2014 Convention



Friday, August 20, 2010


GOOD MORNING FROM CENTRAL PA.......... SAD News from Sarasota.
Passing of NORMA DAVENPORT CRISTIANI yesterday in Sarasota.Norma was 79 and loved by hundreds of CFA Members, Fans and the Circus Community. No details at this time. Norma was a member of CFA and many circus organizations. October Forepaugh - Lubin newsletter "Around the Curve" will be dedicated to Norma a Lubin Tent member.. Our hearts and prayers go out to Pete Cristiani and the Cristiani Family


kccitv August 08, 2008

KCCI-TV Meteorologist Kurtis Gertz got quite a surprise during a live broadcast from the Iowa State Fair on Thursday when a snake slithered up his pants.



The current UniverSoul Circus tour features acts from 16 countries, including Chinese Silk aerialists. "The circus tradition is just a lot stronger overseas," says Ben Johnson.
Circus aims to 'reflect the soul of America'
By Christopher Blank Memphis Commercial Appeal

August 20, 2010
On Tuesday, UniverSoul Circus sets up its tent at Hickory Ridge Mall for six days of performances.
Founded in 1994 by Atlanta businessman Cedric Walker, UniverSoul Circus was created to showcase the wide variety of talents African-Americans had to offer. The first all-black circus was a success with audiences and continued to grow over the past decade. Walker's "Hip Hop Under the Big Top" theme continues, even as his circus troupe has grown more diverse.
The current tour features acts from 16 countries, from China to Mexico.
"We want UniverSoul Circus to reflect the soul of America," Walker said. "And I believe the soul of America has no color or ethnic barrier. It's a feeling inside your heart. It's the urban beat that is truly multicultural — African American, Asian, Hispanic and African."
Another reason the show has grown broader in terms of nationality is simply the quality of acts that come from foreign countries.
"The circus tradition is just a lot stronger overseas," Johnson says. "The amount of circuses you have in Europe, South America, Asia and Mexico far exceed what you have here, although there are several families here that have been doing circuses for generations. To keep the quality high, we have to look around the world. There are certain acts you can only find in Trinidad or Russia."
Ironically, given the love of the sport in the states, audiences will see an act from Holland doing basketball tricks.
"It's amazing what those guys can do with a basketball and a hoop," Johnson said.
"UniverSoul Circus"
7:30 p.m. Tuesday; 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; noon, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 12:30, 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Hickory Ridge Mall, 6075 Winchester Rd. Tickets are $14.50-$26. Call Ticketmaster at 525-1515.




Published: Thursday, August 19, 2010
Photo by Jill Christensen
Skeeter the Clown, from the Culpepper and Merriweather Circus was in town last week to help promote the Circus, coming to Audubon, Iowa Aug. 22 for two performances. Skeeter entertained children at the library and gave away free tickets to the circus. Here she’s shown helping Javyn Bladt balance “Macaroni the Magnificent” on his finger. The Culpepper and Merriweather Circus will have a 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. performance on Sunday, sponsored by the Audubon Lions Club.


Big Top bringing show to fairgrounds
These flyers will be part of the show when the Carson & Barnes Circus comes to the Fayette County Fairgrounds in West Union, Iowa Wednesday, Aug. 25.
Published: Wednesday, August 18, 2010
WEST UNION, IOWA - The Fayette County Agricultural Society will host the Carson and Barnes Circus at the Fayette County Fairgrounds in West Union Wednesday, Aug. 25. Show-times are scheduled for 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.
The 74th edition of the Carson & Barnes Circus will bring almost 100 performers and animals to West Union for the one-day performance. Carson & Barnes Circus travels with its city-block-long tent to some 200 towns and cities during its 10-month season.
Prior to the shows, the general public is cordially invited to watch as the first units of the caravan begin arriving about an hour after dawn on Aug. 25. Through-out the day, the local fair-grounds will be transformed into “Circus City USA.”
Featuring a large traveling zoo, over two dozen types of exotic and domestic animals, will be unloaded, fed and watered, and made available for viewing during this time. Adding to the exciting atmosphere 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.
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 to the 2010 circus program is the award-winning clown and world-renowned “King of Comedy” Alex, who will entertain those in attendance with hilarious high-bounding feats on the trampoline.

