2014 Convention



Saturday, March 6, 2010



(Fotos from a blog by Priscilla Kibble)

Friday, March 5, 2010


Press Release: Adam Forepaugh-Barry Lubin Tent : April 12-18, 2010

"Circus Week Altoona"

Thanks to Paul Ingrassia's generous donation of a circus scrapbook that he purchased at the Sarasota SHOWFOLKS Tent Auction Wednesday evening.

Sections from the scrapbook are For Sale.

A small sample of these items. PLUS many other items. Newspaper Ads: Excellent Condition

A. March 27, 1922 RBBB Madison Square Garden " The Show of 10000 Wonders "

B. Aug., 28, 1930 Downie Bros. Big 3 Ring Wild Animal Circus

C. Aug., 30, 1901 Buffalo Bill Wild West "The One Big Show" - Grand Street Cavalcade - D. June 2, 1890 Adam Forepaugh's Great All-Feature Show and Wild West Combined E. May 22, 1915 Robinson's Famous Shows Combined "Special Trains of Palace Cars" F. Sept., 8/9 1876 P. T. Barnum NEW and "Greatest Show on Earth" Is Coming. (Fantastic Ad)

G. May 9 1911 HOWES Great London " Grand FREE street Parade" "Royal YEDDO Japanese Troupe"

The above and many other circus items will be available ONLY during " Circus Week Registration" at the COMFORT INN on Fri., April 16 & Sat., April 17th.

All monies received will go toward sponsorship for Hanneford Circus Cookhouse Performers Sat. 17th at the 71st JAFFA SHRINE CIRCUS produced by Struppi Hanneford. Registration DEADLINE: "Circus Week Altoona" March 29, 2010. Info: White Tops


"You can do what you have to do, and sometimes you can do it even better than you think you can."





The Circus is in town at the Westfield Mall Grab the kids

Circus Vargas one of America’s favorite big top circuses, is playing at the Westfield Palm Desert, Hwy. 111 at Monterey Ave., through Sunday, Jan. 31.
The California-based Circus Vargas is presenting an entirely new production for 2010 – once again stressing fun family entertainment, starring performers from all over the world.
Families will be pleased to see a completely new show with the new look of Circus Vargas. Performing under a brand new big top tent, the show has a complete set of new performers and acts since last time the show was in town. The show features aerial displays, acrobats and a variety of circus performers with a emphasis on fun and laughter, without losing any of the death-defying feats that people love to see.

Thirty minutes before show time, fans will get an exciting pre-show peek into the world of Circus Vargas, hosted by reality TV personality Jon Weiss from the CBS show “The Amazing Race.” Prior to every show, Jon will be front and center welcoming the audience and inviting children to take a “center stage” look at life under the Big Top! Everyone is encouraged to participate in the pre-show action, and to join Jon as he guides them on a quick crash course in circus skill and stamina!
Remaining showtimes are Thursday and Friday, Jan. 28 and 29, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 30 and 31, at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Tickets ($15 to $55) are on sale by phone at (877) 468-3861), online at, and at the circus box office.


Circus Vargas: Family entertainment.
San Diego Family and ChildrenCircus Vargas: Kids Welcome

Read these tips getting the most out of a big top adventure

By Jolene KearnsSan

This year, with it’s 41st season is under way, California-based Circus Vargas delivers once again on its promise to be fun and exciting family entertainment. With a wide variety of acts, lights and modern music, children won’t have time to get bored or restless. Kids will inevitably find their favorite recurring entertainer in Matty the Clown, who moves the show along with his whistle, energy and kooky humor. The only sad point of the day might be if your kids don’t get picked in one of his audience participation bits. If you're taking the kids to the circus as part of the entertainment budget this spring, check out these tips before going:
Do Celebrate. If you can come on a birthday, the circus will move the spotlight to your kid and wish them a happy day under their brand-new Big Top. Go to bookstores and libraries for books about the circus to gear kids up for the experience. Try checking out Last Night I Dreamed a Circus by Maya Gottfried, or a classic like If I Ran the Circus by Dr. Seuss.
Do Arrive Early. About 20 minutes before showtime Circus Vargas opens the ring for kids to come and try out various tricks, like feather balancing and hula hoops.
Don’t Take Pictures. At least not during the show. You don’t want to be the one parent causing one of the fantastic Tabares trapeze artists to fall. Save family shots for outside the tent after the show when cast members graciously wait to pose with kids.
Do Eat Before Going. Hot dogs are tempting, but if you eat a well-balanced meal before going, kids will fair better when you spring for that extra-special sugary treat of cotton candy later on.
Do Bring Your Clown Noses. Have fun and be a kid again. Now is the time for children to see parents being silly, shouting out during audience participation times and just being visibly jaw- droppingly amazed. Kids take their cues from you, so if you don’t have your own nose, spring for the dollar ones on sale outside the Big Top.
Do Try To Go in the Evening. Anytime is good for the circus, but kids are often more in a “watching” mode toward the end of the day when they have gotten their jitters out.
Do Reassure. Kids will surely be entertained, but some sensitive ones worry during more high-flying dangerous acts like Leo Garcia’s "Wheel of Destiny." Talk about things before going. Remind them that these are professionals who have safe equipment and truly know what they are doing.
Don’t Cancel Your Health Insurance. Though you can say, “Don’t try this at home,” you can be sure they will. Your couch will inevitably turn into a miniature replica of the Marinelli’s trampoline. Instead of risking injury, take control and put on your own family circus using hula hoops for your main big top ring. Invite friends and have siblings perform certain roles like the clown, the announcer, the hula hoop lady, special dances, and somersaults for their family “acts.” For more ideas, go to, and do a search for “circus.”

