'Circus, Circus & More Circus' brings the oohs and ahhs
Circus, Circus, and More Circus' show ringmaster swallows fire Friday at Randolph Millholland Armory. (By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer)
By DON AINES
March 16, 2012
Hagerstown, MD--The air was thick with the scent of lighter fluid Friday as Brian LaPalme drank a cup of the flammable liquid, put a lighter to his lips and launched a volcano of flame nearly to the ceiling of the Randolph Millholland National Guard Armory.
To the “oohs” and “ahhs” of a couple of hundred spectators, LaPalme, the master of ceremonies of Walker International Events’ “Circus, Circus & More Circus,” kicked off the first of two shows at the armory south of Hagerstown, followed by acrobats, a trapeze artist, animal acts and Orlandito the Clown.
A magician as well as emcee and fire-eater, LaPalme told the audience he was a 36-year veteran of the circus life, having left high school early to go on the road.
Molly Pollak, 2, was in the arms of her mother, Stacey Pollak of Hagerstown, watching a young performer keep more than a dozen Hula-Hoops twirling about her torso at one time.
Molly was at her first circus, and her mother said earlier that it was the trapeze artist who most caught her daughter’s attention.
“I think she probably liked the trapeze girl .... That was my favorite,” Kara Hubble of Greencastle, Pa., said of her daughter, 4-year-old Reagan.
“I’ve been to the circus two times,” Reagan said.
Not to be outdone, 2-year-old Gavin Kmett, a spider web painted on his face by Orlandito, was attending his third circus, according to his mother, Anita Kmett of Hagerstown.