Saturday, April 24, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
kicks into high gear this year, blossoming from two days to two weekends of big entertainment for small fry.
Old-style circus among many acts at two-weekend event
The eighth annual family festival at Freedom Ridge Park in Ridgeland covers six acres with acts that amuse and amaze.Some notable additions ramp up the draw.Beloved Nino the Clown (Giovanni Zoppe) is now a dad, and baby Ninetto, just 6 months old, dons a pint-sized version of Dad's outfit and gets center ring, too, in Zoppe, An Italian Family Circus.An ear-to-ear smile and red dot nose are irresistible enough on little Ninetto (Julien Zoppe) but his balancing act in his dad's hand will elicit oohs as well as coos.How long has he been performing? "My whole life," Nino said from behind the babe, adding, "he started when he was 6 days old. He was in the ring.""What do they say about not working with animals and kids? I don't think circus people believe that," festival consultant Bob McFarland said, looking on with a grin.The intimate one-ring tent seats 500 with the farthest seat a mere 20 feet from the action. Horses, dogs, juggling and a trapeze act round out the circus."They'll see true antique-style circus of a bygone era," Giovanni Zoppe said. "Stepping into our tent is like stepping into a tent over 100 years ago. You really step into the past and become part of our family when you come see our show."Zoppe, An Italian Family Circus will have two shows on Fridays, four on Saturdays and three on Sundays during KidFest. Included with festival admission, it's a bargain (stand-alone Zoppe shows command upward of $20).The festival's target audience is age 2 to 12, but Zoppe appeals to all ages, including teenagers, adults and grandparents."Teenagers will love the thrill acts, too," such as the Fearless Flores Family on the Swaypole and the Globe of Death, said Ridgeland Recreation & Parks director Chris Chance.A new draw is the surprisingly hilarious Team Ghost Riders: The Cowboy Monkeys, with capuchin monkeys astride border collies herding sheep. They'll entertain Sunday and the entire weekend, April 30-May 2.
In 1920, there were a series of cartoon illustrations used for magazine advertising that depicted life in small towns.The ad shown here captured the annual arrival of the circus-a big event in any community.
Your challenge is to create a caption for the ad and submit it by 5pm on May 13. We will announce a winner on May 14.
FOR MORE DETAILS JUST CLICK ON THE LINK
Thursday, April 22, 2010
A California animal protection group is protesting a decision last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to move a neglected former circus elephant to San Antonio.
One by one, the trapeze artists topped off their routines by dropping from their high-swinging bars into the net stretched below, then rebounding into somersaults — to the roar of the crowd at the traveling circus in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. And one kid in the stands began to wonder: Hey, what if there was a contraption that made it possible to keep on bouncing and flipping? George Nissen, 16, who was a member of the gymnastics and diving teams at his high school, was soon tinkering in his parents’ garage, strapping together a rectangular steel frame and a canvas sheet. Even though it was not quite as springy as he had hoped, he called it a bouncing rig. That was in 1930. It would be several years later, while a business major at the University of Iowa, that Mr. Nissen and his gymnastics coach, Larry Griswold, would work together to make a more flexible contraption with a nylon sheet. They still called it a bouncing rig. Then, in 1937, Mr. Nissen and two friends formed a traveling acrobatics act called the Three Leonardos and began performing throughout the Midwest and Texas and then in Mexico. It was there that he heard the Spanish word for diving board: el trampolin. He added an “e” and registered “Trampoline” as a trademark for what has become a joy-inducing device for backyard tumblers, fitness freaks and, since 2000, Olympic athletes. Mr. Nissen, who devoted his life to promoting and manufacturing the trampoline — once renting a kangaroo to bounce with him in Central Park — died Wednesday at a hospital near his home in San Diego. He was 96. His son-in-law Ron Munn confirmed the death. Dwight Normile, the editor of International Gymnast magazine, said of Mr. Nissen in a telephone interview on Friday: “He took the device all over the world and gave them as gifts. He wanted everybody to know about the health benefits of bouncing on a