2014 Convention



Friday, August 6, 2010




Baraboo's circus museum featured in upcoming film

By ROB THOMAS The Capital Times Friday, August 6, 2010
BARABOO - When visitors come to the Circus World Museum, they get a glimpse into how the circus looked generations ago through the costumes, circus wagons, photographs and other exhibits on display.
But even Circus World Executive Director Steve Freese was amazed when he saw the circus of that bygone era brought back to life in California recently.
It was on the set of the upcoming film "Water For Elephants," based on Sara Gruen's novel. The film, which will hit theaters sometime in 2011, stars Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson and follows a young man who joins a Depression-era circus.
To make the film as authentic as possible, the filmmakers tapped the museum to provide 15 circus wagons plus loads of research and expertise to the production. READ MORE AT:


Siblings Jonathon, Esthefany, and Indiana Pintado are fourth generation circus performers with the El Coloso De Las Americas Circo Osorio.
Circus teens love life under the big top

By Richie Ann Ashcraft Thursday, August 5, 2010
The Pintado children have learned to not only balance on the high wire — but also to balance life, school and dreams — on the road as circus performers.
Esthefany, 21, Indiana, 14, and Jonathon, 12, are fourth-generation circus performers who have performed their entire lives under the big top. The girls began learning balancing and high-wire acts at the age of just 5 years old.
“We’ve had to practice a long time to learn how to do it,” Esthefany said.
There are things they love and hate about life on the road. “It’s fun because we visit new places and countries, and we’ve made a lot of friends,” Indiana said.
But, at the same time, leaving new friends and moving to the next show is often hard. “We have to keep working every day, practice, and some of our friends and family we haven’t seen in a long time,” Esthefany said. In particular, she misses her grandparents, whom she hasn’t seen for the past 7 years while her family has been in the United States traveling with the El Coloso De Las Americas Circo Osorio.
“We haven’t seen them and that’s the hard part,” she said.
Being a circus kid is an unusual way to grow up, Jonathon said. His lifestyle attracts a lot of attention from his friends at school. “They always ask a lot of questions about it — I like it,” agreed Indiana.
The children have traveled all over the world, in Columbia, Peru, Argentina, and Venezuela to name a few countries they’ve seen. They can’t imagine living any other way. “It’s just what our family does,” Esthefany said.
The circus performs countless shows eight months out of the year beginning in March and ending in October. So far this year, the show has been to Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, and Colorado.
There will be two performances Thursday at the Mesa County Fairgrounds. Shows begin at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Cost is $5.


The corn dog is the original State Fair food on a stick. Well, that and ice cream.

State Fair jacks up stick food count
Published Aug. 4, 2010

The corn dog is the original State Fair food on a stick. Well, that and ice cream.Two years ago there were 32 foods on a stick, up by one over the previous year. Last year, the count jumped to 44 choices. This year, however, State Fair has really decided to stick it.

There are 65 food items on offer (some are duplicates, it's true) at the 2010 Wisconsin State Fair.

Here are your choices and where you can find them on the fair grounds. The latest additions are marked with an asterisk.

1.Apple Pie (deep fried), WOW Concessions*
2.Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Tempura on a Stick, Door County Fish Boil*
3.Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts, Charcoal Grill
4.BBQ Pork Chop on a Stick, Wisconsin Pork Producers
5.BBQ Pork on a Stick, Miss Katie's Diner
6.Brat on a Stick, Sheboygan Brat House*
7.Butter Cream Cookie, Miller Lite Sports Bar & Grill*
8.Candy Bar (frozen) on a Stick, Leadfoot's Bar & Grill
9.Caramel Apples, LeTendre Concessions
10.Caramel Apples, Lori's Sugar Shack



