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Saturday, September 8, 2012



SEPTEMBER 22, 2012

    
FIND OUT ALL ABOUT PLANS FOR THE DAY AT---
                                                   www.allaboutelephants.com
A trip to the Mountain State Fair
AC-T and Scene reporters Tony Kiss and Carol Motsinger hit the Mountain State Fair Friday for food, fun and rides.
9/7/12.
by Robert Bradley
from: Ashville Citizen-Times
Sept. 9, 2012



Southern Appalachian Cloggers at Mountain Dance and Folk Festival
The Southern Appalachian Cloggers perform at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival
Friday evening. 8-3-12 - Erin Brethauer

New attractions mark Bloomsburg Fair's return

By Rob Wheary (Staff Writer)
from:  citizensvoice.com
September 6, 2012
BLOOMSBURG - The Bloomsburg Fair hopes to come roaring back from its one-year flood hiatus with several new attractions, including The Stinger, a pendulum-like thrill ride the operator said has been the No. 1 ride at seven state fairs.
"There is only one type of this ride in America, and we have it," Rick Reithoffer, of Reithoffer Shows, based in Dallas, told fair board members at their annual kickoff luncheon Wednesday afternoon at the fairgrounds. The fair runs Sept. 22 to 29, with a preview day Sept. 21.
Also to debut is the Sky Ride, a 100-car aerial tramway - the longest at any county or state fair in the nation, Reithoffer said - that will take riders from one end of the fairground to the other.
Reithoffer, proprietor of the fair's Midway Carnival, said Bloomsburg holds a special place in his family's heart, and that's why he wanted to bring the best here.
"We have been coming for 50 years, three generations of my family," he said. "We consider Bloomsburg to be our local hometown fair, and we love to shine here."
Also making a special appearance at the luncheon was young Rachael Burmeister, riding her horse, Coosa, into the education building to promote the 4-H Horse and Pony Drill Team performances that will be part of the livestock events.
"We have a wide variety of animals and attractions to see, so we welcome everyone to come check it out," said Jeff Giger, superintendent of livestock.
Carey Howell, superintendent of the grandstand shows, said tickets are still available for all shows. Scheduled performers include Kenny Rogers, Alan Jackson, Jeff Dunham, The Gaither Vocal Band, Rodney Atkins, Billy Currington, Aaron Kelly and Brantley Gilbert.
Howell said Dunham has been using one of his characters, "old man Walter," to talk about Bloomsburg in his act.
"We got a report from someone who saw him in Las Vegas said Walter asked the crowd if they've ever heard of Bloomsburg, Pa.," Howell said. "I imagine he will have a lot to say in his own way when he finally performs on our stage."
This year will mark the first year a new grandstand stage will be used for entertainment.
Meanwhile, the free stage will feature a number of area acts this year, but missing from the list is noted Elvis impersonator Ryan Pelton, who is filming an independent film about Presley and could not make it this year.
There will also be entertainment on the fairgrounds, including the high flying Dock Dogs, The Gold Rush High Dive, impersonators Scott Epperson (Barney from Mayberry) and James Hayley (Abraham Lincoln), percussionists Drum the Bucket, jugglers and acrobats The Dazzling Mills Family and more.
Tickets for the fair are $8 each at the gate.
Paul Reichart, fair board president, said that there will be more than 50 new vendors this year at the fair, and an estimated 10,000 entries in the agriculture, horticulture and arts and crafts categories.
"We welcome everyone to come out, have a great time and make this fair the best ever," Reichart said.

Fun and farm at the Cumberland County Fair
 

from:  fayobserver.com
By Brian Dukes
Fri Sep 07, 2012
Fayetteville, NC--The Cumberland County Fair returns to the Crown Center tonight, and fair manager Hubert Bullard can't wait to see the smiling faces of satisfied fairgoers again.

"That's my reward - to see young families out here having a good time, smiling and laughing," said Bullard.

The fair runs through Sept. 16 and features rides, racing pigs, a large petting zoo, pony rides, monster truck rides, helicopter rides, half-track rides and a pageant. Plus, there will be professional wrestling by Ring Wars Carolina, performances by local and regional musical acts, as well as the 82nd Airborne Division All American Chorus, step teams and the Christian artists 33 Miles and Jonny Diaz.

"We've just got so much to offer people," Bullard said. "They can come out and have a great, affordable time with their loved ones."

Chief among this year's attractions are the Thundernationals Monster Truck and motorcycle demolition derby shows, which be place inside the Crown Coliseum and are included in the fair's admission price.

This year also features a new circus attraction, the Hansen's Spectacular Circus, a show that Bullard said he has been trying to bring to the fair for several years. The circus features a high-wire act that is particularly impressive, Bullard said.

The fair will feature an expanded midway, with about 40 different rides, including the massive Zyklon roller coaster.
read more:
http://www.fayobserver.com/articles/2012/09/07/1200524?sac=fo.life
67th Annual Ledyard Fair Opens Today
A full schedule of the weekend's events listed here.
from: ledyard.patch.com
By Jessie King
Sept. 8. 2012
The 67th annual Ledyard Fair opens its gates tonight and it looks like the weather will be fine for a country fair.

Tonight there is a slight chance of showers between 10 and 11a.m, according to the National Weather Service, then a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Otherwise, the day will be partly sunny, with a high near 83. Tonight is supposed to be partly cloudy, with a low around 67.

The fair plans to celebrate members of the military tonight by offering free admission to those who come to the fair in uniform. Otherwise, general admission is $8 although seniors and children age 11-17 get in for $5; children 10 and under get in for free.

The fair is open from 6 to 11 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
read more:
http://ledyard.patch.com/articles/67th-annual-ledyard-fair-opens-today
 

Cole Bros. Circus To Make Its Mark In Ashburn

from:  leesburgtoday.com
September 6, 2012
Asian elephants, so-called “splendid” tigers and French poodles—these are the creatures that will be featured in the 2012 Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars, which is heading to the Virginia Academy-Community Church in Ashburn Friday, Sept. 7, and staying in town until Sunday, Sept. 9.
Romania’s Cretu family, along with springboard gymnasts and a Russian Barre routine, headline this year’s show. And that’s not all. Lana & Company, from Kazakhstan—a country in Central Asia—will also bring grand-scale illusions to the circus. In addition, “Hair-ial Artists” Wendy and Petya will be suspended from their locks, rising to the heights of the arena. There will even be a human cannonball, who bursts from the barrel of a cannon at 5G velocity. Members of The Bermudez Troupe will fill the room with laugher with their clown capers.

Children under 13 are admitted free. Adult admission costs $16 in advance and $21 at the gate. General admission may be upgraded to reserved seats for $4 or VIP seats for $7. To purchase tickets and learn more about the show, go to www.gotothecircus.com. 

VERMONT STATE FAIR
from: wcax.xom
Sept.7,012

Friday, September 7, 2012


Rides inspected 3 times before start of Tennessee Valley Fair
from: www.wate.com
By JESSA LEWIS, 6 News Reporter
Posted: Sep 05, 2012

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Crews are getting ready for the Tennessee Valley Fair to open Friday afternoon. That means not only putting the rides together, but also multiple safety checks between now and then.

"Wade Shows, LLC, who provides our Midway, has been an industry leader for over 100 years. They've been in this industry. They're great. They inspect our rides," said Tennessee Valley Fair Public Relations Coordinator Sarah Thompson.



The Tennessee Division of Boiler, Elevator and Amusement Device Inspection also checks the rides before anyone arrives.

"[Wade Shows, LLC's] policy is that they inspect the rides three times. The state of Tennessee also has the option to come out and inspect. Safety is our number one priority here, so we make sure that everything is inspected. Professionals are running the rides at all times, and we just want everyone to come out and have a great time with their family," Thompson added.
read more at:
http://www.wate.com/story/19464046/rides-inspected-3-times-before-start-of-tennessee-valley-fair

VAMPIRE CIRCUS – A Look Back at 1972


Posted by Tom Stockman
Sep 6, 2012
The St. Louis Globe-Democrat is a monthly newspaper run by Steve DeBellis, a well know St. Louis historian, and it’s the largest one-man newspaper in the world. The concept of The Globe is that there is an old historic headline, then all the articles in that issue are written as though it’s the year that the headline is from. It’s an unusual concept but the paper is now in its 25th successful year! Steve and I collaborated last year on an all-Vincent Price issue of The Globe and I’ve been writing a regular movie-related column since. Since there is no on-line version of The Globe, I  post all of my articles here at We Are Movie Geeks as well. In honor of the 40th anniversary of Blueberry Hill, the landmark St. Louis restaurant and music club that’s filled with pop culture memorabilia, this month’s St. Louis Globe-Democrat is written as if it’s 1972.
The popularity of Hammer horror films has begun began to decline and the British studio, struggling to maintain its place in the market, has recently made some adjustments with their series of vampire films. The gore and nudity quotient has been ramped up, overt lesbianism has been introduced, and the Christopher Lee Dracula series has even moved to contemporary London, all attempts to bring new ideas to the vampire genre. The latest from Hammer films is the oddity VAMPIRE CIRCUS, an eccentric film that mixes a traveling circus sideshow story with vampire lore, resulting a bizarre but original fantasy.
read more:
http://wearemoviegeeks.com/2012/09/vampire-circus-a-look-back-at-1972/
 
 
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Magic Kingdom construction and Epcot Food & Wine preparation
Written by Cory Disbrow.
Posted in Dateline Disney World
September 07, 2012
Hello, and welcome to Dateline Disney World! Today, we will have some news on Magic Kingdom construction in New Fantasyland and a look at Epcot‘s Food and Wine Festival preparation.


 

Yes, the large marquee is finally being installed!
read the whole story at:
http://micechat.com/11376-magic-kingdom-construction/
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Putting on the final touches for the York Fair
Employees hustled and bustled for today's opening of the York Fair.


The Ferris wheel is set up at the York Fairgrounds for this year's York Fair which starts Friday.
(DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS--JASON PLOTKIN) 
By LEIGH ZALESKI
Daily Record/Sunday News
from: ydr.com
09/06/2012
York, PA -
On Thursday morning, Andy Deggeller zoomed at 10 mph around the York Fairgrounds in a camouflage golf cart.

He clutched a rolled-up aerial map of the fairgrounds in his left hand, as he steered the vehicle with his right.

Deggeller manages Deggeller Attractions Inc., the company that provides rides, games and some concessions for the York Fair. With about 24 hours to go before the fair's opening, it was Deggeller's job to make sure the midway all came together.

He said his company was able to set up several of the 50 rides early. His 200-person crew had worked the Maryland State Fair in Timonium until Monday. However, the bulk of the work began Wednesday morning.

Employees flagged him down as he passed to confirm the positioning of a ride or to ask for a map for the fire marshal. He stopped here and there, passing an unfinished Ferris wheel -- that takes a day and a half to assemble -- and 5-foot-high bags of jumbo stuffed animals.

Deggeller addressed each need with a cool sense of urgency, which seemed to be in the air as York Fair employees and concession workers prepped to kick off one of York County's most notorious events.

"I won't be completely happy until we're all the way set up," he said.
York Fair General Manager Mike Froehlich was excited. He sat behind a laptop in his office as he talked about his to-do list for the day. He had to deal with some changes to electrical hookups for the rides, tweak the setup for REO Speedwagon, and make sure there was hay in the animal petting area.
York Fair General Manager Mike Froehlich said he's looking forward to the Royal Hanneford Circus. During one act, two women contortionists squeeze into a knee-high box

"It's just a matter of coordinating things," he said.

Although Froehlich plans the fair throughout the year, he said, it's a race to the finish line because most of the vendors come in from other fairs and events.

"It's the nature of the fair business," he said.

In the poultry building, Georgia Ort of Dover walked by rows of cages to made sure each had wood shavings and bowls for water and food.

"It's not work," she said. "You have to love it."

Donna Kramer of Floyd's Italian Sausage worked with her husband and a handful of employees to stock her station

under the grandstand. Kramer, of Berks County, said her team has been on the fairgrounds since Monday to clean the stand, and order soda, rolls and condiments. After days of prep, she was almost ready.

"By the time we open, they only thing we'll need is ice -- and customers," she said.

Thursday, September 6, 2012



THE circus is coming to town as part of the Freedom Festival.

The tent is up, and the traditional circus caravans are gathered, on Humber Street in preparation for the Yorkshire premiere of Circus Ronaldo's latest production, Amortale.

by Lucy Lyon
from: thisishullandeastriding.co.uk
September o5, 2012
Fusing comedy, theatre, visual delights and music, the circus hacks back to the romantic days of travelling performers.

Daniel Van den Broeck, performer and director, explained: "The whole thing is difficult to explain - like when you see a big Rubens painting and it is difficult to explain what you are seeing as a whole.

"It is traditional from the time before circuses had animals: it is vaudeville and cabaret. I always say the old world circuses are the sea of all arts, with all the different rivers coming together.

"The most important thing for us, though, is the love. That is the theme of our show but more than that it is the love between the audience and the performers that is important. That is why we play in a small tent - because eye contact is very important."


Assistant head of culture and lifestyle at Hull City Council Jon Pywell said: "Circus Ronaldo is an internationally acclaimed circus that is coming to the city to be part of a really high quality, international festival.

"Freedom is really important to the city and to the region. It is the biggest festival we put on and last year 75,000 attended. It is part of the cultural jigsaw of the city."

The first show, on Thursday, for Amortale is already sold out but tickets, priced from £8.50, for Friday and Saturday are still available.

Visit here for all Freedom Festival stories and updates
 
 
 
 
Love finds a way with an elephant
from: qctimes.com
Bill Wundram
September 05, 2012
There’s still a poignancy in anything as hulking big as an elephant. Karly Baker, Davenport, collects elephants. She has shelves of elephant statues. A year ago when Circus Pages — a small show — played at Davenport fairgrounds, a romantic trick was played on Karly.
A circus like this always pulls off some pitch, so the ringmaster had a sack of names. If your name is pulled, you get a free ride on an elephant.
Karly’s friend, Shawn Ingersoll, Davenport, had earlier made a deal with the ringmaster. Karly’s name was on top in the sack, and the ringmaster couldn’t help but grab it. She was thrilled to get an elephant ride and to be joined on top of the big bull by Shawn.
This was the moment of love. As the elephant tromped around the circus ring, Shawn asked Karly to be his bride. She couldn’t refuse.
Karly and Shawn will be married Saturday at Duck Creek Park.
On the ringbearer’s pillow — along with the rings — will be a little statue of an elephant.

Workers busy getting Brazos Valley Fair ready for crowds
 

Eagle photos by Stuart Villanueva
Above: A worker with Wright’s Amusements swings into position while constructing the ferris wheel at the carnival Tuesday at the Brazos Valley Fair and Expo. The carnival opens for a sneak peek Wednesday at 4 p.m., with all other fair activities beginning on Thursday.
By Maggie Kiely
from the eagle.com
Brian-College Station TX
September 5th, 2012
A feeling of hustle and bustle swept over the Brazos County Expo on Tuesday afternoon as staff, volunteers and crews worked to transform the complex for the first Brazos Valley Fair and Expo complete with a carnival, rodeo, livestock shows and concerts.
Residents can get a sneak peek by attending the carnival between 4 p.m. and midnight Wednesday; the fair starts Thursday and runs through Sunday.
Crews weren’t able to start officially preparing the fairgrounds until patrons who hosted a weekend horse show had left late Monday, said Tom Quarles, executive director of the Expo.
By Tuesday afternoon, all the cattle pens and horse stalls had been set up, most of the fencing that will surround the event was in place and some of the more aesthetic work — such as mowing the lawns and setting up the flags that would line the driveway — was under way.
The carnival — which sits on five acres — arrived in parts over the weekend and was being handled by the employees who came in with it. Most of the attractions were up Tuesday with workers finishing last-minute chores like cleaning the funnel cake trays and washing tents.
“It’s been a long time coming, but from our standpoint, we’re on schedule,” Quarles said. “Tonight [crews] will go until 12 a.m. or 2 a.m.”
Undertaking such a major project has required detailed scheduling and purposeful planning, he said.
Preparations for the fair began in 2010 when a group of area agricultural leaders and educators got together in support of the idea. About a year after the Fair Steering Committee was formed, Travis Boeker was brought on as general manager and since then fair officials have been laying the groundwork for the region’s inaugural fair.
The Brazos Valley Fair will be the first event of its kind in Texas and the nation to be created from scratch within the past 40 years, officials said.
read more: 
http://www.theeagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120905/bc0101/120909772

State Fair Wraps with Record Numbers
from: 1011now.com
Sep 05, 2012


 
‘Zarkana’s’ cross-country trek one of Cirque’s biggest challenges yet
Robin Leach
from: lasvegasweekly.com
Wed, Sep 5, 2012



Moving Cirque du Soleil’s new show “Zarkana” to Aria at MGM’s CityCenter from New York’s Radio City Music Hall in time for the Nov. 1 preview is one of the largest logistical challenges the entertainment company has ever faced.

It took 88 trucks and giant containers to move the acrobatic rock experience into its sell-out Manhattan venue, and when the Cirque spectacular played Madrid and Moscow, that took four 747s and 18 air freighters.

The first truck for Las Vegas was packed up over Labor Day Weekend with the performers’ cases. David Dovell, operations production manager for “Zarkana,” told me on a backstage tour in New York last week: “It will take until Sept. 15 to pack up the rest of the show. “Viva Elvis” will be all moved out of Aria in time for our trucks to start arriving and setting up as of Sept. 24.”
The final performance of “Elvis” was last Friday, and “Zarkana” ended its N.Y. limited engagement Saturday. Cirque describes Zarkana as “a visual vortex set in a twisted musical and acrobatic fantasy universe where, little by little, chaos and craziness give way to a true celebration. It blends circus arts with the surreal to create a world where physical virtuosity rubs shoulders with the strange.”

Here’s a YouTube video of when the “Zarkana” cast appeared on “America’s Got Talent” this past Independence Day.

read more:
http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/news/2012/sep/05/photos-zarkanas-cross-country-trek-one-cirques-big/

Fiddle sticks & funnel cakes: Concession stands draw foodies to the fair each year


 

Caitlin Vann eats a funnel cake at the 2007 West Tennessee State Fair. / Jackson Sun file photo
from: jacksonsun.com
By Ellen Kimbro
Sep 4, 2012
For 51 years, Jane Pope of Greenfield has been making fiddle sticks to serve at the West Tennessee State Fair and at fairs, carnivals, festivals and company picnics across the Southeast.
The ice cream treats are the first fair food items Pope and her late husband, Jimmy, ever made.
Jane Pope and her son, James Roy Pope, own Pope’s Concessions, which has been in business for 89 years. Her father-in-law, Roy Pope, started the business when he was 14.
“All of my married life, 51 years, I’ve been making those fiddle sticks,” she said of the popular desserts — blocks of ice cream on a stick, dipped in chocolate and rolled in nuts.
The West Tennessee State Fair runs from Sept. 11-16 at Jackson Fairgrounds Park.
 
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Pope's Concessions, which has been in business for 89 years, will be selling fiddlesticks along with other traditional fair foods such as cotton candy, snow cones, candied apples, funnel cakes, hand-dipped corn dogs, Polish and Italian sausage, Philly cheese steaks, hamburgers and tacos at the West Tennessee State Fair. / Jackson Sun file photo
Pope’s Concessions will be selling fiddle sticks along with other traditional fair foods such as cotton candy, snow cones, candied apples, funnel cakes, hand-dipped corn dogs, Polish and Italian sausage, Philly cheese steaks, hamburgers and tacos.
“You will see lines at our booth, because the food is good!” Pope laughed. “People know us, and they look for the Pope’s sign. We go to other places, and they will come to us and tell us, ‘We’ve been looking for that Pope trailer!’ And this is just about everywhere we go, so I guess our food has got to be good.”
Other regional venues for sales include the Gibson County Fair, the Carroll County Fair and the West Tennessee Strawberry Festival.
read more at:
http://www.jacksonsun.com/article/20120905/LIFESTYLE/309050015/Fiddle-sticks-funnel-cakes-Concession-stands-draw-foodies-fair-each-year?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE&nclick_check=1
Payne County Fair draws students, South Africans

 
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DeJuan McConnell
Fair-well
Fair guests wander around at the 98th Annual Payne County Free Fair on Sunday.

by Jonathan Lacaba / Residential Life Reporter
FROM:  ocolly.com
September 4, 2012
Oklahoma State University is not the only place in Stillwater that has long-lasting traditions.
For more than 40 years, Ottaway Amusement Co. has provided the city with carnival rides during the annual Payne County Free Fair.
Ottaway co-owner Vicki Flattery said on Sunday the carnival business has been a major part of her life since childhood.
“This is a family business,” she said. “My parents started it and I’ve been with it since I was 9. We’ve been coming to Stillwater for about 40 years … ever since I can remember.”
Sunday’s carnival marked the conclusion of the weeklong 98th annual fair, hosted by the Payne County Expo Center. The center gets a percentage of Ottaway’s ticket sales, Flattery said.
“We pay the fair board to use the lot and help with trash pickup,” she said.
“We pay the fair board to use the lot and help with trash pickup,” she said.
Ottaway manager Laney Curry, Flattery’s daughter, said this year’s event was busier than normal.
“We had a really strong Friday,” Curry said. “There were really long waits to get on some of the rides. I think more people came on Friday because of Saturday’s football game.”
Ashley Gegan, a 2012 OSU alumna, said she enjoyed Sunday’s carnival festivities.
“I think it’s nice to have here,” Gegan said. “It’s cute for Stillwater. My favorite part was the teeter-totter guitar ride.”
The ride in question, which Flattery deemed “The Rockstar,” seats 22 people and cost $580,000 to purchase for the carnival.
“That ride is about six weeks old,” Flattery said. “We like it because 22 people can ride it at once, which will cut down on lines and allow more people to have fun.”
With just three hours until closing, students still lined up at Ottaway’s ticket window for a chance to experience the carnival. Caley Conner, a speech pathology senior, and Emily Sprunger, a nutritional science senior, said they came on a spur-of-the-moment decision.
“We heard about it and decided to come see what it was about,” Sprunger said.
read more:
http://www.ocolly.com/news/stillwater/article_ac013c44-f6c5-11e1-8754-0019bb30f31a.html?mode=story

Franklin County Fair to get underway Thursday

 
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The Republican
The four-day fair begins on Thursday.
from:  masslive.com
By Keith O'Connor
September 05, 2012
Ask the Franklin County Fair’s new president Linda Fisher what separates them from the rest of the pack and she’ll tell you honestly and enthusiastically – “We’re great.”
“Our area fairs signal the end of summer and the beginning of fall, and we fall somewhere in the middle. I’m just glad that we’re before The Big E,” laughed Fisher.
While the four-day agricultural fair actually swings open its gates Thursday at 3 p.m., the fair officially kicks off at 5 p.m. Thursday with a parade through downtown Greenfield, ending at the fairgrounds. The theme of this year’s parade is "Memories, Music and Magic.”
“The parade has gotten very big over the years and we have a few more contingents than last year,” said Fisher about the many bands, floats, and marching contingents in their year’s line of march.
Billing themselves as “the fun, family, friendly fair,” daily attractions at the Franklin Fair include the Indian River Olde Time Lumberjack Show, Robinson’s Racing Pigs, Flying High Frisbee Dogs, Shriner clowns, a midway, and much more.”
“For me personally, I just like fairs. For many, it’s the food that attracts them and the many different things that you can see on the fairgrounds. For others, it’s the midway rides, but at my age, the midway rides are out for me,” laughed Fisher.
In addition to all the popular fair foods from fried dough to cotton candy and from hamburgers to French fries and many other treats, Fisher said Thanksgiving will be coming a little early this year at the fair.
“We have a new food vendor who will be selling everything turkey, some 16 different items, including soups, stews, sandwiches, and a complete dinner,” said Fisher.
Operated by the Franklin County Agricultural Society, the Franklin County Fair remains true to its agricultural roots with four days of animal and farm-related fun with all kinds of livestock competitions from youth rabbit judging to dairy cattle shows. There is also the Western Mass. Truck Pull on Friday, draft horse draw on Saturday, and Sunday’s draft oxen pull.
read more:
http://www.masslive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2012/09/franklin_county_fair_gets_unde.html
 

Use, treatment of elephants causes brouhaha under the big top

 
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Elephant handler Ryan Henning says Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey lavishes the animals with care.
Heinz Kluetmeier
from:  kentucky.com
By Mary Meehan
September 5, 2012
Circus defends, some decry elephants' use
When the circus comes to town, there is literally an elephant in the room.
Animal rights activists, notably People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, are not fans. The group's Web site includes anti-circus videos such as Circus Elephants: Training and Tragedy, details of the alleged cruelty circus animals suffer, and hints for keeping the circus from coming to town.
The Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and its animals, are at Rupp Arena in Lexington through Sunday.
Carl Hall, director of arena management at Rupp, said he hadn't gotten any calls, but he expected some kind of demonstration, as there has been every year in recent memory that the circus has come to town.
"They come every year after the first performance," he said.
Rupp has set up a special area for the protesters to make their case. Hall says he goes out to chat with them. The crowd has ranged from a handful to several dozen, he said.
Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/09/05/2324338/use-treatment-of-elephants-causes.html#storylink=cpy
Coming to America
Q&A with Batman Live! Producer Nick Grace on the show's American debut


Kamran Darabi-Ford and Sam Heughan, in character as Robin and Batman, present the batmobile.
by Jessica Boudevin
from: venuestoday.com
September 5, 2012
Batman Live! premiers in America tonight, Sept. 5, at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The production kicked off in the UK in 2011, where it debuted at Manchester Arena and went on to gross $2.9 million in 17 shows at London’s O2 Arena. It has since been performed in multiple languages including German, French and Czech. The show’s producer, Nick Grace, sat down with Venues Today to discuss why his pitch worked and why he’s glad to be speaking English again.
 
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Batman Live! Producer Nick Grace
Q. You’re in the U.S. until December. Any plans to add some East Coast dates to the tour?
ANS. We will be but, at the moment, we’re concentrating on the West Coast. It’s a big country and we’re just taking it as we come on it. The rest of 2012 is now on sale, so we’re actually selling tickets right up until the end of December.
How did you make the decision to bring the show to the U.S.?

It was always part of the plan. We started in the U.K. because I’m based in the U.K. and the creative team that we wanted to use was based in the U.K. and they’re a world-class creative team and, to get them together, that’s where we had to start. But North America is the home of Batman. It’s always been our target to be here, so it’s exciting that tonight we’re actually starting our North American tour.
read more:
http://www.venuestoday.com/news/detail/batman-debut-0905

Senior juggles way to world record

 
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by Stephen Wilder
from:  thenortherner.com
September 6, 2012
Northern Kentucky University senior marketing major Erik Kloeker broke his third world record by juggling axes with a total of 86 catches on Aug. 30 at Newport on the Levee. He also holds world records for upside-down juggling and being the youngest sword swallower.

Kloeker started juggling in 2003 after he saw an act at the state fair that had a couple of jugglers in it.
 “I just thought to myself, I can do that,” Kloeker said. “So I went home and started practicing.”
Kloeker is also a member of Pickled Brothers Circus, which his brother started.
Kloeker has broken the upside-down juggling record in three different countries. The Guinness World Records TV show brought him to Italy and China to re-break the record there.
Kloeker said getting in touch with Guinness was a long process.
“They are a hard company to get a hold of,” Kloeker said. “Eventually, an agent contacted us and was looking for people who have broken world records and they found our website.”

Kloeker’s brother, Travis Fessler, said Eric has been juggling since he was about 13 years old.
“All that leads up to this,” Fessler said. “He has been training almost every day since he started juggling.”
 Fessler said Pickled Brothers Circus does these shows to get publicity for upcoming events.

The next event Kloeker will be a part of is the Old West Festival starting Sept. 8, and going on until Oct. 7, in Williamsburg, Ohio.
 More information about the Pickled Brothers Circus and the Old West Festival can be found at www.pickledbrothers.com and www.oldwestfestival.com.
 
 
New attractions mark Bloomsburg Fair's return
By Rob Wheary (Staff Writer)
from:  citizensvoice.com
September 6, 2012
BLOOMSBURG - The Bloomsburg Fair hopes to come roaring back from its one-year flood hiatus with several new attractions, including The Stinger, a pendulum-like thrill ride the operator said has been the No. 1 ride at seven state fairs.
"There is only one type of this ride in America, and we have it," Rick Reithoffer, of Reithoffer Shows, based in Dallas, told fair board members at their annual kickoff luncheon Wednesday afternoon at the fairgrounds. The fair runs Sept. 22 to 29, with a preview day Sept. 21.
Also to debut is the Sky Ride, a 100-car aerial tramway - the longest at any county or state fair in the nation, Reithoffer said - that will take riders from one end of the fairground to the other.
Reithoffer, proprietor of the fair's Midway Carnival, said Bloomsburg holds a special place in his family's heart, and that's why he wanted to bring the best here.
"We have been coming for 50 years, three generations of my family," he said. "We consider Bloomsburg to be our local hometown fair, and we love to shine here."
Also making a special appearance at the luncheon was young Rachael Burmeister, riding her horse, Coosa, into the education building to promote the 4-H Horse and Pony Drill Team performances that will be part of the livestock events.
"We have a wide variety of animals and attractions to see, so we welcome everyone to come check it out," said Jeff Giger, superintendent of livestock.
Carey Howell, superintendent of the grandstand shows, said tickets are still available for all shows. Scheduled performers include Kenny Rogers, Alan Jackson, Jeff Dunham, The Gaither Vocal Band, Rodney Atkins, Billy Currington, Aaron Kelly and Brantley Gilbert.
Howell said Dunham has been using one of his characters, "old man Walter," to talk about Bloomsburg in his act.
"We got a report from someone who saw him in Las Vegas said Walter asked the crowd if they've ever heard of Bloomsburg, Pa.," Howell said. "I imagine he will have a lot to say in his own way when he finally performs on our stage."
This year will mark the first year a new grandstand stage will be used for entertainment.
Meanwhile, the free stage will feature a number of area acts this year, but missing from the list is noted Elvis impersonator Ryan Pelton, who is filming an independent film about Presley and could not make it this year.
There will also be entertainment on the fairgrounds, including the high flying Dock Dogs, The Gold Rush High Dive, impersonators Scott Epperson (Barney from Mayberry) and James Hayley (Abraham Lincoln), percussionists Drum the Bucket, jugglers and acrobats The Dazzling Mills Family and more.
Tickets for the fair are $8 each at the gate.
Paul Reichart, fair board president, said that there will be more than 50 new vendors this year at the fair, and an estimated 10,000 entries in the agriculture, horticulture and arts and crafts categories.
"We welcome everyone to come out, have a great time and make this fair the best ever," Reichart said.

Revived state fair in Novi exceeds all expectations
Planners expect bigger and better things in the future


Visitors to the Great Lakes State Fair Shriner Circus got to see some high-wire acrobatics including these two ladies on swings underneath and roaring motorcycle.
from:  hometownlife.com
Sep. 5, 2012
“Exceeded expectations” is how Suburban Collection Showplace President Blair Bowman described the first Great Lakes State Fair, which took place this past weekend.
“It was incredible,” Bowman said of the event. “The question of whether or not we would get support was answered with a resounding ‘yes.' The state fair has found a home in Novi.”
Held in Detroit for more than 150 years, the Michigan State Fair ended in 2009 because of financial challenges. However, it came back to life at the Suburban Collection Showplace on Grand River Avenue in a scene that included a circus, a midway, an entertainment stage and livestock exhibition areas that were set up on the complex's more than 80 acres.
 
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A tiger trainer gets a friendly lick from one of his charges during the Aug. 31 5 p.m. show of the Shriner's Circus at the Great Lakes State Fair.
Bowman was happy to hear positive reviews of his facilities. One agricultural exhibitor said it was the cleanest, nicest open barn they had seen, Bowman said.
read more:
http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20120905/NEWS13/209060463/Revived-state-fair-Novi-exceeds-all-expectations?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CRoyal%20Oak%7Cp
JOHN STRONG'S
CIRCUS SIDE SHOW
Photos from John Strong's Facebook Page
 

JOHN STRONG
 

JOHN WITH THE LEIBLE FAMILY
THEIR CIRCUS WAS APPEARING AT THE FAIR.
 
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County Fair Pitchmen Sell Products Face-to-Face



Published on Sep 5, 2012 by AssociatedPress
Some people go to the county fair for the rides, the petting zoo and the fried food. Others go shopping. There's something for everyone at the Orange County Fair, where the veteran salesmen who pitch the products are in-person sales experts. (Sept. 5)

Cambria fair a homecoming
 

Mirror photos by Patrick Waksmunski
Garett Disong, 11, of Mineral Point competes atop his 11-year-old pony, Shooter, in the straight barrel event.

By Russ O’Reilly
from: The Altoona Mirror
September 4, 2012
EBENSBURG- The Fairgrounds revenue was diminished by last year's low ticket sales for a fair week plagued by steady rain. But preserving a people's way of life is a familiar task for soldier-turned-fairgrounds president Philip Rice and members of the 11 Cambria County Legion Recreation Association posts that have owned the Cambria County fairgrounds since the 1930s.

Children's hair flapped away from their smiling faces on Monday as amusement rides spun them around, and people filled the grandstand for Top-40 hit country music artist Jason Michael Carroll. And food vendors- most of them fixtures of the fair for decades- served a constant stream of customers.

"How many years have you been here?," Rice asked Bob Miller of Miller and Shank's Sugar Waffles, who sells Rice's childhood-favorite fair treat.
"Since I was a little puppy helping my grandfather," said Miller, 60.

The carefree mood at the 121st Cambria County Fair on Monday didn't reflect the behind-the-scenes concerns that Rice had prior to opening day on Sunday. Rice and fair volunteers are hoping to orchestrate a comeback from last year's fair that was washed out by seven continuous days of rain.

"Revenue at the gate last year was one-third of what we anticipated. That's what we had to operate this year" Rice said.
"Without substantial donations from our sponsors, we wouldn't have made it to opening day this year," he said.

There's been not much more than a drizzle since opening day on Sunday, Rice said.

"The fair has been our life," said Martha Miller, who volunteers to set up the fair's agricultural events with her sister Marie Perez. "We grew up with the fair and we want to share it with the community."

Much of the 73-acre fairgrounds are dedicated especially to showing children's livestock and agriculture exhibits.

"[The children] work all year to come to fair week," Horseback riding games announcer Jerry Wicks said.

Agriculture is an industry with a $306 million annual impact to Cambria County, according to the county commissioners.

"Agriculture helps fuel our economy. It is an important asset to the overall diversity of our county," County Commissioners Chief of Staff Dave Knepper said at the fair.

Ebensburg Borough police escorted a parade of 50 antique tractors dated as far back as 1937 through downtown Ebensburg on Monday. The parade turned heads of residents who watched from their porches and sidewalks.

"I was born and raised on these things," said tractor owner Ray Fenchak of Colver.

During his youth, Rice and his friends would gaze at the Cambria County Fair amusement rides through windows of the Central Cambria Middle School and count the hours to the end of school.

As a soldier returning home from Iraq in 2003, Rice ran into his childhood friends at the fair.

"It was a great way for me to come back," said Rice. "I had so many fond memories."

This year's Cambria County fair continues through Saturday at 883 North Julian Street, Ebensburg.



Drumright Lions Bringing Culpepper & Merriweather Circus to Town
Watch the raising of the Big Top Friday morning!

Molly Payne
1600kush.com
09/04/2012
Drumright, Okla.)  America's favorite old-fashioned Big Top Circus is coming to Drumright - and for that - you can thank the Drumright Lions Club!  The Culpepper & Merriweather Circus is internationally known for quality family entertainment.  Trapeze act!  Wild and crazy unicycles! Performing Jungle Cats!  And more!  It's all happening Friday, Sept. 7th at the rodeo grounds in Drumright!
The Culpepper & Merriweather Circus (C&M Circus) has been featured on National Geographic's Explorer TV series, Entertainment Tonight and an A & E special: Under the Big Top.
Friday morning, everyone is invited to come out and watch them as the Big Top is raised at approximately 9 o'clock.  Afterwards, a free tour will be given of the grounds where you can learn the history of the show, interesting facts about the performers and the different species of the circus animals.  Hygiene, grooming and veterinary care of the animal will also be addressed.
Two 90-minute shows are scheduled at 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  Midway opens at 4 p.m. with pony rides, moonbounce, concessions and more.
Advance tickets can be purchased at SJA Photography, Drumright; Showbiz Video, Drumright and Bristow and Krafty Divaz, Drumright.  $6 for children ages 2 - 12; $9 for adults.  Tickets can also be purchased with a VISA or Master Card by calling 1-866-BIG-TOP-6.  Advance tickets will be available at that number until 4 p.m. on circus day.
Show day tickets: $7 for children and $12 for adults. 


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

 
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SAD NEWS FROM SARASOTA--
 
Buzz Barton, the famous jeweler to the stars, as he liked to say, passed away this past Friday at the

age of 74. He died of a complication from hip surgery leading to heart failure and kidney failure.

He will be cremated and a memorial service will be held during Gibtown. His ashes will be interred
 in Tampa's Showmen'sRest.
 
 

 
Kansas State Fair may limit showing of animal rights video - judge
By Kevin Murphy
from:  reuters.com
Tue Sep 4, 2012
KANSAS CITY, Kansas (Reuters) - Organizers of the Kansas State Fair can restrict the display of an animal rights group's video that shows animal slaughter at its annual agricultural event, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals asked the court to prohibit the fair from putting limits on the video. U.S. District Court Judge J. Thomas Marten denied their request.
The ACLU, which represented PETA, argued the fair was violating federal free speech protections. The Kansas state government sided with the fair in the dispute.
PETA will be allowed to show the film at its booth at the fair starting on Friday in Hutchinson, Kansas, but the film must be displayed out of public view.
"The Kansas State Fair requiring us to hide our video is like the Wizard of Oz telling Dorothy she can't look behind the curtain," PETA's general counsel Jeff Kerr said, referring to the classic film "The Wizard of Oz," which was set in Kansas.
The film, which PETA said was shown at fairs in Iowa and Colorado this year, is narrated by singer Paul McCartney. It shows what PETA calls abuse during the slaughter process of cattle, pigs, chickens, turkeys and other animals.
Fair officials informed PETA that it could only show the 13-minute film, called "Glass Walls," out of public view. In an email to PETA, fair officials said the video should be visible only to people who make "a conscious choice" to see it.
"We are encouraged by the decision of the court," Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a statement. "This ruling preserves the family friendly, pro-agriculture mission of the state fair."
In Iowa, fair officials objected to the video because it included a profanity. PETA agreed to delete the word from subtitles in the video, but it stayed in the audio, Kerr said.
The dispute is the latest in an escalating battle between animal rights advocates and U.S. agricultural interests. PETA and the Humane Society have infiltrated large-animal operations like cattle feed yards and pig and chicken facilities to expose alleged cruelty to animals.
Some Midwestern states like Iowa have responded by passing laws making it a crime to infiltrate such facilities.
Kerr said PETA is considering taking the suit to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
State Fair-goers get on the stick, nearly set attendance record
 
 
James Williams of New Hope carried his stuffed animal on his shoulders Sunday night as he made his way to the exit at the Minnesota State Fair.
Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune
Article by: Star Tribune
September 4, 2012
Minnesota proved once again it throws one of the biggest end-of-summer bashes in the country.
This year's attendance at the Minnesota State Fair hit 1,788,512, beating last year's tally and falling just shy of the all-time record of 1,790,497 set in 2009.
That keeps the Minnesota State Fair as one of the top-attended fairs in the country.
Averaging about 150,000 people a day, Minnesota is the leader among fairs when it comes to average per day attendance, said Brienna Schuette, fair spokeswoman. Texas usually is recognized as racking up the highest attendance numbers overall. But the Texas State Fair goes twice as long as Minnesota's 12-day run, Schuette said. Determining exactly which fair attracts the most people is difficult because state fairs have different methods of tracking attendance, she said.
Minnesota's fair attracts big crowds because it's centrally located, Schuette said. But even more than that, it's about tradition, she said.
"It's something that people can come back to every year," she said. "There's going to be something new, they know there's going to be something that feels like home and it bookends summer before the kids go back to school and the weather gets cool."
MARY LYNN SMITH

 
Exhausting schedule part of circus routine
 

A circus tiger takes a catnap in the heat of the afternoon Thursday.
from:  baldwincity.com
By Elvyn Jones
September 4, 2012
Natalie Chandler was in the midday heat Thursday, watering the trained dogs of the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus.

It was a quiet time at the circus grounds on the old baseball field at Baldwin High School, before the excitement of the night’s two shows and after the hustle and bustle of setting up the big top and establishing camp for the day. Chandler was one of a handful of those with the circus out in the sun, doing day-to-day maintenance or routine chores.

Natalie Chandler and her 3-year-old daughter Gevevieve talk to the trained dogs of the Culpepper ...
For Chandler, it was all part of doing a job she loves.
“I love it all,” she said. “I love the shows, traveling, the work. It’s all fun to me.”
Once a self-taught trapeze artist, Chandler is now one of Culpepper & Merriweather’s ring masters, announcing the second half of the show. It’s a job she does twice a day during the season, which spans March to mid-October.
It’s also a job she does in a different town every day. Chandler said the circus leaves the site of the previous day’s performance at 6 a.m. to get to the next town. It then sets up before enjoying a few quiet hours of rest before that night’s shows. When that is finished, it will break down and prepare to travel in the morning. The only variety in the schedule is on weekends, when the circus does matinee shows, she said.
It sounds like an exhausting schedule, but Chandler said it didn’t bother her.
“I’m used to it,” she said. “I’ve been with a circus for 25 years. I was born to it.”
Helping Chandler with the dogs was her 3-year-old daughter, Genevieve. Chandler, a single mother of two, said she went to regular schools when young, traveling with her parents’ circus in the summer or during school breaks. She intends to home school her two daughters.
“I’d like to think there will be big-tent circuses around when they’re grown,” she said.
Last Thursday did present something different for the circus from the southeastern Oklahoma town of Hugo, Chandler said. Its 2012 tour took it out of the Midlands’ heat.
“We were in the Michigan Upper Peninsula,” she said. “The temperatures were in the 60s and 70s. This is the hottest day we’ve had.”

Dave Volponi, of the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus, gives a tour last Thursday of the ...
As Chandler was caring for the dogs, Dave Volponi was repairing the water tank on her travel trailer. Earlier, he served as tour guide for a class of Baldwin High School students.
Volponi said he joined the circus when it visited his hometown in California.
“I was a stilt walker,” he said. “I helped out at the circus that day, and they asked me if I wanted a job. I said I’d have to have time to think about it. They said I had until morning. That was 25 years ago.”
He was with the circus when it last visited Baldwin in 1991, Volponi said. During his time with the circus, he has added a number of skills to his repertoire, doing a high-wire act and riding a unicycle.
Chandler said she would be happy when the season ends but would soon be impatient to get back on the road.
“After a few weeks, I’ll be ready to go,” she said. “That’s the way it always is."

Photo by Elvyn Jones
Toy tigers and lions wait under the big top to entice children coming to performances later Thursday, which would include real-life big cats.

Unity Silverlake mends the seam on an awing during a quiet period on the circus grounds. A former circus performer, she was pitching in while visiting her husband, the mechanic for the circus.


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