trampoline.” Ten years ago, Mr. Nissen spoke of his enduring goal to see trampolining become an Olympic sport. For years, his friends told him he was just dreaming. “They said, ‘George, it will be the year 2000 before trampoline is ever in the Olympics,’ ” Mr. Nissen said in an interview with International Gymnast. They were right. “He was at those Sydney Olympics in 2000, 86 years old at the time,” Mr. Normile said, “and they actually invited him to bounce on the official trampoline.” A twist was that in the early 1950s, Mr. Nissen had donated a trampoline to the Soviet Union — its first. Russia won the first Olympic gold medals for trampolining in 2000. George Peter Nissen was born in Blairstown, Iowa, on Feb. 3, 1914, one of four children of Franklin and Catherine Jensen Nissen. His father owned a dry goods store. The family later moved to Cedar Rapids. George started tumbling when he was a child at a local Y.M.C.A. and continued in junior high and high school. At the University of Iowa, he was a three-time winner of the intercollegiate national gymnastics championship. After making the first prototype trampoline, Mr. Nissen and Mr. Griswold, his college coach, opened a small factory in Cedar Rapids and began marketing the device. But initial sales were slow, and Mr. Griswold, who died in 1996, went out on tour as a comedic acrobat under the name the Diving Fool. Mr. Nissen, however, continued to make and market trampolines, even persuading the military to buy them as a training tool for pilots and divers. He served in the Navy during World War II, then returned to Cedar Rapids to expand his company. The Nissen Corporation, which he sold in 1973, eventually produced a full range of gymnastics equipment. In 1951, Mr. Nissen married Annie De Vries, a high-wire artist from Holland who was performing with the Cole Brothers Circus in the United States. Besides his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Dagmar Munn and Dian Nissen-Ramirez; and one grandchild. Well into his later years, Mr. Nissen remained head over heels for his sport. In 1977, with his son-in-law Ron, he scaled a pyramid in Egypt — one with a flattened top — set up a trampoline and did some flips. Year after year, he attended the National Collegiate Athletic Association gymnastics championships. “And at the banquet before the competition he would do a handstand,” Mr. Normile said. “It became a tradition.” “The last time I saw him there was in 2006,” Mr. Normile continued. “He did one of those kind of yoga headstands where you’re on your head and elbows. That was only four years ago; he was 92.”
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
04/20/2010 VERONA, Miss. (WTVA)--
They can all be found under the big top of the Carson and Barnes Circus in Verona.
The first of four performances kicked off Tuesday afternoon.
That's after a full day of preparations.
One of the most dramatic events is to see the big top going up.
It takes a full crew of men to unravel the heavy material and attach it to posts in the ground.
Marketing Director Amanda Pippin says performances will include all the traditional acts crowds expect. Acts include dogs, ponies and elephants among a host of others popular attractions.
"The physical attributes of our performers are just amazing. The things they can do with their bodies are just so amazing. So, there literally is something for everyone. It's something your children will remember for the rest of their lives," Pippin said.
Pippin says the circus holds performances three hundred days of the year.
Big Top Brings Some History to the Shoals CarsonBarnesCircus.com FLORENCE–In America today there remains only one big-tented circus which manages to maintain a traditionally demanding road schedule. It's the all new 74th edition of the Carson & Barnes Circus, bringing almost one hundred performers and animals to the Shoals on April 22 and 23. The giant tent will be pitched on the grounds of Crosspoint Church of Christ on Cox Creek Parkway in Florence. Showtimes are at 4:30pm and 7:30pm Thursday and Friday. Advance tickets are available at Bank Independent locations, Coussons BP Convenience stores, Honeybaked Ham in Regency Square Mall and the office at CrossPoint Church of Christ.
The Lauderdale County Children’s Policy Council will use the event as a fundraiser. Carson & Barnes helped non profits and civic organizations across the country raise close to $500,000 in 2009.
The sponsorship arrangements are such that the Children’s Policy Council ONLY benefits from ticket sales in advance. The council receives no proceeds from tickets sold on Thursday or Friday.