Carnival Game Featured 'Obama' Target

Thursday, 05 Aug 2010, 11:27 AM EDT
(CANVAS STAFF REPORTS) - A Pennsylvania-based amusement company is apologizing following outrage over a shooting game that featured a likeliness of President Barack Obama .
Goodtime Amusements president Irwin L. Good Jr., 68, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he had used the Alien Attack game for about five weeks without hearing complaints. Now, after a fairgoer's complaint and a subsequent news story triggered an outcry, the game has been removed.
The Inquirer said the complaints came on July 24 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Roseto, Pa., when Kathryn Chapman noticed a win-a-prize painted target featured a black man wearing a suit. He had a rolled up "health bill" in one hand and a belt buckle with an eagle that read "The Prez Says."
"I just can't believe how far things have come that now on church property you can shoot the president and get a prize if you hit him in the head or heart," Chapman said to the Easton Express Times . A story ran in the Express-Times and on, spurring additional criticism of Good and attention from media nationwide.
Good told the Lehigh Valley Express-Times that he didn't mean to offend anyone. He also said that he should not have let one of his vendors create the game and told the Express-Times that it will be changed to a pirate theme.
"I'm very supportive of the (president)," he said. "I voted for him."
He told the Inquirer that the target had alien antennae and did not look much like Obama.
"The face didn't look like him or anything like that," he said. "It wasn't designed to be that way. I guess you could see a likeliness to it if you wanted to."
Esther M. Lee, president of the Bethlehem chapter of the NAACP, disagrees.
"He knew what he was doing," she told the Inquirer. "It's not right. ... It's not funny, and he ought to pay."
The Express-Times reported that Roseto Mayor Desiree DeNicola and council president Michael Romano said they had not seen the game or heard any complaints.
"But if it's so, it's totally disrespectful to the office of the president," Romano said. "I don't think we should be teaching our kids, and there are a lot of kids at the Big Time, to be disrespectful."

...Wayne County Fair begins Friday
By Dale Ann Deffer The News Eagle Posted Aug 05, 2010

Dyberry Twp. — The Wayne County Fair, one of the most anticipated events of the summer, begins today at 9 a.m. and continues through Saturday, Aug. 14.
For the bargain price of just $8, admission gains the fairgoer entrance plus all the rides as well as livestock shows and viewing of the shows in the grandstand.
Such diverse shows this year include such highlights as a tribute to Johnny Cash, harness racing, tractor and horse pulls, a demolition derby and motorsports.
Said Roger Dirlam, president, “In two years we will celebrate our 150 anniversary. The fair was first started in 1862.” Currently, there are publicity people in Harrisburg who are delving into archives to put on a really smash event in two years.
“Where can you have a great time for eight bucks admission including parking all day long?” Dirlam commented when reached at his lumber company in Honesdale.
“All money taken in goes back into the fair for events to be put on next year,” he said. “We also rent the fairgrounds out during the year for extra money,” he added.
“Our liveststock shows which include judging of sheep, goats, dairy cows and 4-H club educational areas are very popular,” he said.
Besides shows in the grandstand, strolling old time musicians will wander through the midway most of the day adding to the family fun.
Concession stands will have all of the snackin’ goodies you can eat plus beverages to keep cool.
Dirlam confirmed there is a First Aid Building in case of injury or any form of illness plus a Security Building on site.
All of the rides have been state inspected, Dirlam assured the public. “Our Mega Drop Ride was the most popular last year,” he said.
Jim Fox who is the Entertainment Chairman said he goes to Hershey every year for a state fair convention to look at new talent.
He said the talent is the best for their budget. In the past, they have tried big name draws such as Charlie Daniels, country western music star, and they ended up losing money.
He said that he was puzzled as to why this happened for the fair draws an enormous crowd each year. Big time talent demands more stage work, sound and lights which up front must have lots of money available.
The Wayne County Fairgrounds are located at 270 Miller Drive which is jus toff Route 191 one mile north from Honesdale.
Special senior citizen days are Aug. 8 and Aug. 11 where the price is just $3.
The ticket request hotline is (570)253-5486. The office number is (570)253-2942.Tickets are also available located at Dirlam Brothers Lumber Company in Honesdale.
The website is http://www.waynecountyfair/

