2014 Convention



Thursday, December 9, 2010


The circus for free (sort of) in West Palm Beach
By Ben Crandell December 8, 2010 10
In the run-up to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performances Dec. 28-Jan. 2 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, the city of West Palm Beach will offer a free taste of circus entertainment.

Beginning Thursday and running through the end of the year, the Waterfront Pavilion will be home to a free "Holiday Circus" exhibition, offering vintage circus wagons, props and costumes. Hours are Monday 6-10 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday 2-8 p.m.

On Dec. 17, Ringling Bros. performers will be on hand for the "Magical Holiday Circus Spectacular" beginning at 6 p.m., a free event highlighted by Santa's arrival by elephant. At 7 p.m. you get screenings of the classic "Grinch" cartoon, followed by "Miracle on 34th Street."

On Dec. 19, the free Sunday on the Waterfront concert is a Still Surfin' tribute to the Beach Boys' holiday songs
Nearly-nude PETA protester objects to upcoming Ringling Bros. circus

Jennifer Hammer wears tiger body paint while from left to right, Sharon Wallenberg, Jennifer Wiggins, and Jim Rosa hold signs in protest of Ringling Bros. Circus use of animals in their show. Hammer sat in the cage as part of the protest.

From left to right, Jennifer Hammer wears tiger body paint while Jennifer Wiggins, Sharon Wallenberg, and Jim Rosa hold signs in protest of Ringling Bros. Circus use of animals in their show. Hammer sat in the cage as part of the protest.
By Alexandra Seltzer Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Dec. 7, 2010

WEST PALM BEACH — There was a half-naked tiger clawing at its cage in downtown West Palm Beach this afternoon protesting the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus coming to town.

That tiger was 21-year-old PETA member Jennifer Hammer, sporting panties and pasties covered by orange paint, black painted stripes, a tail and cat ears, while sitting in a 2-by-3 foot cage in front of Centennial Square.

"The animals suffer more than this," Hammer, of Broward County, said. "I don't believe animals should be used for our entertainment."

A half-dozen members of PETA, the animal rights group, gathered at the intersection of Clematis Street and North Narcissus Avenue against the circus coming to town this month for a little more than an hour, in a protest called, "The Cruelest Show on Earth?"

Tracy Patton, PETA campaign coordinator, said Hammer represents the wild animals in the circus.

She said the protest is to encourage people to find out what goes on behind the scenes with the circus animals including some "grueling tricks" and "cruel training tactics."

Janice Aria, director of animal stewardship at the Ringling Bros. said, in a phone call Tuesday afternoon, the claims against the circus are "outrageous."

"This is a 141 year obligation and privilege that we have that we invite people to see," Aria said. "Nothing was hidden."

Aria said the training tactics that PETA is against are humane and part of a training process.

Protester Linda Sartoni said she received an action alert from PETA and traveled from Jupiter to support the cause.

She brought her friend Gail Hirn, who is visiting from Arizona, along with her.

"There's always time to support rights for animals," Hirn said.

Richard Muth, of West Palm Beach, heard about the protest through Facebook, and came down to support the cause.

"People don't see what goes on behind the scenes," Muth said while observing the protest. "All they see is the glitz, the fantastic stylized vision, made for children. It's just not right in this day and age."

In the last fifteen minutes, Muth decided to grab a sign and join in the protest.

Aria said that the pictures that protesters held in the air displaying elephants tied with ropes are just a "misleading frozen moment."

"It misrepresents what actually goes on. It's unfortunate," she said.

The circus is coming to town Dec. 28 through Jan. 2 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, and starting Dec. 9, there will be a Ringling Bros. free exhibition at the Waterfront Lake Pavillion.
Planning has begun for next year’s Georgia National Fair

Thursday, Dec. 09, 2010
PERRY -- Plans are already in the works for the 2011 Georgia National Fair.

During the December meeting for the Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority, held Wednesday at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter, Ashley Brown, commercial sales representative at the fairgrounds, said she already has some acts scheduled to return as well as new ideas.

The petting zoo will return to the fair. The zoo got such a good response from fairgoers about its rented giraffe, the zoo plans to buy one. The zoo might also have a rented rhinoceros.

Shenaniguns, Grafted by Grace, Tammy Barton the hypnotist, country artist Jay Taylor, Playin’ Possum, The Infinity Show Band as well as the circus, racing pigs and the U.S. Army Band will also return.