Man behind Bozo the Clown remembered in new book
By Emily Stephenson
Wed Aug 18, 2010
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Long before reality shows and Big Bird or Dora the Explorer, Bozo the Clown entertained children on television shows broadcast throughout the country.
Larry Harmon, the driving force behind the immensely popular "Bozo the Clown" franchise, trained with fire departments and astronauts and ran for president to promote the locally produced Bozo television shows.
"Larry lived a reality show life before reality shows existed," said Thomas Scott McKenzie, co-author of Harmon's memoir, "The Man Behind the Nose: Assassins, Astronauts, Cannibals and Other Stupendous Tales," which was completed after Harmon's death in 2008 and released this week.
Capitol Records created the red-nosed, huge-grinned Bozo in the 1940s to narrate a children's storytelling record and read-along book. The first Bozo show, "Bozo's Circus", was launched in 1949 in Los Angeles as a children's comedy series.
Harmon, who was hired to portray Bozo at promotional appearances for Capitol Records, bought the licensing rights with a group of partners in the late 1950s for the character that became a franchise as television stations licensed Bozo for local shows.
In 1965 he became sole owner of the rights to Bozo.
The Chicago show was so popular it aired for 40 years and often had years-long waiting lists.
"It was harder to get than Oprah," said Kristen Lee Sohacki, an event marketing manager at Borders book store who said her mother put her on the waiting list when she was born. She finally got on the show when she was a teenager.
George Pappas, who plays Bozo for the Chicago station WGN at parades and other events, said the station still gets calls asking to bring the show back.
Harmon was not the only Bozo or even the first -- actor Pinto Colvig had that honor. But he aggressively pitched "The Bozo Show" to television stations and helped train actors around the world to play the clown.
More than 200 actors have worn the white face makeup and giant red wig of the beloved children's character.
Harmon also took Bozo to unexpected places. He donned the giant shoes to throw out pitches at baseball games, shook hands with celebrities and politicians, and survived assassination attempts.
His Bozo has been called one of the inspirations for McDonald's mascot Ronald McDonald.
"It just wouldn't be unusual for him to say, 'Oh yeah, you know, I had lunch with ...' some famous leader. It was just crazy the things that would come out," McKenzie said of working with Harmon on his memoirs.
"What's in the book is certainly more than enough to show the type of adventurous life that he led."
(Reporting by Emily Stephenson; Editing by Patricia Reaney))

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Delaware State Fair attendance tops 300K for third time in history