Thursday, August 5, 2010


LaneInConn June 21, 2010
Veteran sideshow performer-owner Ward Hall explains the characteristics of a good fairgrounds "talker" (also known as "barker" by outsiders.) Videotaped at Florida State Fair-Tampa, New Jersey State Fair-Meadowlands and Stratford, CT, in 2008.
Pack up your pachyderms, B.C. tells American circus
Enviro officials cite lax safety under the big top
By Yolande Cole, The Province August 5, 2010
An American circus that travelled through B.C. this summer has been denied a permit to include three elephants in its performances on the grounds that it failed to meet public safety requirements.
The permit was denied under new B.C. regulations around the breeding, trafficking and keeping of exotic species in B.C., according to the SPCA, which commended the provincial Ministry of Environment for denying the permit.
"In this case, the Jordan World Circus entered B.C. without the two permits required under the new regulations to transport and display exotic wild animals," said Sara Dubois, the B.C. SPCA's manager of wildlife services, in a news release.
"We advised the ministry on July 20 that the Jordan World Circus was travelling through the province with exotic animals, including three adult Asian elephants.
The ministry immediately contacted circus officials to advise them they would have to apply for a permit."
According to Dubois, the circus was allowed to continue displaying the animals until July 29, when the permit was denied because Jordan World Circus officials didn't have a safety plan to protect crowd members in the event of the elephants breaking loose during a performance.
The circus was criticized by Penticton residents, who tore down signs ahead of a scheduled Aug. 1 show in the town in protest of the group's use of exotic animals in its performances.
Dubois said in the future, circuses will have to apply two months in advance to enter B.C. with exotic animals.
The SPCA is asking that black bears be included under the same exotic animal regulations as elephants.
Read more:


Mr. Nebraska State Fair dies at 88
By ART HOVEY / Lincoln Journal Star August 4, 2010

Henry F. Brandt Jr., manager of the fair, gives the signal for the State Fair steam engine to start up at the beginning of the fair in this undated photo. (LJS file) 8/28/2009 pg 3D Fair Thee Well State Fair General Manager Henry Brandt gives the tradition-honored “hiball” for the fair’s steam train to start its initial run at a 1970s fair. Journal Star file photo .

Henry Brandt said it made him want to cry when he saw buildings being demolished at the former state fairgrounds in Lincoln earlier this year.But as manager of the Nebraska State Fair for 23 years, from 1964 through 1987, he was eager to see the fair's new home in Grand Island bustling with people and livestock.
Henry F. Brandt Jr. -- the last manager to live on the fairgrounds, the man some called Mr. Nebraska State Fair -- didn't live quite long enough for opening day ceremonies in Grand Island Aug. 27.
He died Tuesday at 88.
The strain of heart surgery at that age was probably the biggest factor, said his daughter, Connie Decker, of Lincoln.
"It was just too much for his body."
Brandt, raised on a Beatrice-area dairy farm, attended his first fair at age 2 and won second place in the 4-H Dairy Show at the state fair at 14.
Then, and for the next 74 years, there was never such a thing as too much fair.
"His hobby was fairs," Decker said. "Really, truly, his hobby was his work."
He indulged his hobby with so much skill and enthusiasm that he became the lone 1980 inductee into the International Association of Fairs and Expositions' Hall of Fame in Las Vegas ceremonies.
At the time of his death, he was an active member of the State Fair 1868 Foundation Board. And as recently as a month ago, he was taking tickets from people arriving for horse racing at the former State Fair Park.
read more at:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010



Hello Dick
I was happy to see that you once owned back-end shows .I am a sideshow fan and collect memorabilia on the Carnival and Circus Sideshows .I took some great shots at the Delaware State Fair of Jack Constantine's Museum Show and Smallest Woman Shows.I've enclosed a great photo.
If you sell any Sideshow memorabilia I would be interested.
if any of you out there have anything you think David would
be interested in shoot him an e-mail


Here's a few ads from the yearbook.


Diego Ramirez reaches out to touch a pony during Tuesday's Blind Children's Learning Center visit to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Honda Center in Anaheim. Diego, 5, was with his 11-year-old sister, Bianca, who helped him reach out to the miniature horses, goats, llama and donkeys in the circus ring.
Blind Children's Learning Center student Maya Graves, 5, examines the teeter board before taking a turn being lifted by it during Thursday's visit to the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Host and Exotic Animal Trainer Andre McClain leads students from the Blind Children's Learning Center to the circus floor to learn about the show. About 15 children, their siblings and parents, were able to experience the circus through touch, feeling and smelling the animals, testing out props like the dirt bikes, and wearing and feeling the costumes, props and a treasure chest filled with coins.

