2014 Convention



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Big Apple Circus will return to Bridgewater

Published: Monday, December 26, 2011 By The Messenger-Gazette The Somerset Reporter For its 34th Season the Big Apple Circus dares you to Dream Big. It’s an All–New Show, where the World’s Greatest Circus artists are presented under an intimate Big Top, and no seat is more than 50 feet from the ring. The Big Apple Circus presents Dream Big in its annual Bridgewater engagement at TD Bank Ballpark from Saturday, March 3, 2012, through Sunday, March 18, 2012.
A juggler with a suit to fit his sweet feats of fancy handiwork. A mechanical doll who comes alive in a sinuous balancing act. Spirited horses, frolicsome dogs, and a capybara and porcupine to perk up the sawdust party. Audacious acrobats who astound with athletic grace. Comical conjurors with magical moments of grand illusion. Dreams will inspire a Big Apple Circus of living thrills and marvelous delight — a celebration of the imagination — an astonishing circus world of wonder.
After creating world renowned opera and musical productions in North America and Europe, the designer/director team of André Barbe and Renaud Doucet joins the Big Apple Circus to create another whimsical show. Multi-talented Guy Simard, with over 350 production credits in lighting, as theatre consultant or technical director, returns as lighting designer. Four-time winner of the MAC Award for Technical Direction, JP Perreaux returns to the circus as sound designer. Joining the Big Apple Circus as composer is mathias rüegg, founder of the Vienna Art Orchestra where he wrote over 350 compositions and arrangements. Music Director Rob Slowik leads the Big Apple Circus Band.
Performances of Dream Big begin Saturday, March 3 and run for 25 shows through Sunday, March 18, under the Big Top at TD Bank Ballpark, home of the Somerset Patriots (off Route 287 in Bridgewater), the third stop on the Big Apple Circus’s tour, following its world premiere engagement in the Washington, D.C. metro area and annual season at Lincoln Center, NYC. Tickets for Dream Big range in price from $15 to $50. Tickets are available by calling 888-541-3750 or at The Circus Box Office opens Feb. 28 in front of the Big Top at TD Bank Ballpark; hours are: Wed–Fri: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sat–Tues: 10 a.m. –6 p.m. The Big Top is heated in cold weather for all–season comfort. For inquiries about wheelchair–accessible seating or for any additional information please call the Ticket Info Line at 800-922-3772.
For 34 years the Big Apple Circus, New York’s original one-ring circus, has been delighting audiences of all ages under its Big Top by presenting the finest in live family entertainment featuring world-class circus artistry. Experience the instant connection between audience and artist as your family sits less than 50 feet from the ring. The Big Apple Circus is a not-for-profit performing arts and outreach institution committed to invigorating the communities we serve with the joy and wonder of classical circus.

New circus opens in Shymkent


Dec 26, 2011

New circus opens in Shymkent


Dec 26, 2011

Kazakhstan--A circus has been built in Shymkent as a gift to its residents for the anniversary of Independence and the New Year holiday. It is the fourth circus in the country. The legendary Yuri Nikulin Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard performed the first show in the new building. One thousand two hundred seats were sold out in just a few hours. Air acrobats and trained animals took both adult and children’s breath away.
Artur Voyan, Shymkent Resident«The monkeys were riding horses and the bikes were great!»
Valentina Voyan, Shymkent Resident«Everything is great. The circus is beautiful. It’s a good present for Shymkent indeed.»
The circus was built in just a year and more than one billion tenge was allocated from the regional budget. The Moscow Circus professionals highly praised the quality of the new building.
Shymkent acrobats performed in this ring for the first time as well. The youngest performer of dangerous stunts is only five years old. There will be no problems with personnel in the new circus, experts say.
Kuliya Aidarbekova, Head, South Kazakhstan Region Department of Culture«There is a circus troupe at the Philharmonic Hall. It is well-known in the area. A circus without clowns and jugglers is not a circus so we don’t have any problems with this genre.»

Complaint against Jumbo Circus at Manimajra


December 27, 2011

An animal protection group has filed a complaint against Jumbo Circus at Manimajra. The group has alleged that the circus management is abusing the animals.
A member of International Organisation for Animal Protection has accused the management of Jumbo circus of abusing the animals by compelling them to perform, saying that the registration of all performing animals has been suspended by the Animal Welfare Board of India. Complainant Naresh Kadyan has written a letter to the Chandigarh Administration requesting them to confiscate the animals and issue directions to Manimajra SHO to take action against the offenders.
However, the circus management said that the allegations were baseless.
The Manimajra police said the complaint of Naresh Kadyan has been forwarded to senior police officials and that action would be taken according to their orders.
Whether Naresh Kadyan’s accusation holds weight, will be clear only after the probe.