By Sarika Jagtiani, Staff Writer Dover Post,
Aug 17, 2010
Dover, Del. — Temperatures in the upper 90s with heat indices over 100 roasted visitors during the first three days of the Delaware State Fair. Once the spell of steamy weather broke, though, people swarmed the Harrington Fairgrounds, bringing in the third-highest attendance in the fair’s 91-year history.
This year’s fair brought 302,880 visitors to the grounds, a 7% increase in last year’s attendance. It didn’t look as if the numbers would go that way early on in the fair’s run.
“The extreme heat including heat indices approaching 115 on Saturday, July 23, killed our attendance during the first few days of the fair,” said General Manager Bill DiMondi in a press release.
Officials delayed opening the midway July 23 because of the excessive heat. That Saturday, 30,000 people walked through the gates, a 12,000-person drop from the first Saturday of last year’s fair.
“You can spend a whole year planning an event, and it all comes down to weather,” said Danny Aguilar, assistant general manager and director of marketing.
Cooler temperatures during the second week boosted attendance, Aguilar said, with the second Saturday, July 31, becoming a record-breaker with 46,312 visitors.
Delaware not only winning fairThere are multiple factors as to why fairs everywhere are doing well, according to Marla Calico, director of grants and special education for the International Association of Fairs and Expositions. One of the keys to their success is a still-slumped economy.
“It goes to the heart of what makes state fairs very unique — they are community based, they are about celebrating the best in our community. People tend to support that in tough times,” she said.
Calico said the Delaware State Fair is early in the season, with most running through August and over Labor Day weekend. She has been tracking fairs that have finished for the season and said about 65% of them have seen increased attendance. The North Dakota State Fair broke attendance records for the second year in a row, and California’s state fair increased attendance by 10%.
When compared to other family activities or vacationing, a fair can be much more affordable, Calico said, which helps.
That bang-for-your-buck thinking is what boosted the Delaware State Fair’s numbers, Aguilar said. They enhanced their ground entertainment, investing 60 cents per every $1 brought in. This year, that went toward free entertainment such as the giraffe menagerie, returning favorites Vocal Trash and Circus Hollywood.
Another area that saw favorable numbers was the exhibitors’ tally.The total number of entries increased 14% over 2009, with more than 56,000 entries turned in by 3,127 exhibitors, according to DiMondi.
Grandstand artists, social media draw favor with fansWilmington Trust Grandstand performers drew their share of visitors, too, with crowds flocking to see cook Paula Deen and country star Brad Paisley.
“It’s always a challenge to find that right blend for entertainment. It really hurt for Selena Gomez to cancel,” he said.
The Gomez concert was trending toward a sell-out crowd when news hit that the teen star had cancelled the show. All Star Weekend, the group slated to open for Gomez, played a free concert instead that Aguilar estimates 5,000 concertgoers attended.
One of the handiest tools the fair had this year was its digital media component, including emails, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other outreach. It especially helped with last-minute additions or promotions, and unexpected delays and cancellations, such as the called-off Gomez show.
“You cannot underestimate social media and the whole viral capabilities of that message hitting over 14,000 [Facebook] fans and migrating outwards,” Aguilar said.
Organizers asked their Facebook friends what entertainers they would like to see next year and netted about 800 different responses. In the lead are country artists such as Lady Antebellum and Luke Bryan. Delaware’s early time slot in the fair circuit helps them at times get high-profile acts, Aguilar said, but a lot of it comes down to whether the fair fits into the performers’ schedules, logistically.
“Sometimes it’s pure luck that an artist is rounding your direction,” Aguilar said.
Some performers are out of the fair’s price range, too. Organizers have purposefully stuck with tickets between $20 and $59, not topping that $60 mark. As shows get bigger, though, it might make it harder to keep those prices in check and still attract big names.
Artists also may balk at a setting where they’re exposed to the elements. The long-term goal is to have an enclosed, air-conditioned structure for year-round concerts. It’s unclear when and how that would happen as of now, though.
Email Sarika Jagtiani at
8,182 Seats in Wilmington Trust Grandstand
Percentage of attendees from Delaware 8.9 Percentage of attendees from Dover 56,700
Entries from 3,127 separate exhibitors 46,312 People attending on record-setting day,
July 31, 302,880
Total attendance for 2010 fair2 Years with higher attendance (2004, 2007)


Dick heres some more photos....
thats me on the king show 1967...had to be a slow day, the candy was wilting and I had already took off my coke jacket....................................................
Next is Bellvue Bill's joint in LittleRock, about 1986...His Helper flashed me...good help is hard to find !................................................................................
Next is my balloon stand in Dallas, Pico was my partner and Beth Boatmun was helping us. about 1984.........................................................................................................
And Turtle Benson running Manuel Kings pit showBob Cox


Ana Dos Santos with the Flying Cavallini’s Family from Brazil flies with her silks at the circus. (Michael Schmidt / News-Sun)
Circus today at fairgrounds
August 19, 2010 By FRANK ABDERHOLDEN

Carson & Barnes Circus will have performances at the Lake County fairgrounds today, one of a variety of activities and events that keep the fairgrounds busy and helps fund the association.
The circus includes acts like aerial trapeze, high wire, motorcycle acrobatic teams, jugglers and clowns, along with performing elephants, camels, dogs and horses. Award-winning clown and world-renowned “King of Comedy,” Alex, combines humor with high bounding feats on the trampoline. There are animal rides and a petting zoo.
“These events are very important to fund our daily operations,” said Ryan Boesch, a spokesman for the Lake County Fair Association, a non-profit organization that does not have any affiliations with county government.
It’s mission is simple: preservation of the past, promotion of the future, and education on the future of agriculture, horticulture, mechanical arts, rural and domestic economy of the Lake County Community.
The Lake County Fair has existed in some form or another for over 150 years. The charter was brought up to date in 1940 and was changed to a county fair and an educational organization in 1970. The Fair started out as an agricultural fair, but has added many other classes such as painting, ceramics, horse shows, antique shows, demo derbies and motocross events throughout the years.
The Lake County Fair held its first fair in Antioch and moved to various places in the county. Some of the other locations include Gurnee, Waukegan, Libertyville and Wauconda High School. The Fair Board purchased land in 1954 and the fair was held on the grounds located on the corner of Routes 45 and 120 up until 2008, when it switched to the new location on Petersen Road west of Route 45.
“In August we had six events,” said Boesch, and they have just over 50 events during the year. Some of the more popular ones include the Flea Market, which is typically on the first Saturday of each month.
“The circus is a popular event and the craft show is very popular as well,” he said.
The circus is from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. today, and this weekend the Obenauf Equipment & Vehicle Auction is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Thinking of joining the circus? Here's how that works
Sorry, the human cannonball jobs are filled; do you like elephants?
(Jay Janner AMERICAN-STATESMAN )Ringmaster Alex Ramon performs at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Frank Erwin Center on Wednesday August 18, 2010
Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010
It's filling out forms that the human cannonball hates most.
"They ask for your occupation," Tina Miser , 35, says with a sigh. "You don't want to just write 'entertainer' because that sounds a little sketchy." So she writes "human cannonball," knowing the person reading the form probably won't believe it. But that is her job with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus. She's done it for six years, and she's doing it in Austin this week through Sunday at the Erwin Center.
In these tough economic times, the idea of being shot 90 feet out of a cannon sounds like a viable career choice. Let's face it: The circus isn't that far from the business world. In both, workers can expect to walk tightropes, juggle and occasionally pull a rabbit out of a hat.
These days, circus jobs come with vacations, medical insurance and 401(k) plans. So why not run off and join the circus? Miser's glad she did, although her parents made her go to college first. So is Ryan Henning , who tends elephants, and Alex Ramon , the ringmaster — or Zingmaster , as they call him in this show; he performs magic and is master of ceremonies for the circus.
"It really is the greatest show on Earth," Ramon says. "I would not do it if I didn't love it."

Circus Elephants Bathed By Brooklyn Ball Park

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

'Talent's' New York circus act
By SEAN DALY August 17, 2010
From The New York Post
Rudy Macaggi is not clowning around.
The third-generation circus acrobat, who emigrated to the US from Italy in 1982, is willing to risk his life to win Season 5 of "America's Got Talent."
On the Aug. 3 live show, Macaggi, 43, cheated death by performing a handstand three feet above a revolving table saw, then suddenly dropped his head to within inches of the blade.
"It's called the Circular Saw of Death," he says, and it's just one of many heart-stopping stunts the self-proclaimed 'acromedian' performs during regular shows at The Box on Chrystie Street.
But when America voted, Macaggi was sent back to the Big Top.
"Of course, my feelings were hurt," he says. "But after I looked at the video, I agreed it was probably too scary."
Tonight, the bald-headed daredevil gets another chance, performing as one of 12 "wild card" acts invited back by the judges.
The stunt?
"It is definitely one of my most dangerous," he hints. "It doesn't look as horrific as the saw, but if you fall a certain way, which would be on my neck, it would be really bad."
Macaggi insists he has the chops to pull it off. One of six children born into a family of circus entertainers, he began performing -- reluctantly -- at age 7. "I didn't choose to be an acrobat, it chose me," he says. "You do what the family expects of you."
The outspoken performer, who also appeared on Season One of "Talent," decided to settle in New York three years ago after working as a cruise ship entertainer.
"It is not easy making a living in New York and paying the bills on time," he admits. "There is no money in what I do right now."

Read more:


Dick I got a 35mm slide & negative converter, so I've been going through my old negatives looking for show biz pics and I'll be sending you some as I discover them... I've got like 5 or 6 thousand negatives...not all are show biz but I'm weeding them out heres a few. Bob


Thought of you when I saw these on e-bay!!!! Gary and I saw the Tony Peterson show in Honesdale and in Norwich. The cannon truck was involved in a head on accident leaving Norwich for Hamburg. I do not believe anyone on the show was injured but the cannon was out of the show for Hamburg. Hope to see the show again in Harford, Pa!!!! Should be interesting as, you mayrecall, there is only a relatively small space and no track. Also, Steve Swika does not have Harford this year, Jim Houghton does. Should be interesting!!!
Ronald C. Finch

Monday, August 16, 2010



All aboard the Pie Car, Ringling Bros. rolling diner
By Jackie BurrellContra Costa Times
Posted: 08/15/2010

Assistant Manager Sous Chef, David Kretz has the morning breakfast shift in the "Pie Car" the dining car on the Ringling Bros.and Barnum & Bailey circus train that is parked in Oakland, Calif. on Friday Aug. 13, 2010. He cleans up after the breakfast rush in the narrow kitchen on the train. (Laura A. Oda/Staff)
Mist swirls from the railroad tracks in the early morning air. A few miles away, at Oakland's Oracle Arena, the tigers and watusi cattle slumber on. But here, in the shadow of the mile-long circus train, the clowns and acrobats are stirring, lured by the aroma of freshly brewed Starbucks and sizzling bacon wafting from the Pie Car, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' rolling diner.
They drift in sleepily, some in bathrobes or plaid pajama bottoms, others fully dressed and ready for a day of play in San Francisco. Clowns Taylor Albin, a Texan with a business degree, and Kelli Karsten, a graduate of San Francisco's Clown Conservatory, sip coffee with friends. Aerialist Christina Cantlin, a member of the Flying Caceres, and her catcher, fiance and former pilot Daniel Simard, indulge in fried eggs and home fries. And sous chef David Kretz bustles around the kitchen, flipping eggs and frying bacon for a mellow morning crowd.
This is the Pie Car -- the province of Louisiana chef Michael Vaughn, who has been riding the circus rails for 13 years. The deep scarlet walls are lined with vintage circus posters, and tight little booths offer space for clowns and other cast members to socialize and grab some grub, when they aren't pratfalling or being shot out of cannons.
It's a tradition, says Albin, that dates back to P.T. Barnum himself.
Legend has it that the Pie Car got its name during the Depression Era, when its menu was dominated by inexpensive meat pies. The car itself has been upgraded and modernized, of course, but some things never change. The massive train chugs its way across 32,000 miles of rail lines during its two-year tours, and the Pie Car stays open all day, every day, so the 270 circus performers and staff who live aboard can gab, nosh, watch movies on the flatscreens or work on laptops. There's no Wi-Fi in the Pie Car, but most of its patrons have AirCards.
"The circus is a traveling town without a Zip code," said Janice Aria, the circus' director of animal stewardship and a 40-year Ringling Bros. veteran. "It's a community, the Pie Car. It's like a regular restaurant in your hometown."
For Albin, Karsten and their fellow "First of Mays" -- the circus term for newbies who join at the start of a new season -- it's a place to unwind after a long show or relax on the "train runs" and exchange tales.
"Once we get the makeup off, the costumes off, the Pie Car is one of the few things still open," he says. "It's a great place for meeting up with friends. During a train run, a group of us clowns meets up for breakfast, and we see the world pass by."
Freezers and fridges line the walk-through. Huge cans are stacked sideways under metal roll-up doors, and hundreds of cases of Mountain Dew are stashed in the train's possum bellies -- the undercarriage storage units -- in preparation for the 2,500 to 3,000 meals served each week in the Pie Car and its mobile offshoot, the Pie Car Junior, which parks by the stage door during shows.
It's a logistical challenge, Kretz said, unlike anything faced by a normal restaurateur. There's a different supplier every week as the train heads into a new town and, he says, "You can't use the fryer on a train run. You have to tie everything down."
Then, there is the challenge of feeding a crowd of such varied backgrounds.
"The Chinese troupe, the Russians, Bulgarians, the motorcycle guys," he said. "Trying to figure out what they eat, the special diets that depend on what they do in the show."
The Moroccans don't eat pork. The dancers prefer salad. And the Chinese trampolinists have a penchant for quesadillas, which they order by tracing a circle in the air, folding it in half and announcing a protein filling. Now, everyone does it -- mimes a tortilla and specifies steak or chicken.
Or they order "A Torres."
That's the car's now legendary Torres burger, named after the seven adrenaline-fueled Paraguayan motorcyclists whose workday consists of circumnavigating the interior of a massive steel orb up, down and all around. It's a job that requires high protein, energy-packed food in small servings that won't slosh around. So Vaughn and Kretz started topping the Torres' burgers with fried eggs.
The idea, they say, is to keep everyone happy, healthy and well-fed, whether it's with diner fare or a goulash inspired by the Hungarian animal trainer's mother.
The only thing they don't do -- or at least not very often, said Cantlin, the trapeze artist -- are birthday cakes.
"You don't advertise your birthday in the circus," she says, because the clowns always want to get involved.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performs at San Jose's HP Pavilion, 525 W. Santa Clara St., from Aug. 18-22, and the Stockton Arena from Sept. 16-19. For details, go to


Flying trapeze artists Christina Cantlin and Daniel Simard talk about how they got engaged recently over breakfast in the "Pie Car" the dining car on the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus train that is in Oakland, Calif. on Friday Aug. 13, 2010. (Laura A. Oda/Staff)
Married couple Rustam and Veronica Sharapov read a local paper and plan their day trip to San Francisco in the "Pie Car," the dining car on the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus train that is in Oakland, Calif. on Friday Aug. 13, 2010. They are acrobats that perform the Hand Balance Act in the circus that is at the Oracle Arena until Aug. 15th. (Laura A. Oda/Staff)
Clowns Kelli Karsten, left, and Taylor Albin talk after having breakfast in the "Pie Car," the dining car on the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus train that is in Oakland, Calif. on Friday Aug. 13, 2010. The performers and staff of the circus socialize and plan their days in the "Pie Car" over breakfast. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus is at the Oracle Arena through Aug. 15th. (Laura A. Oda/Staff)

Flying trapeze artists Christina Cantlin and Daniel Simard talk about how they got engaged recently over breakfast in the "Pie Car" the dining car on the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus train that is in Oakland, Calif. on Friday Aug. 13, 2010. (Laura A. Oda/Staff)


I ust came across these fotos.
Morris Hannum Shows was a Pennsylavannia fixture for many years.
Later to be bought by Little Richard from Mrs Hannum after
Morris past on.
I beleive these two pics had to be taken in the 50's or 60's.




circa 1900


above: GGW and the American Express card commercial, 1978.


above: GGW with Circus Williams appearing under the title the Spanish National Circus; I believe the clip is from the motion picture Rings Around the World.


above: Mark Oliver Gebel, series of interviews

BlueButterfly8888 | July 26, 2010
Highlights of Mark Gebel's career with Ringling Brothers.
As the son of legendary animal trainer Gunther Gebel-Williams, he has appeared on countless television, radio and featured newspaper articles, including "Good Morning America", "The Today Show", "CBS's The Early Show", "The View", "The Travel Channel", "A&E", "Jack Hanna Animal Adventures", "The Tonight Show", "The New York Times" and countless local affiliates. Gebel was also featured in TV Specials including NBC's "My Father the Circus King", ABC's "20/20" and CBS's "The Man and the Legend".
In 1991, at age 20, Gebel made history as the youngest animal trainer to present a three-ring display of exotic animals and elephants encompassing three rings simultaneously.
For eight years, from 1996 to 2004, Gebel trained and presented his own act with twelve tigers.
"My father told me, 'the most important factor in being a successful animal trainer and presenter is to respect and love your animals', and I remain true to these principals everyday. My goal is continue to bring animals and audiences together-always being respectful of the animals while peaking the audience's interest. This is the Gebel heritage and legacy that I am proud to continue." Mark Oliver Gebel

Sunday, August 15, 2010



It's fair weather! NJ State Fair ending today
BY ELLEN S. WILKOWE • Staff Writeer • August 15, 2010

The Dewitt Family from Augusta (left to right) Frank, Ansley ,6, Aidan, 10, and Dawn, danced the conga with Oscar the robot NJ State Fair at the Sussex County Fairgrounds. (Staff Photo/ Meghan Ryan)
FRANKFORD — OSCAR doesn't do weddings, but he does plenty of fairs, specifically the New Jersey State Fair and Sussex County Farm and Horse Show where the roving robot was found Saturday meeting and greeting families, and trading Silly Bandz with the kids
"It's all about the kids and the families," said Jack Prather, of Georgia, who operates OSCAR by remote control. "And the wonderful good food."Just ask the O'Connor sisters, Kerri Ann, 12, and Kelli, 9, of Hopatcong."He's pretty cool," said Kerri Ann, referring to OSCAR.Following several years of rain, the O'Connors and thousands of others took advantage of fair weather on the second to last day of the nearly 70-year-old tradition that pays homage to Garden State agriculture.
Depending on the weather, the 10-day event is expected to have attracted about 175,000 patrons, said spokesperson Kathy Cafasso. The fair opened Aug. 5 and closes today, when gates will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.Hailing from Georgia where he was "assembled," OSCAR has been attending the fair since 1996 when "it was still the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show," Prather said. The friendly bot has undergone several upgrades and refers to himself as version 2.0.

Angela Browne and her daughter Madeline, 2, from Randolph go for a pony ride at the NJ State Fair at the Sussex County Fairgrounds. (Staff Photo/ Meghan Ryan)

While OSCAR engaged passersby in friendly banter, or the occasional conga line, Elaine Kegelman of Andover buttered up to patrons in another way. Handing out crackers topped with freshly churned butter, she would have done Paula Deen proud.Cranking what resembled a gear attached to a metal lid, she churned heavy cream into butter, a process by hand that takes 20 minutes, she said."It depends on the weather," she said. "If it's hotter, it takes longer."Samplers also got a sip of buttermilk.In addition to butter and bots, the fair featured tried-and-trues such as Robinson's Paddling Porkers, racing and swimming pigs that are a favorite of Janelle Reed of Frankford. Reed was sampling beer served up fresh by Sussex area home brewers, who were anxiously awaiting the results of the 14th Annual Beer Competition.

read page 2 at:

For more information, visit


Local Cooler weather makes the Prince Wiliam County Fair better

Prince William County, Va. - Opening day turned out to be a pretty good one for going to the Prince William County Fair.
Things were wet early in the day, but contrary to some forecasts, the bad weather held off in the afternoon.
Though large crowds hadn't materialized by the 3 p.m. opening time, the parking lot steadily filled as the afternoon wore on.
Cyndy Morrissey, who was visiting family in Gainesville, risked the weather to attend the fair, where aromatic wood smoke from the turkey leg booths permeated the air along with the smell of cotton candy, corn dogs, popcorn and funnel cakes.
Morrissey said she wanted to bring her 6-year-old granddaugthter to the fair so she took a chance on the weather.
"We didn't know, but we wanted to get here," the New York woman said of the way things looked weather-wise early in the day Friday.
Her husband, John, said that taking the chance was "worth it."
A few children danced to the music coming from the various attractions, while others chased bubbles produced by hand-held bubble machines wielded by carnival attendants.
A boyfriend or father here and there threw darts and shot guns, trying to win all manner of stuffed toys.
Parents watched as their children rode screaming on rides with names like "Starship 4000" "Orient Express" "Wiggle Worm" "Viper" and "Extreme."

Cole Bros. Circus 08/16/2010 - 4:30p.m. to 08/16/2010 - 7:30p.m.
Cole Bros. Circus, the Circus of the Stars wll be at the Robert ‘Ockie” Wisting Recreation Complex with shows at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. daily Mon, Aug. 16 and Tue., Aug 17.
Tickets on sale now.
Former circus performer still does the twist at 95
By Jeff Barnet / jbarnet@lcsun-news.comPosted: 08/14/2010

Dorothy Pabst, 95, struts her stuff as she does the twist during a recent Swinging Dancers event at the Munson Senior Center. (Steve MacIntyre / Sun-News)
LAS CRUCES - Dorothy Pabst is a natural.
Whether she's walking a tightrope, flying through the air on a trapeze or ballroom dancing, she has a knack for picking things up like she's been doing it all her life.
She can do the waltz, the Texas two-step, the jitterbug, Scottish dances and the twist. At 95, she can twist almost to the floor and back up again - a feat many people half, one-third and even one-fifth her age cannot do.
In fact, she out-twists everyone else at the Munson Swinging Dancers' Saturday night dances to the floor, and she can do this as many times as she likes, all while dancing for almost two hours nonstop.
In her spare time, she bowls, makes her own clothes and Jet Skis.
Yes: she Jet Skis.
She also enjoys competitive pingpong.
Pabst said she has been dancing since only the age of 71 and has never had lessons.
"Oh heavens no," she said. "I just listen to the music."
Dorothy Pabst takes a break before going back out on the dance floor at the Munson Senior Center. (Steve MacIntyre / Sun-News)
Tightrope walker without a net
Pabst said she would have liked to have danced before the age of 71, but she was busy raising a family. In addition, her husband, a one-time dance band musician, didn't really like to dance, she said.
However, there is evidence from her early years that suggest Dorothy's amazing skill on the dance floor is a continuation of a lifelong natural gift for balance, rhythm and physical grace.
For two years, beginning at the age of 14, she toured as a tightrope walker and trapeze artist with a local circus put together by a Ringling Brothers Circus performer named Lou Palmer, who retired to Dorothy's hometown of Poynette, Wisc. Between 1929 and 1931, Dorothy performed her act - without a net, she said - in county and state fairs around Poynette, a little town 20 miles north of Madison near the Baraboo Range.
"One time we were at a a city hall somewhere and he had me do the tightrope from a balcony down to a stage," she said. "I had never done that before."
She didn't practice the move, she said, but the performance went off without a hitch.
Dorothy said she did double trapeze acts with her brother. She would fly through the air and he would catch her, she said.
"We did practice that one a bit," she said.
At age 16, Dorothy was offered a job with "a big time circus," she said, but her father said no to that.
"I don't have any regrets about that," she said. "My father did not think the circus was the best place for a young woman."
Dorothy said she always had good balance. She could do back flips and "lived (her) life on roller skates," she said.
She rollerskated everywhere, she said, while delivering newspapers, going to the store, to school, to the post office.
"I had six brothers," she said. "I did everything they did."
Dorothy said she loved to play baseball and basketball. She recalled the day her father, the town iceman, asked her to go to a nearby town and pick up a truckload of ice.
"He said to me, 'Babe" - he called me 'Babe' - 'Babe, I want you to do a favor for me. Get in the truck and go pick up a load of ice.'"
She remembers the day because she forgot to downshift while driving the load up a steep hill, and she started to slide back down. Somehow she got control of the truck and brought the ice home safely.
These days, while her 87-year-old brother in Wisconsin still goes out and clears his block of snow, Dorothy said she is the only one in the family who dances.
Her 70-year-old son, Don Pabst of Las Cruces, said he tried dancing with his mother once, but she dropped him and got another partner because he was so terrible.
"I don't see myself dancing at 95 years old," Don said ruefully. "Actually, I don't see myself being 95."
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