Blind Children's Learning Center students Matthew O'Toole, and Maya Graves, both 4, try out the teeterboard with help from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Fantasy Troupe members Cristian Anghel, left, and Marius Oraca Thursday



Dick.. heres my new blog...strictly show biz, I started it because another Circus Blog censored a story I wrote because it wasnt "saccharine enough", kinda like "Circus World" where the performers were putting up the Big Top...Ha Ha Ha !...I'll try to add stories as time permits. have a nice day...Bob

Campers stay close to the action for Wisconsin Valley Fair

Fair campers set up at park for convenience

By Kathleen Foody • Wausau Daily Herald • August 3, 2010
Even the most dedicated Wisconsin Valley Fair participant can get worn down by five days of sunshine, crowds and fried food.
Having a little piece of home within walking distance of the midway, even if it's on wheels, makes the entire fair more enjoyable, according to exhibitors and vendors who have created their own little village in Marathon Park this week.
Jennifer Schwede's family has been using the park's campground during the fair week for four years. Both of Schwede's daughters exhibit animals at the fair, and having a nearby place to relax when the atmosphere becomes overwhelming makes the whole week more enjoyable, she said."The girls are up by 6:30, down to the barns by 7 to clean the stalls out and feed the animals," she said. "It can be a very long day, and getting home to Merrill just for a break takes awhile.
"The park's 30 camping spots for tents or recreational vehicles are reserved for vendors and exhibitors at $150 for the week. Fair Administrator Lisa Kumfer said the spots are snapped up every year and extra requests go on a waiting list. The list usually has about three or four people on it, but has been as high as 10.
Jim Kropp, owner of Kropp Concessions of Green Bay, brings two RVs with him every year, one for family members and one for employees of his cheese curd business. The whole group travels to fairs across the Midwest from late June through October."It can be a headache getting in and out of a hotel," he said. "Plus, Marathon Park is one of the most beautiful spots I visit, and that's a plus.
"Though most vendors turn in early, Schwede said at night some campers sit outside to listen to the grandstand performers rather than join the large crowd at the front of the stage.
Others stroll among RVs and tents and talk about the day.
Bob Marcell, co-owner of Marcell's Specialties of Wausau, who sells fireplaces and stoves during the fair, stays in the campground at night. Camping allows his employees to enjoy the fair after their work for the day is done and still be ready to go early the next day.
The campground usually is calm and quiet at night, even as fairgoers leave the park, Marcell said."The majority of the people are looking at all the cops around there," he said. "They don't want to draw attention to themselves.
"Schwede, who serves on the fair board, said she always feels safe allowing her daughters, ages 17 and 19, to move around the midway and campground at night."We know a number of the families that come back every year," she said. "I've never felt unsafe."