Uploaded by broojohn on Jun 30, 2008

Richard Whitmarsh conducts The South Shore Circus Concert Band before the show at the Kelly-Miller Circus in Berkley, Massachusetts, on June 25, 2008.
For more information on traditional circus music visit
Funds still needed to get lion to DeKalb County

Tigers for Tomorrow, Kazuma

Kazuma, a former circus lion living in Guatemala, needs help being moved to his new home at Tigers for Tomorrow in Collinsville.

from: DeKalb County, GA Times-Journal

Lindsay Slater Times-Journal

Monday, December 26, 2011

COLLINSVILLE - Tigers for Tomorrow needs one final push from DeKalb Countians to help bring Kazuma, the lion, to his new home at Untamed Mountain.
Executive Director Susan Steffens said less than $15,000 is still needed to be able to get the lion here.
"Tigers for Tomorrow has been issued a matching challenge grant from the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation for $5,000 to be matched by supporters," Steffens said. "Mr. Benjamin has come to the aid of Tigers for Tomorrow before, in February 2010, with a matching grant to help get four tigers and a black bear to the preserve. Mr. Benjamin is an internationally recognized educator, corporate leader, philanthropist and animal rights activist. This gift is part of his Christmas Miracles giving campaign."
Steffens said Crossville Elementary students have also helped by taking on Kazuma as their mascot, when he arrives, and students have raised $1,200 toward the lion's rescue.
Steffens said a team will head to Kazuma's current home at the Aurora Zoo in Guatemala after the first of the year.
"The transport team is scheduled to leave the U.S. on Jan. 3 to transport Kazuma back to Atlanta on Jan. 5," Steffens said.
But, the challenge grant needs to be matched by Friday.
"The Challenge grant will need to be matched by Dec. 30," Steffens said. "We can make this happen."
Kazuma was once used in a circus act in Antigua, Guatemala. According to Steffens, the lion was living in a small cage and in "very bad conditions."
"The circus was given notification they had to improve the lion's conditions or they would be prosecuted," she said.
To make a donation to bring Kazuma to Untamed Mountain, log on to and follow the directions for submitting a donation via PayPal or send a check with "Kazuma" in the memo line to 708 County Road 345, Attalla, AL 35954.
For more information, visit or call 256-524-4150.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Denzil McLaren

Posted by Picasa
McLaren Circus ringmaster with his latest protege Tanaka Whata ,9, who is son of well-known midget clown, Little Alec.
From: Denzil McLaren
McLaren Bros. Circus, South Africa

Posted by Picasa

Duo Artemiev Trapèze Le Plus Grand Cabaret Du Monde

halittoprak on Dec 18, 2011
Winter Wonderland

18th November 2011 until 3rd January 2012
Kinzel reflects on wild ride

Cedar Fair CEO about to exit after 39 years

Dick Kinzel reflects on the changes during his tenure, when Cedar Point grew from a two-park operation with revenues of $100 million into a conglomerate with 11 amusement parks, seven water parks, and five hotels. THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT


From: The Toledo Blade12/25/2011

SANDUSKY -- As he walked the vacant midway of Cedar Point amusement park one day last week, a blustery and cold wind off Lake Erie swirling about him, Dick Kinzel suddenly turned and pointed to a boarded-up fast-food stand.
"See that place?" he said, staring at the two-story "Walking Tacos" stand. "That used to be my first office there up on the second floor. Things sure have changed."
For Cedar Point, its parent firm, Cedar Fair LP, and especially for Mr. Kinzel, things will change again in a very large way on Jan. 3 when the 71-year-old chief executive officer retires after 39 years with the Sandusky-based amusement park company -- 25 years as its top executive.
The former Toledoan, who was a vice president with the company and general manager of its Valleyfair park in Minneapolis from 1978 to to 1986, is among a handful of men to run the amusement park chain since its founding as Cedar Point amusement center in 1906.
But it was under Mr. Kinzel's stewardship, beginning when he became chief executive officer in 1986, that Cedar Point grew from a two-park mom-and-pop operation with revenues of $100 million into the current Cedar Fair LP conglomerate of 11 amusement parks, seven water parks and five hotels, which had revenues of $1.01 billion in 2010.
Last week, Mr. Kinzel, who lives on the Cedar Point island within walking distance of the amusement park, reflected on some of his triumphs and missteps, his best and most disappointing moments, and his impressions on the company and his industry over his almost 40 years at northwest Ohio's premiere entertainment destination.
Mr. Kinzel, who remains a ball of energy, said he'll most miss walking around Cedar Point on a crowded day and interacting with customers.
"It's been a way of life for a lot of years and I'm going to miss it, there's no doubt about it," he said. "I'll miss just coming in and walking the parks and being with the people, walking the park with [park general manager] John Hildebrandt or the general managers, and talking about what can we do to make them better."read more at:

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Santa Visits Ringling Bros. Winter Quarters Rehearsals

Uploaded by ringlingbros on Dec 24, 2011
Watch and see the special guest that stopped by Ringling Bros. Winter Quarters in Tampa, FL for Christmas
Ringling Bros. Presents DRAGONS - Meet Alexander Lacey, Lion & Tiger Presenter

Uploaded by ringlingbros on Dec 24, 2011
Meet Alexander Lacey and his mixed lion & tigers act seen at Ringling Bros. Presents DRAGONS!