Brown said the fair is looking into new ideas such as hot air balloon rides, a blacksmith demonstration, alligator wrestling and dog acts.

They have also talked to Cavello Equestrian Arts, which has trick horse riders, as well as Middle Earth Story Tellers, a children’s puppet show and storytelling group.

The group The Spinners is being looked at for the free Sneak-A-Peek night concert, Brown said.

The facility itself will get some renovations funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

According to Ron Goldsby, chief administrative officer and comptroller for the fairgrounds, Georgia received more than $60 million in funds that state agencies were allowed to submit energy-saving proposals for.

The agricenter received funding for two projects: a roofing project and a lighting retrofit project to install energy-efficient lights in all of the buildings.

Eight buildings will receive a new roofing membrane, which will save on electricity bills.

The cost for the roofing project is $460,000 and the lighting cost is $360,000.

The agricenter was awarded the money because of the relatively quick payback of the energy savings.

The light fixture cost savings will be $109,000 annually while the roof will save the center $73,000 each year, according to Goldsby.

The fair also won six awards from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions and was named a top 50 fair from carnivalware
Read more:


Scrambling circus industry sees hope in foreign artists
Panaji, Dec 9 (PTI)

With stringent laws in place about the use of wild animals in shows, the Indian circus industry increasingly banks on the foreign performers to compensate for the thrill, an industry insider said.
"Our circus has foreign nationals like Russians, Africans and Nepalis who give guest appearance during the show," Makhrand Pandit, manager of The Great Royal Circus, told PTI here.
"These artists introduce new acts in the Circus, which compensates for the thrill, which is lacking in absence of wild animals," he said.
"Since 1999, many wild animals have to be pulled out from the performance. We are allowed to keep elephants, camels, horses and different kind of birds," Pandit said.
The Great Royal Circus is a part of conglomeration of Great Bombay Circus, Jumbo Circus and Gemini Circus. The circus group was conceived in 1879.
The circus had also figured in Raj Kapoor's legendary movie - "Mera Naam Joker".
Pandit said that they have a six-member team of Africans who perform acrobatics and fire dance.
A Russian dancer does a `boneless act' while Nepalese artist Sushila Arya known for balance-in-trapeze is also in the team adding kick to the show. Pandit said that Indian circus industry is in the dying stage due to non-availability of artists and withdrawal of wild animals following stringent law.
"India has 55 big circus groups and 300 smaller ones, which are struggling for survival," he added.
"Though the government has exempted circus owners from the ambit of Entertainment Tax but more support is needed to prep up this sagging industry," Pandit said.
Grand Royal Circus' Managing Partner Ajay Shankar said talented artists in India do not have a chance to stay long in the game.
"This is probably the reason why Indian circuses cannot match up to the Caravans of Europe and America," he said, adding that in these countries, children who show gymnastic skills are picked up early and trained under qualified coaches.
Shankar said that in India, we have talent but facilities to train and motivate budding performers willing to join the Caravans is non-existent.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Experience this event with the entire family and celebrate The Fairgrounds' 6th traditional holiday season of the amazing Festival of Lights opening on November 26, 2010. Located just 20 minutes south of Buffalo, NY in Hamburg.
Take pleasure in a leaisurely drive through a nearly 2 mile spectacle of over a million dazzling animated colored lights filling a brilliant path of light displays including several brand new scenes to this year's show.
After your ride, continue the experience and enter through the newly decorated quaint North Pole Village and behold the old timeless window displays imitating the nostalgic downtown holiday shopping atmosphere. While in the village, stop at an actual frozen North Pole or hug one of our Holiday characters, both make for memorable photos. Don't forget to write a letter to Santa, then mail it from our Village Post Office, and Santa will even write back!
In our charming barn located right outside the village, Santa presents his favorite reindeer sleigh team all ready to go! Every weekend, take pleasure in riding a carriage pulled by Santa's team of reindeer, just like on that magical night. Warm up inside with some hot chocolate, coffee or food favorties and be amazed as well as entertained by the world's largest Elf, Kandy Kane and his traditional Holiday Magic Show. Ride the North Pole Express or any of the other timeless and ageless restored rides at Santa's Magical Midway. Our redesigned holiday sing-a-long Winterific animated light show is sure to keep you mesmerized with its brilliant wall of dynamic animation.
Milk for Health presents a new interactive Kids Game Show "Everyone's A Winner" hosted by Rob and Carol Allen" features a fun time with plenty of laughs. Of course, a holiday festival wouldn't be complete without the merriment of ole' Santa himself!
This one-of-a-kind WNY event has become a holiday tradition for thousands of families. This enchanting event runs for 29 days until January 1, 2011. Just one low price per carload. Don't forget your camera!