Popular Ulster County Fair is now open for six-day run
Shantal Parris Riley • Poughkeepsie Journal • August 3, 2010
NEW PALTZ — The gates at the Ulster County Fair opened at 4 p.m. and the first day of the six-day event will run through 10 p.m.
Organizers will be looking to the sky today, hoping for weather better than last year for the fair.
Gates open to the 123rd Ulster County Fair in just a few hours. The event takes place at the county fairgrounds site on Libertyville Road in New Paltz and runs through Sunday.
Ulster County Fair Office Manager Suzanne Britsky said she is looking for sunny skies this week."We're hoping it stays dry," Britsky said. "Last year, we suffered about four days of monsoon weather."The National Weather Service is forecasting highs mostly in the 80s for the remainder of the week, with a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms most days."Normally, our attendance is about 45,000 to 50,000 people," she said. "We'd like to break a record this year."
Admission is $15 for children and adults. Children 4 and under get in for free.
However, a number of discounts are being offered.
The first of which is the "Carload Night" tonight."It's $40 a carload," Britsky said. "There's no limit to the number of people who can be in the car, as long as they are safely buckled in."It has been very successful. The combination with the fireworks makes it a very popular night," she said.
Highland resident Mark Jackson remembers taking his kids on Carload Night."When my kids were little, we would pack the car with kids on Carload Night," he said. "I think the Ulster County Fair is really one of the better deals, as far as county and state fairs go.
"Corrine Shields, 17, from Marlboro, goes to the fair every year."I don't really like the rides. I like the animals," she said. "There's a lot to look at.
"Discounts also are available for seniors."We have Senior Citizens Day on Thursday," she said. "Seniors get in free before 4 p.m.
"Britsky said there are discounted rates available for recreational day camps on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Among the events is a petting zoo, master gardener demonstrations and truck races. Fireworks are scheduled for 9 tonight.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Circus City is on the way to Michiana!
Aug 03, 2010 2:15 AM EDT
Posted By: Elishah Oesch
"Circus City" is coming to Michiana! When Carson & Barnes sets up circus morning, it is circus history and magic, transforming the show grounds into "Circus City USA". The general public is invited free, and early birds can watch, as the first units of the caravan begin arriving about an hour after dawn, Tuesday morning, August 3rd across from Borkholder Dutch Village, in Nappanee.
Over two dozen types of exotic and domestic animals, featuring a large traveling zoo, are unloaded, fed, and 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-by-side to erect America's most spectacular and largest circus Big Top.
Dutch Kitchen will be offering up a breakfast special for those watching the circus magic. Junior Anderson, owner of Dutch Kitchen, is excited about the circus coming, and has agreed to offer breakfast specials the morning the circus arrives. Dutch Kitchen will also be open the evening of the circus, according to Anderson, offering a Chicken & Meatloaf buffet from 4 - 8 p.m. for just $9.95. The buffet includes dressing, mashed potatoes & gravy, chicken noodles, green beans, corn, salad bar, dessert bar, an even a drink!
The all new 74th edition of the Carson & Barnes Circus, bringing almost one hundred performers and animals to Borkholder Dutch Village, will put on two shows Tuesday: 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
According to sponsor and local promoter Ron Bedward, owner of Michiana Promotions, a portion of the proceeds of the circus will be used to help fund and promote Nappanee's Second Saturdays. Bedward also encourages circus goers to get their tickets in advance, because "folks can save alot of money!"


Urban-themed circus comes to town
By Michael Buettner (Staff Writer)
Published: August 3, 2010
PETERSBURG, VA - Fresh from a triumphant tour of the Caribbean, Casual Cal's Bumpin' Big Show Circus rolls into town this week.
The urban-oriented circus is a joint venture of Atlanta-based Big Top Circus, led by Calvin "Casual Cal" Dupree, and Circus Hollywood, a Bradenton, Fla.-based operation owned by fourth-generation circus impresario Serge Corona.
Dupree gained fame as the ringmaster of the UniverSoul Circus, founded in 1994 by music and theater promoter Cedric "Ricky" Walker. Like UniverSoul, the Bumpin' Big Show features mainly African-American performers and draws on urban culture and experience to entertain and uplift audiences.
Front man Econuel Ingram said one difference between the Bumpin' Big Show (also known as Big Top Circus 2010) and UniverSoul is that "D.C. gets UniverSoul, Richmond gets UniverSoul, we wanted to give to a community that doesn't get much of that quality of shows."
But despite the updated style, the circus will offer the traditional attractions, from animals and acrobats to clowns and magicians.
One crowd-pleasing act is a group of motorcyclists who perform in the "Cage of Death." Also on hand are Persian horses, Parisian dogs and plenty of music and fun.
The circus' run here starts officially on Thursday and continues through Sunday at Petersburg High School, but there's a free preview for children today, starting at 11 a.m., at Vernon Johns Junior High School on Homestead Drive.
Ingram said the circus also is looking to hire people locally to help set up and run the shows - part of the company's goal of giving something back to the communities where it performs. If all goes well, he said, "We want to make this an annual event."
In addition, the circus will donate $1 of every ticket purchase to the Petersburg School System. And another way of giving back is a Military Night on Saturday - usually the circus' biggest night - when patrons with military ID cards will receive a discounted ticket price.
Showtimes for the Bumpin' Big Show are 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday; noon, 4 and 8 p.m. on Saturday; and 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. For information, call 894-5566.