Remembering Merseyside 1950s circus glamour girl Joan Fowles

Dec 24 2011 by William Leece, Liverpool Echo
William Leece discovers the life of circus glamour girl Joan Fowles
IN the cold, cheerless and austere years after the Second World War, Joan Fowles was the Liverpool glamour girl who brought colour, warmth and romance.
Countless youngsters have dreamed of giving up their ordinary life and joining the romantic world of the travelling circus. Joan was the one who stopped dreaming and went out and did it.
When she married in the 1950s, the crowds turned to line the streets as if she were royalty.
It was Liverpool-born Brenda Gilligan, now a solicitor in Lincolnshire, who asked if the ECHO could dig something up on Joan’s history. She had found a reference in an old book of the circus, and was intrigued to discover that Joan, like her, was from Old Swan.
Her first thought would have been to ask her parents. “You know what Liverpudlians are like for knowing each others business,” she said, “but my dad died last September and my mum this June, so I can't.”
In fact Joan Fowles had been brought up in Leinster Road in Old Swan, and had first joined Bertram Mills Circus as a ticket girl and dancer. But she was determined to do more in the ring, and persuaded the ringmaster to give her a try-out riding horses.


Fun of the circus lands at Manston

The airport welcomes a new carrier with an special cargo

Ed Hill


Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Singapore Airlines freight plane has landed at Manston Airport with 82 tonnes of stage equipment for the Cirque du Soleil.
The Boeing 747-400 was on a special charter flight from San Francisco.
Once unloaded the consignment will go to the Royal Albert Hall, which will be the UK home for Cirque du Soleil’s latest show. The circus spectacular involves trademark aerial high bar, contortion, fire-knife dance, hand balancing and synchronised trapeze acts.
The Singapore Airline’s 747 was joined by a Cargolux 747 which also flew in from San Francisco carrying a further 69 tonnes of Cirque du Soleil equipment.
Charles Buchanan, chief executive of Manston, said: “The arrival of this major cargo consignment for such an important and world famous customer will not have gone unnoticed by other music and major event organisers and the freight industry as a whole.”
Allan McQuarrie, Manston’s manager for freight development, added: “Welcoming such a global player as Singapore Airlines to Manston for the first time bodes well for future freight traffic. Increasingly airlines, and their freight customers, are looking for airports that are able to quickly and efficiently handle complex consignments.”
After unloading the staging and equipment, 72 tonnes of general cargo was loaded on to the jumbo jet for export to Singapore.
The charters were arranged by Rock-it Cargo, an international freight forwarding company specialising in major entertainment and live events, especially freight moves that are time sensitive, fragile and complicated. As well as Cirque du Soleil, Rock-it Cargo’s customers include Madonna, The Police and The PGA Golf more at:
Internationally-renowned circus Les 7 doigts de la main coming to Sherbrooke in 2012

December 22, 2011

By Evan LePage

From: Sherbrooke, Quebec, Record

A new roof to be built over the Nikitotek stage will not go unused next summer, as Destination Sherbrooke announced Wednesday that internationally renowned circus company Les 7 doigts de la main would be taking over the venue of the failed Omaterra show for 12 dates in 2012.“Clearly, the notoriety of this circus troop, which has given performances in 25 countries and has seen success well beyond our borders permits us to be comfortable and to position this touristic production [...] here in Sherbrooke,” said Dany Lachance, Bernard Chaput’s recent replacement as president of Destination Sherbrooke.“Our job at Destination Sherbrooke is to try and make Sherbrooke shine. We built a structure with the Nikitotek stage, and we are convinced that the show we will put on for 12 dates next summer will be a success.”
Lone Star Circus' Cirque Banquisté! offers holiday fun more here:

Friday, Dec. 23, 2011

If you're looking for a way to celebrate or entertain visiting relatives and your kids after Christmas, you'll find an entertaining circus production in town at Dallas Children's Theater. Dallas-based Lone Star Circus presents Cirque Banquisté!, celebrating the end of 2011 and the arrival of the new year with six spectacular productions, featuring artists from around the world, as well as some talent from Dallas. You'll see dazzling bejeweled costumes, acrobats, aerialists, hand balancers, jugglers and clowns. You won't want to miss the award-winning trick roping of "The Bronx Cowboy," AJ Silver, or Dallas talent Raphaele Daubois and her twirling hoops.

