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CIRCUS NOW OPEN!

2014 Convention

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Circus brings new and classic acts to Camelback

By MELANIE VANDERVEER
For the Pocono Record
May 09, 2014
The 130th anniversary of the Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars is being celebrated this year with old favorites and new acts. Ringmaster Christopher Connors has been with the circus for many years, and said everyone's a child again when the circus comes to town.

"I've been with Cole Bros. for 13 years as ringmaster, but I've done this longer than that. I'm probably the third longest running ringmaster in the history of Cole Bros. Circus. I grew up around the circus. My parents were members of the Circus Fans of America," Connors said. "There's something magic about the big-top circus — from the scents to the sights. You're a child again, no matter how old you are, when you walk into the big top. That's the magic of the circus."

This year's circus includes the usual acts everyone loves and some new ones — elephants, tigers, clowns and motorcycles.

"This is our second year with white Bengal tigers," said Mario Vitali, senior marketing director. "The highlight is the elephants and the tigers. People want to see them because some never get to see these magnificent creatures up close."

The elephants are a family of elephants, handled by a family of humans.

"Their 8-year-old gets out there with her parents," Connors said. "We show some wonderful, beautiful exotic animals."

A signature act of the circus is the world's largest cannon. This year's circus brings that act back after a few years' absence, with a new human cannonball.

"This year, brand new to the cannon is Dale Thomsen from Minnesota," Connors said. "He's a fine example of what we have here in America. He also flies on the trapeze."

Other acts include an aerial ballet, a dog act, clowns and the Sphere of Danger.

"The motorcycles in the Sphere of Danger are a newer favorite of the circus. We have some new guys performing, and they are really fast," Connors said. "We also have the aerial ballet and dance to the theme of 'Top Hats and Tails.' We added surprises, so when you think it's over, it's not."

Vitali said people are welcome to come out and watch the tent raising on Monday around 8 or 9 a.m. And they can always come check out the animals.

"People can always come out to see the animals. They are all in great shape and cared for very well," Vitali said.

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