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Monday, August 6, 2012

Circus tricks with a cowboy twist at Clark County Fair

RIDGEFIELD, WASHINGTON-8/5/12--Dan Mink, of Rhinestone Ropers, stands atop his horse, Lucky Joe, and encourages the audience to see that Joe is OK during a show at the Clark County Fair's western-themed area, Summer's Best Goes West, Sunday in Ridgefield, Wash.
 Photo by Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian
By Sara Hottman, The Oregonian
from:  oregonlive.com
Published: Sunday, August 05, 2012
Cowboy Dan threw a round of oversized show knives into a fast-spinning panel, sticking each one against centrifugal force.
Then he took it up a notch for a crowd at the Clark County Fair on Sunday.
Cowgirl and assistant Melody Joy Emel stepped into the center of the circular panel and held tight as he pushed it into a spin, throwing knives around her with consecutive smacks.
With silver protruding from the red, white and blue panel, Emel continued to spin.
Cowboy Dan tossed a green balloon into the air, and bang! Emel shot it with a tiny pistol in her waistband.
"When we perform I'm managing the show and the crowd," said Dan Mink, who started the Rhinestone Ropers show 15 years ago. "But when we do that trick, I'm thinking about the knives 100 percent."
 
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RIDGEFIELD, WASHINGTON-8/5/12--Brenden Svetlik (right), 24. of Vancouver, prepares for the worst after being roped by performer Karen Quest during her show at the Clark County Fair's western-themed area, Summer's Best Goes West, Sunday in Ridgefield, Wash.
 Photo by Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian
Circus tricks with a cowboy twist abound at the Clark County Fair, running through Aug. 12. The fair, in its 144th year, will attract hundreds of thousands of patrons to its carnival rides, vendors and exhibits over the 10-day run, organizers said.
This year's theme is "Summer's Best Goes West," with an Old West flavor in the featured entertainment -- three roping acts on the Lone Star Stage: Cowboy Dan's Rhinestone Ropers, Karen Quest Cowgirl Tricks and Leapin' Louie Comedy Shows.
Three such acts is unusual for a fair, said Karen Quest, longtime clown, juggler and trick roper. Typically fairs hire one act to fill the niche. "But that's like not booking more than one band because they all have drums and a guitar," she said.
Matt Ferris, marketing manager for the fair, said the plethora of Old West entertainment and attractions bolsters the theme, a popular one recycled from previous years and fitting for Clark County's uniquely agricultural fair.
"A lot of fairs have turned urban," Ferris said. "The closest agricultural fair is probably Clackamas County. For Washington, it's pretty much us."
read more:
http://www.oregonlive.com/clark-county/index.ssf/2012/08/circus_tricks_with_a_cowboy_tw.html

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