Circus Vargas is in San Diego through Febraury 15; National City Febraury 18-22; El Cajon February 25-March 8; Vista March 11-15; Mira Mesa 18-22; and Temecula March 25-29.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Brett Carden, elephant trainer with the El Mina Shrine Circus, gives 42-year-old Asian elephant Dutchess a bath Thursday afternoon outside Ford Park Arena. Elephants need to be bathed often - with special soap - to ensure their skin does not dry out. Beth Rankin/The Enterprise

Circus is life for one family

By BETH RANKIN October 17, 2009
Just feet from a slumbering lion, Stevie Coronas runs her hand along Albert's back as he snacks on a pile of hay.
She makes a clicking noise with her mouth to get the 8-year-old Friesian stallion's attention.
"Come here, Albert," she said, and he instantly snaped his head up, looking her square in the eye and awaiting his next command.
His obedience is rewarded with a rub on the nose as Coronas coos in his ear.
Coronas - considered the "Circus Mom" - moves from stall to stall, brushing, polishing and braiding manes, preparing the horses for the opening night of the El Mina Shrine Circus at Ford Arena.
She stops to scold her 4-year-old son as his curiosity leads him a little too close to three Asian elephants lounging nearby.
"Don't you even think about doing that again," she calls out. "Elephants are not horses and you could get hurt."
For Coronas, a seventh-generation circus worker, the El Mina circus is both her career and the center of her family's activities.
From February to November, Coronas and her husband, Serge, travel the country with their four children and two grandchildren, setting up, performing in and tearing down the traditional three-ring circus in each town they visit.
"We don't know anything different," Coronas said. "We were born and raised out here."


With many new acts, Circus Gatti has something for everyone

By Georgia TempleEntertainment EditorPublished: Sunday, February 28, 2010

For Circus Gatti ringmaster Justin Loomis the circus is home.
“I’ve done this all my life pretty much,” Loomis told the Reporter-Telegram. “My father was in the circus business, and as a child, I found it intriguing. And I fell in love with the circus.”
This year’s show, Shazoom, is a return to the origins of circus that combine the traditional circus-acrobatics performances and the art of clowning. The show highlights the physical demands of extraordinary human performances presented in three rings of activity.
The circus has performances Wednesday through Saturday at Ector County Coliseum and March 7 and 8 at Chaparral Center. Each performance lasts two hours.
“They can expect to see everything they’d want to see in the circus,” Loomis said of Circus Gatti’s show. “We have a lot of new acts this year. We have included a motorcycle that rides up a high wire, and there’s a girl on the trapeze that hangs underneath the motorcycle. It is a little dangerous, and it is unique, and we haven’t had an act like that for several years. It definitely will be an addition to the show this year that people will not have seen if they came last year.”
In addition to an elephant act, Loomis said, “We have what we refer to as a big and little act. It involves one of our elephants named Patti and a little pony named Andy. They work together simultaneously performing the same type of tricks. It’s really interesting to see the big elephant and the little pony doing the same things side by side.”
The clown Leo Acton is new to the Circus Gatti family, Loomis said. “Before he came to us, he had spent 10 years with Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus. He has a miniature car — a very, very tiny car. It’s amazing how he fits in there. When he comes out, the audience is really surprised. He does a lot of audience participation. He interacts really well with the kids and gets kids out of the audience to act in the show.”
Returning this year “by popular demand” is the EJ Duo from Las Vegas, Loomis said. “They do a magical transformation act with instant costume changes.”
Circus Gatti gears its show to appeal to all ages, Loomis said. “We have senior couples come to see the show. We have single parents with children. We have grandpa, grandma bring the kids. We show to all kinds of people so we try to have something for everyone.
Loomis hasn’t always been a ringmaster. He’s been a clown, had a dog act, a pig act, a magic act and a plate-spinning act.
“But the ringmaster was always my favorite thing,” said Loomis, who has been ringmaster since 1996 and a ringmaster with Circus Gatti for four years. “For me, it was kind of a natural thing. Everybody always told me I had a really good voice, and I should try announcing the show, so I did. And that’s what I’ve done ever since.”
Information: In 1963, Major Matthew J. Gatti, retired, founded the American Continental Circus and the Canadian International Circus. Later these two shows became Circus Gatti.




(please click on each page to read)


Wednesday, March 3, 2010


The Federation Mondiale du Cirque urges circus owners, performers, friends and fans to observe and celebrate the first World Circus Day as a show of support of circus arts and culture everywhere. Plan to host or attend a special circus-related event -- whether it's a professional circus performance, a backyard circus or a circus-themed party -- on Saturday, April 17, and join in the worldwide circus celebration. Check it out at
Thanks, Rodney Huey


By Dave Person Special to the Kalamazoo GazetteMarch 02, 2010, 11:07PM Left: Marian Gesmundo, 1938. Center: Marian and Serafino Gesmundo, Los Aeros, 1937. Right: Marian Gesmundo, March 2010.
RICHLAND — When Marian “Midge” Erway met her future husband, Serafino “Gus” Gesmundo, she fell for him in a big way.
And he caught her — over and over again.
That’s how the romance between the two trapeze artists blossomed, and it eventually led to a marriage blessed with 13 children.
View full sizeHandout photo.Marian and Serafino Gesmundo - The Sensational Gesmundos, 1939. View full sizeHandout photo.Marian Gesmundo, Slide for Life, 1939.
Memories of Midge’s early days of traveling with a circus faded over the years, however, and were replaced by images of a woman of strong faith who loved her family.
“She was a very devoted wife, devoted to her faith, devoted to her children,” Judah Gesmundo said of her mother, who died Feb. 19 at her Gull Lake residence. “She really was quite saint-like.”

Midge Gesmundo exuded happiness throughout her 91 years and brightened many other lives, including those of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, her daughter said. “She brought joy into a room, into a conversation, into an interaction,” Judah said.
A native of Hastings, Gesmundo moved to Kalamazoo with her family when she was young.
“It was during the Depression and she had finished high school and done some business courses and couldn’t get a job,” her daughter said. “There was … (a job advertised) for a woman who was acrobatically inclined. Her mother mentioned it to her sort of, we think, as a joke. … I don’t think her mom was really taking it seriously.”
But young Midge was, so she applied, got the job and was soon part of a traveling circus.One of her stops was at Playland, an amusement park in Rye, N.Y., where the circus added a local act, The Flying Victors headed by Victor Gesmundo, who had grown up doing acrobatics with his younger brother, Serafino “Gus” Gesmundo.
“He (Gus) came … to visit his brother … and was doing his handstands and the things he did all over,” Judah said. The circus owners were impressed and hired him to join Midge's trapeze act.
“Eventually, they came back to Kalamazoo and they were married in 1940,” Judah said.
Gus went into the service during World War II while Midge worked at Erway Home Bakery, her family’s business, on Davis Street. Gus joined her there after the war.
In 1948, they moved to a cottage on Gull Lake, where they raised 11 children of their own (one other died in infancy and another of cancer before he was 3) and Victor’s two teenagers after he was killed in an accident. They also greeted visitors with open arms.
“Our friends were always welcome. … Our table always had a place for one more person, our house always had room for more people,” Judah said.
From 1961 until their retirement in 1980, the Gesmundos owned Serafino’s Party Store in Richland, which is now run by their son James. Gus Gesmundo died in 1999.
“They were very, very involved in the community,” Judah said. “My mom was involved in Girl Scouts at one time, she was very involved in the (Gull Lake) Ambulance Service … and a lot in the church, St. Ann Catholic Church.”
In recent years, she said, family members have been reminiscing about Midge’s many positive qualities, highlighted by her mothering skills. “She raised us with unconditional love,” Judah said. “She could make each of the 11 children think that they were totally unique and special.”
Midge Gesmundo is survived by six sons and five daughters and spouses, Joseph Gesmundo and Sherry Dueweke, of Richland, Jack and Martha Gesmundo, of Delton, Gary and Gayla Gesmundo, of Hickory Corners, John Paul Gesmundo, of Portage, James and Barb Gesmundo, of Kalamazoo, Jay Gesmundo and Michele Libbrecht, of Richland, Gail and Jim Gesmundo-Lyons, of Florida, Judah Gesmundo and Paul Raynes, Maria Gesmundo-Ferguson, Vicki Gesmundo and Mike Marcinek, and Marymarie and Mark Rice, all of Richland; 26 grandchildren; 36 great-grandchildren; a brother and sister-in-law, Norman and Willie Erway, of Madison, Wis.; and nieces and nephews, including Victor and Myrna Gesmundo, who lived with the family while they were in high school.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 1 p.m. Friday at St. Ann, 12648 East D Ave. Arrangements were made through Parchment-Redmond Funeral Home.


Mary the elephant, 63, dies at central Fla. zoo from age-related illness
Associated Press March 3, 2010
ORLANDO, Fla. - A 63-year-old elephant has died at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens in Orlando.
Zoo officials say the elephant named Mary died Tuesday of age-related illness. A necropsy is being conducted to determine the exact cause of death.
The zoo's director of animal collections, Bonnie Breitbeil, says that Maude, the zoo's other elephant, was able to say goodbye to Mary. Like people, elephants also mourn.
Mary was born in 1946 and joined a circus in the United States in 1952.
She came to zoo in 1983.
Mary liked when zookeepers rubbed her stomach and was known for sneaking up on new keepers.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that according to the zoo, Mary was the third-oldest Asian elephant on record at an Association of Zoos & Aquariums-accredited zoo in the United States.


From: "Pete Adams"
Subject: Death of Circus FriendsDate: Tue, 2 Mar 2010 20:44:25 -0500
I have been informed that Tito Montoya, who was best known for his cloud swing and was an artist on Walker Bros. (after falling a couple days ago during the performance), passed away today.
Also Harold Barbour who clowned on several shows and lived in the Orlando area died last night at 10:15 p.m. from natural causes.
I have no further information on services for either gentlemen.
Pete Adams


please click on picture to enlarge!





A Russian chimpanzee has been sent to rehab by zookeepers to cure the smoking and beer-drinking habits it has picked up.
Zhora is a former circus performer who picked up the bad habits after being moved to a zoo in Rostov.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the monkey would "pester passers-by for booze."
There's no word on how long Zhora will be in rehab.


Sabrina Ponciano


Sabrina Ponciano

The circus is in town!

Local girl shows off her big-top skills

Posted: Nov 14, 2009 12:15 AM EST By Lisa Kubota

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The circus is in town! And a local girl is among the performers showing off their big-top skills.
From colorful clowns to limber contortionists, the Great American Circus promises to thrill island families with all kinds of entertainment during the two hour show.
"In the circus, I do aerial silks, Spanish web and the magic," said local girl Sabrina Ponciano. She isn't afraid to show off her skills.
The former "Miss Garden Isle" enjoys performing but admits she's experienced her fair share of injuries.
"It's a lot of upper body strength, so it's a lot of pull ups and push ups every single day cause when I first started, I couldn't even get up there. It's very intense, but I love it," said Ponciano.
Organizers say this circus does more than just entertain children. It also helps educate them.
Lessons on protecting the environment are woven into the show.
"Proceeds go to Kama'aina Kids' environmental education programs so it's a circus with a purpose, and it's not only the best performers on the planet, but it's also going to educate people on how to look after the environment," said circus ringmaster Tuffy Nicholas.
"My favorite thing about it is performing with people all over the world. I mean, I'm the only local girl here. Everyone else is from Russia, Japan, like all over, and it's a great honor to perform with people who have been doing it their whole lives," said Ponciano.
The first performance is tonight at the Blaisdell Arena at 7:30 and there are other shows during the weekend.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


State Fair attendance down 24 percent from 2009
Published: February 18, 2010
TAMPA - Attendance at the 2010 Florida State Fair dropped by 24 percent compared to 2009 figures, according to preliminary attendance numbers released Thursday.
A total of 354,390 people attended the fair that lasted 12 days from Feb. 4-15. Last year, 466,733 attended the fair, officials said.
Fair organizers blamed the attendance drop on the weather, the depressed economy and Super Bowl XLIV, which was played in Miami on the first Sunday of the fair.
There were three days of rain and only three days of sunny and clear skies during the fair. On only two days the temperatures reached higher than 68 degrees.
The high was 76 degrees on opening day; the low was 37 degrees on Valentine's Day.
Fair gate attendance figures include paid and complimentary admissions and participants in competitions and special events.
The fair, which celebrated its 106th anniversary, is organized by the Florida State Fair Authority, which is under the leadership of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.


By Jenny Peterson Summerville, SC Journal Scene ®
Circus performer Tito Montoya was still in critical condition Tuesday morning after he fell 25 feet from a trapeze at a performance for the YMCA at The Ponds on Sunday afternoon.
Montoya was one of the featured trapeze artists in the Walker Bros. Circus, which made a stop in Summerville, SC last weekend.
Representatives from the Medical University of South Carolina said that Montoya was brought in on Sunday night and remained in critical condition Tuesday.
Dorchester County EMS Director Doug Warren, who attended the 4:30 p.m. circus performance with his granddaughter, said the man sustained severe head injuries during the fall.
“He missed a grip and fell,” Warren said.
More than 100 residents and children attended Sunday afternoon’s circus performance and saw the high-flying act go awry. Montoya apparently fell on his head in an area that was outside of the performance area, Warren said.
The show was stopped for 30 minutes after the fall, and then continued.
Summerville resident Patty Mayeaux said the crowd view of the accident was blocked because the man fell off to the side of the performance area and behind a red curtain.
“He was shielded from the kids, so they couldn’t see all the medical people working on him,” she said.
Mayeaux said between 10-15 people rushed up from their seats to help the man after he fell. Warren said the man looked to be in his 40s.
Dr. Chris Wimberly, a physician at Family Medicine, was one of the first responders from his seat.
“We made sure he was (not moved) and (was) stable and responsive,” Wimberly said. “We made sure his neck did not move.”
He said the performer was in shock, but his heart was still beating. Wimberly’s brother, Mark Wimberly, an anesthesiologist who also attended the performance, stayed with Montoya until his breathing was stabilized.
While EMS workers were tending to him, Mayeaux said the crowd was told by the circus ringmaster that the man was responding and would be all right.
“The ringmaster said he was fine,” Warren said. “You put on a happy face; the show goes on.”
Summerville YMCA CEO Gary Lukridge said, “The Summerville Family is shocked and saddened by the accident that occurred on Sunday to Mr. Montoya. The YMCA offers its prayers to him, his family and the Walker Brothers Circus, and we are hopeful for his full recovery.
“The YMCA would also like to thank those “first responders,” including EMS personnel, who helped Mr. Montoya after his accident and (got) him the medical attention that he needed,” Lukridge said.
“Several of us rushed over and did what we could,” Wimberly said. “It’s just what you do, and it’s also what you would want done for you.”
Representatives with the circus did not return phone calls seeking comment.



The Enchanting Miss Rebecca performs her aerial silk act in the Loomis Bros Circus. November, 2009 in Perry, Florida.

Gary Sladek performing daredevil chair balancing act at the Loomis Bros Circus, in Movember 2009, in Perry, Florida.

Monday, March 1, 2010


The Central Florida Fair is now underway in Orlando.
Wade Shows on the midway.

2010 Central Florida Fair
Central Florida Fairgrounds, 4603 West Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida
February 25 - March 7, 2010

Since 1887, the 11-day Central Florida Fair has celebrated the best in regional arts and crafts, live music and dance, food, livestock shows, thrilling carnival rides, fascinating interactive exhibits and much more! The Wade Shows Midway boasts 100 rides and attractions. Admission is charged.


Scene from last year's Strawberry Festival Midway
This year's dates are March 4th thru 14th in Plant City, Fl.
Bell City Shows has the Midway.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Human Cannonball by Loudon Wainwright III, from the album Grown Man
A nice bit of writing, after Wainwright read Emmanuel Zacchini, Seniors' obituary. I was looking for a performance of this beautiful song and couldn't find one so I put this together. Emanuel Zacchini Sr. Human Cannonball, 84 Published: September 16, 1993
Emanuel Zacchini Sr., who with his four brothers made a career out of performing a circus human cannonball act, died on Monday in Sarasota, Fla., where he lived. He was 84.
Mr. Zacchini's 175-foot cannonball jump at 54 miles an hour in 1940 was a world record and made the act famous. Mr. Zacchini ended his jumping career after suffering a broken neck in an accident in 1951.
Born in Italy, he was brought to the United States in 1934 by John Ringling, the circus owner. He started the cannonball act four years later with his brothers Mario, Teo, Bruno and Vittorio.
In addition to Mario and Vittorio, survivors include two daughters, Flora Pfefferkorn and Delia Cristiani; nine grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.
posted on you tube by washhandstwice