Earl Butler, 69

Friday, December 23, 2011

From Austin, Minnesota Daily Herald

Earl “Butch” Butler, 69, of Campbell, Calif., formerly of Austin, Minn., died Dec. 21, 2011, at Kaiser Santa Clara Medical Center in Santa Clara, Calif.
He was born Sept. 27, 1942, in Austin, to George and Evelyn (Fairchild) Butler. Earl graduated Austin High School, where he played on the varsity basketball team. Butler later attended Austin Community College and majored in business administration and continued his basketball career. He married Mary Lou Pinke at Grace Lutheran Church on Nov. 25, 1961, in Austin, Minn.
Earl Butler, with his parents, founded Butler Amusements, Inc. in 1970. Through his unbelievable charisma and compassion, his company became the largest carnival on the West Coast. He served as President and CEO of his family owned and operated business which provides the carnival for 34 fairs and more than 80 events and festivals operating more than 140 rides. Through his ambition and uncanny ability to create a tight-knit culture and family atmosphere, he created a legacy that will carry on for generations.
His creativity and innovative skills made him one of the most respected carnival industry leaders in the nation. He was honored to be inducted into the Western Fairs Hall of Fame at the association’s 2005 convention in recognition of his outstanding service to the industry and the countless fairs where he provided the carnival. He was one of the strongest voices in promoting improved carnival ride safety and game legislation in California. He served in many leadership capacities, including president of the Showfolks of America, Showmen’s League of America, and Pacific Coast Showmen’s League, Service Member Director of the Western Fairs Association, member of the Board of Directors for Preferred Amusement Risk and chairman of its Loss Prevention Committee.
Earl was an avid sports fan, basketball being his favorite. It taught him the meaning of teamwork and a winning, competitive attitude. Only second to his devotion to his family was his love for charity work. Earl was responsible for thousands of fundraising carnivals, was the leader in funding numerous public and private academic scholarship programs, donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to local 4-H organizations and many other charitable endeavors, too numerous to name
Earl Butler is survived by daughters, Tami Quint, Los Banos, Calif., Kelley Butler, Stevinson, Calif., Kris Brajevich, San Jose, Jill Moyer, Morgan Hill, Calif., and his son, Sean Butler-Murphy, Campbell, Calif.; 12 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his parents, George and Evelyn Butler and his daughter, Teri Sue.
Funeral service will be 1 p.m. Jan. 3, 2012, at St. Christopher’s Church, 1576 Curtner Ave., San Jose, Calif. 95125. Visitation will be from noon to 5 p.m. Jan. 2, 2012 at Oak Hills Funeral Home, 300 Curtner Ave., San Jose.
A legacy at the carnival

Top: Ron Quint, Kyle Quint, Kelley Butler, Gena Tuttle, Tami Quint, Mary Lou Rhodes, Michelle Brajevich, Kristopher Moyer, Brittany Martinez, Amanda Cleary. Middle: Earl “Butch” Butler. Front: Kris Brajevich, Nathan Keys- holding Devyn Keys, Jill Moyer, Nolan Moyer.

By Trey Mewes

From: The Austin, Minnesota Daily Herald

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The crowd’s the thing for Earl Butler. Putting smiles on people’s faces was what he lived for. From his roots in Austin working at his father’s grocery store to his ownership of the largest amusement park company on the Western seaboard, Butler wanted to make people happy.
“Butch,” as he was known, won’t be seeing smiles on Earth anymore, however. He passed away last Wednesday, Dec. 21 Kaiser Santa Clara Medical Center in Santa Clara, Calif. He was 69 years old.
“We are so saddened by the loss of our beloved father,” Butler’s family said in a statement. “Those who knew him, loved him and will never forget him. He raised us in an industry that he truly loved and we will carry on the legacy.”
Butler, along with his son Sean and daughters Tami, Kelley, Kris and Jill, helped build Butler Amusements as the premier amusement park company in the western more at:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Circus Vargas returns with aerialists, stunt mototcyclists and more

Circus Vargas, an animal-free circus that features amazing human acts, opens

at the Rio Dec. 25.

By Sonya Padgett


Posted: Dec. 22, 2011

At 17, Katya Arata Quiroga ran away to join the circus.
She left behind the stable home life her grandmother had provided since she was a baby in favor of the erratic life of a nomad.
She couldn't help it. Quiroga has seven generations of circus blood running through her veins. Not even a "normal" upbringing could filter that out.
"The circus is a very strong family tradition," says Quiroga's husband, Nelson. He is a fourth-generation performer. "It's very hard to stay away. For us, we just have it in our blood. Even now, we know we're staying in one place for a couple of weeks and then we're off again. It's all about the moving, the traveling, meeting different people and experiencing different cultures. Circus life gives you so much."

