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Saturday, April 17, 2010
Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus presents ‘Illuscination’Friday through Sunday Cajundome Lafayette, LouisIanna 04/15/10
Crowd Of All Ages Takes In Circus
By Robert Rizzuto email@example.com March 31, 2010
Downtown Jamestown was a circus Tuesday, literally, as hundreds of people descended upon the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena to watch the performers of the Jordan World Circus.
From death-defying trapeze acts taking place high above the crowd to performances with lions and tigers of every type, the circus offered something for everyone.
Presented in the three-ring traditional American style, the Jordan performers invigorated the crowd from the beginning of the show, and according to Mike Ferguson, JSBIA general manager, that is why they were invited back to the city for the second consecutive year.
"The Jordan World Circus is great and last year we had a sold-out arena," he said Tuesday afternoon. "At a 4:30 p.m. show on a Tuesday, you wonder how many people will really show up, but we have the arena at least three-quarters full today."
The circus broke down the age barrier with those in attendance ranging from infants to their elders nearing the century mark.
When Vincent Von Duke, one of the circus' animal trainers, stepped into the caged circle with his African lion and tiger friends, the performance was applauded loudly by the crowd. The animals performed tricks including jumping through a flaming hoop near the center of the circle and by acting as playful as house cats.
Trapeze artists perform from the ceiling of the ice arena.
The show was also complimented by the Terrific Terriers, three rings of juggling and of course, the amazing Jordan Danger Zone riders in the Globe of Death. When the four motorcycle riders jumped on their machines and revved the engines loudly as they entered the public's view, the crowd roared in anticipation.
As they defied gravity inside the large metal globe, set up in one of the rings, the crowd went crazy as each rider flew past the next in what looked like synchronized chaos.
Ferguson said that the one goal of the ice arena's board is to bring in events that are family-friendly and appeal to a wide range of people.
"We have people from Olean and Erie that came to see the circus and this is just one event that draws them to our city," he said. "We try to mix the price and product so there is something to appeal to people of every demographic and economic income."
The Jordan World Circus features the third generation of the Jordan family based out of Las Vegas. After Jamestown, the crew will travel throughout New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, performing all the way.
Thunderstorms cut power 30,000 customers affected, including Jaffa Shrine Center before circus
By Mark Leberfinger, firstname.lastname@example.org and William Kibler, email@example.com POSTED: April 16, 2010
"Thunderstorms cut power"
Fortunately, moments before the Jaffa Shrine Circus was to begin its 7 p.m. performance Friday, the power came back on - relieving Jaffa officials and a full house of about 3,400 spectators.
The power outage occurred as a line of severe thunderstorms blasted through the area late Friday afternoon.
The storms hit about 4:45 p.m., with winds gusting to 62 mph, the National Weather Service in State College said. The storms knocked down numerous trees and brought heavy rain and pea-sized hail.
About 5 p.m., lightning struck a utility pole on 19th Street near Nardo's Cafe, cutting power to the neighborhood, including the Jaffa, where people were just beginning to arrive, Altoona Fire Chief Reynold D. Santone Jr. said.
Emergency lights went on in the hallways and at the exits, but there was no emergency generator, and no way the show could go on, according to Santone and Jaffa Potentate and Circus Administrator William G. Troxell.
A crowd began to accumulate outside as Jaffa officials called for help, summoning Santone.
The lightning strike tripped a substation breaker. At that point, fire officials conferred with Penelec, which normally takes two hours to correct such an outage, especially when it's in "storm mode," like Friday, Santone said.
It began to rain, so the Jaffa opened its lower level, to keep the crowd dry.
Given the magnitude of the predicament, Penelec reset the breaker remotely at 7 p.m., hoping it would hold. It did, which indicated that the short had cleared on its own.
"When the lights finally came on, there was a huge cheer and applause," said John P. Elder of Duncansville, who was there with eight other members of his family. "The incident really made things interesting - a circus to remember."
The performance finally began about 7:50 p.m.
It was fortunate for Betty Lloyd of Williamsburg that the show went on, because her 7-year-old grandson Jonah Nichols was getting antsy.
"It would have been very tough dealing with him," she said.
By Anthony Cormier
Published: Friday, April 16, 2010
SARASOTA COUNTY - He was nearly as big as the bears he so famously trained and certainly as rough-and-tumble.
So when Derrick Rosaire Jr. went on tour with his sons and "The Big Bear Show" recently, he thought nothing of the sharp pain in his back or the aches that swept through his body.
"He thought it was the flu and refused to go to the hospital," says his sister, Ellian.
His condition worsened, physicians found tumors on his brain, liver and spleen and, by Thursday, Rosaire was dead from melanoma -- a cancer that neither he nor his family knew he had.
Rosaire, who lived on Palmer Boulevard in East Sarasota County, was 55.
He was born into a family of animal trainers whose patriarch immigrated from Britain in the 1960s.
Derrick watched as his father famously worked on "The Tonight Show" and hit TV programs such as "Daktari."
Rosaire grew up alongside horses, chimpanzees and tigers, but his knack was always for bears.
As a child, he and his father handled the 650-pound American black bear that starred on the TV show "Gentle Ben."
Later in life, he trained his two sons, Derrick III and Frederick, to handle the giant beasts and traveled the country to do what his sister called "edutainment."
"We all grew up around animals," Ellian Rosaire said by telephone Thursday. "But Derrick always had a certain affinity for bears."
Their shows were part comedy act and part science lesson. While the animals clapped, gave kisses and rode motorbikes, Rosaire gushed about their keen sense of smell and how they walked on their hind legs to get a better vantage point in the wild.
Rosaire dressed the part of mountain man in his shows and earned the animals' respect, remarking in a documentary about the Rosaire family:
"If you can't handle a bear without a muzzle, you shouldn't handle him."
Recently, as circuses stopped touring and zoos began closing, Rosaire was known to take in and nurture bears at the family's sanctuary in east Sarasota County.
He is survived by his wife, Kay, and two sons.
The family has asked that well-wishers make a donation to the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, a rescue operation run by the Rosaire family.
Friday, April 16, 2010
The performer, Alexander Sotov, a member of the Russian flying Aniskin Troupe, and the 8-and 10-year kids, were visibly shaken but did not appear seriously injured, though all were taken by ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital as a precaution, circus general manager Scott O’Donnell said.
“It’s not something that happens every day by any means. I’ve been in the circus industry for 23 years, and I’ve only seen that happen twice,” O’Donnell said.
The mishap occured during the last trick of the show’s last act under the big top at City Hall Plaza as Sotov was performing his most difficult stunt, three complete turns in the air. Troupe leader Oleg Aniskin, who was swinging by his knees on the catch bar, reached to catch Sotov but lost his grip as the trapeze artist’s momentum carried him backward, careening into the net.
“It’s a very freak occurrence, and thankfully so. But it’s one of the realities of live entertainment,” O’Donnell said. “People forget that it’s real people doing death-defying tricks. They’re professionally trained, but it’s live and real.”
If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, just think what a Big Apple Circus a year could do!
The traveling circus is back in Beantown, taking over City Hall Square with that recognizable Big Top tent for the 25th straight year.
Here until May 16, this year’s show will feature daredevil clown Bellow Nock, who was named “America’s Best Clown” by Time magazine in 2001. Nock, whose upward-standing shock of blond hair makes him a recognizable figure among circus-goers, makes his first Big Apple Circus appearance in nine seasons.
from: The Boston Globe
A decade ago Johnathan Lee Iverson stepped into Ringling's center ring to become the circus's first African American ringmaster.
After a six-year stint and a couple years off on other pursuits, he is back with his booming voice and flashy costumes as the show's grand ambassador. He has a degree in voice performance from the University of Hartford's Hartt School. He took some ribbing from friends about what he was going to do with the degree. Then they saw him in the circus spotlight.