The Herrera Troop will perform daring feats of skill on the high wire you won’t soon forget. CarsonBarnesCircus.com Carson & Barnes Circus travels with its city-block long tent to some 200 towns and cities each year. Emphasis this year is on a new concept in circus presentation which blends over eight decades of circus tradition and family ownership with exciting new acts and up-close audience viewing. Carson & Barnes is achieving a new height in quality family entertainment.
When Carson & Barnes sets up circus morning, it is circus history and magic which transforms the show grounds into "Circus City USA". The public is invited to watch free of charge. Early birds on April 22 can watch as the first units of the caravan begin arriving about an hour after dawn.
Over two dozen types of exotic and domestic animals are unloaded, fed, watered and made available for viewing. Adding to the excitement is the final and most popular experience of all as humans, elephants and technology work side-byside to erect America's largest circus Big Top.
The performers are artists from around the world, including the United States, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Russia and Italy. Acts consist of aerial trapeze, high wire, motorcycle acrobatic teams, jugglers and clowns, along with performing elephants, camels, dogs and horses.
Special for 2010 is the award-winning clown and world-renowned "King of Comedy," Alex, entertaining with hilarious highbounding feats on the trampoline.
Advance general admission tickets are available at special discount prices. These will benefit the Children’s Policy Council.
Thanks to the sponsorship of the Farber Evening Lions Club, Culpepper & Merriweather Circus, “America’s Favorite Big Top Circus” is visiting Farber on Friday, April 30. The event will be held at Sportsman’s Park with showtiimes of 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. A percentage of the proceeds raised will be donated to Vandalia Area Play Care.The circus visited Farber for the first time ever in 2008, with between 750-850 in attendance.The event gave area residents a chance to take a ride on African elephants and see a variety of acts. Those included tigers and lions performing tricks, Miss Samone on the trapeze, Miss Paulette and her feathered pets, clowns, the Arlise Troupe, and much more. It also featured the original music of Los Angeles composer Matt Marguci. It is the only tent circus that uses an original music score.A free tour and tent raising will be held between 9:30-10 a.m. This presentation offers a unique opportunity for families, schools, and interested community members to meet and learn all about the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus family and includes a walking tour of the circus grounds. Those attending will learn in -teresting facts about the performers, the history of our show and the different species of animals in our Circus Family. In this presentation the group will also address topics such as hygiene, grooming and the veterinary care all of their animals.Tickets paid for in advance cost $9 for adults and $6 for children ages 2-12. On circus day, adult tickets cost $12 and children tickets cost $7.Ticket outlets include the United Credit Union in Vandalia, Hickman’s IGA, First National Bank, Martinsburg Bank, Vandalia Barber Shop, Shelter Insurance, Platinum Touch, Vandalia Play Care, Goodwin’s Groceries, Farber Library, and Farber Fire Department.For more information on the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus, visit http://www.cmcircus.com/.Tickets may also be purchased by credit card at 866-BIG-TOP6.
Get ready for three days of a three-ring circus at the ShoWare Center in Kent.
Circus performers are set to perform on rings set up side by side across an arena floor that is usually filled by hockey and football players.
High-wire acts, jugglers, clowns, tigers, elephants and dogs - they're all part of the seven shows by the Nile Shrine Circus April 23-25. The show times are 4:30 and 8 p.m. April 23, 10 a.m., 2 and 6 p.m. April 24 and 2 and 6 p.m. April 25.
"It's not as big as the Ringling Brothers but it's the same quality," said Chuck Cook, the Nile Shrine Circus chairman, in a phone interview April 8. "It's family-oriented and we keep the prices as low as we possibly can so families can afford it."
Tickets are $20 for gold seats, $15 for reserved and $12 for general admission. Tickets are $1 less for the early shows at 4:30 p.m. April 23 and 10 a.m. April 24.
"It's about a 2 1/2-hour show so you get your money's worth for the entertainment," Cook said.
This won't be the first time the ShoWare Center sees its share of elephants and clowns: The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performed last September at the ShoWare.