Among the performers featured in Circus Vargas are aerialists, clowns, hula hoop artists, stunt motorcyclists and other unusual talents. The Quirogas, who live in Las Vegas, will be in town for more than two weeks; the couple has to open their traveling circus troupe, Circus Vargas, at the Rio on Christmas Day. It runs through Jan. 1 and then shifts to the Galleria at Sunset mall in Henderson for a six-day run on Jan. 4.
After that, who knows? They may take a short break before heading out again.
This is the second year Circus Vargas will appear in Las Vegas with its animal-free show. More than 20 acts will be featured under the big top, including aerialists, trapeze artists, clowns and stunt motorcyclists.
"It's a unique spin on a traditional circus," Katya Quiroga says.
A story is weaved throughout the show to keep audience members feeling connected. Children and adults from the audience will be brought into some acts, too. Those who arrive 30 minutes before the show will get to learn circus skills.

Nelson and Katya Quiroga bought Circus Vargas in 2006 under their trapeze act name, Tabares. He manages the show, but she still performs. Courtesy Photo
"We really want people to feel part of it," she adds.
That idea, to keep the audience not only engaged but incorporate it into the show, was inspired by the couple's three daughters. Nelson Quiroga says he knows, from personal experience, that you have to give kids an enriched experience in order for them to enjoy something.
"The circus has changed a lot in the past 50 years. It's still changing," Nelson Quiroga says. "And we have to change with times, as well."
Nelson Quiroga, 44, and his wife bought Circus Vargas in 2006 under their trapeze act name, Tabares. Nelson retired from flying last year and now manages most of the show. Owning his own circus is like the American dream, he says.READ MORE ATl

Fla. foster kids get free trip to circus

The Associated Press


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida foster kids are going to see the greatest show on earth.The Florida Department of Children and Families has partnered with the owners of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus to allow 250 foster and adopted children across the state to see the show for free.Foster and adoptive parents will be able to take their children to see the show as it travels around the state in December and January. Child advocate Jack Levine was instrumental in negotiating the free tickets. He is the founder of 4Generations Institute. Read more here:

Bex Bros. Circus at Penobscot Marine Museum

Les Bex handcarved this well-observed acrobatic elephant for his Bex Bros. Circus, part of Penobscot Marine Museum's "The Circus Comes to Town" winter exhibition.

The Big Top on a small scale

By Dagney C. Ernest Dec 23, 2011

Searsport — Capt. Les Bex is spending time with some old friends this winter, and he is sharing the experience with the Midcoast community. Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport has mounted a multi-media exhibition called "The Circus Comes to Town" and the crown jewel of the exhibit is the Bex Bros. Circus, a display of miniatures Bex has been working on for decades.
The Bex Bros. Circus was a regular feature at the dollhouse shows put on for many years by the Camden Lions Club and it also used to show up at local schools and in shop windows. But 25 years ago, Bex packed most of it away and put it into a storage unit … well, maybe not every piece.
"I've had bits and pieces out, but not the whole thing … even now, this is probably half of it," he said on a recent day at the Camden Snow Bowl, where he has served on the ski patrol for 17 years and is waiting for the ski season to begin.

"Trust", a painting by Alan Fishman, is on loan for "The Circus is in town"

But early last spring, Bex showed photos of his circus at the Owls Head Transportation Museum's Midcoast Model Festival. Ben Fuller, curator at Penobscot Marine, saw them and suggested the Bex Bros. Circus might make for a wonderful off-season display at the Searsport museum.
"I hesitated for a long time, but they talked me into it," said Bex, who for many years has run a seasonal day-trip business aboard the Betselma, a classic wooden scallop dragger that sails out of Camden Harbor.
When Bex, Fuller and museum volunteer John Eastman went to the storage facility, they found boxes and boxes of figurines and set pieces. Bex said the figurines are a combination of Britains Zoo people and animals, plastic toys and wooden carvings. He said he finds them at train shows, Goodwill, the Salvation Army store and yard sales. He often repaints them, and many end up playing other roles than those they were created for.

"I take 'em and make 'em do what I want. The guys who are tightening up the stake lines used to be Civil War soldiers. I broke up a marching band for the musicians, and the waiters in the dining tent used to be women," he said.
Bex has carved many a horse and elephant from wood during the winters, on the boat and as he sat on the Camden dock waiting for customers.
"People would come up and offer to buy them, but I said no, they're not for sale," said Bex.
Bex has a soft spot for elephants — he remembers the Robert Bros. pachyderm by name because "I knew her when she was just a punk" — and he is a proponent of the somewhat controversial Hope Elephant project that plans to bring a retired circus elephant to the Midcoast for physical therapy.

Capt. Les Bex (Photo by: Dagney C. Ernest)

"I think Jim Laurita's got a great idea and it's good for the elephants. The opposition's arguments are 70 years old and unfounded," he more at:
“Zippos Christmas Circus, for all the family, takes you on a global adventure as we celebrate an international "Merry Christmas" with performers from all over the globe.From Mongolia (where a white Christmas is guaranteed!) to a sunshine Christmas in Kenya, from a German "Frôliche Weinachten" to an Argentinian "Feliz Navidad" our contortionists, trapeze artistes, acrobats, jugglers and clowns bring you a fun-filled taste of a Circus Christmas From Around The World!
Roll up! Roll up! Family-favourite, Zippos Circus, will appear at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland with a special all human festive circus show.