"I'm like a black Liberace," he said. "When I walk out in that costume something changes in my nature. I'm not the same person. I'm much more confident."
Iverson's wife dances in the show, and his son and their daughter travel with them.
"I get to really experience this through my 5-year-old son," Iverson said. "He's the only other person I wish I was at this moment of my life."
Trapeze artist Ivo Silva Jr., right, will be out to execute a rare feat: a quadruple somersault.
He succeeded during the opening week of the show in Tampa, Fla. It had been more than a quarter century since the last completed quadruple somersault at the circus.
Silva and catcher Daniel Simard had been practicing for more than six months to hit what is considered the pinnacle of the flying trapeze. The pair flies as part of the famous Flying Caceres trapeze troupe.
Asked after his successful "quad" if he was confident that he will be doing it again, Silva confidently replied, "Yes."
THE TIGER TRAINER
Daniel Raffo faces glistening fangs and risks a lethal swipe from a massive paw when he steps into the ring with almost a dozen Siberian, Sumatra and Bengal tigers, each weighing between 400 and 700 pounds.
In his early years the fifth-generation performer tended to the animals at his family's safari park in Argentina. Soon he recognized his passion for working with tigers, horses and elephants.
After four years of training, his tigers are ready to join the act after getting used to the upbeat music, bright lights and nonstop action.
"I've never been afraid with them," Raffo said. "No, never, because otherwise I wouldn't do it. I love being together with these animals. That's my life."
His wife, Andrea, is also a performer. They met at Ringling in 1997. Her act is a different kind of hair-raising experience.
THE HAIR HANGER
If all goes well, Andrea Raffo finishes her act with only a few split ends and maybe a neck ache. She's a third generation hair hanger.
She dangles by her hair about 30 or so feet above the ring and spins around while juggling flaming torches.
After seeing her mother perform the act, she was hooked.
"In the beginning it was painful, but you have to find your own way of how to fix your hair and adjust it," she said. "It is very important to have your hair very even so it's not pulling on one side more than the other."
She braids her hair in one thick plait, and her husband hooks her up and starts her spinning. She says there is no trick involved.
"It is so weird because some people think I have a cable or a nut or something in my skull," she said, chuckling. "My hair has to be healthy for my act, so I don't perm it. I try to use organic and natural products."
She said she loves circus life, including traveling, meeting new friends and performing. And while her act requires great focus she often gets to see the audience's reaction.
"They put their hands to their mouths, and I can see their lips going, Wow! That's the great part."
Roy Bahls, (757) 446-2351, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, April 15, 2010
WILKES-BARRE – The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is calling on city Mayor Thomas Leighton to impose a ban on all wild animal acts in the wake of a fatal elephant incident at the Irem Shrine Circus.
Related headlinesCircus fatal blamed on wire sparks
The animal-rights group sent the letter to Leighton on Tuesday asking him to impose the ban after the incident in which a groomer was killed by the show’s lone elephant, Dumbo.
Leighton said that when he reviews the letter he will respond.
The female African elephant killed its groomer, Andrew Anderton, 48, of Florida, in between performances at last Friday’s Irem Shrine-sponsored circus held at the Pennsylvania National Guard’s 109th Field Artillery Armory, Wilkes-Barre, according to police and a circus spokesman.
Irem Shrine Circus Service Chairman John Richards had said Saturday that Anderton was trying to fix electrical wires in the ceiling attached to the wall that were sparking near the elephant. The wires operated a large garage door in the rear of the armory. The elephant was startled after coming in contact with the wires and somehow inflicted traumatic injuries on Anderton, who subsequently died.
Since 1990, incidents involving captive elephants in the United States have resulted in 14 deaths and more than 135 injuries, according to PETA.