The high-wire act of the Nile Shrine Circus features 11-year-old Briana Phelps, part of the world-famous Wallenda family act.
"She does an outstanding job on the high wire," Cook said.
Phelps has trained in Sarasota, Fla., with Rick Wallenda, the grandson of Karl and Helen Wallenda, who launched the family's high-wire acts. Rick Wallenda also will participate in the high-wire act.
Ten tigers, three elephants, 20 dogs and six ponies travel by truck with the circus to perform stunts. Children can ride the ponies during the intermission.
Producer Cindy Migley brings the circus to town from its home base in Florida. The circus will present seven shows in Kent as well as shows in Oak Harbor, Bellingham, Sequim, Bremerton and at the Tulalip Indian Reservation during its swing through the state.
"Cindy lines up the performers and she has a great reputation from Shrine temples across the country," Cook said.
This marks the first Shrine Circus in the Seattle area in about 10 years. The Shrine Circus used to perform annual shows at the KeyArena in Seattle but has not been back to the area for about a decade.
"It's a new show and the first year for Cindy," Cook said, of the reason for bringing the circus back to the Seattle area.
The Shrine Circus performed its first show in Washington more than 65 years ago. The Nile Shrine Circus is a fundraiser for the Nile Shrine Center in Mountlake Terrace as well as Shrine clubs. Cook said the circus is not a fundraiser for the Shriners Hospitals for Children, which is a separate organization.
The Shriners will bring their circus calliope to play out in front of the ShoWare before the performances. A unit of the Shriners clowns also will entertain before the shows. The doors to the arena open one hour before the show.
The Shriners worked with Kent schools to conduct a coloring contest for children ages 5-12. Children can still enter the contest by going to www.nilecircus.org. The prizes for the top three placers in four age-group divisions include a Shrine Circus hat, a circus bear, a circus fez and a clown nose.
Cook said local Shriners put in a lot of work to bring the circus to Kent and the other Puget Sound cities.
"But it's all worth it when you see kids and their smiles at the circus," he said.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
It will be in:
• Russellville - April 19 • Tupelo, April 20-21 •Florence - April 22-23• Cullman - April 24-25
The Carson & Barnes Circus features America's largest traveling zoo, plus dozens of international performers such as aerial trapeze artists, high wire acts , motorcycle acrobatic teams, jugglers and clowns, plus performing elephants, camels, dogs and horses
The world famous Carson & Barnes Circus will be appearing Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 in Rock Spring, GA .
Carson & Barnes is proud to host this event with N.W Georgia Council of Chattanooga Assoc 2963 Amnicola Hwy Chattanooga, TN 37406
The first-ever World Circus Day was celebrated around the globe on Saturday, April 17--including Altoona, PA, as part of the Adam Forepaugh-Barry "Grandma" Lubin CFA Tent No. 2's annual Circus Week in Altoona.
The Tent adopted a resolution joining the celebration of the commemoration of World Circus Day by the Federation Mondiale du Cirque. Tent members and performers appearing with the 71st annual Jaffa Shrine Circus also signed a special poster designed for the inaugural commemoration.
During the April 17 banquet of the Tent, prior to the evening performance of the Hanneford Circus, producer Struppi Hanneford received the "Golden Grandma" Award from Jaffa Shrine Circus President William Troxell. The award, originated by the Forepaugh-Lubin Tent in honor of "Grandma" namesake Barry Lubin, is presented to circus personnel and circus fans for special contributions to the circus world and Tent activities.
The Tent also made a special presentation to Mrs. Hanneford in the form of a plaque congratulating her for outstanding contributions to the tradition of the American Circus. David P. Orr presented the plaque to her on behalf of Tent members.
Hanneford Circus personnel joined Tent members and guests for the banquet, held at Jaffa Shrine Center in Altoona. The evening performance was witnessed by a capacity crowd. After the show, the Forepaugh-Lubin Tent hosted a social for Hanneford personnel.
CFA national president Pat Pagel and CFA president-elect Maxine House were among the circus fans attending this year's activities in Altoona.