Monday, August 2, 2010




OC Boardwalk performers draw crowds, tips
Acts range from puppeteers and musicians to artists
By Susan Canfora • Special To The Times • August 2, 2010

OCEAN CITY -- Bugs Bunny danced on the Boardwalk the other night, long gray legs kicking high as he moved in an exaggerated way.
"I think it's a favorite cartoon. Kids like this cartoon bunny. He is very friendly and he's very beautiful," said Denis Novokreshchenov of Russia, lifting Bug's head for a moment to make eye contact.
He is among dozens of street performers entertaining on the Boardwalk as passersby toss change and bills into their tip jars."Hey, you're a good dancer," somebody called to Bugs, and he beamed."Yes. Thank you," he called.
Street performers who show their driver's licenses at the City Clerk's Office, pay $7 and get their act approved, receive a permit allowing them to perform until the end of the calendar year.
They may not provide a service such as polishing fingernails or -- and somebody really wanted to -- whitening teeth.Because art is subjective, they are not asked to audition, said Kelly Allmond, deputy city clerk."If they think they're good, that's all that matters," she said.
Neither do they get fingerprinted or undergo a background check, so parents should carefully watch their children and not let them run up to the performers alone, she said.
This year, 349 permits were issued, fewer than the 450 last year."We are busiest issuing permits during Senior Week and the Fourth of July weekend," Allmond said.
One recent evening, a man balancing his toddler son on his shoulders approached a young woman twisting balloons into various shapes at the south end of the boardwalk."Is it free?" he asked. The little boy's eyes were wide, watching the balloons."Uh-huh," the woman said, but he put $5 in her tip container anyway.Most people tip, some generously.
Cellist Elizabeth Howse plays in her bare feet, often near the intersection of Somerset Street on the west side of the boards. The college student, studying music at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, also has a job at a resort jewelry store. She makes as much on tips playing for four hours on the boardwalk as she does working 20 hours selling jewelry.


Perception is often not reality, as sideshow "talker" Mike Vitka has discovered through his experiences on the World of Wonders.
Family clowns around
Circus act brings laughs to Fredericksburg Fair
NoJoe the Clown
Joey Thurmond as Nojoe the clown balances a 12-foot ladder during a show at the Fredericksburg Agricultural Fair yesterday. Thurmond, of Atlanta, performs his Nojoe's Clown Circus act with his wife, Jamie, and son Tyler, 17. Photos by MIKE MORONES/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
No one really has a fear of clowns, asserts Joey Thurmond."They just haven't met the right one yet," the creator of Nojoe's Clown Circus, a national traveling clown act, said.
More than 100 people had no qualms yesterday afternoon about watching Thurmond and his wife, Jamie, and son, Tyler, perform in their one-ring circus at the Fredericksburg Agricultural Fair. In an interactive half-hour show, the family joked around with one another and the audience.
At one point Tyler, 17, told a woman she needed to make her own balloon animal, much to Thurmond's disapproval."We've got a good crowd," Thurmond said, "and we want them to like us.
"Indeed they did.
The crowd nearly doubled as Tyler juggled fire and Thurmond balanced a shopping cart above his head. After the duo performed its slapstick, "Miss Jamie" performed her twirling act with Hula Hoops and steel squares and cubes.The act is award-winning as well as unique. Thurmond and Tyler are the first father-son duo to receive the Clown of the Year award from Family Entertainers of Atlanta, where the act is based. Thurmond won it in 2008 and Tyler, the youngest-ever recipient, won it a year later. "It's very honorable to have your peers think that much of you," Thurmond said before the 4:30 p.m. show. But clowns are not universally loved.One woman came up to Thurmond asking to take his picture so she could send it to her mother, who hates clowns. "I'm glad you used my face to creep out your mom," Thurmond said after smiling for the camera. After the show, another teenage girl refused to come near the trio because she's scared of clowns."Thank you, because I'm kinda scared of teenage girls," Thurmond joked. In reality, he hopes he can reverse the negativity that popular culture has given clowns. "Clowns in general are such a giving, accepting and loving personality," Thurmond said.
The fear of clowns is generally seen only in North America, and he thinks people actually fear the attention brought upon them by the clowns and the surrounding audience. The trio will finish up in Fredericksburg tomorrow.
For the fearless, the group signs autographs and poses for photos after the shows. And that's why Thurmond travels 11 months out of the year with his wife and son. "I get to go to a magical place," he said. "I get to walk into that circus ring every day."


Cho, 5, tentatively feels the nose of a pony. Dorothy was one of about 15 blind and visually impaired children from the Blind Children's Learning Center who visited the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Thursday. Parents and siblings also got to feel the costumes, animals and props ahead of a visit to the show. Maya Graves, 4, smiles as she's lifted into the air by Fantasy Troupe member Cristian Anghel. "I want to do it again," she said, as soon as her feet touched down on solid ground. Her older brother and younger sister get to watch the show, so for Maya to experience the circus tactilely gives her better knowledge of what's going on, said her mother. Maya was one of the students who visited the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.TEXT BY ELYSSE JAMES, MIGUEL VASCONCELLOS, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Katelyn King, 4, tries out a dirt bike with help from her mother, Kim. "It's amazing. It's a wonderful experience for them to get their hands on and to feel the animals and get up close, especially for the kids with visual impairment,” Kim said. The lights and sounds of the circus really grab at Katelyn's attention and draw her into the experience, Kim said.

Matthew O'Toole, 4, rides a mini dirt bike with help from Paulo Cesar, who rides the bike in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus show. Matthew smiled and held tightly to the handle bars as Cesar rolled the bike foward, making engine sounds. During the show, seven motorcycle riders perform in a Globe of Steel.

Fantasy Troupe member Marius Oraca helps Maya Graves, 4, push down on a teeter board used during the circus show. Children ages 3 to 10 from the Blind Children's Learning Center got to feel their way through the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Thursday.Dorothy Cho, 5, feels the side of a pony. Cho said later that the ponies loved her. She was able to touch their ears, nose, eyes, mane and tail as she pet the miniature horse held by presenter Victoria Zsilak. Cho joined other blind and visually impaired children on Tuesday during the Blind Children's Learning Center visit to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Aerial chiffon dancer Nicole Coronas performs with Circus Hollywood Saturday.
(The News Journal/GARY EMEIGH)


Delaware State Fair ends run with smaller crowd
Riders aboard Alpine Bobs joined thousands at the final day of the Delaware State Fair today. (The News Journal/GARY EMEIGH)
By DAN SHORTRIDGE • The News Journal • July 31, 2010
The end of the state fair today meant the start of a new life for two Smyrna kids.That’s “kids” as in newborn goats, who came into the world around 2 p.m. today in stall138 in the fair’s goat barn.
They’re heading home today with proud owner Gabrielle Virdin, 13, who stood by showing off her new charges and explaining the birthing process to a group of amazed onlookers oohing and aahing over the tiny babies.
There also were some ewwws - at the sight of the nanny goat chewing on the afterbirth.“That’s natural for her to do that,” Gabrielle explained to one young boy. “There’s a lot of protein, too.”But despite the fascinated gathering in the goat barn, crowds generally were scarce on the final day of the fair.
By late afternoon, not even the prospect of a steady breeze and cool temperatures -- with a high in the mid-80s -- was enough to pull huge numbers of people through the gates, as dark, heavy clouds loomed overhead, threatening storms.The weather has been a persistent problem for this year’s fair, with fairgoers suffering through an intense heat wave on opening weekend, forcing organizers to start the carnival later than normal.
But fair officials still expect this year’s attendance to be overall higher than 2009, said Danny Aguilar, its assistant general manager.Exact attendance numbers won’t be available for some time as the gate numbers have to be audited, he said.“The hot weather affected our early-on numbers, but we’ve been showing … to be ahead of 2009,” Aguilar said.
If there were huge crowds this year, Dakota Lewis hadn’t seen them. The 17-year-old from South Carolina camped out in a vendor booth the entire week, hawking balloons and plastic ninja swords for his cousin‘s novelties business. The big-selling items, he said, have been “clacker balls” and inflatable football helmets.But there hasn’t been a booming trade, he said.“It’s been really slow,” Lewis said. “When it’s busy, every five minutes someone’s up here. It hasn’t been like that at all.”
Veteran fairgoers agreed the crowds were smaller this year than last.“I’m surprised it’s not that busy,” said Michelle Shivick, 39, of Newark. Raised in Camden, she’s been attending the fair off and on for the last three decades, but on Saturday afternoon, she was sharing a chocolate-and-vanilla-swirl ice cream cone with son Dalton, 2. “I though there would have been a lot more people here today.”