Included in your carload admission!
See Kandy Kane, the world's largest elf, perform feats of magic and illusion that will delight both children and adults. 20 minutes of laughter, fun and audience participation. Catching Kandy Kane's show is a holiday tradition - don't miss it!
Located inside Expo Hall
Show times: daily 6:30pm and 8:00pm Fridays and Saturdays 6:30pm, 8:00pm and 9:00pm


Under the 'Big Top'
November 9, 2010
Corsicana Daily Sun
Corsicana — Photos from the Monday appearance of the Carson and Barnes Circus, which hosted two performances at the Youth Expo facility.

A clown with the Carson and Barnes Circus rides an elephant into the big top in Corsicana. The traveling show gave two performances Monday. Daily Sun photo/Janet Jacobs

Daily Sun photo/Janet Jacobs Elephants of the Carson and Barnes Circus link tails and trunks on their walk past the big top tent following the first performance Monday at the Navarro County Youth Expo.
Performers parade into the big top during Monday's Carson and Barnes circus at the Youth Expo in Corsicana.
A trampoline artist entertains the audience during one of the two Corsicana shows by the Carson and Barnes circus which was in town Monday at the Navarro County Youth Expo.

Madison Square Garden's Circus Goes...Out of Town

The Egyptian-themed elephant display. (Courtesy of Feld Entertainment)
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
By Julia Furlan: WNYC Culture Producer

For the first time since 1919, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus won't be coming to town in the spring.

Due to renovations at Madison Square Garden, the circus is heading across the water, extending performances to New Jersey in the hopes that public transportation-savvy New Yorkers will catch the show at its new locations. (The nine elephants, five zebras, thirteen tigers and their be-spangled, spandexed human counterparts will be in Newark in February, and in East Rutherford and Long Island in March).

Steve Yaros, the regional vice president of the entertainment company that owns Barnum and Bailey, says that the relocation won't be a problem for the circus. "The real magic of the circus is that tradition doesn't really live in a building," he says. And because he is in the business of unabashed family-friendly spectacle, Yaros adds: "It lives in people's hearts."

The truth is, the performers and animals live and travel on a circus train—a bargain compared to New York City rent and sky-high Amtrak ticket prices. Hopefully, for a show that calls itself "the greatest show on earth," a little relocation won't hurt.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Don't forget:
Double Click to enlarge and read!


Don't forget:
Double Click to enlarge and read!


No Elephants at the Garden Next Spring
December 6, 2010,
By GLENN COLLINS, New York Times
For decades the blooming of circus cotton candy has been the surest sign of spring for city apartment-dwellers. But for the first time in 80 years the nation’s oldest continuously running circus will not arrive in Manhattan for a springtime performance at Madison Square Garden.

The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus will be dislodged from its March run by the renovation of the Garden, a project estimated to cost from $775 million to $850 million. Instead, the circus will add a week of extra performances to its Meadowlands run in New Jersey (it also plays in Newark and at the Nassau Coliseum) but this year customers from the five boroughs of New York will not be able to hop on the subway to see the show.

“The Greatest Show on Earth is also the largest arena show on the planet,” said Kenneth Feld, chief executive of Ringling, “and there isn’t enough room for our animals.”
Joel Fisher, a Garden executive vice president, explained that “there is building in the space” under the garden normally occupied by animals and circus props. And if the construction isn’t completed, Ringling could be exiled from the Garden for a second year. “We have to see what space will be available, and what’s possible,” Mr. Fisher said. He declined to estimate how much the Garden would lose in circus revenues. So did Mr. Feld, who said that “we might lose business this year, but we’ll be coming back to a better, transformed Garden where business will go up dramatically,” he said.

The springtime Garden circus run was not only a decadeslong institution, but also marked what the circus considered the traditional opening night for each year’s new show after it wended its way north following its January unveiling in Florida. Until the 2008 recession guests in tuxedos and formal dress were invited to the Garden opening night to mingle with circus performers at a catered party. This continued the decadeslong tradition of top hats, claw-hammer coats and Champagne libations in the old Garden.

The new show, the 141st edition of the circus, will be called “The Greatest Show on Earth, Fully Charged!” The circus has scheduled a week of performances at the Prudential Center in Newark, from Feb. 23 to 27, two weeks at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J., from March 2 to 13, and a week at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., from March 16 to 21. “It’s just a 15-minute train ride from Manhattan to the Newark arena,” Mr. Feld said.

The multiphase renovation at the 42-year-old Garden began in 2009 and is not expected to be completed until 2013. It will include refurbished and reconfigured seats and V.I.P. suites, new locker rooms and dressing rooms for performers, upgraded public areas, a new Seventh Avenue lobby and pedestrian bridges spanning the arena.

Ringling’s Garden tenure has been longer than 80 years. According to the circus the combined Ringling show (aggregated from the circuses of the brothers Ringling as well as P.T. Barnum and James Anthony Bailey) first played at an arena named Madison Square Garden on March 29, 1919. That was, as Garden aficionados know, the second Madison Square Garden.

The circus played in the third Madison Square Garden until 1928, according to Ringling, and then, after a two-year hiatus the show played at the Garden from 1931 to 1967. Then the Ringling show played every year until last March at the new Madison Square Garden on Seventh Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets – the fourth incarnation of the facility – after the arena’s opening in 1968.

“A Jaw Dropping Winter Wonderland”

Atlantic City Weekly

Ornaments come to life when CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE costumed characters perform astonishing feats that celebrate the holiday season with spectacle, imagination and whimsical dreams.

Marvel at gingerbread men flipping through the air, toy soldiers skillfully marching on thin wires, snowmen daringly balancing, icemen sculpting powerfully, penguins spinning, puppets caroling and reindeer soaring high above a landscape of holiday wonderment. An original musical score with some holiday favorites combined with dazzling costumes and a sparkling stage set makes CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE the perfect gift of entertainment for the entire family.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze
Nov 30, 2010 - Dec 05, 2010 Atlanta, GA - Cobb Center
Nov 30, 2010 - Dec 01, 2010 Bloomington, IN - Indiana University Auditorium
Dec 03, 2010 - Dec 05, 2010 New Brunswick, NJ - State Theatre
Dec 07, 2010 - Dec 09, 2010 Waterbury, CT - Palace Theatre
Dec 07, 2010 - Dec 12, 2010 Washington, DC - Kennedy Center
Dec 10, 2010 - Dec 12, 2010 BUffalo, NY - Shea's Performing Arts Center
Dec 14, 2010 - Dec 15, 2010 Sarasota, FL - Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Dec 14, 2010 - Dec 19, 2010 Cleveland, OH - Palace Theatre
Dec 17, 2010 - Dec 19, 2010 Tampa, FL - David A. Straz Jr. Center / TBPAC Dec 21, 2010 - Dec 29, 2010 St. Louis, MO - Fox Theatre
Dec 21, 2010 - Dec 26, 2010 Pittsburgh, PA - Heinz Hall »
Dec 29, 2010 - Jan 02, 2011 Sacramento, CA - Community Center Theatre

Cirque Holidaze 2009 Tour

Life's a never-ending circus for Cirque ring leader Guy Laliberte

Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES - A few days ago in Los Angeles, a smooth-scalped man in a black leather jacket, jeans and sneakers got a red-carpet treatment that royalty might envy.

Not one, but two, L.A. City Council members took turns gushing over him. His fellow countryman, the director James Cameron, praised the honoree as a theatrical magus who conjures "living dreams," populated with aerialists, acrobats and clowns that are actually amusing. Then, as a beaming Hollywood Chamber of Commerce representative looked on, Guy Laliberte, the press-shy billionaire founder and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, stepped forward to unveil his and Cirque's shiny new star, the 2,424th on the Walk of Fame.

The VIP theatrics were telling. On July 21, the Montreal-based Cirque will pull the drapes off its latest high-flying extravaganza, the Hollywood-themed "Iris." The new show has a 10-year contract to perform at the Kodak Theatre, which annually hosts the Academy Awards ceremony but has had trouble filling its cavernous 3,400-seat enclosure year-round.

Read more:

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Illucinator, DaVinci to star in upcoming circus production

Illuscinator, David DaVinci performing the squisher.
(Photo provided )
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Lecia Forester , Daily Dunklin Democrat

Master illusionist David DaVinci has made a name for himself as a top-notch entertainer and world class magician.
He has only been with Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus for a year and a half, but when he came to the "Greatest Show on Earth" he'd already completed two world tours with sold out performances in over 20 countries. DaVinci has also appeared in numerous television programs and holds several Guinness World Records.

DaVinci's manager, who used to be a clown, knew the owners of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus, When he found out that they wanted to build a whole show around magic, he got in touch with the Felds of Feld Entertainment and arranged a private showcase. DaVinci performed before a total of four people and was offered a job on the spot, The next day, the contracts were sent to him.

DaVinci began his magic career at an early age. When asked how he became involved in the craft, he said, "My brother got a magic kit for Christmas and he stuck it in the closet, and I was about six years old when I started learning tricks and by the fifth grade I did my first show. Everytime I would do one show, I'd get two more out of it and then I'd get four more." He added how doing magic kept evolving and when he got into high school, he was making good money at it, performing at elementary schools and private parties receiving anywhere from $500 to $2500.

Comedy pet theater in Modesto

Dec 03, 2010 (The Modesto Bee - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --

If it weren't for Gregory Popovich, dozens of pets could have had an early death.

He rescues cats and dogs from animal shelters and puts them in his traveling "Comedy Pet Theater" show, which is coming to the State Theatre in Modesto on Thursday.

The show came to the Turlock Community Theatre in March. Popovich and the talented animals also have appeared on "The Late Show with David Letterman," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and Animal Planet.

"We show how smart they are, how talented they are," Popovich said. "We nickname our show 'Second Chance.' " About 30 pets will dance, fly through the air, balance on a ladder and learn math and geography lessons in "school." Popovich said he watches the pets at his house and builds tricks around their natural abilities and habits.

"I don't push them to go against their nature," he said.

The 90-minute show also includes variety acts from the Moscow Circus and lots of European-style physical comedy. There will be acrobats, juggling and balancing acts.
Popovich grew up in a family of Russian circus performers and performed with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus before starting his own act. Because his mother was a pet trainer, he found it natural to work with animals.

"For me, it was easy to communicate with pets -- easier than communicating with humans," he said.

He uses his shows in California to promote the state's Pet Lovers license plate. Proceeds from sales of the license plate are distributed to cities and counties for free and low-cost spay/neuter programs.

In Modesto, he also is partnering with the Humane Society of Stanislaus County, which will bring shelter animals to the lobby of the State Theatre.

He thinks the performance will offer something for everybody.

Las Vegas Comedy Show Brian Hoffman's~Remembering Red! a Tribute to Red Skelton Show

Marionville goes nuts over white squirrels

A white squirrel in Marionville. People leave birdhouse-like boxes and cobs of corn out in hopes of catching a fleeting glimpse of these unique creatures. The white squirrel population has varied over the years. (Bob Linder / News-Leader)Everett Kennell • News-Leader • December 5, 2010
Springfield, MO
Branson may have music shows and Springfield may have the Bass Pro mother store, but around here, only Marionville has white squirrels.

Nobody's sure how Marionville's colony of white squirrels got started. They are believed to have been around since the town was incorporated in 1854.
A popular tale links the white rodents to a circus that was passing through town. Jim Smart doesn't buy it.
"Some people say they got away from a traveling circus. There were no traveling circuses here then," he said.
Smart, a lifelong local resident, keeps tabs on white squirrels in the community and looks after those on his property.
He and his wife, Carrell, have lived in their home since 1958. It was a few years after that when they looked out the window and saw a lone white squirrel.
"We saw one white squirrel on the gas tank and said it would be neat to have a lot of them," he said.
Things took off from there.
The local Lions Club began building den boxes -- more then 500 were eventually built. Gray squirrels were moved to other locations. Nut-bearing trees were planted.
The Lions Club sold white squirrel T-shirts and souvenirs as fundraisers for its benefit projects.
A local ordinance prohibits harming or trapping white squirrels, Smart said, although he can't recall anyone ever being charged.
read more at: