2014 Convention



Saturday, October 9, 2010

A guy goes to the circus and sees an old friend from school.
He asks what he does at the circus.
The friend says "I get inside a big plastic bag.
Then the elephant swallows me.
Then a little while later he poops me out."
The guy is horrified.
He says that's terrible and offers his friend a job with a good salary, an office and a company car. The friend says, "What, and give up show business?"
Michael Heaton, The Cleveland Plain Dealer


Circus posters dumped at council office

Saturday 9th October 2010


A CONTROVERSIAL circus has slammed the removal of its posters from around Chelmsford.
The Great British Circus, which features animals in its shows, is performing on private land until October 17 at Essex Regiment Way, just outside Chelmsford.
Organisers have been angered by an anonymous person, who took down the posters and took them to Chelmsford Council’s offices.
They were accompanied by a note claiming to be from “a public spirited citizen, doing the council a favour” by removing the posters.
Chris Barltrop, spokesman for the circus which began on Tuesday, said the circus had notified the council, under the planning laws, where it would be putting the posters and there was nothing illegal in what it had done.
He said: “This is simply to do with the placing of the adverts and not with the circus itself. Everyone may have an opinion on the issue of animals in the circus as they do with any other matter.
“But whoever did this was too cowardly to give their name. It is taking the law into their own hands. We have acted responsibly. The issue of performing animals is a separate one.”
Mr Barltrop said “a high percentage the posters” had been removed, but had now been returned to the circus.
They would be put back up and taken down once the circus had finished. Laura Ketley, spokesman for Chelmsford Council, confirmed the posters had been dumped at the council’s office.
She said they had been put up legally and the council would not have removed them.
She added: “A large package was received at the Civic Centre containing approximately 34 circus advert boards, a CD containing photographic evidence of where they were displayed, and an anonymous note saying they were illegal.
“While the council does licence many animal welfare establishments, performing animals falls to Essex County Council and not us.
“Chelmsford Council has a policy of not hiring out its own land for circuses and therefore is has no jurisdiction or control over this activity.”
The circus hit the headlines last year after secret footage revealed elephants at the show being beaten with sticks. The elephants are no longer with the circus.
Animal charity the Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS) has already called on the public to boycott the circus.

Friday, October 8, 2010



Circus acts liven up fundraiser

Chuck Sidlow, kneeling, with, from left, Ricardo Sousa, Daniel Perez, Michael and Christy Messer and Erendira Wallenda. The Messers were the underwriters in bringing the performers to the event.
October 7, 2010
As Circus Sarasota's Ambassador of Mirth, Jackie Leclaire, greeted more than 300 guests to Cirque Des Femmes, it was clear a magical evening was in store at the Parrish home of Mike and Jaymie Carter.
The new theme for the 11th annual Women's Resource Center of Manatee's fundraiser on Saturday proved to be a success.
"Great food, great friends, great entertainment and all for a such a worthy cause," said Leah Brown of Bright House.
from: The Sarasota Herald-Tribune
French immigration affects Europe's last gypsy circus.
ET Help France continues to expel Roma gypsies living in the country illegally despite the European Union and the UN expressing strong disapproval.
Around 1000 have been forced to leave so far and President Nicolas Sarkozy says his country is well within its rights to expel those who cannot support themselves.
But what about those who are earning money to live?
The crackdown could force Europe's last gypsy circus to pull down the big top forever.
Christian Fraser video at:

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Elephants of the Swiss national circus Knie play in the Lake Leman during an event in Lausanne October 7, 2010.


October 8-10, 2010
The Utica Memorial Auditorium
400 Oriskany Street West,
Utica NY
Showtimes:Friday October 8th: 10:30AM and 7:00PMSaturday October 9th: 2:15PM and 7:00PMSunday October 10th: 11:00AM and 4:00PM



Wednesday, October 6, 2010



ShowMe Elephants

Ryan Easly's new blog.
Narrating the correlation of elephants as related to their import, groupings and transfers. A collaboration with, the largest elephant database online.
I thought I'd give the young man a link
even if he doesn't have one for The Balloonman
Very Interesting!


Cirque Mother Africa -- A Circus Of The Senses

Sunday, 15 August 2010
CIRQUE MOTHER AFRICA, a spectacular celebration created in Africa by an African, Winston Ruddle, and pounding with the heart of Africa, is coming to New Zealand next month.
It will open at the Founders Theatre, Hamilton, on September 7 and continue its thrilling New Zealand tour with shows in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch.
Worldwide Cirque MOTHER AFRICA has thrilled two million. The show is filled with joy, emotions, surprises and amazement. Showing the full circus range of juggling, contortionists, high-wire acts as well as live music, dances and beautiful costumes, the two-hour program really is a sparkling event.
Contortionists Lazaraus and Hassani from Kenya and the Ramadhani Brothers, presenting hand-in hand artistry, are firm favourites with crowds.
The “Adagio Act” from Tanzania is astonishing. It’s a slow, very aesthetical dance where a couple shows slow motion movements by using leverage forces. “Icarus Games” is the name of a juggling act. Two artists juggle with their colleagues in the air by using their feet. Fast, colourful and swinging, that’s how the program is presented: The “Hoola-Hoop Act” with “a thousand hoops around a beautiful woman’s waist” and the “Diabolo Act”, where the diabolo flies high from one rope to the other.
The “In Africa Band” delivers a traditional sound, played with the “Kora” an instrument that comes from the African West Coast. With its 20 strings it sounds like a mixture between guitar and harp. Three beautiful ladies from South Africa and Zimbabwe are the lead singers, creating a warm and powerful sound together with the In Africa Band.
Cirque MOTHER AFRICA combines the best of all the classic circus elements. Forty artists from the length and breadth of the African continent – Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Benin, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Guinea, South Africa -- performing in intoxicating colours and extraordinary costumes and masks.
And doing it all-stops-out for two breathtaking hours.
And it has an unforgettable and unique dimension, something that no other circus can match: the infectious rhythm, the dance and the soaring music of Africa. At the heart of this spectacular circus is pulsating music.
Mark Rafter, the producer of Cirque MOTHER AFRICA, says he saw Cirque MOTHER AFRICA while producing a show in Germany. ‘I wasn’t expecting too much, to be frank, but when I saw the show I loved it! I thought, “It’s a Cirque De Solei with a twist from the heart of Africa.
‘More than quarter of the Cirque MOTHER AFRICA company are musicians. They play modern and traditional African instruments - and, yes, we have no vuvuzelas!
‘But we do have the world’s prettiest ‘ring master’. Mtshali Sibongile Prudence, from South Africa is a vivacious dancer and singer with a sparkling sense of humor who informs and entertains the audience when she’s not performing.’
NEW ZEALAND Hamilton - Founders Theatre September 7 & 8 Wellington - St. James Theatre September 10 & 11 Auckland - Skycity Theatre September 14 - 24 Christchurch - Isaac Theatre Royal September 28 & 29

Lion attacks tamer at circus, sent to zoo
Published 06 October, 2010 from:
The lion performance, one of the most spectacular at the circus in the Ukrainian city of Lvov, recently nearly ended in tragedy.The incident occurred on Saturday when Perseus, the star lion of the troupe – called Persik for short – refused to obey its tamer. First, the animal refused to perform a trick and then attacked the man.
Perseus, followed by another lion, attacked tamer Aleksey Pinko twice. To help the poor man out, assistants rushed on stage and tried to stop the animals with sticks and cold water.
”We were trying to calm them with a high-pressure hose, using sticks and maces that trainers have, and tridents which are used in such emergency situations,” a circus worker told Russia 24 TV channel.
Although management of the circus claimed there was no panic among spectators, video footage shows quite the opposite. People were screaming, emptying their seats and clamoring for the exits.
The aggressive lion seriously injured Pinko’s leg and arm and also scratched his stomach. Now the trainer, who has had to undergo surgery, is receiving hospital treatment with his condition listed as “moderate severity.”
”Doctors observe positive response to the treatment,” Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper quoted a hospital doctor as saying. “No inflammatory or abscess process is present.”
According to information source, the lion will now be taken to the zoo.
Aleksey Pinko’s wife, Veronika Pinko, also an animal trainer, said that the incident has turned into a double tragedy for the troupe.
”First, my husband was injured in the lion attack,” she told “Second, we have lost an artist, one of the best lions in our performance.”
Veronika Pinko said the animal has been aggressive lately and fought for leadership against her husband.
”Perseus, six years old, is an adult male who started to feel his strength in the last two years,” she told Russia 24. “He has always tried to compete with my husband and tried to prove that he is stronger and more important.”
Circus workers say that the lion does not understand what he has done and is looking forward to his trainer’s arrival, reports.
For the time being the circus has suspended its lion performances.

Five of the seven Ringling brothers started a small circus in 1884, about the same time that Barnum & Bailey were at the peak of their popularity. Similar to dozens of small circuses that toured the Midwest and the Northeast at the time, the Ringlings moved their circus from town to town in small animal-drawn caravans. Their circus rapidly grew and they were soon able to move their circus by train, which enabled them to create the largest traveling show of their time.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Rides come to life at county fair
by Stefanie Valcin, Staff writer The Robesonian << >>
LUMBERTON, NC — Jennifer Hunt said she has been coming to the Robeson Regional Agricultural Fair since she was a child. She said she used to love to ride the rides, but now she comes to the fair so her two daughters — 7-year-old Wisteria and her 2-year-old Lindsey — can enjoy the festivities.
“I never got sick riding rides when I was younger,” Hunt said as she watched Wisteria ride the Go-Gator. “Now, I just let the kids ride.”
She bought wristbands for her daughters, so they could enjoy the rides all day. The wristbands are $20.
“It can get expensive riding rides without the wristbands,” said Hunt.
Wisteria looks forward to the fair every year and said she would probably be riding the Go-Gator a few more times, since it was her favorite ride.
“She’s been comin’ here since she was a baby,” Hunt said.

The 2010 fair was Lindsey’s first time attending, her mother said, but Lindsey was not tall enough to ride the Go-Gator with her sister.
“Maybe for next year,” Hunt said. “I like bringing the kids, because they like just watching the entertainment.”
She listed the hypnosis and singing shows as some of the live entertainment she looks forward to at the fair but mostly she has fun browsing the exhibits.
“The kids love to look at the animals,” Hunt said. “I’ll find more kiddy rides to let them go on a few more times.”

Other fairgoers enjoyed the rides Saturday, as it was the first day all were open.
“This is our first day at the fair this year,” said Lisa Bullard, as she watched her two boys, Felton and Evan ride a helicopter ride. “We come here to look at the attractions — animals and food. We like the atmosphere.”
Several of the rides were closed Friday because of safety issues with standing water from recent heavy rains. But Saturday’s breezy and 70-degree weather made for a perfect day to enjoy a ferris wheel ride or one of the fair’s roller coasters.
Jennifer Locklear said her four-year-old son, Jeremiah, also enjoys riding rides.
“For the kids, they love the rides,” she said, as Jeremiah played a game fishing a large rubber duck out of a pool. “I like to see the exhibits like crafts and jewelry.”

The regional fair opened to the public Thursday and will continue until Saturday. Parking is free for the fair, which includes 2,500 exhibits, 75 vendors and 37 rides.
“We’ve been comin’ for years,” Bullard said. “It’s a good family day of family fun.”

Magic Mike thrills at the fair
Tristan Chavis, 14, of Pembroke, right, loses his head over the magic performed by Magic Mike at the Robeson Regional Agricultural Fair on Friday. Staff photo by Bob Shiles

by Bob Shiles, Staff Writer The Robesonian
LUMBERTON — Mike Winters, better known as Magic Mike, will never be without cash. Just a twist of his wrist and he’s turned a handful of one dollar bills into several one-hundred dollar bills.
“I love to do this money trick up close to people and watch their expressions,” Mike said after his performance Friday at the Robeson Regional Agricultural Fair. “I especially like to watch the women. Their faces just light up. You know how much they just want to spend that money.”
Magic Mike, who has performed magic tricks for about 33 years — 21 of those years as a professional full-time magician — has mesmerized audiences at the fair for the past four years. As he has done for the past three years, he plans to take his show into eight of the county’s elementary schools during the coming week.
Mike was 21 when he started doing magic as a hobby. In just two years he had his own magic show on public television in his hometown of Rockford, Ill. The show lasted for six years.
“I first became interested in magic when a friend showed me a card trick and then wouldn’t tell me how he did it,” Mike said. “I then learned a trick and wouldn’t tell him how I did it until he told me how he did his trick.”
Mike said that when he started performing magic, he was working as a computer room supervisor for a hardware company. When he began his hobby he just did card tricks. Although he has expanded into other areas, he said card tricks are still his favorite.
“I love learning new card tricks,” he said. “I have a library of about 500 magic books, about three-quarters of those containing card tricks.”
While he can’t get enough magic, Mike said neither of his children — a daughter Kelly who is an elementary school art teacher and his son Mike who is a banker — nor his wife Kim, a nurse, do any magic.
“I think they had enough when they had to watch and help me practice my tricks,” he said.
Mike estimates that he does about 400 shows a year, not including all the tricks he performs when he just walks up to people.
“I like doing both stage shows and close-ups with people,” he said. “But I think if I had to make a choice between the two, I would choose to do magic close up to people.”
Traveling is a big part of Mike’s life, but he says he doesn’t mind — at least most of the time. In just the past month, he has traveled from Texas to Kentucky to Robeson County. After the fair ends next week, he heads to Philadelphia and then to Montana.
“I like variety,” he said. “I like performing in different areas and enjoy meeting all kinds of different people.”
The audience for Mike’s 5:30 p.m. Friday show was small, but appeared to enjoy the performance. It was the only stage show he performed Friday.
Although gates opened at 4 p.m., it was not until around 5:30 that large groups of people began arriving at the fairgrounds. Coble Wilson, a fair organizer, said Thursday that because of better weather he expected a crowd of between 8,000 and 10,000 to visit the fair on Friday.

OCTOBER 29th-30th-31st 2010
Sarasota County Fairgrounds 12pm - 10pm

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Five hurt in carnival ride accident
Section of Frightland attraction collapses
The operator of the Merry Mixer stands near the ride after it collapsed Saturday. (Special to The News Journal/EMILY VARISCO)
MIDDLETOWN — A carnival ride collapsed at Frightland on Saturday night, sending five people to the hospital with minor injuries.
A section of the Merry Mixer came loose about 8:45 p.m. and flipped over while riders were on board, fire officials said.Three adults and two children were taken to Christiana Hospital, said Port Penn Fire Chief Frank Schoeffler.
The ride was part of a small carnival outside Frightland, a seasonal Halloween attraction off U.S. 13 about a mile south of the St. Georges Bridge.
The cause of the malfunction was not known at press time, according to state police.
Jim Houghton Enterprises Inc. was listed as the owner of the ride. An employee working the carnival said no one would comment on the accident.
Frightland manager Deb Hall said they have not had serious problems with rides in Frightland's 14-year history.
She also said the rides are operated by an independent company and are inspected for safety daily.
The other rides, including a Ferris wheel and "The Skydiver," a ride that turns riders upside down as they spin, continued to operate after the accident.
Jan Sheranko, 26, of Dover, said it was jarring to see the flipped ride, and she is now thinking twice about bringing her child to the small carnival.
"The trauma of that happening. If I were a kid on that ride, I would not ride rides anymore," Sheranko said.
Christine Pienkowski, 34, of Wilmington, was at the carnival with her sons, Owen, 8, and Cody, 14.
While Owen wasn't scared, his mom was a little more measured.
"I'm glad we didn't get on there," she said.
But Clive Ramcharan, 52, of Wilmington, who was arriving at the carnival with a group of teens. was undeterred.
"Sometimes you come out, you just have to take a risk," Ramcharan said.
White tigers and a zebra are among the animals at this year’s Eastern States Exposition.
WEST SPRINGFIELD - G. Wayne McCary, president and chief executive officer of the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, pays a visit to the white tigers at the Big E last week.
White tigers and a zebra are among the animals at this year’s Eastern States Exposition.
Clydesdales and chickens are around, too.
And that’s not including the four-legged creatures residing in the Mallary Complex, the center of the Big E agricultural world.
True to its agricultural roots, the fair is offering an up-close look at a variety of animals many people today get to see only on television.
“We’ll change the barn over 13 times. If you come in here a week from now, we’ll be moving the alpacas in, and we’ll have a whole different group of sheep and a whole different group of beef cattle,” Donna Woolam, Big E director of agriculture and education, said on Monday.
Some of the animals are on hand to be exhibited, some are involved in competitions (“Swine Judging Contest,” Oct. 2) and some here as part of the Big E Circus and Commerford’s Petting Zoo.
According to Woolam and other officials, over the fair’s 17 days, there will be:
•1,300 sheep•600 dairy cows•450 goats•350 to 400 beef cattle•dozens of horses•215 llamas•183 alpacas•60 pigs•55 dogs•dozens of chickens•six white tigers•at least two donkeys•two elephants•one zebra.
Woolam, 58, grew up the daughter of the University of Connecticut’s livestock superintendent in Storrs, Conn.
“I love the fact that we have one of the best livestock shows in the Northeast,” she said.
The animals require a lot of work. Eugene B. Audet said it took four hours and two trailers for him to drive here from his Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport, Vt., to exhibit nine cows.
That entailed getting the cows comfortable in the trailer, so they have space and weren’t pushing each other, said Audet, 50.
He said he grew up on a farm and participated in the 4-H youth farm program (“head, heart, hands, and health”).
“Now I’m doing it as an adult,” he said.
The Big E began as an agricultural fair early in the last century, after Joshua L. Brooks and other local businessmen persuaded the National Dairy Show in 1916 to hold its annual extravaganza in West Springfield instead of in the Midwest.


Fair weather draws Big E crowd
Sunday, October 03, 2010
WEST SPRINGFIELD - Fried cheesecake and fried Oreos, chicks hatching in plain view, the "largest" pig in the world, singing vegetables, midway rides, a circus and Mardi Gras-style parades.
The Eastern States Exposition lives up to its name of the "Big E," and on Saturday crowds took advantage of a perfect fall day after two days of rain to enjoy the last weekend of the fair. The Big E ends its 17-day run today.
Following a dousing of more than 2 inches of rain Friday, Saturday broke crystal clear, with highs in the upper 60s and a touch of fall in the air.
"Weather makes or breaks the Big E in the final analysis," said G. Wayne McCary, Big E president. "This has been a very wet week." But attendance on Saturday was extraordinary, he said, and he expected more of the same today.
"I think we're going to do something like a quarter of a million people in two days," he said. "I think we're going to approach last year's numbers."
Last year the Big E had a record attendance of 1,260,487.
Traffic reflected the Big E attendance Saturday afternoon, backing up motorists on nearby roads, bridges and Interstate 91.
Joining the throng of Big E-goers Saturday were the Adler children, of Longmeadow, who enjoyed the fried cheesecake for $6 before they headed to the circus.
"It's the most amazing thing I've ever had," Matthew H. Adler, 10, said as he shared the dish with siblings Sam A., 13, and Hannah K., 7.
Kenneth R. Russell, of Wallingford, Conn., tried the fried Oreos, which he said were good, but not better than the regular version.


Tulsa State Fair's roller-coaster history

The priest wore a robe adorned with carnival symbols to preach the good word to a few hundred carneys at the Tulsa State Fair in 1983.
"God lives on the midway," Father John Vakulskas told a congregation faithful to a higher power and the idea that trickery, freaks and plush toys could put cash in their pockets.
If God lives on the midway, then he's seen quite a bit - and maybe eaten a few funnel cakes - in the fair's roller-coaster history from the small-time to a big-time family affair.
Much of that history is found within a single white box in the Tulsa World's archive. Dig through it, and so many stories beg for retelling.
These tales you're about to read are culled from stories in the World, Tulsa Tribune and a smattering from the Tulsa Daily Democrat. Some tidbits come from Amanda Bretz's new book "Tulsa State Fair," which chronicles the fair's history in black-and-white snapshots.
The fair began in the late 1890s, when it was nothing but a street fair in downtown Tulsa. By 1903 - a time when Tulsa's population was roughly 1,400 people three years earlier - the fairs happened in "tabernacle tents" at 11th Street and Elgin Avenue, and at the Western Association baseball park on Archer Street and North Boston Avenue
Read more from this Tulsa World article at


Boyce Lancaster Sr. as "Circus Jim" in the Tulsa State fair, 1959. Bozo can be seen severalelephants back. Boyce Sr. attached a note: "Believe it or not, I rode that elephant six miles!I did a lot of standing up after that."
A 1935 Tulsa State Fair poster. Amanda Bretz's book "Tulsa State Fair."/Courtesy

Mad John the Mechanical Man at 1950s fair. Amanda Bretz's book "Tulsa State Fair."/Courtesy

Fair attraction Nightmare Alley in the 1960s. Amanda Bretz's book "Tulsa State Fair."/Courtesy

Fascinating stories about life in 1879
An ad for the Bailey Circus as it appeared in The Pottstown Ledger in 1879.
Published: Sunday, October 03, 2010
By Michael T. Snyder

Menagerie spotlighted in area towns
If folks would stand outside Pottstown Iron Works to watch electricity make the night brighter, they certainly would pay to see a show that was completely lit up by it.
The owners of the Cooper, Bailey and Company's Great London Circus understood that, and gave their show the extra hype of three exhibition tents "equipped with the "Brush Dynamo Electric Light that used 18 electric chandeliers" that had a "lighting capacity of 35,000 gas jets."

Frank Ivers Frayne in costume as Si Slocum, one of his characters.

By 1879, Cooper, Bailey had combined with Sanger's British Menagerie to create a production so large it required a train of 40 railroad cars to transport it. Even their advance publicity was an effort of Steinbrenneresque proportions.
On April 21, The Ledger reported the circus's "advance brigade" would arrive soon and "fill the town with large posters for the show." In preparation, a local contractor was hired to erect 400 feet of billboards that were 12 feet high. The largest of these, placed on Hanover Street between King and Chestnut, was 160 feet long.
read more at:

100 years ago, Ringling Bros. brought 'World's Greatest' to town
By Frank Boyett Evansville Courier & Press
October 2, 2010
The world's strongest man came to Henderson in 1910 to perform here with the Ringling Bros. circus.
His name was Arthur Saxon, a German who could lift 350 pounds over his head with one arm. He still holds the world record for that feat, called the bent press, for one time when he lifted 370 pounds that way. There have been unconfirmed stories that he could lift as much as 385 pounds by that method.
Pretty impressive. I couldn't lift that much weight if I channeled every muscle in my body.
Of course, Saxon had been lifting weights since he was a kid. By 1910 he was 32, and had been performing in circus acts in Europe for years. But this was his first trip to America, The Gleaner noted on Sept. 14, 1910.
"The strongest man in the world is Arthur Saxon," the article began. "He has proved it to the scientists of Europe. He proved it to the people of New York City. He will prove it to the people of Henderson when he comes on Friday, September 30, with Ringling Brothers World's Greatest Shows.
"Arthur Saxon can lift a 375-pound dumbbell above his head with one hand. No other man was ever able to do this. He and a brother lie on their backs and with their feet support a bridge over which passes an automobile with six passengers." They supported about four tons in that manner. "Two of his brothers perform with him. They are very nearly as strong."
The pre-show publicity got a little hyperbolic at times, so take this stuff with a grain of salt. Just about every day prior to the show there was a new story extolling the wonders of the circus. "The greatest event in the history of Henderson is at hand," the story on Sept. 17 ended.
The Sept. 27 story noted that the menagerie included "Darwin, the missing link, an animal that looks more like a human being than some men."
The circus was actually a traveling multi-cultural town, according to the Sept. 22 article. If its five trains were put together they would have stretched a mile long. When the show erected all its tents, they covered 14 acres.
On the payroll were 1,290 people -- representing 29 countries -- of which 375 were performers. It took a staff of more than 70 to simply feed and serve the remainder. "The show also carries its own doctors, lawyers, dentists and detective force."
The show also had its own Turkish bath, its own library and its own power plant. "In a single season the vast organization often travels over 45,000 miles, stopping in 200 cities and exhibiting before 4 million people." Prior to each engagement they held a parade to drum up customers.
And of course, along with the lions, tigers, bears, camels, zebras, the 40 elephants, the myriad high-wire trapeze artists, sword swallowers, dancing horses, trick riders and all the rest -- there were the clowns.
So, send in the clowns, of which there were 50
"Each is a master of the art of making people forget their troubles," according to a Sept. 24 article. "Every pause in the exciting bill is filled with delicious skits, screaming pantomimes, bewitching tomfoolery, travesties on political and public happenings and hilarious hijinks in general.
"These clowns are original and versatile.... Some of them have made kings laugh in the royal courts of Asia. Others are from our own vaudeville and musical comedy companies. They are as unctuous a bunch of sky-larkers as ever smelled sawdust.
"From thrills the audience turns to laughter, and from laughter back to thrills. When the high-air feats of the daring aerialists are not sending cold thrills up and down 10,000 spinal columns, the clowns are making spectators hold their sides and shout with the joy of living."


I just happened to find these pictures a couple of days ago.
Not sure of the years but I would imagine late 70's or early 80's.



Evidently these pictures were taken after a Blow-Down.

As you can see no big top!


This video tribute to Manuel "Junior" Ruffin, the first African-American performer inducted into the Circus Ring of Fame, was shown at a memorial service in the North Port, FL, city hall. Ruffin, a protege of famed wild animal trainer Clyde Beatty, died on September 14, 2010. Lane Talburt


Children learn circus skills in the center ring of Circus Vargas. The circus is in town through Oct. 11.
The art of the circus has returned to the Santa Clarita Valley.
Circus Vargas 2010 offers family-friendly entertainment under the big top at Westfield Valencia Town Center now through Oct. 11.
"Circus Vargas 2010 exemplifies circus as an art form. It unites amazingly skilled serious performers with the innocence and silliness of truly comedic circus clowns - the kind that actually make you laugh," said Joan Hart, Circus Vargas marketing director. "This latest edition of Circus Vargas bridges the gap between old tradition and modern innovation. The appreciation of circus fans old and new keeps the performers loving what they do at Circus Vargas."
Circus Vargas plans to help those hit hardest by the economic downturn and will allow those who are unemployed to bring their immediate families (two adults and two children) at no charge to any weekday show at the Westfield Valencia Town Center.
During its 2010 tour, Circus Vargas has been surprised that more than 8,000 people have taken advantage of this program.Free tickets can be received for any weekday show from the Circus Vargas Box Office at the circus (in front of the Big Top tent). To receive their tickets (up to four tickets for the immediate family), about an hour before show time of any weekday show, patrons should bring their layoff notice from their job or a stub from their unemployment check to demonstrate that they are unemployed.
Patrons bringing two cans of food (per person) to Circus Vargas will each receive a $5 discount (up to four people) to shows at the Westfield Valencia Town Center.
"We are always pleased to be able to give back to the community," said Hart. "If we can help raise awareness for a worthy cause, through our performance, through our art...well then, we are doubly fortunate."
"We're so grateful that Circus Vargas has decided to help fill our shelves by offering discounted tickets," said Belinda Crawford of the SCV Food Pantry. "Food drives like these are a very important source of food for us, especially now during National Hunger Action Month."
The SCV Food Pantry has relied on donations from the community during the last year to provide food for more than 1,110 local senior citizens, and 6,500 SCV residents, 3,000 of them children.
"This is a great experience all the way around," said Katya Quiroga, president and owner of Circus Vargas. "It's gratifying and rewarding for the performers, and it's exciting and entertaining for the audience. We think everyone should be able to experience the magic of Circus Vargas, and we are very proud to be able to make that happen."
Tickets run from $55 VIP seats to $15 bleacher seating.
Performances will be held 7:30 p.m. Friday Oct. 1; 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and7:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays Oct. 2-3 and Oct. 9-10; 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4; no performances Oct. 5; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Oct. 6-8 and 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday Oct. 11 (Columbus Day).
Information and tickets by phone at 877/GOTFUN1 (877/468-3861), on-line at, or at the Circus box office.
Acrobats, gymnasts and martial artists to wow crowds as circus comes to South Common

The title role of Mulan will be performed by martial arts expert Cao Jing, who is making her first appearance in the UK.
She has been practising martial arts since she was six.
Saturday, October 02, 2010

ACROBATS and martial artists from the Chinese State Circus are preparing to wow crowds in Lincoln with an all-new show.
The show will be housed in a state-of-the-art, heated, luxury theatre big top on the city's South Common from Wednesday.
And the world-famous Shaolin Monks and Chinese acrobats will be putting on a performance of the legend of Mulan – a new part of the popular show.
Spokesman for the circus Peter Norris said: "Mulan is a story that has been handed down from generation to generation and, as with any legend, has been elaborated and enhanced from time to time.
"With the emergence of the feminist movement and the emancipation of women in China, Mulan has become a towering symbol of achievement attracting the attention of the modern weavers of story- telling magic who use the stage or film or television to enthral their audiences."
The circus will be running on South Common until October 10 with two performances a day.
Sally Davies, a member of the South Park Residents' Association, said: "I think it is absolutely fantastic. It is a great use of the common land and it is something the whole family can enjoy.
"It also shows you can run a successful circus without animals – I don't support any circus that involves animals.
"I think the Chinese circus is fantastic and it also teaches children about cultures.
"My children are grown up, but I still ask them to come with me, they still enjoy it."
Gymnasts, acrobats and hand balancers will join the Shaolin Wushu Warriors in this new performance.
The circus city, consisting of the performers and tent as well as trainers, physiotherapists and chefs, is being shipped around the country in a huge fleet of vehicles.
Becky Stonham, 25, who lives in Hykeham Road, said: "It sounds like a great way to spend an evening because it is something different.
"It is nice to have diversity in the acts and performances that come to Lincoln. I think it shows Lincoln does attract exciting things."