these two groups find common ground?
Proud mother welcomes home her son, the new Ringling Bros. ringmaster
BRIAN CRAWFORD SCOTT
by Hannah Kim Mountain View Voice Staff
August 30, 2011
Waltzing elephants, kissing tigers and flaming men blasting from a human crossbow electrified the arena floor with excitement. But to one mother in the crowd, the highlight of the show was the young man who burst into melody while guiding the audience on a riveting journey through each incredible act.
After the festivities of opening night, Heidi Scott, a Mountain View software engineer, joined her family as well as animal trainer Tabayara Maluenda, the Brothers of Brawn, the members of Clown Alley and the rest of the circus stars for a congratulatory feast. She says she would never have imagined celebrating her son's 25th birthday in this way, let alone having him return home as the man in charge of the "Greatest Show on Earth".
An unexpected future
Brian Crawford Scott is the 36th ringmaster in the 141-year history of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, and to Heidi, it is all very surreal.
No one had expected her son to join the circus after graduating from college with a degree in theater.
"It was definitely a surprise because when we all thought of musical theater, the circus didn't enter any of our minds," Heidi says. "But the more I thought about it, the more I thought it was perfect for his personality."
As a child, Brian says he never dreamed of joining the circus nor did he desire to pursue theater.
"When I was little, I wanted to be an astronaut and archaeologist, and when I was in high school, I wanted to be a writer," Brian says. "Theater wasn't really on my list of things to do."
How a little town saved the circus
Bill Wundram The Quad-City Times
Posted: Sunday, August 28, 2011
Hey! Children of all ages, the circus comes to town this week. If you are from Cascade, Iowa - which is in the bluffs about 70 miles north of the Quad-Cities - you will get in free to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Citizens of Cascade need only to show their driver's licenses and they will be ushered to the best seats in the house when the Greatest Show on Earth plays the i wireless Center in Moline, Thursday through Sunday.
THE FREE SEATS promise represents a hundred year-plus commitment because little Cascade once reached out to save the circus when it was a tiny show, broke and struggling to get its wagons through the mud.
The show's gift is a little-known tale of the benevolence of a mammoth entertainment enterprise. If not for the big-hearted people of Cascade, the Greatest Show on Earth likely wouldn't exist.
There is a standing order at the box office in Moline that anyone from Cascade gets in free. This has held true for all the years the circus has played the Quad-Cities, because this is the closest venue to Cascade that the show plays.
It is a strange order, but executives of Feld Entertainment, which now owns the Ringling show, say it is time-honored. A Feld representative says, "It's a long, very old promise, and Ringling keeps its promises."
Read more: http://www.qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/bill-wundram/how-a-little-town-saved-the-circus/article_b4a1cab6-d142-11e0-8f65-001cc4c03286.html#ixzz1Wb4yIg2q
The Greatest "Little" Show on Earth, the PAL Sailor Circus opens it's 62nd edition on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 in Sarasota. Shows are March 30-31, April 1-2 and 7-9, 2011. (Herald-Tribune staff photo by Craig Litten)
By Carrie Seidman
Published: Monday, August 29, 2011 .
from: Sarasota Herald Tribune
SARASOTA - You could say it's a move to bring everything under one big top.
If all goes as planned, Circus Sarasota, the nonprofit founded in 1997 to present high-level circus acts and preserve the city's circus heritage, will merge with Sailor Circus, a children's circus training program administered for seven years by the Police Athletic League of Sarasota County.
Sheriff Tom Knight, who is executive director of PAL and oversees its youth programs, confirmed the merger is likely to be completed Sept. 20, pending approval by the Sarasota County School Board, which owns the Sailor Circus property on Bahia Vista Street.
The goal is for Sailor Circus to maintain its rich history and singular identity, while ensuring its future, Knight said.
The two groups would be "separate but equal" under an organizational structure where business operations would be consolidated under a single governing board.
"At the end of the day, it's about putting similar programs under one umbrella so they can share fundraising, facilities and the opportunity to raise money for capitol campaigns," Knight said. "It's a win win."
PAL took on the Sailor Circus in 2004, absorbing the cost of insurance for the facility and the program. But it was always somewhat outside the typical scope of PAL, which creates programs for at-risk youth that "fill classrooms, not courtrooms," said Knight, quoting the league's motto.
PAL has kept the Sailor Circus program running, but has not had the money to make building improvements or expand its offerings.
At the same time, Knight said, PAL is under pressure to supply more youth programming in North Port, where needs are greatest. The merger will open up possibilities for other PAL programming.
"The main goal for me is to add programs and right now, we're not able to do that," he said. "This way, PAL won't be financially supporting Sailor Circus anymore."
Knight said others in the community, including the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, are supporting the merger and that Sarasota County school Superintendent Laurie White also is on board. The decision rests with the School Board.
Shrine Circus thrills Rapides Parish, raises money to help children
Elephant rides were offered at the Cenla Shrine Circus before the Saturday performance and during intermission. The circus continues today at the Rapides Parish Coliseum with shows at 2 and 6 p.m.
Written byWarren Hayes
Aug. 28, 2011
Melissa Anthony of Pineville believes high-wire acts, colorful lights and animals of the wild might be in her future.
The 7-year-old was one of many Central Louisiana children who flocked to the Rapides Parish Coliseum on Saturday for the annual Cenla Shrine Circus.The event continues today with shows at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. The event is free for children 12 and younger, while tickets are $10 for adults.Cenla Shrine Circus President Randall Cubb said the circus has been in Cenla more than 20 years.
"This circus attracts 18,000 people in the two days it's held," he said. "A hundred percent of our Cracker Jack sales go toward transportation to get children to a (Shriners Hospitals for Children) in Shreveport or any other Shrine Hospital they may need to go to. There's 22 Shriners Hospitals worldwide."
When Melissa walked into the Coliseum, her eyes widened as she saw children have a chance to ride an elephant and pony. Children also had their faces painted. Some parents were buying their children cotton candy and balloons.
The girl smiled and told her mother that an elephant she rode was huge."I've never had a chance to ride an elephant. It was fun," Melissa said. "I definitely want to come back next year. My mom also enjoys the circus."
Bill Nemitz: Comedian adds wrinkle to elephant's retirement
Jim Lauriter, shown with the ailing Rosie, said of his plan to bring her to Maine: "She's going to receive treatments that she couldn't receive down there (in Oklahoma) or really anyplace else in the world."
Posted: August 28
As if Maine didn't have enough headaches, now we've got Lily Tomlin threatening us over an elephant.The Hollywood actress and comedian, who also happens to be a longtime advocate for elephants in captivity, wrote Gov. Paul LePage last week to say she was "stunned" that veterinarian Jim Laurita is moving ahead with plans to bring an aging, ailing elephant named Rosie to his midcoast hometown of Hope.
More on Laurita's plans in a minute. First, a sneak peek at what the good doctor is up against.
"Should approval be given to bring Rosie to Maine," warned Tomlin in her letter to LePage, "it is certain to draw the ire of elephant lovers around the world and unwanted controversy to your wonderful state."
LePage, bless him, has so far taken a pass on responding directly to this one. (Although the mere mention of our Republican governor and an elephant in the same brouhaha is enough to make our headline writers swoon.)
But Laurita, who worked with Rosie as an elephant handler for the Carson and Barnes Circus more than 30 years ago, said last week he's forging ahead with his plans to make Maine the 42-year-old pachyderm's new home.
It all started a few months ago when Laurita, who's had a veterinary practice in Camden since he came here with a degree from Cornell University in 1990, decided to go beyond the farm animals and small pets and do something big. Really big.
In addition to his work with the circus back in his college days (he and his brother, Tom, first joined Carson and Barnes as jugglers), Laurita, now 53, later worked with elephants at the Bronx Zoo and actually managed his own herd at the nonprofit Wildlife Safari animal park in Oregon. He also studied elephants in India during his time at Cornell.
"They're very, very intelligent animals," Laurita said. "That's what makes them so fascinating."
Laurita long has kept tabs on Rosie, who is now retired from the circus and living with a 27-elephant herd at Carson and Barnes' winter facility in Oklahoma.read more at:http://www.pressherald.com/news/Comedian-adds-wrinkle-to-elephants-retirement_2011-08-28.html
Circus slated Friday, Saturday at St. Mary Church in Griffith
By Times Staff nwitimes.com Posted: Sunday, August 28, 2011
GRIFFITH, IN-- The Kelly Miller Circus will return to the region this week.
The circus is scheduled to perform at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday and at 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday on the grounds of St. Mary Church, 525 N. Broad St.
Tickets are available in advance at Strack & Van Til in Highland and Spitz & Miller Insurance, Centier Bank, Griffith Savings Bank, Mainsource Bank and St. Mary church office, all in Griffith.
Tickets purchased in advance are $10 for adults and $6 for children ages 2 to 12. Tickets purchased the day of the circus are $14 for adults and $7 for children.
The circus is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus.Read more: http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/griffith/article_26fecd54-01ac-58e9-9e75-0ed8c9cb8d7a.html#ixzz1WMIVa68G
Brothers Giang Quoc Co and Giang Quoc Nghiep performing at the 2011 International Summer Circus Festival in Havana, Cuba from August 8-14 (Photo: Tuoitre)
By Do Hanh – Translated by Uyen Phuong
from: www.saigon-gpdaily.com.vn Sunday ,Aug 28,2011
Vietnam’s circus has won many accolades in international competitions, where circus artists had an opportunity to perform in several foreign countries and proved their prowess by taking up international challenges.
Vietnam has won a gold medal at the third international circus festival that took place in Albacete in Spain from February 14-25 this year.
Artists performed the show “Superman Swing”, in which eight artists from the Vietnam Circus Federation also won the ‘Audience Favorite Award’, based on 10,000 spectator votes.
Last month, at the 2011 International Summer Circus Festival held in Havana in Cuba from August 8-14, the brothers Giang Quoc Co and Giang Quoc Nghiep of Vietnam won the Grand Prix prize.
They performed the show “Power of Arms,” which had earlier won a gold medal at the Hanoi International Circus Festival in 2010. The duo impressed judges and audiences with their perfect balance, strength and beautifully graceful movements.
These successes have been promising and an excellent opportunity for Vietnamese artists to present their artistic skills on a foreign land.
Compared to other art forms, circus has an advantage of reaching out to audiences with its graceful language and easy to understand style, for all class of society. That is why circus operators have been organizing many shows in foreign countries recently.
The Ho Chi Minh City Circus Association sends artists to perform in Taiwan each year from March to June, drawing tens of thousands of viewers to the theater. The circus has recently been invited to perform in Japan, a place where Vietnamese artists are warmly received.
According to circus artists, Vietnamese circus shows that have been staged abroad are small performances not magnificent spectacles.
In fact, Vietnam’s circus has no shortage of artists in the sector, because if necessary, Vietnam can invite foreign experts to collaborate. However, the country is short of funds and should more funds be made available, Vietnam can do excellently, having already proved its ability by winning accolades in international festivals.
Circus artists spent five years practicing Lang toi ( My village) shows to perform in overseas countries which were so successful and attracted such a great deal of attention that artists were later invited to present on larger stages abroad.
Despite these successes, artists are very worried. Musician Ho Van Thanh, head of the Ho Chi Minh City Circus Association said the circus has performed on stages in France for nine years, this year being its tenth. Artists must now think of adding new performances if they do not want to stagnate with repetitive shows.
Thanh proposes more investments in this art form to bring Vietnamese circus to outshine in South-East Asian region as well as in other Asian and European countries.