“This was a tragedy that didn’t have to happen,” said PETA director Debbie Leahy. “Animals used in circuses are ticking time bombs, and officials must step in to protect both the animals and the public.”
The group is asking that Dumbo be taken off the road and that her condition be examined.
David Perle, a spokesman for PETA, said one of the protesters at last week’s Shrine circus reported the incident to the group’s animal emergency hotline.
A complaint was also filed by PETA with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, asking the agency to revoke the license of an animal exhibitor who is believed to have provided the Irem Circus with the elephant, the letter states.
USDA has cited Shrine Circus exhibitors for failing to provide veterinary care and for the inadequate handling of animals, the animal rights group said.
Irem Shrine Circus and USDA officials could not immediately be reached Tuesday evening.
The letters, both signed by RaeLeann Smith, circus and government affairs specialist for PETA, states years of abusive treatment, such as training with bull hooks and electric prods, and extreme confinement can cause animals to snap.
PETA has received complaints about Dumbo and other incidents of violence associated with the elephant, Smith said. The group has not released details of those incidents.
“Nobody was there and we haven’t seen any video footage of what happened,” Smith said. “We feel the public should stand up and say ‘enough.’ People go to the circus because they love animals. When they see what goes on they don’t want to support that.”
Jen Marckini, a Times Leader staff writer, may be reached at 829-7210.
Carnival opening starts busy San Clemente weekend
Carnival rides. Live bands. A surf contest. Earth Day. San Clemente High School's spring play. Celebration of a onetime American Indian settlement near Trestles. Memories of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
It's stacking up to be a busy weekend in and around San Clemente. Carnival Colossal & Expo, 5 to 10 p.m., Avenida Vista Hermosa at Avenida La Pata. Rides, games, prizes, live bands, dance groups, demonstrations, a food court and vendor booths. Admission is free. Ride tickets are $3 to $5. Details: san-clemente.org.
from the Orange County Register April 14, 2010
The touring show is billed as a "family oriented European style circus ... we bring all the glamor and pageantry associated with the circus: animals, like tigers, camels, horses, llamas, thrilling trapeze artists, clowns, jugglers, and much more ..."
The show is $15 for adults and is free to children ages 14 and under -- as long as each child brings a free child coupon, available online and at a few local merchants.
Children without the free ticket will be charged $5 admission.
A supply of the free tickets were still available earlier today at Subway and Family Dollar, according to circus staff.
A free child ticket may also be printed out from the circus company's website, through any color printer. Go to www.lewisandclarkcircus.com for more information.
The circus next travels to Canton, Ga., for two shows Friday evening.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
FLORENCE — The Florida-based Cole Brother’s Circus has been performing since 1884 with its current stop being Florence.
Its owner, John Pugh, joined the circus 51 years ago as a gymnast.
“We say anyone who joins the circus has to be a little bit crazy traveling around the country all year,” he said. “My 51 years here, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
Part of the reason it is so enjoyable, Pugh said, is because the circus staff members treat each other like family because in some cases they are.
Pugh said most people either run away to join the circus or they are born into it, like Jason Walker.
This is Walker’s first year being in the circus, but his family was in the circus, as well. He is carrying on the family tradition with the mixed animal act.
Walker said his favorite part about the circus is working with the animals.
“I get to work with these guys every day. My favorite part is being best friends with these guys,” he said. “I sleep next to them, they are right outside of my trailer every day and I love them so I wouldn’t want to be far away.”
Walker has been around some of the animals for their entire lives, like 6-year-old Laurence the camel.
“He’s a big boy, but he’s still a baby to me. But that’s what I love most about these guys,” Walker said.
Working for a circus isn’t all fun and games. It’s hard work. Performers work for nine and a half months of the year, seven days a week.
“My wife says, ‘Why are you going on the road again? You don’t need to be on the road,’” Pugh said. “And I say ‘if you think I’m going to just sit at home, you’re crazy.’”
The Cole Brother’s Circus will finish up its performances at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Florence Regional Airport.
2010 Program of Displays
Saluting America, Ringmaster Chris Conners and Ring Hostess AlissandraVon Rose present the Colors and lead the National Anthem.
The Year of the Tiger: An awe-inspiring presentationfeaturing Panthera tigris tigris.
Revolution is in the air when Kellan and companyclimb the corporate ladder, Circus-style.
Angels in the Air: Guatemala's Flying Ponces soar at the apex of the arena.
The equilbristic Marvel of the Ages: from Kazakhstan, the incredible Lana.
Intercontinental Animal Attractions:Dromedaries, Llamas, Equines and Zebras.
Calling all Clowns: The boisterous Bermudezbrigade creates comical commotion.
Aerial Ballet: Cloud Swing surrounnded byCole Bros. Circus Corps de Ballet on lofty Lyres.
Cole Bros. Circus Parade of Nations
~ Intermission ~
Big Top Barkers: Jennifer Herriott Walker leads herpack of perky pooches through their paces.
Cavalcade of Clowns
Elephas maxinus, mammoth marvels of Asia
Free style Motor Show featuring daredevil drivers and their topsy-turvy ATVs
ThunderDrome: Anthony, Eric and Wendy brave the splitting Globe of Death
The Human Cannonball: Super Kellan takesflight from The World's Largest Cannon
Finale and Farewell from The Cole Bros. Circus Family
After seeing the children with the turtles Mary Cummins President of Animal Advocates decided to buy a ticket and see who was selling the turtles. Three women had a booth in the food court selling small fish and turtles. It is also a violation of the health code to have animals next to food vendors.
Their booth was set up as a game of chance. For $5 you get a bowl of ping pong balls which you try to toss into small fish bowls. If you get a ball in a bowl, you get an animal but there's a catch. You must pay $10 for the Kritter Keeper to carry it and $5 for about two tablespoons of food for a grand total of $20. They also offered to just sell the animals for $25. They provided no care sheets or information. Water turtles need a dry place in their tank to sun under a heat lamp. Most likely all of the animals sold died.
After Cummins bought a turtle for evidence she returned and photographed the animals, people and booth setup. The women then started hiding the animals under the table. Cummins called the Los Angeles Animal Cruelty Task Force to report the illegal activity. An LAPD police officer on the scene called animal control to report the activity. Animal control was sent to the circus.
During the peaceful protest a Shrine employee instructed security guards to take the protestors flyers away from members of the public before they entered. The employee ripped them in half and threw them in the trash. This was caught on video, see link below.
Another time during the event protestors were handing out flyers to mentally and physically challenged individuals. A Shriner then told protestors "you're wasting your time with those people. They're all retards." Protestors and others took offense at the Shriner's use of the word "retard" for challenged individuals.
Later at the event a protestor started to use a megaphone. An LAPD officer told him to put the megaphone down which he did. Officer Moreno badge # 18763 then grabbed the protestor aggressively, pulled his hands behind his back and handcuffed him. See video below. Officer Moreno then put him inside his police car for questioning and to run his identification. He ultimately released him without citing him when he realized that is is legal to use amplified sound during certain hours.
The protestors were protesting the use of animals in circuses. Animals used in circuses are treated inhumanely. Baby elephants are taken from their mothers and put in chains. They are taught to perform tricks for human amusement. Trainers use bull hooks and hot sticks on the animals. They are generally in chains when they are not performing. They live short and inhumane lives.
Protestors chose to protest at the Shrine circus because last week a trainer was killed by an elephant at another Shriner circus in Pennsylvania. These circuses have been cited for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. PETA issued a statement saying the accident "should come as no surprise" given circuses' track records with animal abuse.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
The Bumpin’ Big Show Circus 2010 International Tour begins in Freeport, Grand Bahama on May 5th-9th, 2010 at the St. Georges Auditorium under the theme “The Magic is Back.”
The event shows in Nassau on May 11th-16th at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs Gymnasium.
As Casual Cal would say ... every ticket purchased at The Bumpin’ Big Show Circus is a “Guaranteed Seat Full of Fun!” So, grab the family, church members, co-workers, classmates, neighbors, friends or a date and come because the Magic is Back!
As previously reported, Casual Cal’s Bumpin’ Big Show Circus, Mr. Calvin Dupree & Soft Touch productions are in no way affiliated with the Universoul Circus.
Hallie Frisco, 3, of Hugo, Okla., performs Monday at the Jaffa Shrine Circus
As stage handlers lowered three cages containing two white tigers each into the center ring, vendors called out "Popcorn!" and "Pepsi!" and audience members settled into their seats for the kickoff of the 71st annual Jaffa Shrine Circus Monday morning at the Jaffa Shrine Center.
Jaffa Shrine Center potentate William G. Troxell said 2,000 people turned out for the first of 15 shows, and he was expecting 3,400 for the 7 p.m. show time.
Emcee Bill Martin, who is also the Shrine vice president, said the circus brings with it 25 performers, 25 performing animals and nine stage hands.
Between acts that include tigers, trapeze artists, dogs, elephants and jugglers - and that's just part of the show's first half - stage hands transform the ring for each performance during the more than two-hour show.
"Everybody works together," he said. "We are all one family."
The Royal Hanneford Circus closed up the big top in Pittsburgh at 7 p.m. Sunday and prepared throughout the night for Monday's opening day performance in Altoona.
The Altoona venue allows for a one-ring circus, so setting up is a matter of downsizing from a three-ring circus, Martin said. Another set of equipment arrived before the performers last week for an initial setup, he said.
The Royal Hanneford Circus has performed at the Jaffa Shrine Center for 10 years, Martin said.
Troxell said popular acts include the tigers and the The Flying Wallendas - a family of tightrope performers who go back eight generations.
Tino Wallenda said the family goes back in performance history almost 200 years. His granddaughter, Ysabella, is the eighth generation to perform.
Wallenda said the last time the family performed in Altoona was in 2004 and said it is a favorite of the audience and the venue.
"Really I think the kids love all the animal acts," Shriner Leon Collins said.
Monday, April 12, 2010
•Riding and Performing Elephants •Castle’s Performing Bears
Each show has 2 parts with an intermission. The total length of the show with the intermissionis about 2 hours and 15 minutes.
A camel chews grass Friday morning at the Kelly Miller Circus at the Baxter County Fairgrounds' rodeo grounds. (Bulletin Photo by Kevin Pieper)
The circus will have five shows featuring elephants, tigers, camels, ponies and dogs, said John Moss, ringmaster of the Kelly Miller Circus from Hugo, Okla. This year, the circus has performers from Australia, Argentina, Peru, Mexico and the United States, he said. One special feature is a 24-minute segment on a '50s theme, Moss said. The circus started its circuit in Brownsville, Texas, and will be in Boston by late June, Moss said. In September, the circus will be in Chicago before ending the season back in Oklahoma, he said.The circus has been in business for more than 70 years. Its current proprietor is John Ringling North II, the great-nephew of one of the five original Ringling brothers who founded the Ringling Brothers Circus, Moss said.
Workers with Kelly Miller Circus raise the big top Friday morning at the Baxter County Fairgrounds' rodeo grounds. The circus continues today with shows at 11a.m., 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. (Bulletin Photo by Kevin Pieper)
This is the 19th year the Twin Lakes Shrine Club has sponsored the circus, said Ray Coahran of Midway, who has been a Shrine Club member for 46 years.Coahran said a circus is one event that pleases a variety of ages, from children to grandparents.The proceeds from the circus are used to provide transportation for area children and their families from the St. Louis Shriners Hospital, Kennedy said.As for helping children receive the medical treatment they need, Coahran said "it feels good.""It's down in here," he said, patting his heart.