Join Father Christmas in this ‘bite size’ 50 minute show as he opens up a magical Christmas toy box to reveal a line-up of thrilling and colourful circus stars.
Performances last 50 minsShowtimes 11am, 12.30. 2pm, 3.30 and 5pm most days”

Thursday, December 22, 2011





Book's photos tip hat to the Roberts Stadium's final circus performances

Final Shrine show at Roberts documented

Photo by Bob Gwaltney, Joseph Bauer loses contact with the "Bauer Space Wheel" during the 77th Annual Hadi Shrine Circus in 2010. This is one of the photographs in the book by Bob Gwaltney. Bauer also was the ringmaster and equestrian director for the 77th Annual Hadi Shrine Circus.
By Roger McBain

Evansville Courier & Press

December 22, 2011

Before he ever thought of creating a book, personal reasons led Bob Gwaltney to photograph the final Hadi Shrine Circus performances in Roberts Stadium.
The veteran Evansville photographer's color, 80-page book, "Hadi Shrine Circus: The Last Shows at Roberts Stadium 2010" almost sounds like an afterthought, the way Gwaltney tells the story.
"I remember going to the circus at the Coliseum (in 1956), the year before it moved to the stadium," he said. "Growing up in Evansville, the circus was a family tradition. My father, Bob Sr., and my grandfather, Earl Lacer, were both Shriners. My grandfather also was on the circus committee in the early '60s."
He didn't know what he'd do with the images. "I just took those pictures because I wanted to document the circus at Roberts Stadium," he said, the last year before it moved to the new Ford Center.

photograph by Bob Gwaltney The three sisters of "The Flying Redpaths" climb to the top of the circus in the dark during the 77th Annual Hadi Shrine Circus in 2010. This is one of the circus photographs in a book by Bob Gwaltney documenting the last time the show was held at the stadium.

The idea for a book came after a photography workshop about online "publish on demand" publications that allow authors, artists and photographers to create and offer for sale everything from poetry books to picture books to wedding albums.
"They talked about how easy and how good these books were," Gwaltney said. And unlike the old "vanity press" publications, the publish-on-demand system meant he wouldn't have to order a minimum number of copies, collect sales tax or run the risk of winding up with "a garage full of books," he said.
Gwaltney chose to publish "Hadi Shrine Circus, The Last Shows in Roberts Stadium 2010," which is now available online.
The 80-page color book documents the final productions in Roberts, from setup to the closing acts and everything in between.

photos by Bob Gwaltney Hadi Shrine Funster Rex "Pokey" Goodman is on the cover of Bob Gwaltney's book documenting the last performances of the circus at Roberts Stadium.

Since 1957, the stadium had been home to the circus and the 77th Annual Hadi Shrine Circus in 2010 was its last show at the stadium. From the roustabouts and vendors to the human and animal acts to the children waving glow-sticks high up in the stadium, the details are captured by Gwaltney's photographs along with the action and the essence of the three-ring circus that played 54 years in Roberts Stadium.
Gwaltney's camera takes viewers into the shadows to watch crew members getting ready for the next act.
It moves up into the stadium's rafters to freeze members of a family trapeze act high above the floor below.
It tails the elephants into the stadium, the tiger trainer into the cage, the dog and pony acts into the ring.READ MORE AT:

Fun Fairs UK Christmas Message 2011

Circus Monoxide has new creative force

Circus Monoxide artistic director Tamara Campbell has big plans to get the Wollongong-based circus touring again. Picture: ADAM McLEAN
22 Dec, 2011
A new artistic director plans to put Wollongong's dormant professional circus company back in business and introduce a HECS-approved "clown college" to the region.Nineteen-year-old Circus Monoxide was once a touring company but wound back its professional work in recent years to focus on teaching children and fledgling performers.
Recently installed artistic director Tamara Campbell, a freelance physical theatre specialist who has performed internationally for the past 15 years, plans to relaunch the company's professional arm, beginning with a performance in Sydney in April.
"In the professional world I think a lot of people stopped thinking about Monoxide as a company," Campbell said.
"What I'd really like to see happen is for us to create world-class, innovative circus - to push circus in a new direction."
Chief among Campbell's ambitions is setting up a HECS-approved professional training program in 2013.
The year-long course would be modelled on California's Dell'Arte International, which offers a Masters of Fine Arts in ensemble-based physical theatre and is a magnet for ambitious circus and physical theatre performers from across the globe.
In 2006, one-third of the clowns touring with Cirque du Soleil were graduates.
Campbell, also a graduate, believes large numbers of Australian and international performers would attend a similar school in the Illawarra.
"NSW is not one of the states known for its circus, [like] Victoria with Circus Oz or Queensland's Circa," she said.
"[A professional training program] would bring in people from out of state and even overseas to train. With it we would become the NSW centre for circus arts, maybe even for performing arts."
Circus Monoxide was created almost 20 years ago by theatre-media graduates from Bathurst's Charles Sturt University.
Its former artistic director Jane Davis remains with the company and will continue working on its Half High Circus School.
Campbell is best known in the Illawarra as alter ego Shirlee Sunflower, who MC'd last year's Viva la Gong arts festival.
Ringling Bros Revealed: The Greatest Show On Earth