Ward Hall, dean of American sideshow 'talkers,' explains how he entices fair patrons into the "World of Wonders." Videotaped at New Jersey State Fair at Meadowlands and at Hall's home in Gibsonton, FL, by Lane Talburt.




Kellam Bermudez narrowly escapes serious injury after being shot out of cannon on Cole Bros. Circus in early summer 2010..Lane Talburt

Circus fans and city officials bring Cole Bros. Circus to Meriden, Connecticut, for two-day stand in summer 2010. Lane Talburt


Dazzling circus with a contemporary twist

JUGGLING ACT: The seemingly simple practice of hula-hooping is ramped up several notches on the difficulty scale, finished off by Janna Roukhmanova's unfaltering smile But by blending theatricality with eye-popping feats of human endeavour, a modern-day indoor circus, such as Le Grand Cirque, still offers fun by the bucket load.
Aug 1, 2010, By CHRISTINA KENNEDY from:
There's no smell of sawdust, nor are there any forlorn, flea-bitten lions jumping through hoops.
A massive hit during its previous season at the Joburg Theatre, this thrill-a-minute circus is back with a new edition: Le Grand Cirque Fantazie. Slick and spectacular, glitzy and fast-paced, it is a dazzling fiesta of action-packed entertainment.
Spearheaded by executive producer David King, the UK showbiz whiz who brought us the hit productions Spirit of the Dance and The Twelve Tenors, it is no wonder the show has been successful.

BALANCING ACT: Strong man Tang Guocheng keeps fellow muscleman Su Wu afloat Pictures: MARIOLA BIELA

It was a treat to witness the sheer, unbridled awe of the underprivileged children who saw the show free on Mandela Day. It showed that no matter how much gadgets and gizmos creep into our lives, there's still no substitute for the raw power and immediacy of a live show.

In the case of Le Grand Cirque, it's certainly a case of show business meeting the Big Top.
It blends deftly choreographed circus routines with dramatic classical music, pulsing lighting effects, exquisite costumes and a touch of pizzazz to produce pure dynamite.
And there isn't an animal in sight.
This show is all about the human animal as we marvel at how these specimens of Homo sapiens push themselves to the limits of endurance and ability.
Bending, tumbling, contorting, balancing, soaring - it is clear they are not only stretching themselves physically, but mentally, as well.
Imagine the concentration required to perform dangerous stunts in front of 1000 people every night.
Most adults and children will not be bored for a second .
Almost every act is a showstopper, from the gravity-defying grace of the acrobats and the sexy hula-hooper in her hot pants to the clever neon-lighting illusion. The bells and whistles that make this a visual and aural banquet are mere embellishment, because at the show's core is the incredible artistry, skill and pursuit of perfection of the mainly Asian cast.
In fact, one of the most striking acts is a model of simplicity, in which two men, clad only in white shorts, are framed in muscular silhouette as they undertake breathtaking feats of strength, balancing and poise.


People, animals die in circus train collision


Twenty-two people, three camels and an elephant were killed when two circus trains collided near Durand on Aug. 7, 1903. A 22 car train collided with a 16-car train, both carrying the Wallace Brothers Circus, as they began their trip along the Grand Trunk Railroad to Lapeer County for the next performance, according to the Durand Union Station Michigan Railroad History Museum.

Initially, 23 people were assumed dead, but rescuers later found a man pinned under the wreckage.Approximately 40 people were injured. Area doctors and local residents raced to help. A hotel was transformed into a hospital.The circus owner estimated $20,000 in losses.

Less than a month earlier, the Wallace Brothers train had crashed, prompting a member of the circus to say, "I'm through with show business. This is the second wreck I have been in with this company, and the next time it will be the undertaker that will get me, not the hospital."