Circus’ 130th anniversary is a family affair
By Hunter Ingram
April 5, 2014
In the middle of the organized chaos that drives a circus, Chris Connors stands center stage – or center ring in this case – conducting all the action as the ringmaster of the Cole Bros. Circus. At this year’s N.C. Azalea Festival, where the circus has preformed for several decades, Connors and his merry band of entertainers will showcase their 130th anniversary show for festival-goers. And, from what this ringmaster has to say, it sounds like quite the show indeed.
Q: What can people heading out to the festival expect from your 130th anniversary big-top show this year?
A: Of course we have the elephants in the big-top circus. You can’t have a circus without the elephants, it is a must. We are very happy to have two of the youngest elephants in the circus with us this year: baby Hugo, who turns 3 in April, and he is joined in the ring with his big sister Val, who is 7. And their aunts and their mama are there, too. Since it is the 130th anniversary, we also have our trademark acts as well, including the world’s largest canon and a brand-new human cannonball, named Dale Thompson. We also have white tigers, a mother/son hand balancing act, an aerial production called Top Hat and Tails and a sister low-wire act at the same time as a teeterboard act from Romania called the Romanoffs. All kinds of action, which makes for a good, old-fashioned American circus.
Q: As ringmaster, what is your role in the circus?