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!
High-wire and trapeze artists, motorcycle daredevils, jugglers and clowns are among the entertainment at Circus Vargas, which is heading to Hayward before moving to Newark next week.
The show runs Sept. 6-10 at Southland Mall and Sept. 13-17 at NewPark Mall.
The big top show emphasizes that it doesn't include any animals. And new this year is a human cannonball, the Human Rocket.
The Newark shows are sponsored by the League of Volunteers.
"We've been sponsoring the circus here for years. It's a good thing for the community. Children of all ages love it," said league executive director Shirley Sisk.
The league gets a percentage of proceeds from tickets sold in advance.
"The money we make will go toward our holiday programs: our Thanksgiving meal, Toys for Tots, an adopt-a-family program and a preholiday party for kids," Sisk said.
Tickets for the Newark shows are available at The Book End, 6678 Thornton Ave. in the Newark Square Shopping Center, or at the league office, 36120 Ruschin Drive. Tickets also can be purchased with a credit card by phone at 510-793-5683 or under the donations link on the league's website, www.lov.org.
The league is offering $10 discounts on children's general admission and arena seating advance tickets. General admission bleacher tickets are $25 for ages 11 and older, $10 children (with coupon) ages 2 to 10. Arena chair seating tickets are $35
Tickets for the Hayward performances can be bought at www.circusvargas.com or by phone at 877-468-3861. They also will be available at the circus box office.
Children who arrive early can take part in a preshow, where they will be guided through a crash course in circus skills.
"I can't wait to see the human cannonball," Sisk said
BRIDGEPORT -- The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday upheld the city's right to arrest circus protesters who try to block an area in front of the Webster Bank Arena.
The federal appeals court, in a briefly-worded decision, upheld the ruling of a lower court against a woman who was arrested while protesting the circus.
"We are pleased with the court's decision which allows the city to ensure the public safety while at the same time permitting the exercise of the First Amendment right to free speech," Associate City Attorney Betsy Edwards said.
The protester, Lisa Zalaski, could not be reached for comment.According to court records, in 2006, Friends of Animals sued the city in federal court after police arrested several protesters outside the arena who were demonstrating against performances of the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus.
In its lawsuit, Friends of Animals contended the protesters' constitutional right to free speech was violated because they were protesting in a public place at the time of their arrests.
The city countered the protesters were causing a security problem at the arena because they were blocking an area reserved for ticket holders entering the arena.
In 2008, the city agreed to settle the case with Friends of Animals, paying them $9,000. Friends of Animals agreed that its future protests would take place no closer than 80 feet from the arena doors.
U.S. District Judge Vanessa Bryant subsequently threw out the lawsuit against the remaining plaintiff, Zalaski, ruling that the area where the protest was conducted did in fact create a security problem. She stated that there was abundant room outside the area where the protesters could be seen by the public but not interfere with ticket holders.
In an unrelated ruling Thursday, the state Supreme Court upheld a lower state court's ruling placing a limit on the city's underinsured motorist coverage. Edwards said as a result of that ruling, the city, which is self insured, will see substantial savings in certain claim
Through the first few days of his first Shenandoah County Fair, fair general manager Tom Eshelman seems pleased with how things are going.
"We had great attendance [opening] Friday night, and then Saturday night we sold out the tractor pull," he said during a Monday afternoon phone interview.
More than 1,500 tickets were available for the tractor pull, according to Eshelman.
For the first time in decades, beer was back at the fair on Sunday, he said. The Valley Foundation is managing a beer garden on the track each night the fair features a concert, Eshelman said.
"Beer hasn't been on the track since the '60s," he said.
The beer garden was open Sunday for the Justin Moore concert, and will be back for the concerts Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Eshelman said.
The Zerbini Family Circus has returned, but in a new location, he said. The circus is near Gate 2 between the midway and the parking lot.
"It stands basically in the middle of the fairgrounds," Eshelman said.
He said the circus, which is at the fair throughout the week, is sponsored by Shentel, which has a communications trailer next to it.
Also in a new location is the petting zoo, which is free, although any rides must be paid for, according to Eshelman. After a couple years' absence, the Bar C Ranch is back with their animals, and will be at the corner of the fairgrounds near Ox Road.
A new exhibit this year features Dyna firewood processors from Thomas, W.Va., Eshelman said. He said they'll do custom wood-splitting.
"People will find it entertaining in itself," he said.
Harness racing begins Wednesday, and will run 1-4 p.m. each day through Saturday, according tEshelman.
The BB&T-Sherwin-Williams activity tent will have some new activities, including a magician Tuesday and a barbershop quartet on Thursday, as well as pottery making throughout the week, he said.
And, of course, many people think of food when they come to the fair.
"We've added a couple of iced tea vendors and doughnut people, and some Mexican food," Eshelman said. "We've got wings on the premises this year along with all the other great food people have been used to."
The final entertainment feature of the fair will be Saturday's Painted Pony Championship Rodeo.
"It's going to be a full-fledged rodeo -- bull-riding, bronc busting ... it's a full cowboy night," Eshelman said.
The Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show, with its chain saws and ax-throwing, thrills young and old.
Lumberjack Web Beckstead throws a double bladded ax during the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show at The Great Allentown Fair on Friday, August 31, 2012. Announcer Lee LeCaptain calls out Beckstead's score
(BEN MORRISON, THE MORNING CALL / August 31, 2012)
By Marion Callahan, Of The Morning Call
August 31, 2012
It's not every day you win a chip off the old block — literally.
So Linnea Blood clutched her prize, a hand-size wood chip, after guessing that it would take lumberjack Web Beckstead just 20 seconds to saw through a log.
"You don't get to see something like this every day," said Blood, 34, who sat in the stands at the Allentown Fair on Friday afternoon watching the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show.
The 30-minute performance featured two world champion outdoorsmen who showcased lumberjack skills, typically tested in competitions across the country, including chopping and sawing wood, ax-throwing, log-rolling and more.
By Kim Walter from: nvdaily.com Aug. 31, 2012 Woodstock, VA--While it consisted of only one ring, modest lighting and sound, the traditional acts one would expect from under the big top appealed to all fairgoers, from infants to senior citizens.
The Zerbini Family Circus put on two free shows a day this week during the Shenandoah County Fair in Woodstock. The family owned and operated event is part of eight generations of circus people, and it was obvious the performers were passionate about what they did during a 5 p.m. showing on Wednesday.
Upon walking into the tent, the smell of cedar chips, the sound of carnival-style music and the display of vibrant colors come together to form a welcoming circus atmosphere.
"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls and children of all ages," ringmaster Melody Zerbini said as she opened the show.
"I find that serving as ringmaster is a fun job. I get to warm-up the audience and get them to clap and cheer as I introduce the acts and encourage audience participation," Zerbini said.
Zerbini is the daughter of the circus's current owner, 60-year-old Alain Zerbini, who opened his own show in 1994. He has been performing and working with circuses his entire life.
Several traditional acts took place Wednesday, including an acrobat - the "Dazzling Jennifer" - who also balanced a sword on her forehead while climbing up a ladder.
Mower cycle: Ray Kingery saves gas and gets a workout on his home-made manual riding mower at his home in North Yarmouth, Maine. Works great when going straight, he says, "but you can't make turns." Photo: Robert F. Bukaty, Associated Press / SF
How much should you tip your waiter - if he serves your drinks under a flaming limbo pole without spilling a drop? At least 25 percent? (Universal Circus performer, Memphis.) Photo: Mike Brown, Associated Press / SF
Trunks waiting to be packed: Behind an electrified fence at the Udawalawa Wildlife Sanctuary in Sri Lanka, a peanut gallery pins its hopes on the generosity of a banana boy. Photo: Eranga Jayawardena, Associated Press / SF
By Charles Ellis, The Post-Standard from: syracuse.com Published: Friday, August 31, 2012 Geddes, N.Y. — The official attendance total for Friday at the New York State fair is 78,330, according to state fair officials.
That’s down 7,645 from last year’s figure of 85,965.
Zoe Jiles and Alayna Yoder of Kentland, Ind., take a ride on an elephant before going through the gates to watch the Kelly Miller Circus yesterday afternoon. from: newsbug.info/watsekatimes.com By WENDY DAVIS, Reporter Friday, August 31, 2012 Watseka Area Firefighters Association will get more than $5,000 from Kelly Miller Circus ticket sales and the Modern Woodmen of America.
Michigan State Fair: Prices, Schedules and More Info Here's all the information you need to know about the Great Lakes State Fair in Novi today through Labor Day. By Rebecca Jaskot Email the author August 31, 2012 Circus Performance Times Detroit’s own Shrine Circus will entertain crowds with musical clowns and animal acts, including ponies, canines, tigers and elephants. Aerial daredevils will perform death defying feats on motorcycles, roller skates and in giant wheels and massive swings. Your all-inclusive ticket gets you into one free viewing of the show. Performances are scheduled as follows: •Noon •2:30 p.m. •5 p.m. •7:30 p.m. (Friday-Sunday only) see more at: http://oaklandtownship.patch.com/articles/michigan-state-fair-prices-schedules-and-more-info#pdf-10115407
Central Texas State Fair presents Bulls and Bands!
Published on Aug 23, 2012 by bellcountyexpo
The 2012 Central Texas State Fair is celebrating 25 years on August 31-September 2! Join us for some of the best cowboys and bulls in action at the PBR Touring Pro on September 1 and 2, and enjoy live Texas Country music on the Fairgrounds each night featuring Stoney LaRue, Aaron Watson, and the Casey Donahew Band. For more information visit centraltexasstatefair.co
from: kentreporter.com Tracey Compton, Kent Reporter Kent, WA--Thirteen-year-old Ella Trout, with her mother Karry of Olympia, got up close and personal with Duchess an Asian elephant in Ringling Bros. and Barum & Bailey's Blind Touch Tour. The special presentation was for visually impaired students to experience the circus now at ShoWare Events Center through the weekend.
With 100 people dedicated to the production, 60 to 70 performers, Barnum Bash will take over ShoWare Center Friday to Monday.
Kimberly Primicerio from: myrecordjournal.com August 26, 2012 MERIDEN — There may not have been much of a crowd at the Meriden Town Fair Sunday afternoon, but those who came out were having fun.
On a hot, cloudless day, business was slow at the carnival on the downtown Hub site. The Town Fair opened at 2 p.m., but by 3 not many people had showed up. Carnival workers were hopeful that more would show up toward evening, as temperatures dropped.
For the next week, children and adults can enjoy the food, rides and games provided by Dreamland Amusements.
“Because school is starting soon, we’re hoping it’s going to be slamming,” said Marcee Ayotte, a ticket collector, Sunday afternoon.
Ayotte said the place was packed on Saturday night. Lines were long and her ticket bucket was overflowing. She believes that, with young people going back to school on Wednesday, families will want to experience one last summer outing. read more at: http://www.myrecordjournal.com/meriden/article_7ff68000-efd6-11e1-ad5a-0019bb2963f4.html?mode=story
Dazzling troupe on unicycles comes to ShoWare Center
By MARK KLAAS Kent Reporter Regional Editor from: kentreporter.com August 30, 2012 Kent, WA--Growing up in the Bronx, Kim Anthony "Kip" Jones was exposed to many influential artists and athletes. A New York Knicks fan, Jones enjoyed basketball but preferred a different sport. Gifted athletically as an emerging gymnast, the adventurous teen soon would discover the opportunity to combine the sports and perform on a brightly lit stage. On a whim, Jones accompanied a friend to a unique tryout off the New York streets. "They were playing basketball on unicycles," Jones recalled, "so one afternoon I tried out. ... I fell in love with it ever since." Jones proved to be a quick study on one wheel and made the team, joining the King Charles Troupe – an acrobatic act with deep roots in traveling show circles – at the age of 15. Thirty years later, Jones remains a primary player in the touring troupe. "It is one of the most rigorous schedules out there for a performer," Jones said while preparing for a show in Everett last week. "But at the same time, you get to see some parts of the country some people never get to see in their lifetime." The troupe's high-energy and comedic routine of basketball on unicycles comes to Kent's ShoWare Center this Labor Day weekend – part of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus presents Barnum Bash showcase. read more: http://www.kentreporter.com/entertainment/168061966.html
90th annual L.A. County Fair opens Friday for a month of fun
from: dailybulletin.com By Diana Sholley, Staff Writer 08/30/2012 POMONA - Sniff once, then again. A familar scent grows stronger.
Smiles widen, toes tap, hips sway and taste buds stand at the ready, because the wait is over.
The L.A. County Fair opens Friday with gusto and good deals celebrating 90 years of fair-tastic fun.
Old favorites and new attractions, vendors, livestock, exhibits, edibles and entertainment give fair-goers a feast to satisfy all senses
Fair highlights include:
"Art & Fair: A 90-Year Celebration," an exhibit of past fair highlights.
"Genius: A Celebration of American Innovation," including replica of George Washington Carver's classroom on wheels, original Thomas Edison artifacts, fa ades of the actual shops and buildings in Philadelphia where Benjamin Franklin lived and an original Model T from Henry Ford.
"Rock of Ages," including three distinct music experiences, The Studio Experience, The Concert Experience and The Playing Experience. Dance on a giant keyboard like Tom Hanks in "Big," pose like the Beatles on Abbey Road, view the album cover art gallery, take a picture surfing a record wave, ogle one of Michael Jackson's infamous gloves or strum along to a tune at the Fender guitar stations.
Stingray Island: A 17,000-gallon enclosure featuring an 8-foot waterfall, stingrays, sharks, octopus and eels along with marine biologists answering any questions about the creatures.
Wilderness Ridge: Explore the beauty of Mother Nature, learn timbering skills, attend Log Rolling School and venture to Grizzly Falls to meet bears.
Mojo's African Safari: Mojo, a Capuchin monkey, guides visitors through the African terrain filled with zebras, a capybara, a coatimundi, African porcupines, snakes and lizards while listening to the music of a steel drum band.
Living Library: Includes eight-foot-tall books and popular fictional characters come to life.
Other fan favorites include the Carnival with more than 70 rides; FairView Farms and Zuckerman's Nursery; Esmeralda's Traveling Circus with a trapeze aerial act, and wine-tasting at the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Marketplace.
Of course, there's an app for that: Avoid the lines and purchase tickets online using the free L.A. County Fair app, available in the App Store and in Google Play. See the daily event schedule, check for future events and keep your eyes out for daily L.A. County Fair promotions and special vendor deals. The L.A. County Fair Mobile App also has GPS; find vendors and receive an overview of each of exhibit.
Created by John Winn, The Galaxy of Thrills represents a rich family history of eight generations of stunts, thrill show, equestrian, and circus performers.
Their performances have been featured internationally and in events at Disneyland in Anaheim, Disney-Epcot, Pleasure Island, Paramount Pictures, Wonderland, Darien Lake, Kennywood Park, Knott's Berry farm, and Australia's Wonderland.
They have worked with the legendary Rick Springfield Band and done shows with Chicago, Rod Stewart, and the Commodores, just to name a few. Most recently, they have performed their shows at the NASCAR Coca Cola 600 and they were featured on the TruTV television network.
Based in Sarasota, Florida, the Galaxy of Thrills specializes in state and county fairs, festivals, premiere events, private parties, sporting events and concerts. However, their performances can be tailored to nearly any event.
For more information, go to http://www.galaxyofthrills.com.
Thursday August 30, 2012 was Day Eight of the New York State Fair. The Walker Brothers Circus put on several free shows at the Adventure Zone. The crowd was amazed by the many performances. Video by Stephen D. Cannerelli
Walker Brothers Circus has free shows daily at the State Fair
Sarah Moses/The Post-Standard
Walker Brothers Circus Ringmaster Brian LaPalme breathes fire at the free show at the New York State Fair. By Sarah Moses, The Post-Standard from: syracuse.com August 30, 2012 Geddes, NY -- Walker Brothers Circus Ringmaster Brian LaPalme started off the first free circus show of the day at the New York State Fair by breathing flames 30 feet in the air.
"I love my job," LaPalme said. "How many people can say that."
The 45-minute circus variety show features several different performances including clowns, aerial acrobats and a horse act. The circus tent is located in the Adventure Zone near the grandstands and shows are at 12, 2 and 5:45 p.m. daily, with an extra show at 3:45 p.m. on weekends LaPalme said he's been in the circus business for 36 years and this is first year he has traveled with the Walker Brothers Circus.
"It's a fantastic show," LaPalme said. "The clown is really funny, he makes me laugh."
LaPalme said the crowds at the fair have been excellent.
"They seem to really enjoy the show and they stay for the whole thing," he said.
Winners of the Lewis and Clark Circus ticket giveaway contest announced From staff reports from: groupstate.com August 30, 2012
Scott Caldwell is the grand prize winner of the complete circus experience in the Lewis and Clark Circus ticket giveaway contest on www.85-26.com.
The circus will be at the Boiling Springs Community Park for two shows at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday Sept. 1.
Caldwell won tickets, hotdogs, soft drinks, cotton candy, novelty items, pony and camel rides for a family of four. Caldwell’s family will also open the circus by saying “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages it’s time to start Lewis and Clark Circus.”
Runners up David Mack, Kim Rentz-Miller, Kellie Lee, Suzanne Wilson, Cleon Graves, Russell Day, Susan Rhodehamel, Shirley Moore-Tipi, Lisa Thompson and Karen Taylor each won four tickets to the circus.
Tickets purchased Saturday are $17 for adults and $5 for children ages 14 and younger. Advance ticket prices are $12 for those ages 15 and older. Children 14 and younger can get in free with a special coupon available at www.lewisandclarkcircus.net and at local merchants. For more information, go to www.lewisandclarkcircus.net or call 864-809-7726.
Wow, what a fair! Annual statewide event creates many memories
De Smit kindergarten students Gannon Gilligan, Briyah Bryant, Shaylee Duffy, Mirra Beck and Chester Larsen react to Matt Jergens' juggling and comedy show Thursday during the State Fair in Huron.
/ Emily Spartz / Argus Leader Written by Jill Callison from: argusleader.com Aug 30, 2012 HURON — State fairs are designed to make memories.
Clell Swanson made a few of those, both for himself and for the veterans whose hands he shook.
Whenever the 16-year-old saw a former serviceman, easy to spot in American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars shirts and caps on the South Dakota State Fair’s opening day, he walked up, extended his right hand and simply said, “Thank you.”
“I have no military history in my family, but Dad and Mom have pounded it into us to give thanks for these guys. Because of them we can do things like this,” said Swanson, who lives south of Sioux Falls and is homeschooled, gesturing at the state fair activities going on around him.
Swanson’s own T-shirt bore the insignia of the U.S. Marines, and he plans to enlist within the next year or two. In the meantime, he planned to enjoy the state fair Thursday and today before returning home.
He was joined by hundreds of others.
“Looking around the grounds, I’d say we were pretty consistent with last year, and (attendance) might be up,” said Jerome Hertel, state fairgrounds manager. “I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen so far.”
The weather cooperated, with a sky that was overcast for several hours with a cool breeze and little of the humidity to be found farther south.
Farmers and ranchers with deep roots in South Dakota were honored for having land in the family for 100 and 125 years. As each family received a certificate, a descendant shared a piece of family history.
“Grandpa and Grandma came from Illinois in 1884,” explained Melvin Johnson of Sully County.
His uncle, the oldest of two sons, kept the homestead. Johnson had to wait for the award until 100 years after the second purchase of a quarter in 1911 made him eligible.
Gordy Salmen spoke as the third generation of his family to farm 18 miles south of Wessington. He was joined on stage by his mother, Phyllis, and a brother, Tim.
Tim Salmen gave the credit for the 100-year honor to his brother.
Virginia’s State Fair is saved, but what will it become?
Mark Lovell, who runs the Memphis-based Universal Fairs, on the 331-acre fairgrounds known as the Meadow Event Park in Caroline County near Doswell. He bought the property for $5.7 million at auction in the spring. His company operates fairs and festivals in four states; Virginia is the fifth. By Ken Otterbourg Published: August 30, 2012 The Washington Post DOSWELL, Va.— Before bankers make a big deal, they like to run something called a Monte Carlo. It is named for the city in Monaco and its gambling houses, and it works like this: The lenders plug in the numbers and variables of a deal, then run a series of complex computer simulations to see what can go wrong. The fewer avenues to failure, the more confidence there is in a project’s success.
But as anyone who has ever lost money on a sure thing can attest, the odds are only odds. They are predictive — but only to a point. Which is why a few months back on a beautiful spring day, there was an auction in Caroline County, just beyond the shadow of the monster roller coaster at Kings Dominion. What all the Monte Carlos had indicated was extremely unlikely to happen had in fact happened. The auction was not that different from the hundreds of thousands of foreclosure sales that have taken place on courthouse steps across America. A borrower had taken on too much debt and couldn’t repay the loans. The lenders’ patience was exhausted, and the negotiations through the bankruptcy process had failed. All that was left on this day was the singsong chant of the auctioneer that ends with the word “sold.” read more at http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/virginias-state-fair-is-saved-but-what-will-it-become/2012/08/28/5e59ba9a-ddaf-11e1-af1d-753c613ff6d8_story.html
POMONA, CA, Aug 30, 2012 MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- The 2012 L.A. County Fair will kick-off Labor Day weekend opening Friday, August 31 at 3 p.m. Celebrating its 90th Anniversary, this year's Fair pays homage to old time classics with Fairview Farms, horse racing and the carnival, while new attractions such as Stingray Island and Genius -- A Celebration of American Innovation, capture the Fair's ever-changing diversity.
The first-ever L.A. County Fair opened October 17, 1922 for a five-day affair. Admission was just 50 cents and 49,461 people attended. One of the most popular attractions -- how to make your own toothpaste from orange by-products. Ninety years later, the Fair now hosts more than 1.4 million visitors in its 24-day run on the 487-acre Fairplex campus featuring animals, rides, attractions, food, shopping and more.
The Fair will open with a ribbon cutting ceremony on the steps of the Millard Sheets Center for the Arts, where guests can take a journey through the history of the Fair with images and stories from throughout the years. At 5 p.m. there will be an Anniversary Parade with special guest Happi Moore, who has attended every L.A. County Fair since 1922.
With the Los Angeles-area being home to many celebrities, the Fair is no exception. Some historical visits include Shirley Temple (1938), Liberace (1952), Richard and Pat Nixon (1962), the Three Stooges (1964) and Ronald and Nancy Reagan (1966). More recently, Fair goers may have seen Bob Hope, George W. Bush, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Adam Sandler, Lisa Marie Presley and Jessica Alba amongst the crowds. read more: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/la-county-fair-opens-friday-celebrating-90-years-of-pure-fun-2012-08-30
Chinese circus performers tumble on to the Wyvern stage in Swindon
Cirque du Ciel’s ShangHi from: thisiswiltshire.co.uk by Laura Kenyon Thursday 30th August 2012 All the way from China, this acrobatic phenomenon is leaping, tumbling and spinning into Swindon’s Wyvern Theatre on Sunday. Cirque du Ciel’s ShangHi is a theatrical reworking of Guy Caron’s original production in China – a director with previous success with the world renowned show, Cirque du Soleil. This new interpretation has become internationally acclaimed in its own right.
It consists of more than 30 breathtaking performers, all professionally trained in disciplines including acrobatics, modern dance and martial arts. By combining these energetic gymnastics with original music and an entrancing adventure story-line, ShangHi becomes an awe-inspiring, oriental spectacle that will leave its audience spellbound. The two-hour performance incorporates contrasting elements of traditional and modern Chinese culture, including live drumming, death-defying Chinese monkey poles and stunning aerial stunts. The gravity defying acrobatics particularly reflect the company’s name, with Cirque du Ciel translating as ‘Circus of Heaven’. The ShangHi experience is sewn together by the striking costumes, dramatic lighting and intricate scenery, giving the show a magical, Eastern atmosphere.
Three circus lions rest in their cage on zoo grounds, in Asuncion, Paraguay,Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. (AP) Fox News Latino August 29, 2012 ASUNCION, Paraguay – Imagine being stuck in a cage for two months while going through customs.
In the middle of this uncertainty, a love story comes out.
It's been 15 long years of solitary confinement for Rubio, the only African lion in the Asuncion zoo. But he's got the pick of the females in a pride of lions now that a group of circus cats has been stranded in Paraguay.
The nine lions and seven Bengal tigers were part of a traveling Argentine circus until Paraguay banned live-animal performances at circuses. Then, paperwork problems prevented their re-entry to Argentina, and they were stranded at the border for two months before an Associated Press story brought global attention to their plight.
After inquiries from The Associated Press on Friday about the cats' plight, Estela Gomez, director of Paraguay's wildlife agency said her ministry decided to move the big cats two by two to the Asuncion zoo, "so that they can live in some comfort and not in a strange area."
"In the next few days we will continue investigating the true reasons why the Argentine authorities aren't authorizing their return," she said. "I can't anticipate whether these beasts will remain forever in Paraguay or eventually go to Argentina."
Now they're at the Asuncion zoo, where Rubio has gone solo for 15 years since his last mate died. Local politicians said Tuesday they hope to keep one of the female lions to be his mate.
Protesters claim animal abuse at Cole Bros. circus in South Jersey
Calista Condo/Gloucester County TimesDelani Ly and her daughter, Gabriella, 3, of Philadelphia walk in front of animal rights protesters on their way to the Cole Bros. Circus hosted by the West Deptford Lions Club on Wednesday, August 29, 2012. By Rebecca Forand/Gloucester County Times from: nj.com Wednesday, August 29, 2012 WEST DEPTFORD TWP. — The bright red and yellow big top of the Cole Bros. circus sits along Crown Point Road once again this year. Outside, elephants traipse around a small circle with children on their backs. But standing in front of the tent, a small but dedicated group of protesters have vowed to speak to every spectator entering the circus arena this week.
Carrying signs or handing out pamphlets, the individuals gathered are united in their cause — they want animal-free circuses and reserves or sanctuaries for the animals that have already been used.
The protesters claim that Cole Bros., and any circus that uses animals, is guilty of animal abuse and multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
“People need to be educated about what goes on behind the curtain of the big top,” said Berlin resident and animal rights activist Dianne Tucker. “I started doing some research about two years ago, and the more I learn the more horrifying this show is.”
“So many people have no idea. They go the shows but they don’t see it,” added fellow protester and Westville resident Josh Barr.
As patrons crossed Crown Point Road to get from the parking lot to the circus tent Wednesday afternoon, the group stood quietly with signs depicting baby elephants tied by the legs and prodded with bull hooks — long, poker-like instruments — and handed out flyers depicting and describing the abuses they allege Cole Bros. to be guilty of.
Corrine White, of Voorhees, protests the circus any time it is performing nearby. The sign she displays reads: “You’re ticket $$$ supports animal abuse. You can still decide to spend your night somewhere else.”
For her, the goal is to get just one person to turn away from the circus and learn more about how animals are treated in such organizations.
“How many elephants do you know that stand on their head in the wild?” she asked. “Look into the elephants’ eyes. They are not happy. These are migratory animals that travel 25 miles a day in the wild, and what do they have here? A little circle.”
Woodbury resident Brittan Melton brought her two little girls to the circus. While the protest didn’t make her turn around, it did give her pause.
“People are entitled to their opinion. It’s something to think about, though.”
Cole Bros. has maintained that the circus treats its animals well, caring for them according to all government standards while educating show-goers about conservation of endangered species.
“We know that people attending our circus regularly have seen the animals are very well cared for and that our handlers are professional, caring, compassionate people,” Renee Storey, the circus’s vice president of administration, said earlier this week. “We help raise the public consciousness of these animals. There’s nothing like seeing an elephant and tiger up close to see how magnificent they are and to want to see them protected.”
The circus will have performances at 4:30 and 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30.
127th State Fair begins Thursday 'It's the showcase of South Dakota up here'
From: argusleader.com Written by Jill Callison Aug 28, 2012 Richard Hanson could be the best promoter the South Dakota State Fair has ever had.
Hanson, who was in Huron on Tuesday setting up the carnival rides that are in operation tonight, bubbles with enthusiasm as he talks about what fairgoers will see at the 127th annual event.
“This is our seventh year coming here, and as the fair grows and prospers, we’re proud to be a part of it,” said Hanson of GoldStar Amusement of Minneapolis.
“There’s something for everyone out there. There’s a lot of fairs and festivals, but it’s the showcase of South Dakota up here.”
The state fair officially begins Thursday and ends on Labor Day.
Today is Preview Day with free admission through the gates. The carnival will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. with all rides $1.
No major changes were made this year to the state fair, fairgrounds manager Jerome Hertel said. Instead, the focus was on continuing the improvements that have happened the past five or six years.
Attendance has been increasing steadily, and Hertel expects it to increase again this year, if the weather cooperates.
“Last year we had 191,000 people, and this year we’re hoping to push over the 200,000 mark,” he said. “It looks very encouraging, if the weather holds out. The fair is a lot like farming, dependent on the weather.”
Despite facing state funding cuts in recent years, the South Dakota State Fair has seen revenue increase to the point that it has been able to maintain the buildings. That doesn’t pay for large capital improvements, however.
Future plans include 85 pedestals for campers, a new campground restroom, improvements to the gatehouse and resealing the grandstand.
The campground improvements are important, Hertel said, because more than 1,600 campers will stay on the fairgrounds with almost 90 percent there for the entire five-day run.
“There are a lot of families that have had the same campsite for 40-plus years,” Hertel said.
The Cole Brothers Circus wrapped up a two day stay Tuesday evening on the grounds of Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Wayne, Tredyffrin Township.
Clowns greet circus-goers outside the big top Tuesday evening on the grounds of Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Wayne, Tredyffrin Township.Credit: Bob Byrne
By Bob Byrne
August 28, 2012
There's been a lot of clowning around for the past two days in a place normally known for more serious business.
The Cole Brothers Circus wrapped up a two day run Tuesday evening on the Valley Forge Military Academy and Colleg grounds.
Clowns greeted "children of all ages" outside the big top and entertained the crowds inside the tent as well.
This is the first year the circus has been held at VFMA. The past several years it was staged on the Devon Horse Show Grounds. Unlike previous years there were no animal rights protestors at the exit to the grounds which were more than a quarter of a mile from where the tent was set up.
The circus visit was sponsored by the Lower Merion Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 28 which benefits with part of the profits from the four performances, parking and a concession stand on the grounds.
A pair of clown shoes wait for their owner outside the dressing room trailer at the Cole Brothers Circus Tuesday evening on the grounds of Valley Forge Military Academy & College in Wayne, Tredyffrin Township.
Remembering Circus World, the theme park that forced Disney World to step up its game in the early 1970s
Construction continues on the Space Mountain show building at WDW's Magic Kingdom during the Winter of 1973 / 1974. Jim Hill 28 Aug 2012 How tall is Walt Disney World's Space Mountain? Seems like a relatively straight forward question, don't you think? But the way that Company officials have answered that question has changed greatly over the past 37 years.
My apologies for the quality of this illustration. But this is a copy of a black-and-white newspaper photo showing a concept painting of Circus World elephant-shaped hotel. To give some sense of scale for this proposed structure, that's a full-sized Ferris Wheel directly to the elephant's right. huge bejeweled elephant, (Circus World's) symbol, will tower higher than a 19 story building, "the largest structure of its kind in the world."
Tourists will be able to sightsee and shop inside the giant pachyderm which will tower 350 feet above sea level. High speed elevators in the elephant's leg will whisk visitors to an observation platform shaped like a howdah atop the classic mastodon and from the top, visitors will be able to see the entire Circus World complex, as well as the surrounding countryside, as a vast panorama. This giant structure was to have been particularly impressive at night. Given that that's when the hundreds of jewels which covered this enormous elephant-shaped hotel were to have been lit from within. Which would then -- Circus World's designers hoped -- have bathed the surrounding theme park in a cascade of colors.
This Circus World logo (which prominently features this theme park's elephant-shaped hotel) should give you some idea the sort of colorful structure Irvin Feld wanted to build Add to this the elegant two-story luxury restaurant which was to have been one of the signature elements of what Circus World hoped would eventually become this theme park's equivalent of WDW's Cinderella Castle ... And you can perhaps understand why Disney was more than a little concerned about what was being built just up the street. And when I say "street," I mean I-4. That interstate highway which ran from Florida's beaches on the East and the Gulf Coast to the west which then served as the feeder road for the Walt Disney World Resort. And you have to understand that -- in the early 1970s -- it wasn't just the Circus World project which was being built out in Haines City that had Mickey worried. Construction of Sea World of Florida was already underway at this point (Phase One of that sealife-based theme park would open in December of 1973, while the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus World Advance Showcase -- which was, in essence, the preview center for this Circus-themed theme park -- wouldn't open 'til February of 1974).
So how did the Mouse respond to the Elephant & Killer Whale it saw encroaching on its theme park turf? Which was something that Disney took very seriously back in the early 1970s. Especially the Circus World project. You see, Mattel owned Ringling Brothers-Barnum & Bailey Circus at this point in that toy company's history. So it was Mattel's reportedly very-deep pockets which was supposed to fund the construction of this $60 million theme park that was going to be located just 12 miles down the road from the Magic Kingdom.
Tradition, tech keep 'Great' in fair Jim Henderson to be feted, volunteers sought
This photo shows a crowd at The Great Stoneboro Fair in 1908 watching a trapeze act in the grandstand. The fair is celebrating its 145th anniversary this year and runs Aug. 29 through Sept. 3. Allied News August 28, 2012 STONEBORO — The Great Stoneboro Fair has had its share of changes over the years to keep operations up to date, but organizers promise they'll continue to uphold the traditions fair-goers know and love.
"We want them to think it's like going home," said Vivian Hefferman, who's in her 12th year as fair secretary.
Those traditions include rides, games, food, live music, demolition derby, animals, exhibits, fireworks, contests and the Mercer County Antique Power Association display.
This year marks the fair's 145th anniversary.
Vivian Hefferman, left, fair secretary, and Mary Lewis, fair treasurer, display a few mementos from past fairs on the porch of the fair office. "This is the place where people come back and meet their friends," organizer Nancy Henderson said.
"This is the place where people come back and meet their friends," organizer Nancy Henderson said of the fair, which is "Always on Labor Day."
FROM: surfky.com Casey Piscitelli, SurfKY Lead Reporter Aug 28 MADISONVILLE, KY (8/28/12) - The 76th Carson and Barnes Circus will make a stop in Madisonville this evening during its 240-day, 18,500 mile tour through 20 states.
“The circus was founded in 1937 by my grandfather, father and my uncle,” said Barbara Miller-Byrd. “The original name was G. Kelly & Miller Bros. Circus. In the sixties, my father went into partnership with a man named Moore and changed the name to Carson & Barnes. He just liked the way it sounded.”
The show’s Brazilian-made big top stands 144 by 180 feet and 36 feet high, covering the 42-foot ring in which jugglers, flying trapeze performers, high wire walkers, clowns, and acrobats, will perform daring, dangerous, and comedic stunts. And, of course, there are the animals: Three Asian elephants, Isa, Libby, and Bunny; two camels; two llamas, Bandit and Oz; one alpaca, Bennie; one pygmy hippo, Kate; one Sicilian Donkey, Jach; one zebra, Diablo, one mini zebra, Zach; one “zonkey” or “ze-donk” (cross between a donkey and a zebra); six Appaloosa horses; eight Shetland Ponies; six pygmy goats; and 1,000 pounds of snakes, to be exact.
Curious visitors may even have access to the “show before the show”—the public is welcome, encouraged even, to visit the venue early to watch the circus set-up.
“Sometimes, if the kids come out in the morning, they remember that more than the performance,” said Byrd. “It gives you a lot of pride to see the little kids out here with their mouths wide open. They just can’t believe this whole little city is going up.” Carson and Barnes takes pride in their care of and attention to the needs of their animals. “The animals are the heart and soul of the circus experience and circus folks know that,” reads a media release. “The animals come first.”
To that end, the timing of the circus’s visit to Madisonville is no accident. To ensure the animals’ comfort during the grueling circuit, they visit southern states in the winter, travelling north as weather heats-up, arriving in the Midwest in July and August.
“We have three elephants traveling with us,” said Byrd. “We actually own twenty-nine, but we have a large breeding compound in Hugo called the Endangered Ark Foundation, and we leave the elephants of breeding age at home. We have the second largest genetic pool for Asian elephants in the country. We want to do our share to see the species doesn’t die off.”
The circus will take place this evening, Tuesday, August 28, at the Hopkins County Fairgrounds and Convention Center in Madisonville at 605 West Arch Street. There will be two shows at 4:30 PM and 7:30 PM. Byrd says the circus offers visitors “everything they expect to see in a tented circus. It’s one of the only forms of entertainment that has never been censored. You can bring your seventy-eight-year-old mother or your seven-year-old and know they won’t see anything that is embarrassing.”