Uploaded by kantercompany on Jan 27, 2009
The circus is coming to town: magic words to anyone who has ever dreamed of running away to a life of adventure. Now, The Kanter Company runs away with the circus for real, for a one hour special on the Travel Channel. For the first time, Ringling Bros. ® and Barnum & Bailey invite us inside The Greatest Show On Earth® to experience circus life as we've never seen it before. It's been called the great get-away of the imagination, and it's the longest running hit in show business history. Come with us to Houston, Texas, behind the scenes for the secrets of the world's most famous circus artists, trainers, and managers on RINGLING BROS. REVEALED: THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH®
Cuban Duet to Circus Festival in Rome

Havana, Dec 21 (Prensa Latina) The female duet Dailis and Daramis, of the National Circus of Cuba (NCC), will perform one of the most spectacular acrobatic shows in the history of circus at the 18th "Gold Circus" International Fest in Rome.
The Golden Circus Festival, more than two decades old, is regarded as the most outstanding not only because of its constant power of renewal but also for its yearly attraction of the most dazzling circus stars.
Rome brings together from Dec. 23rd to Jan. 8, 2012 artists from Italy, Mongolia, North Korea, Ukraina and Cuba, which is participating for the third time.
The Cuban duet is a solid part of the younger generation that has rescued for posterity an act in which Eluvina Chang starred a few decades earlier; it now resurfaces in the form of a duet, says the NCC release.
At the same time, four Cuban youth performing the Russian Bar (which won 1st prize in Circuba and the Popular Award in Grenoble, France, both in 2011) are the main attraction of the Christmas show of Circo Teatro Price in Madrid. The media described their act as an amazing combination of skill with humor and the contagious Cuban music, and praised Cuba's circus Modificado el ( miércoles, 21 de diciembre de 2011 )

Free circus preview at the waterfront on Thursday

by Andrew Abramson

The Ringling Brothers’ Barnum and Bailey Circus, which will be performing at the convention center Dec. 27 – Jan. 1, is giving a free preview at the waterfront Thursday at 7 p.m.
This will be the premiere of the circus’ new show, the Barnum Bash, which features Dimitri the Strongman, the dynamic duo fusion hand balancers, a comedian and DJ.
The most popular, and controversial part of the circus — the performing elephants — will “enjoy a holiday feast on the great lawn” during the waterfront performance.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Most Incredible Christmas Light Show Yet! : Video Clips From The Coolest One

Most Incredible Christmas Light Show Yet! : Video Clips From The Coolest One

from: The Gibbals Digital Collection

Ringling Museum, Sarasota


Uploaded by zamperlarides on Feb 10, 2010
Antonio Zamperla S.p.A. in cooperation with Soriani S.r.l. is proud to present Giant Discovery 40, a new version of a popular spin & swing flat ride.
Black Widow pendulum swing debuting at Kennywood in 2012

By Brady MacDonald

Los Angeles Times staff writer

December 18, 2011

The new Black Widow pendulum swing coming to Kennywood in 2012 will fling riders through the air like pint-size passengers on an enormous spinning Frisbee.
The 90-foot-tall thrill ride is set to debut May 17 with opening of the West Mifflin, Pa., theme park for the summer season.
Riders will sit in 40 outward facing coaster-style seats as a counterclockwise-spinning circular gondola swings back and forth in a pendulum motion. At the ride's peak, the pendulum arm will reach 146 feet in the air at a 120-degree angle.
With their feet dangling, riders secured by over-the-shoulder restraints will experience upside-down inversions and moments of weightlessness as the rotating gondola whips toward the ground at nearly 70 mph.
Black Widow replaces Pitt Fall in the Lost Kennywood section of the park. Crews began dismantling the 1997 drop tower in early December.
I visited the Pennsylvania park during my road trip across America's Coaster Belt this summer and fell in love with Lost Kennywood, which features modern versions of classic amusement rides such as shoot-the-chutes and the wave swing as well as the park's 1918 more at:,0,5837320.story

Fir Real? Christmas Trees in Crisis

From The Wall Street Journal 12/16/2011

The Christmas tree industry is in turmoil, with sales of live trees trending down for 20 years, while artificial tree sales have risen. Valerie Bauerlein has details on The News Hub. Photo: Getty Images

Austin at Work: John Hanschen runs The Mighty Thomas Carnival

John Hanschen got into the carnival business in 1976. He owns the Mighty Thomas Carnival that spends winters in Cedar Creek.


from: The Austin American-Statesman

Friday, Dec. 16, 2011

CEDAR CREEK,TEXAS — John Hanschen, owner of the Mighty Thomas Carnival, is hunkered down for the winter. In a warm office trailer, he's pondering early February, when he will hit the road again. Laredo's Presidents Day celebration will be his first stop. In all, he'll visit 40 cities in 10 states, setting up his carnival to the delight of families looking to get on the Super Shot free-fall ride or perhaps eat a corn dog that just seems to taste better because it's cooked at the midway.
"I miss the lights, the noise, the smells of the midway," he said.
But for now, on several acres on Texas 21, his 40 carnival rides are secured to the beds of tractor trailers. This doesn't mean he stops working. On the contrary, the three-month lull until carnival season gears up again is a strategic time. He's already attended the Rocky Mountain Association for Fairs in Billings, Mont.; safety training in Orlando, Fla.; and the North and South Dakota Association of Fairs convention in Rapid City, S.D.
"We go for training and see new rides and equipment and meet with clients. These shows are about maintaining relationships and sitting down with customers to talk about things we can do better," said Hanschen, who is in his 36th year in the carnival business.
The Mighty Thomas Carnival is a family affair. Hanschen, 60, is co-owner and full-time operator. Son Mike, 26, who has a business degree from Southwestern University, is a truck driver and handles a lot of the administrative work, such as payroll. Daughter Katherine and son-in-law Brandon Petree run the food operation of the carnival.
Hanschen is thinking about next year and how he can improve the business. "There is artistry in the operation of a carnival. You take a beautifully lit ride with thousands of lights, and you have to position it just right. There is nothing better than sitting in my office and looking out to the midway and seeing families smiling," he said.
The thrill rides that cost between $200,000 to $700,000 are only part of it. It is hard work to load, transport and unload machinery that can weigh several hundred tons. At any event, his caravan of big trucks hauling rides and travel trailers that provide housing for workers arrives a day or two in advance.
"It takes us a day to set up," said Hanschen.
The carnival is self-contained. One big truck carries the generators that provide power to operate the carnival. His annual budget for fuel — trucks and generators — is more than $400,000. read more at:

Rodeo ride where man fell to death won't return in 2012

But carnival operator will be back


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo COO Leroy Shafer stands behind Ray Cammack Shows despite the death of a rider on the Hi Miler roller coaster on March 20.Photo: Johnny Hanson / Houston Chronicle

The Hi Miler roller coaster, from which a Houston man fell to his death at this year's rodeo, will not return in 2012.
But the Arizona company that owns the amusement will be back to run next year's midway of rides and games, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo COO Leroy Shafer confirmed.
The rodeo official lauds the reputation of the coaster's owner, Ray Cammack Shows, but a federal investigative report into the death of Brian Greenhouse faults the company, saying it misrepresented the portable ride's safety record and failed to document or release previously reported malfunctions.

With the Hi Miler roller coaster in the background, Dion Louw, of Ray Cammack Shows, packs up in March. A 47-year-old man died on the ride that month.Photo: Johnny Hanson / Houston Chronicle

If the 47-year-old fell because the safety latch on his seat came loose, it would not be the first time a restraint malfunction was reported to the ride's attendants, carnival officials or rodeo personnel, according to the report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
In an 843-page investigative report, the commission made troubling discoveries about the ride, its safety record and oversight:
In the last two years, there were at least eight reports of restraints moving out of place. A list of previous lap bar complaints provided to federal investigators by Ray Cammack Shows reports only three incidents.
There were four previous reports of restraint malfunctions at the 2011 rodeo, including one the same day Greenhouse fell.
When patrons tried to report lap bar problems, some of the ride attendants didn't seem to understand English.
The ride was dismantled before the federal agency started its probe two days after the fall.
The initial report to Texas amusement regulators reported the fatal fall as an injury - not a death.

A federal probe found previous complaints about the Hi Miler's restraints.Photo: Mayra Beltran / Houston Chronicle The roller coaster's safety became the subject of a Houston-based wrongful death lawsuit after Greenhouse plunged 30 feet to his death on March 20. Greenhouse, an AT&T supervisor and father of a young son, died from multiple impact trauma, including internal head injuries.
His survivors have sued the carnival company and the rodeo, claiming that Greenhouse fell because the seat locking mechanism became unlatched during the ride. The lawsuit also contends that the death was caused by preventable operational and mechanical errors.
"I think it's very telling that while (Ray Cammack Shows) is coming back, they're not bringing the ride back. If their contention is that there's nothing wrong with the ride, then why aren't they bringing it back?" said Tony Taft, one of the lawyers representing Greenhouse's survivors. "To be on notice of a history of problems with this roller coaster and to bring that same outfit back to Houston, it kind of shows little regard for the safety and welfare of the citizens."
Ray Cammack Shows defended the Hi Miler but said returning with the ride would amount to a distraction at this year's more at: