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!
State Fair of Virginia is a family tradition for many in region
BY PORTSIA SMITH from: fredericksburg.com Sept 29, 2012 A little rain didn’t put a damper on the State Fair of Virginia’s opening day yesterday.
Fairgoers from across the state—and even outside the state—made their way to Caroline County’s Meadow Event Park Friday to indulge in fair food, midway rides and other blue-ribbon attractions.
“It’s hard to believe that just a few short months ago we were wondering what the plight of the State Fair would be,” said Jeff Dillon, president of the State Fair of Virginia. Dillon spoke at yesterday’s ribbon-cutting just before the gates opened. “It’s been a fast, yet absolutely unbelievable, ride over the past several months,” he said.
The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation and Universal Fairs have come together for the event. The fair runs through Oct. 7.
There was a slight bump at the beginning of the road when long lines at the two will-call gates started to upset guests. New Kent County residents Ted and Vivian Van Holten, who had bought season passes online, waited for nearly 45 minutes before being able to get inside the gates.
“My Farm Bureau membership isn’t even moving me through this line,” Ted Van Holten joked.
After hearing some complaints, fair owner Mark Lovell stepped in and moved people through the line. It was clear within five minutes.
“Sometimes you do things, and they don’t work as well as you want them to, and you regroup and you try again,” he said.
Lovell, president of the Tennessee-based Universal Fairs, bought the 331-acre State Fair of Virginia property in Caroline this spring with a winning bid of $5.35 million.
“I’d like to see the State Fair of Virginia be one of the top 25 fairs in the country,” he said. “I’d like to see half a million people come, and I think that will happen eventually.”
Mechanicsville residents Louis Smith and Jessica Combs were there to check out the shows, races and exhibits. Sandy McCrickland of Wanchese, N.C., and her husband, Ken, celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary at the fair with their daughter and grandchildren, who live in Henrico County.
“We’ve celebrated our anniversary at the State Fair of Virginia for at least the past 20 years,” she said. “The grandkids love it, and it was fun.” She said she didn’t notice much difference this year, other than it seemed “a little bit smaller.”
Kathy Fuller, a Texas resident visiting family in Spotsylvania County, said she liked the agricultural displays. She won a 2013 Almanac for correctly answering a question about cattle. Some of the blue-ribbon-winning exhibits included a 200-pound watermelon, grown in Hanover County.
Three-year-old Landon Spradlin of Albemarle County found a puddle to splash in by the goats at the Young MacDonald’s Farm area.
“We knew that there was a chance for rain today, but we came anyway,” said Landon’s father, Mike. “Anytime you do something like this, the rain is a burden, but we just find a tent to go under. He can sit here and look at the [birthing] ducks for two hours.”
Season-ticket-holder Diane Leonard of Glen Allen said coming to the fair is a family tradition. “My parents used to take me every year. I took my kids every year, and tomorrow I’m bringing my kids and my grandkids,” she said, while eating a sample of yogurt.
Donald Thurston of Richmond said last night’s Foghat concert was going to be nostalgic for him. He attended one of their concerts more than 40 years ago, when he was 17 years old. “I’m looking forward to seeing Foghat again and the Italian sausages,” he said.
Norb Bartosik from: sacbee.com by Mark Glover Saturday, Sep. 29, 2012 Norb Bartosik, California Exposition and State Fair general manager, on Friday told the board of directors that he plans to retire at year's end.
Bartosik, 62, started at Cal Expo in 1994 after stints as the general manager of the Orange County and Antelope Valley fairs, and the Du Quoin State Fair in Illinois.
A self-described "fair junkie" who started his fair management career in 1972, Bartosik worked in numerous fair industry jobs over the years and is a member of the Hall of Fame of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions and Western Fairs Association.
"This is a sad day for Cal Expo and the fair industry," said Cal Expo board Chairman Rick Stacey. "Although I couldn't be happier for Norb, I must confess I worked hard at convincing him to stay a while longer."
Sept 29, 2012 By Ed Zagorski from: wiscnews.com Animals brought in to perform at Circus World Museum will be under more scrutiny than in past years.
The decision comes on the heels of an elephant owner bringing four to the Baraboo historic site without an import permit this summer.
Dr. Paul McGraw, an assistant state veterinarian with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, said any exotic animal coming into the state requires an import permit. The elephants’ owner, Louie J. Delmoral, received a warning notice in late June for not having the specified permits.
Then a U.S. Department of Agriculture animal health technician and a DATCP field veterinarian said one of the elephants was not eligible for travel or public contact in Wisconsin. The same elephant was exposed to another elephant that was suffering from tuberculosis at Carson and Barnes Circus in Oklahoma, according to a DATCP report.
It was determined the elephant at Circus World must be removed from Wisconsin or stay with the other three elephants in Baraboo, as long as it didn’t have contact with the public.
Dr. Elisabeth Patton, a veterinarian with DATCP, said there is no evidence the elephant in Baraboo was sick with tuberculosis.
“Based on the medical testing and the increased level of monitoring given to it, the elephant didn’t pose a threat to the public,” Patton said.
McGraw said Delmoral did not violate any USDA rules.
“We just felt it was prudent for the elephant to stay in Wisconsin until they were ready to move,” he said.
There was no danger to anyone who came in contact with the elephant, McGraw said.
“There’s never been a case where an elephant gave a human tuberculosis,” Delmoral said. “We operate under very strict USDA guidelines.”
Delmoral, who has been training and showing elephants for 30 years, said he would not have been at Circus World this season if he hadn’t been in compliance.
“The USDA would not allow it,” he said.
Circus World Executive Director Steve Freese said he is working with the state to make sure those who bring animals to perform are in compliance before they are allowed onto the grounds.
“The state doesn’t tell me or show me if the animal owner is in compliance or not,” Freese said.
He said there is no “paper trail” at Circus World where he knows who is in compliance and what animal trainers or owners are not.
“How can I fix anything if they (the state and federal agencies) don’t tell me what is happening?” Freese asked.
He said he is working with the USDA and DATCP to learn when they are visiting Circus World to check the paperwork of the animal owners.
“Absolutely, we are making certain changes,” he said. “We want this to be a fun and safe environment for people to visit and to work.”
Robert Cline posted in Circus Historical Society Robert Cline 7:46am Sep 29 The 2013 CHS Convention will be going to Peru, Indiana next year. Watch for your CHS Newsletter next week for Hotel arrangements. Book your rooms NOW as this is Circus Week in Peru and every room in town will be booked.
Wilmette welcomes the circus
By Steve Schering
September 28, 2012
Assisting in raising the Kelly Miller Circus tent is Lisa, a 37-year-old ,8000 pound Asian elephant, who will also perform Friday evening in Wilmette. | Kevin Tanaka for~Sun-Times Media.
WILMETTE — In preparation for the District 39 Education Foundation fundraiser, representatives from the Kelly Miller Circus invited residents and schoolchildren Friday morning to watch them raise the big top prior to the night’s performances.
Tickets to tonight’s performances will benefit the school district, but circus hands put on a free show when Lisa the elephant assisted the crew in assembling the circus’ big top tent behind the Mikaelian Education Center.
Max Steen, 7, of Wilmette, protects his ears while stakes are driven into the ground to support the Kelly Miller Circus tent being raised Friday morning in Wilmette.| Kevin Tanaka for~Sun-Times Medi
Wilmette resident and District 39 Education Foundation board member Kelly McQueen brought her daughter Ella, 4, to witness the transformation.
“She wanted to see the elephants,” Sally said. “When we arrived, the big top was flat on the ground and within 30 minutes it was up. How often do you get to see that? It’s pretty cool.”
People gathered behind Mikaelian Education Center to watch the Kelly Miller Circus tent being raised Friday morning in Wilmette.| Kevin Tanaka for~Sun-Times Media.
As the tent began to rise, onlookers were invited inside to witness the completion of the process. As guests walked in they were greeted by Lisa, one of Kelly Miller’s three elephants.
Lisa, with a little help from a tractor, helped raise the four center poles of the tent and crews outside worked to remove the last few wrinkles as show time approached.
Sarah Murphy, of Wilmette, brought her children, Gracie, 3, and Mike, 5, to check out the tent. They were able to take a ride on one of the circus’ camels afterward. The three already had their tickets for the 6:30 p.m. show and couldn’t wait to return.
“We’ve never seen a circus tent go up, and these two have never been to a circus ever,” Sarah said. “It was amazing to see the precision that goes into setting it up.”
Students from Regina Dominican High school take an early look at elephants of the Kelly Miller Circus behind the Mikaelian Education Center Friday morning in Wilmette.| Kevin Tanaka for~Sun-Times Media.
Arriving while the tent lay flat on the ground and seeing it rise was quite a site for the children.
“The tent was really little then it got big,” Mike said, adding he’s excited to see his first circus.
Colton Berg and Jayden Salazar, both 5 years old, live behind the field where the circus pitched its tent. Both plan to attend the performances tonight and were able to get up close and feed the three elephants.
Joe Kearney, left and son, Joey,8 of Glenview, attend the tent raising of the Kelly Miller Circus behind Mikaelian Education Center Friday morning in Wilmette.| Kevin Tanaka for~Sun-Times Media.
Audrey Jahns, left, and Isabella Laurie ride a camel at the Kelly Miller Circus Friday morning in Wilmette.| Kevin Tanaka for~Sun-Times Media. “I like them,” Berg said. “They’re so big. We fed them bananas and hay.” The only downside to living so close to the circus? “Their poo smells so bad,” Salazar said.
Tim Grobaty: Catch a circus with that Old World Italian charm
Circus Zoppé founded in Italy in 1842 and still owned by the same family, comes to the Queen Mary for shows tonight, Saturday and Sunday. By Tim Grobaty, Columnist From: presstelegram.com 09/27/2012 Long Beach, CA--ONE-RING CIRCUS: We were all excited about sending you to see the great Lily Tomlin Saturday night at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center, but then we found out - and this is no big surprise - that the show is sold out, so you've either already scored a ticket and don't need us telling you what to do, or we've just given you some great news (Lily Tomlin is in town!) followed by cripplingly bad news (show's sold out).
We feel horrible now. Here, have a circus:
Circus Zoppe is not only an old-school circus, it's an old-school, Old World circus thrown in the grand Italian tradition in just one, easy-to-watch ring instead of the unwieldy three that greedy short-attention-span- having modern man has come to expect from a circus.
With Circus Zoppe you get the ham and eggs of circus acts: clowns, acrobats, canine capers and audience participation.
The circus comes to town tonight at 8 at the Queen Mary, with additional performances at 1, 4 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 and $30.
Staff photo by William Wrobel Bianca Bodreau, 7, and Josue Bodreau, 4 play between the Ringling Bros. trains while the vehicles sit in Nashua's railyard Thursday, September 27, 2012. Both the Bodreau children have lived their entire lives on the trains, crisscrossing the United States with the circus. The children view the traveling lifestyle as a normal lifestyle. By ERIN PLACE, Staff Writer from: nashuatelegraph.com Friday, September 28, 2012 NASHUA – For the entirety of their young lives, Bianca and Josue Bodreau have only known life aboard the circus train.
The children, 7 and 4 years old respectively, rolled into Nashua Wednesday evening with the rest of the 60 cars as part of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ red train. Bianca and Josue’s father, Jeff Bodreau, is the general manager of the red unit and their mother, Charleny Bodreau, is a trapeze artist.
The family and roughly 300 other circus crew members are staying in the Nashua train yard while multiple shows are performed Thursday through Sunday in Manchester. The circus’ animals were transported to the Queen City after the trains’ arrival.
While traveling with the circus across the entire country with little or no reprieve may seem like an unusual lifestyle to many, it is one that the Bodreaus fully embrace.
“My kids see things that I could never even dream of seeing at their age. They love it here, and I do, too,” Jeff Bodreau said. “It’s the coolest job on the planet.”
Charleny Bodreau feels the same.
“It’s a great life,” she said. “Of course, one day we will want to settle, but I guess we just have to take advantage and enjoy this life while we can.”
Staff photo by William Wrobel Jeff Bodreau stands in front of one of the Ringling Bros. trains while the vehicles sit in Nashua's railyard Thursday, September 27, 2012. BBodreau lives on the move with his wife and two children as the General Manager of the circus. Jeff Bodreau said his son was born in Florence, S.C., while their family was traveling with the gold unit, the smaller sister version of the circus’ red and blue units. All three units have different shows offered to each of the cities they visit.
“He came into the world and the next day we traveled to Charleston, N.C. Then we took a little time off, but his second day on this planet, he was traveling with the show,” Jeff Bodreau said.
Bianca was born in winter quarters, which are held in Florida, but has been on the road her entire life, too. Circus employees get almost a month off from performing during the holidays. But this is when the next tour’s circus show is created during the brief period of down time.
The World's Tallest Ferris Wheel Is Coming To Staten Island!
By Garth Johnston in Arts & Entertainment
on September 27, 2012
Staten Island is about get itself a major tourist attraction—and it isn't another ferry. As previously hinted, the borough is now set to get The New York Wheel, the world's largest Ferris Wheel, Mayor Bloomberg will announce today. Expect great views when the wheel starts spinning...in 2015.
As the Staten Island Advance reports, the $230 million project will be the heart of a retail and hotel complex the city wants to put beside the Staten Island Yankees ballpark. And at 625 feet tall, the New York Wheel will be the tallest wheel going. Taller than the London Eye, the "High Roller" planned for the Las Vegas Strip and the Singapore Flyer—currently the world's tallest such wheel.
Developers hope to start construction on the project, which is very close to the Staten Island Ferry terminal, in early 2014 and expect it to carry 4.5 million riders a year. In a statement Mayor Bloomberg called the plan "a once-in-a-generation opportunity for economic development" and promised it to be "an attraction unlike any other in New York City -- even unlike any other on the planet."
In addition to the Wheel the mayor's office today is expected to announce plans by BFC Partners to construct Harbor Commons, "a 420,000-square-foot retail complex featuring 50 to 75 designer outlet stores and a 120,000-square-foot hotel to the south of the ballpark."
If it works, it will be "a game-changer for Staten Island," Borough President James P. Molinaro said. "We've gone from having the world's biggest dump to having the world's biggest wheel."
By ANIESA HOLMES - Daily News Staff from: jdnews.com The Onslow County Fair is returning next week with several new attractions as well as signature showcases this year.
The fair will be held from Oct. 1-6 on the Onslow County Fairgrounds in Jacksonville. As fall officially settles in, the fair represents a time when folks of all ages enjoy exploring dozens of games and entertainment while getting their fill of fair cuisine.
With more 25,000 visitors expected each year, Jerry Griffin, fair general manager, said making the event fresh and exciting for generations of visitors is a top priority.
“This is our 58th year of the fair,” Griffin said. “We try to change something every year so you won’t see the same things over and over each time.”
Amusement of America will provide 30 carnival classics, from bumper cars to Ferris wheels and even a small circus act with 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. shows every weeknight.
“We’re going to have two Ferris wheels this year — a big one and a smaller one that’s a little different and wasn’t on the circuit last year,” Griffin said. “They also have a human cannonball act and that’s something we’ve never had before.”
Proceeds raised from the fair help the American Legion and the Jaycees for yearly community service projects. Commercial exhibits and education and agriculture booths are always held inside of the American Legion Building. It’s also a time when residents have the chance show off their prized livestock, flowers and crafts for ribbons and recognition, sponsored by the Onslow County Agricultural Extension. The fair has traditionally supported agricultural businesses locally and throughout North Carolina for years.
The fair will host live performances featuring local acts this year at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., and 4-H will host their annual talent show on Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. Other special features include a fireworks display on Oct. 4 at 9 p.m. and several drawings to give away MP3 players.
Jordan World Circus takes stage Sunday in Las Cruces
Sun-News report from: lcsun-news.com 09/27/2012 LAS CRUCES — The Jordan Circus annual show will be at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Pan American Center. The circus will take place in a one-ring European style format, and includes all of the elements of a traditional circus show, including lions and tigers, aerialists, daredevils, clowns, elephants, horsemanship and precision performing animals of all shapes and sizes.
Free tickets for children 12 years and under are available online at www.thejordanworldcircus.com, and tickets can be purchased at the Pan Am Center ticket office on show day for $16 for adults and $12 for children
James Cristy Cole Circus heads for Cedar Creek Lake
by David Webb
David Webb is a veteran journalist who has written for the mainstream and alternative media for three decades. He is now a freelancer who lives in the Cedar Creek Lake area. He is the editor of cedarcreeklake.com. E-mail story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
GUN BARREL CITY -- The James Cristy Cole Circus will feature clowns, acrobats, aerialists, trained exotic big animals like tigers and elephants, daring motorcycle riders and other live entertainment at City Pavilion
The circus, which is G-rated for families, is produced by fourth-generation circus performer James Plunkett, who appears with his wife Cristine Herrott. His wife also has a circus pedigree, and their three children, Star Cristy, 20, Jesse James, 18 and Cole, 13, also appear in the circus.
The circus is being presented as a fundraiser for the Mabank High School Choir.
Show times are 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 2, and 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 3-4.
Ticket prices are $8 in advance and $10 at the gate. Kids 12 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at Gun Barrel City Hall or from any member of the Mabank High School Choir.
For information about the circus visit www.cometothecircus.com
The Plunkett's Present the James Cristy Cole Circus
Sep 28, 2012 Just months after going bankrupt, the State Fair of Virginia opens to the public today at the Meadow Event Park in Caroline County.
Universal Fairs purchased fair before partnering with the Virginia Farm Bureau to keep the annual event running.
"We've been busy working with other agriculture groups and commodity groups to make sure that the fair continues to have a strong agricultural presence here," said fair spokesperson Greg Hicks.
Hicks told 8News they have a long-term plan for the fair, and it won't be going away any time soon.
"We're looking at it for the long term, I think we're looking for 20 years down the road, for us to still be here."
In its first year under new ownership, this year's fair will offer 10 new rides, plenty of fried food options and several new animal exhibits.
Jason Gibson, assistant general manager, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, talks about the logistics involved with setting up for the circus at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester on Thursday.
(DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER) By DOUG ALDEN from: New Hampshire Union Leader September 27. 2012 Preparing an empty arena for the “Greatest Show on Earth” looks like a bit of a circus.
What appears to be chaos is actually an intricate, detailed process to get everything in place for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which opened a four-night run at Verizon Wireless Arena in downtown Manchester on Thursday night. From hanging the lighting above to laying a rubber surface on the floor, every bit of space has its own role in the setup required for the two-hour show.
”We have to be organized. There's a lot of moving pieces for our show,” said Jason Gibson, an assistant general manager overseeing the tour. “When the show is put together, it doesn't matter if it's the first show or the 450th show, it's got to be the same. We have that exact quality control each and every day.”
Crew members and even some of the performers dodged forklifts Thursday as they fashioned the elaborate setup where fans would marvel at the daredevil performers, animal acts and clowns that try to keep a balance of circus tradition while still being a new show the audience hasn't seen before.
“I don't always dress like this. I'm working!' performer Brian Miser shouted, wearing jeans and a T-shirt as he dashed across the parking lot to a trailer for a tool.
Miser's role was traditionally known as the “Human Cannonball.” In the modern-day show, he's the “Human Fuse,” lighted on fire and sent flying across the arena from a giant crossbow.
Miser's launching device was still packed away in one of the many white wagons being carted through the arena or waiting in the parking lot. His giant landing pads were backstage, along with dozens of other props for the episode titled “Fully Charged.”
The preparation actually began Wednesday night when crew members chained a large trestle from the rafters. The gridwork of metal lined with wires supports the circus' own lights, sound system and even the collapsible cage that when raised encase trainer Tabayara and a dozen tigers that are part of the show. There are also six elephants and 23 horses on the tour, which travels the country by a train with enough cars to stretch it more than a mile, Gibson said. read more: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20120928/NEWHAMPSHIRE01/709289913
Tanzania: Stage Set for Mama Africa Circus Show
Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)
from all africa.com
27 September 2012
ENTERTAINMENT revelers in Dar es Salaam are expected to be treated to a month of spectacular displays as the Tigo Mama Africa Circus show opens in the city on Thursday.
Mobile phone service providing firm, Tigo, has sponsored the event, which will be staged by the multi-media entertainment company, Mancom Entertainment, in a bid to present unique performances to Dar es Salaam residents, apart from promoting domestic culture.
Mancom Entertainment Managing Director, Constantine Magavilla, said his firm was proud to stage the Tigo Mama Africa Circus show and was optimistic that the event will play a crucial role in promoting Tanzanian culture through different forms of entertainment acts.
"We are very excited about this event and we hope that people will not only leave this place feeling good, but also that their positive experience will draw more people to this show," said Magavilla. He expressed sincere regards to Tigo for its support to the event and encouragement throughout the preparation stage.
"This show is staged by Tanzanian artists...there is absolutely no one from outside the country that will perform in the event. This, therefore, will be a proof of the abundant talent that the country has as far as performing art is concerned and we hope it will contribute immensely in promotion of our culture," added Magavilla.
The event will be staged at the Mancom Entertainment Centre, located at the New World Cinema, Mwenge in the city and is expected to end on November 4, this year. According to Magavilla, the Tigo Mama Africa Circus show will comprise 18 acts of song, dance (traditional and contemporary), juggling, contortionism, balancing acts, aerial acts, pyramid acts, pole acts and several others.
Tigo Public Relations Officer, Alice Maro, expressed pride in her firm's involvement in the show and said the company felt the move was the best way to maintain better relationship with its customers. She added that entertainment lovers in Dar es Salaam will be exposed to plenty of captivating performances.
New rides, hands-on demonstrations, robotics competition highlight annual event that starts Thursday with parade down Kaahumanu Ave.
E.K. Fernandez ride operator Jolane Josiah hooks a plastic skirt around the base of Pharaoh’s Fury on Tuesday afternoon. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo By MELISSA TANJI - Staff Writer from: The Maui News.com September 26, 2012 New keiki rides, more hands-on demonstrations and entertainment and the largest robotics competition ever are just some of the highlights of this year's Maui Fair, which gets under way Thursday.
"I think this year in particular, because it's our 90th year, everyone feels its more of a significant fair," said Sherri Grimes, the fair's managing director.
The Solaris Centre in New South Promenade. Thursday 27 September 2012 THE recent downpours forced a circus to cancel its performance because it cannot put its big top up. Circus Starr had been due to hold two shows for more than 1,500 people at The Solaris Centre in New South Promenade yesterday.
The free performances were for disabled and disadvantaged children and would also have raised money for the Blue Skies Hospital Fund - a charity for the children’s ward at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
But the heavily waterlogged grounds around the Solaris meant the circus could not go ahead. It has been reschedule for Monday, November 12.
Circus Starr director Neville Wilson said: “We are really sorry to have to cancel the Circus Starr show as we know hundreds of children were looking forward to the show.
“However, the persistent rain over the last 48 hours meant we could not pull our trucks on to the site of the Solaris Centre to set up the big top. The site is heavily waterlogged so attempting it would only damage the ground there and our vehicles.
“I want to personally reassure all the children and adults in Blackpool we will return to put on the show in November so no-one has to miss out on all the free family fun that a Circus Starr show offers.”
Among the 1,579 who had been due to attend were 200 children and their families from Park Special School in Whitegate Drive, while 160 tickets had been given to children and adults with special needs at Cherish UK on Preston New Road.
All tickets issued for the show will remain valid for the rearranged date. No venue has yet been set for the new date.
Thursday 27 September 2012 Every cloud, they say, has a silver lining and in this case the clouds of a dreadful summer which have driven veteran showman Gerry Cottle to bring his golden jubilee show to one of Blackpool’s two indoor Big Tops have given the resort a late-in-the-season treat.
All right, the rain has followed him here in torrential style and the venue’s foyer was damaged by fire last weekend but the show must go on – and thank goodness it has.
Celebrating half a century since Cottle himself ran away to join a circus he promised this would be something different and while he hasn’t exactly re-invented the wheel (or in this case the Big Top) he’s certainly given it a new spin.
WOW! claims it presents “50 acts in 100 minutes” and it just about does.
Obviously that doesn’t mean 50 entire acts – it’s more a very fast moving selection of familiar favourites and a pot pourri of sliced up performances from a large cast combining international genuinely “wow factor acts” such as Los Marinos from Colombia, a marvellous high wire and wheel of death daredevil combo which genuinely scares the audience into gasps and even screams.
Likewise there’s a “wow” of different proportions for the skills of the Fratelli-Folco Brothers who combine balancing, juggling and, later, a more traditional crossbow act.
But much of the show’s success is its speed, freshness, enthusiasm and size.
That’s largely thanks to the nine Kenyan Warriors and baker’s dozen youngsters of the Wookey Hole Circus Troupe which means half a dozen jugglers, four unicyclists, six aerial silk performers and so forth can be performing at any given time.
Throw in a fair sprinkling of mid-sized illusions and some quality clowning from Bippo, Ben and Olympia, a rocking and rolling band providing a Glee meets Grease soundtrack and it’s a challenge to keep up as the “50 acts” are clocked up (23 to 28 and 31 to 36 move particularly swiftly). But with so much happening who’s counting?
Matthew Esqueda (left) and Hubert Vanaga secure the Circus Vargas sign before the main support posts of the Circus Vargas big top tent goup in the parking lot at the Ventura County Fairgrounds Tuesday.
Big-top things are happening underneath Circus Vargas' tent set up at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.
Trapeze artists are soaring around in the air doing tricks most of us can't even do on the ground. A guy named Matti with a big red nose, even though he doesn't have the sniffles, is clowning around. Motorcyclists are flipping out doing stunts in a metal cage, and a big-shot "human rocket" is flying out of a cannon.
The circus' latest production also has a "Broadway" touch, with ringmaster Kevin Venardos and his troupe dazzling with dance and music. Arrive 30 minutes early for a preshow where kids can enter the ring and learn a few circus skills.
Performances continue through Monday at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, 10 W. Harbor Blvd., Ventura. Showtimes are 7:30 Friday; 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 12:30, 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday; and 6:30 p.m. Monday. For tickets, $20-$65, with $5 discounts for seniors and military, call 877-468-3861 or visit circusvargas.com. Kids younger than 2 get in free.
Coney Island has seen many changes since it opened its first sideshow in 1880. Theme parks have been developed, bulldozed and redeveloped; newer vendors have replaced old businesses; real estate has been bought and sold—the list goes on. But there are some places, and people, in Coney Island that are determined to keep the old traditions alive. The Coney Island Sideshow School, and Adam Rinn, are among them.
from: theindependentnewspapers.com Written by admin It wasn’t exactly the desert on Saturday, September 22 in Elmhurst, when the Kelly Miller Circus came to town, but that didn’t stop all the Evans boys (Dad Michael, Liam, 2, Sean, 3 and Conner, 4) from taking a camel ride. Despite the wet weather, the kids had a great time — and the camel seemed to welcome the rain! The circus was hosted by the District 205 Foundation for Educational Excellence with sponsorship by The Elmhurst Jaycees and M&M Orthopaedics.