2014 Convention



Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Royal Lichtenstein Circus - 1983 Welcome

The Royal Lichtenstein 1/4 Ring Sidewalk Circus,
under the direction of Nick Weber, performing in California in 1983. This clip is the beginning of the show - welcoming the audience, explaining the rules, and the opening spiels. The cast includes Nick Weber, Jens Larsen, Eric Wilcox, John Hadfield, Dan Trainor and manager Mitch Kincannon.
Vero Beach, Indian River County Fair
March 11 thru March 20, 2011
Come out and Eat Some Food, See A Show, Find The Clown, Check Out The Poultry Exhibit, Look At Rabbits, See Creative Craft Exhibits, View The Baked Goods Exhibit, Agricultural Exhibits, Fine Arts & Photography Exhibits, 4-H Club Exhibits, County Exhibits, Enjoy Music, Watch Wood Carving, Be a Blacksmith, See Commercial Exhibits and Non-Profit Displays, Have A Ride On The Midway, Watch A Magic Show, Be A Firefighter In A Show….But most of all, ENJOY SPENDING TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY

The popular Firefighters' Training Show will be returning to the 32nd Annual Firefighters' Indian River County Fair March 11 through 20 at the Fairgrounds, 7955 58th Ave., Vero Beach

Mulan Chinese State Circus: The Anvil
Friday 11th, March 2011
FROM the land of legends and Shaolin Warriors comes the incredible new Chinese State Circus production, the live action spectacular Mulan.
Mulan – based on the legend of one of China’s greatest heroines – tells the story of a strong-minded country girl who joined the Emperor’s all-male army in place of her father who was too old to fight.
Four spectacular performances will take place this weekend at The Anvil in Basingstoke.
The title role of Mulan is performed by martial arts expert Cao Jing, making her first appearance in the UK.
Her 15 years of Kung Fu training is showcased in a dramatic fight sequence in which she encounters a giant warrior. Cao Jing started learning martial arts when she was only six years old and has won three championship titles.
Witness a breathtaking fusion of precision acrobatics, Shaolin martial arts, dazzling circus skills, colourful characters from Peking Opera, physical theatre and drama choreographed to an original music score.
From gravity-defying gymnastics to the seemingly impossible body manipulations of the hand-balancer; from the leaping, rolling, somersaulting repertoire of the hoops divers to the lavish tradition of the Lion Dance, the undisputed masters of physical theatre will have the audience on the edge of their seats.
This is entertainment for all the family from the world’s leading Chinese acrobats.
Mulan will be performed tomorrow at 4pm and 8pm, and on Sunday at 2pm and 6pm. For more information, call the box office on 01256 844244 or visit

Nevada State Fair ending after 136 years
By Associated Press
Devils Lake Journal
Mar 10, 2011
Devils Lake, ND — RENO, Nev. (AP) — The board of directors for the Nevada State Fair says there won't be one this summer.Board members say budget shortfalls leave them no choice but to bring an end to the fair for the first time in 136 years.Executive director Rich Crombie said in a statement Wednesday that a last-ditch fundraising effort had produced only a fraction of the estimated $250,000 needed to keep the fair from folding up its tent.It means Nevada will join Michigan as the only states in the nation without state fairs.Crombie says they are debt but don't intend to file bankruptcy. He says the hope is to continue to raise money for another state fair in the years ahead. The first Nevada fair was held in 1874.
Vince's Cheesesteaks
You don’t have to wait for summer.
Get the fair foods you crave any time, just down the street.

By Corliss Bachman
March 10, 2011
The Allentown Fair won’t be here for another five months or so, but folks yearning for an authentic taste of the fair should be happy to know that Vince’s Cheesesteaks -- a fixture at the fair for more than 30 years -- is open year-round.
At its permanent location in the Wal-mart Shopping Center between Allentown and Trexlertown, Vince’s serves its characteristic cheesesteaks and Italian sausage sandwiches, as well as virtually every other staple of casual Italian-American cuisine: calzones, strombolis, pizza, subs, hoagies and wings.
The menu also features 10 varieties of specialty French fries, an assortment of homemade pierogies and meal-size salads that include choices such as southwest chicken salad and cheesesteak salad (why not?).
Vince, Sr. opened the business in 1957. It quickly gained popularity and later expanded to several regional fairs, including Allentown, Bloomsburg and the Kutztown Folk Festival. Locals may remember the tiny but bustling double drive-thru operation that Vince, Jr. ran during the 80’s and 90’s at 15th and Allen streets in Allentown.
Now on Mill Creek Road, Vince’s carries on the family tradition and keeps on serving the favorite foods that have earned several awards among festival concessionaires.
Oscar's Amusements Expo Wheel - LED Lighting Package
The Palace of Wonders

The Palace of Wonders Museum!!! Step Into My Parlor...
Vaudeville!! Burlesque!! Fire Breathers!! Sword Swallowers!!
Come visit the Palace of Wonders, a bar in North East D.C. that features the strange and unusual on it's vaudeville stage and sideshow museum.

Circus Fun Comes To Hamburg
March 10, 2011
HAMBURG, Pa. -- A dog looking for a lift got quite a ride at the Rajah Shrine Circus.
This dog and pony show is one of the highlights here at the Hamburg Field House.
There's also a trapeze act and the always popular elephants.
The circus is in town through March 13th.
Circus Smirkus teaches Dover kids the wonders of performing
Monika O'Clair/Democrat photo
Garrison Elementary School students balance feathers as they show their new Circus Smirkus skills to friends and family at the school in Dover Friday night.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
DOVER — Fourth-grader Mikey Linkevitz was still reeling from his performance with devil sticks where he used two sticks to juggle another back and forth and balance it.
"I made up a new trick!" he said excitedly, dubbing it the "breakfast club" because you flip a stick like you're flipping a pancake in a frying pan.
When asked why he wasn't nervous about performing he simply responded, "Because no matter what you do you have to get on out and do what you do."
Which was precisely some of the confidence students at Garrison Elementary School were expected to learn from Rick Davis and Jill Flemming, of Circus Smirkus, a youth circus from Greensboro, Vt.
Through an artist residency program, Davis and Flemming taught the students a weeklong variety of circus arts including plate spinning, devil sticks, feather balancing and juggling.
Friday night, students put all their skills together to present a circus for friends and family, which was put together by the Garrison PTA and Circus more at:

Friday, March 11, 2011


Families: Shrine Circus is coming to town!
The Flying Preciados perform a trapeze act during the Sesostris Shrine Circus at the Pershing Center in 2010. The circus will return to the Capital City for nine performances this month. (ERIN DUERR / Lincoln Journal Star)
March 10, 2011
The 66th annual Sesostris Shrine Circus will return to Pershing Center for nine shows Wednesday through March 20.
Showtimes are 7 p.m. Wednesday; 12:30 and 7 p.m. Thursday through March 19; and 12:30 and 5 p.m. March 20.
Tickets are $14 and $16 and are available at all Ticketmaster locations and the Pershing Center box office. Discount coupons are available at participating U.S. Bank, McDonald's and U-Stop locations.
"Traces" puts amazing circus feats in human perspective

By John Wenzel
The Denver Post, 03/11/2011
"Traces" opts for a more personal approach over the grand spectacle of many nouveau-circus productions. (Bradley Henderson, provided by Denver Center Attractions )Virtuoso displays of physical discipline have become commonplace on stage these days, thanks to the world-class theatrics of Cirque du Soleil and its greasepaint-smeared brethren.
But has this proliferation of pole-jumping, back-flipping, pretzel-limbed performers made us numb to the truly amazing nature of their exploits?
Are all these big-budget, nouveau-circus extravaganzas now just wallpaper for our work conferences in Las Vegas?
If so, "Traces" may be the antidote. The Montreal-based show, which runs today through May 14 at the Stage Theatre at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, closes the gap between audience and performer by injecting visceral notes into the gravity-defying spectacle.
"We're about doing it at the human scale and feeling like the performers on stage are very definite human beings," said Shana Carroll, co-director and choreographer for "Traces." "When you can identify with them, you're more moved when you watch them do these incredible feats. You see them as people with flaws and strengths and everything."
"Traces" takes a much different approach to acrobatic entertainment than most of the fussy, costumed cavalcades marching out of Montreal. It introduces its seven performers by name and allows them to tell real stories from their pasts between the hoop-diving, balancing acts, streetwise dancing and musical numbers.
Read more: "Traces" puts amazing circus feats in human perspective - The Denver Post


March 2011
Dear Dick, Greetings from winterquarters in Hugo, OK. We are busy preparing for our 75th Anniversary Edition of the Carson & Barnes Circus. We are excited about the 2011 show and think you will be also. We hope to see you "down the road." Please forward this Newsletter to anyone you think might like to receive future issues and invite them to "Join our List".
The Miller Family
The premier performance of the 75th Anniversary Edition of the show will be presented in Paris, TX on March 19. Show times will be at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM. We hope everyone that possibly can will be there. As we approach "Opening", visit for more information.
WINTER QUARTERS ACTIVITY ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Activity in winter quarters is always fast paced. This year is no different. We are busy preparing the equipment for the 2011 season as well as providing care for the animals. The routine maintenance and care keeps everyone busy. This year it has been extraordinarily difficult to keep the animals and ourselves warm. The snow has melted and the forecast is calling for warm, dry weather for the next several days. We can now refocus on getting ready to "get on the road".
WELCOME BACK - DAVID RAWLS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
David Rawls, third generation circus, is returning to Carson & Barnes Circus. David ran the concessions for Carson & Barnes Circus for 6 years in the late 70's and Early 80's. Beginning in 1984 he took out Kelly Miller Circus for 25 years beginning in 1984. During his life he has worked in almost all aspects of the circus business with several different shows and served as the City Manager of Hugo, OK. Beginning immediately, David and the Hugo staff, will handle all press from the Hugo office. Beginning July 6 the primary responsibility for booking the show will transfer from the California office to the Hugo office. David can be contacted at: or 580-326-2233
THE RINNY'S RETURN ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Rinny Family (Dad-Waldo, Mom-Alejandra, daughter-Yasmin and son-Jonathan) joined Carson & Barnes Circus after the beginning of the 2010 season. All, or part, of the family perform in a fast paced juggling act, a unicycle act, a Rolla Bolla act as well as in several productions during the show. Be sure to see "The Rinny's" when the show is in your area.
You've always dreamed about it, why not just do it, run away with the circus. We have an immediate opening for a 24-hour person. If you are interested in this, or any other circus job, please call 580-326-2233.

Uncle Sam’s American Circus opened yesterday; the Circus is set up on the Beverley Westwood from the 2nd September 2009 till the 6th September 2009 with shows in through the day time and evening.

American Circus, MurtonSet up on the waste ground to the south of Dalton Retail Park (on the right of frame). The town of Murton behind the big top.

Monkey in woman's bra makes waves at Amherst courthouse
By Scott Marshall, March 10, 2011
Danville, VA--Authorities said a woman entered the Amherst County courthouse this morning with a tiny monkey -- dressed in diapers and a white dress with pink flowers -- tucked into her bra.
The woman was not identified, but officials confirmed the incident — from Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Maddox to deputies who were working in the courthouse.
“You couldn’t make up something like this,” Maddox said.
The woman had arrived for a hearing in Juvenile and Domestic Relations court, officials said.
They had no idea that she had the monkey — a female named “Kara” — until she went into an office to fill out routine, court-related paperwork.
When the woman referred to a daughter, a puzzled official asked where the daughter was. That’s when she pulled the monkey, only inches tall, out of her bra.
She referred to it as “her daughter,” said she had purchased it on eBay and that she had the creature’s clothes specially made in West Virginia.
Court officials were stunned when tiny Kara moved her head, waving a hand and began gnawing on the dress.
One official asked why the woman had the monkey in her bra and quoted her as saying, “Well, would you leave your child at home? She has to be close to me.”
Asked who let the monkey through the metal detector, a deputy quipped: “It wasn’t armed.”

Thursday, March 10, 2011



The breathtaking "46 Circus Acts in 45 Minutes" will flip into the Byham this week

Performers flip, juggle and balance against the clock during '46 Circus Acts in 45 Minutes'
By Andrew Druckenbrod, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Big Top be gone. Toss those three rings aside. And as for animals? The human kind will do just fine.
"46 Circus Acts in 45 Minutes" is a new take on the traditional circus. It is as streamlined as that brave performer shot out of a cannon -- and nearly as fast. Performed by a group of acrobatics and circus performers known as C!RCA, it is perhaps the only circus with an exact deadline."You barely have time to breathe," says Ben Knapton, associate director of the Australian troupe. It has 14 members spread out around the world in various shows at any one time. "46 Circus Acts" is an audience favorite for its furious action. "We are always trying to beat the clock and sometimes it comes down to a whisker."
"There are four artists who are trying to perform as many circus acts as they can within the time frame," says Pamela Lieberman, executive director of the Pittsburgh International Children's Theater. C!RCA concludes the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Family Series this season. "There's acrobatics, juggling and balancing packed in, with a clock on stage. The audience helps them keep time and cheers them on."
"There are wisecracks for children and parents," she adds. Even a knife-throwing episode has more sharp comedy than blades.
As if that humor and the title aren't evidence enough, C!RCA loves to playfully poke fun at traditional circus amusement.
"Some of them reference old circus acts," says Mr. Knapton. One acrobatic tradition is a "Two High" -- one performer standing on another's head. "Usually it's a female standing on top of a rather large male. We put the female on the bottom."
But it's not just that act that the troupe want to put on its head. "There is a real philosophical basis to C!RCA, to changing the artform," he says. "We don't do animals. We found that the demand for our type of circus is [great]. It's about approaching the circus with new ideas."
Perhaps one of the best of those ideas is simply presenting a 45-minute show: three-quarters of an hour is about as long as the average kid's attention span. "[It's] not just about the speed," says Mr. Knapton.
That's why the two women and two men at the center of the show don't mind the Herculean effort involved.
"It is absolutely an endurance test and the guys are pretty tired afterward," says Mr. Knapton. "But it is what they love."Read more:

British Columbians flock to circus-style shows
Wednesday, 09 March 2011
British Columbians’ love for the spectacle and flair of Cirque du Soleil has prompted the Montreal-based company, which generates about $1 billion in annual revenue, to plan more shows for this province. The conglomerate now operates 22 touring shows, including Quidam, which plays at Rogers Arena tonight through March 13.
Abbotsford, Victoria and Penticton will all soon see Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion.
“We’ve also got the Michael Jackson show, which is a partnership we have with the estate of Michael Jackson,” Cirque du Soleil’s vice-president of arena shows, Finn Taylor, told Business in Vancouver March 8. “It’s a full world tour built as if it were a Michael Jackson concert but with a Cirque du Soleil twist.”
The company’s Michael Jackson show launches in Montreal in October and plays in Vancouver November 4.
Taylor added, “Vancouver is somewhere that we probably didn’t come to early enough in our touring life. We’ve been touring Canada and North America for 25 years now. We only got out west in Canada in the last 10 years.”
Meanwhile, a circus-style show named Cavalia is coming to Vancouver for 19 performances starting March 22 under a white big-top tent at the Olympic Village.
Cavalia is the brainchild of Normand Latourelle, who is one of the co-founders of Cirque du Soleil.
Cavalia has toured the world, performing in front of 2.5 million people. It is an extravagant production with dozens of performers and 55 horses.
Circus spectacle is back
Talented humans, animals will entertain crowds.
A clown hams it up during the Abou Ben Adem Shrine Circus. The show goes on until March 20. / News-Leader file photo, 2008
Springfield, Missouri
Shows continue through March 20 for the 48th annual circus, presented by Carden Entertainment.
Hosted by ringmistress Michelle Audrey, the circus lineup includes these acts and others:

Performers will display their skills with stunts during the circus.
/ News-Leader file photo, 2010
- The Mighty Bo, who promoters say is the largest performing elephant in the world. Bo will perform a routine from the more than 60 tricks he has learned. The circus will also feature other elephants.
- Vicenta Pages and the White Tigers. Each animal came under Pages' tutelage as a 14- or 15-month-old cub. She has worked with them daily since then. Their numerous tricks include rolling over and lying down, jumping hurdles and giving high fives.

Two circus performers dangle from ropes during a high flying act at the Abou Ben Adem Shrine Circus. / News-Leader file photo, 2010

- The Marinof Duo. From the Bucharest State Circus in Romania, the Marinofs perform acrobatic feats high above the circus ring, daring yet graceful as a ballet, promoters said.
- The Georgettes Magic Extravaganza. With dancing, rope work and synchronized routines, the Georgettes bring circus dreams to life while dangling from a rope high above the ring.

A tiger lets out a roar at the Abou Ben Adem Shrine Circus at Shrine Mosque. / News-Leader file photo, 2010
For the first time, this year's circus will feature Shrine Hospital Nights at 6:30 p.m. March 14-17. Tickets ($6, with $1 going to Shriners Children's Hospitals) are available at Fast and Friendly stores.


Elephants a part of circus family

Stardust Circus owner Jan Lennon pictured in Lismore in 2007 with Gigi, one of the two Asiatic elephants they left at the Western Plains Zoo after the other animal, Arna, killed an elephant trainer while the circus was visiting Yamba that same year.

Steve Spinks 10th March 2011
From: Queensland Times
THE owners of the Stardust Circus make a number of detours to Dubbo every year.
It is not because they necessarily love the Central Western city, but because that is where two former family members live – Arna and Gigi, the 55-year-old Asian elephants.
Arna rose to infamy in December 2007 when she killed elephant handler Ray Williams while the circus was setting up at Yamba.
In the controversy that followed, Stardust Circus owner Jan Lennon and her family decided the best course of action was to relocate the elephants to Dubbo’s Western Plains Zoo.
Some animal liberation advocates were quoted at the time saying Stardust’s decision was a win for the animals but in the immediate aftermath of the move the elephants suffered in their new environment.
“In the four months after we left them at Dubbo, Arna lost 300kg,” Ms Lennon said. “She took the move harder than Gigi and the zoo was very concerned she might not make it.”
Ms Lennon explained the elephants had been with the circus for most of their lives and had come to love life on the road.
“We had Arna for 18 years and Gigi for eight years and they loved travelling,” the Stardust owner said.
“They loved the life and performing. When they came to a new town they loved exploring all the new areas and eating new grass and causing mischief.”
A visit from the Lennons to the zoo helped break Arna’s separation anxiety.
“We were so shocked when we saw her – she was a bag of bones,” Ms Lennon said.
The circus stayed in Dubbo for two weeks and saw the elephants each day, during which time they became used to their friends spending time with them each day but also leaving.
On a subsequent trip to the zoo the reaction of the elephants to their former owners coming to see them was intense.
“Arna and Gigi were being fed and my son Joel, who worked with them before, called them quietly and they flew down this hill to see him,” Ms Lennon said.
“They were so happy to see us. When we left later they both stood in the corner of the paddock where we had to leave and Arna had tears running down her cheeks. So did we.
“We miss them terribly but there are some advantages to not having them. We always get the bond back for the grounds we use now because they’re not digging them up any more.”
Missouri State Fair is themed 'It's a Show-Me Thing' this year

Mar 9, 2011,
AMSEDALIA, Mo.—— The Missouri State Fair, the state’s premier agriculture showcase, is themed this year, “It’s A Show-Me Thing!” For the 109th year, the best in Missouri agriculture will vie for awards and bragging rights from August 11 to 21 in Sedalia competing in areas from quality livestock to exceptional agriculture products. Contest entries are expected to surpass 30,000 this year.
According to Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe, more than 4,000 Missouri 4-H and FFA youth will experience the agriculture showcase, representing more than 100 counties from across the state. Buildings especially dedicated to these organizations will exemplify the students’ hard work, passion and commitment to agriculture.
Wolfe commends the dedication and enthusiasm of Missouri youth and is proud to recognize these accomplishments at the Fair.
“Some youth will qualify for top honors and be recognized in special events like the Sale of Champions and the Governor’s Ham Breakfast while others will be immersed in Fair traditions like the annual Opening Day Ceremonies, Opening Day Parade and Super Teens Contest,” Wolfe said.
In addition to being an agricultural celebration, the Missouri State Fair has likewise earned a reputation as an affordable destination for summer fun.
“The commission, superintendents and staff have again made it a goal to deliver family-friendly activities that will include an outstanding professional free entertainment schedule along with an affordable Pepsi Grandstand concert lineup and a State Fair Arena event package that includes motorsport, rodeo and bull riding action,” Wolfe said.
Pepsi Grandstand concerts will include Jerrod Niemann with Candy Coburn; Lynryd Skynryd with the Doobie Brothers; Jason Aldean with Chris Young and Thompson Square; and Rhonda Vincent with The Rage, Dailey and Vincent, and The Next Best Thing. Coming back will be the Country Gold Tour with Leroy Van Dyke and the Auctioneers, T. Graham Brown, Jeannie Kendall, Eddy Raven, Moe Bandy, Joe Stampley, Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius. Three more concerts will be released soon to complete the diverse lineup.
Concert and event tickets will go on sale via Ticketmaster starting Friday, June 17, with a purchase opportunity preceding the public on-sale-date for registered Fair Fans. Instructions for the Fair Fan free email subscription service are available at
The “It’s A Show-Me Thing!” themed Fair will also entertain crowds with a new Monster Truck Show starring legendary Big Foot, a midway with children’s rides to thrill rides, and a new Paul Bunyan’s Lumber Jack Show. Returning will be the crowd-favorite Amazing Anastasini Circus and the ever popular Vocal Trash music variety show.
Wolfe encourages fairgoers to visit for announcements and updates. “The Premium Guide will be available online in early April,” he said. “This resource contains pertinent exhibitor information including show entry forms, which will be accepted starting May 2 at 9 a.m.”
The stage is being set for an incredible showcase of tradition, pride and fun at the annual Missouri State Fair August 11 to 21 in Sedalia. More information is available at the Fair’s Web site and by following the Fair on Facebook and Twitter, or by calling 1-800-422-FAIR (3247).

Juggler brings unusual skills to 'Dralion' show

Vladislav Myagkostupov adds movement and acrobatics to his juggling performance for 'Dralion,' which starts its run at the Cedar Park Center today.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Austin, TX--When observing Vladislav Myagkostupov juggling, don't blink, or you'll be sure to miss something.
Give him seven juggling balls and a flat surface, and Myagkostupov will turn juggling into something hypnotizing, animalistic and full of acrobatics.
Myagkostupov, a resident of Las Vegas, is not in Austin out of the blue. He's a juggler and acrobatic dancer, one of 52 performers in the new "Cirque du Soleil" production "Dralion." The show, which fuses both Eastern (dragon) and Western (lion) influences, opens today and runs through March 20 at the Cedar Park Center.
Trained by his parents, both of whom performed with the Moscow circus, Myagkostupov was immersed in circus life almost from the beginning. As a child, he traveled with his parents' troupe all over the globe until his seventh birthday. His parents trained him in dance at age 4, and by the time he was 6, he was juggling. His first public performances were in malls. He was 8. A year later, he had his own professional career.
"I just of grew up into that," Myagkostupov said. "Yeah, it wasn't easy, because I went to school in the morning and then after school I would come back — I would practice — then at night I would have the show. I would do my homework in between the show, and then wake up and then go back to school. So it was a pretty busy schedule."
His first professional engagement lasted three months and was in a casino in Wendover, Nev. read more at:
Moscow Circus swings into town
Published on Wednesday 9 March 2011
The Moscow State Circus returns to Retford’s Majestic Theatre with a once in a life time opportunity to see Legenda.
Bringing with it a huge cast of Russia’s greatest and most talented circus performers.
The newly devised show includes a double Russian swing troupe, called The Didyk, acrobatically catapulting themselves high into the big top & across the ring.
Visitors will also see a wife shoot an apple off her husband’s head from seven simultaneous crossbows. All hosted by Andre Voronin as Rasputin. The entire show is housed in a climate controlled specially designed luxury chapiteau theatre big top and is uniquely domed to accommodate the complex rigging for the aerial acts.
The show is on Friday 11th March at 8pm and Saturday 12th March at 2pm and 8pm. Tickets range from £12-£22. Contact the box office for more details on 01777 706866 or visit the website
Should Everybody Love a Circus?
Circus poster exhibition more thought-provoking than you might think
By Steven Rosen
When does something become art?
One answer is when a museum shows it. Thus, the current show at the Cincinnati Art Museum through July 20, The Amazing American Circus Poster: The Strobridge Lithographing Company, qualifies as art.
And I doubt few of the visitors to this exhibit will quarrel with this claim. There’s appeal on a number of levels. The work is populist in nature, spectacularly colorful with finely rendered and detailed imagery and features excellent examples of the labor-intensive lithography process. The exhibit tells fascinating stories and — since they date from 1879-1939 — it also sheds light on the way we once lived and entertained ourselves.
Also, since Strobridge was a Cincinnati-based printing company specializing in entertainment-related work, the show has local appeal. And because circus posters were posted (as their name implies) in public and vulnerable to the elements and wear-and-tear, a collection in as good a condition as this is rare.
The show is meticulously installed, too, organized into sections that highlight crowd-pleasing elements of the circus, such as clowns, animals, acrobats and athletes, “melodramas” and more. The museum even borrowed (from Wisconsin’s Circus World museum) a restored 1886-1888 Barnum & Bailey “pony float” — used in parades marking a circus’ arrival in town — carrying a gilded, 24-karat-gold Mother Goose figure.
Yet, this is the first time since the Cincinnati Art Museum acquired its collection of some 1,000 Strobridge posters in 1965 that any (save an exception or two) have been displayed. One key reason was that the museum didn’t regard it as art. (The show features 80 posters, drawn from both Cincinnati’s collection and those of the Ringling Museum of Art and private collector Howard Tibbals, based in Sarasota, Fla. His collection is promised to Ringling, which displays selections read more at:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Strawberry is king at annual fest

Glass strawberries are just a few ways the sweet red fruit is depicted within the Florida Strawberry Festival.
Beads a big hit at strawberry festival parade

Autumn Stephens is all smiles as she collects her first string of beads in the Strawberry Parade. The 81 unit parade made it's way through Plant City Monday. Under new management, the parade now allows beads and candy to be distributed. Beads and candy were banned from the parade following a fatal accident in the 2008 Christmas parade.
By GEORGE H. NEWMAN The Tampa Tribune
Published: March 7, 2011
PLANT CITY - Autumn Stephens and her 8-year-old classmate Aubryn Williamson came to Monday's Strawberry Parade looking for the colorful floats and music.
And lots of beads.
"I think the parade is really cool," Williamson said. "I am looking for about 20 beads before I'm done."
"I'm going to get 100 beads," Stephens said, trumping her Knights Elementary School classmate.
Thousands of people jammed downtown streets to see the parade, which included floats, bands and Miss Florida Jackie Raulerson of Plant City as grand marshal. Some staked their places out hours before the 81-unit procession started making its way to the grounds of the festival, which continues through Sunday..
This was the first time in a couple years that beads, candy and trinkets were distributed at the festival's premier parade. The distribution was stopped for safety concerns but a nonprofit that took over operation of the parade this year brought them back.
They were an instant hit.
Four-year-old Pagan Edmond had a neck full and the parade had barely started.
He was ready for anything. He even carried a dollar in his hand if he had to pay for a set of beads. The beads and candy were flying off many of the floats and the little guy got to keep his money.
"He said he would buy them if he needs to," his mother Asher said. "But so far they keep passing them out to him."
Mac McGrath, who was at the parade with 4-year-old twins, daughter, Nahlia, and son Asher, said he was thrilled with that goodies had returned.
"I think bringing beads and candy back to the parade brings a lot more excitement to the parade," McGrath said. "It's great for the kids."
Circus dog mauled to death

Mates: Circus Royale manager Damian Syred on the road with his trusty pal Dexter.
09 Mar, 2011
A PET Chihuahua named Dexter, owned by Circus Royale manager Damian Syred, was mauled to death by a large black stray dog in Merredin on Saturday, February 26.Staff from Circus Royale said the loss of Dexter was devastating for the tight-knit circus community.
They said the stray dog which attacked Dexter was accompanied by a second large black dog and both were ‘roo dogs’.
A roo dog is a breed of dog similar in appearance to a greyhound, but with longer hair, which is bred for hunting game like rabbits and kangaroos.
After the attack, the dog which killed Dexter ran away but the second dog was caught and detained at the Merredin Pound and was likely to be put down as the owners did not pick it up within 72 hours.
Circus staff called for Merredin locals to be on the lookout for the other dog as it was dangerous and could pose a threat to other pets and small children in Merredin.

Missed: Dexter was a much loved member of the circus.
They also called for the owners of the stray dogs to own up and take responsibility for their pets.
It was a hard week for the Circus Royale team, as two of its staff members were injured in a car rollover on Thursday, February 24 near Moorine Rock.
They were returning to Southern Cross after delivering circus equipment to Merredin as part of their hectic schedule.
Circus staff explained said the 56-year-old male driver of the car swerved when a kangaroo jumped in front of the car at 4am.
He and the passenger, a 19-year-old female aerial acrobatics performer, were flown to Perth by the Royal Flying Doctor Service, but by Monday both were out of hospital and recovering.
Due to the acrobat’s injuries, two acts were missing from the circus’s performance in Merredin that weekend.
However, it’s expected she will make a recovery and return to performing.

Nitro Circus promises an Albury show no one's seen before

Travis Pastrano, star of Nitro Circus, shows off some skills as he warms up for tonight's performance at Lavington Oval. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK
09 Mar, 2011
THE stars of the Nitro Circus have promised to pull some new tricks out of the bag when they kick off their Australian tour in Albury tonight.The sound of roaring engines engulfed Lavington Oval yesterday as riders fine-tuned their performance.
Nitro Circus leader and world No. 1 freestyle motorcross rider Travis Pastrana said the show would feature some of the world’s best FMX stunts launched off a death-defying 15-metre high ramp.
“We know this set really well so we’ve been trying in the last couple of weeks to figure out what we can do new and different that no one’s seen before and no one’s really done, so everyone’s really excited,” Pastrana said yesterday.
Up to 7000 people are expected to attend tonight’s show, the first of its kind in Albury, after the Nitro Circus crew arrived on Monday following five shows in New Zealand.
Heavy rain is forecast to hit the Border today but spokeswoman Jaime Mortimer was hoping it would clear by tonight’s show.
“At the moment the show is definitely going ahead as planned, rain in the morning doesn’t affect the show at night,” she said.
However, if rain does lead to tonight’s event being cancelled for safety reasons, Ms Mortimer said it may be postponed until tomorrow night.
Tickets for tonight’s show, which begins at 7.15pm, are still available through Ticketek.
80s Arena Rock Legends Coming To Allentown Fair

Kyle Andersen Web Producer
March 8, 2011
ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- Two 1980s Arena Rock fixtures will be performing at the Great Allentown Fair in August. The fair announced this afternoon that Foreigner and Journey will be rocking out the fairgrounds with special guest Night Ranger.
The show is part of Journey's Eclipse Tour, and the Allentown Fair is one of just three fairs the band is performing at in the United States.
Allentown Fair Marketing Director/Talent Buyer Bonnie Brosious is excited about the concert, which is already on pace to sell out the 10,500 seat arena. She says that, “it’s great when tours double-up on star power, and this one takes it up another notch adding yet a third band with years of hits.”
The tour will come on the heels of Journey's latest album release. Their CD "Eclipse" is due out on May 24.
The show will be at 7 p.m. on August 31. Tickets go on sale March 19 and are $49 and $69. show august 31 Tickets go on sale Saturday, March 19th.

Festival International du Cirque de Monte Carlo 2011- The End


Gifted horses go missing from Circus Olympia in Craigieburn, UPDATE

CIRCUS staff have wept tears of joy after two valuable horses, including a tricky pony star, were found late last night.The two show horses went missing from Circus Olympia at Craigeburn within hours of arriving just before a week of performances.
Elizabeth Allen, Gilliam McGee
From: Herald Sun, Leader Updated March 09, 2011

Today, the circus is celebrating after Belle the Shetland cross pony and Dusty a miniature show horse, were rediscovered.
The loss left the circus reeling and wondering how the show would go on, but last night the missing horses were found on an oval in Roxburgh Park.
Police were called to an oval on McPherson Blvd last night at 10.30pm after missing Circus Olympia ponies Belle and Dusty were sighted, the Hume Leader reports.
Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar..End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.Circus Olympia assistant animal groomer Maureen Martin said circus staff were overjoyed the ponies were back safe and well and praised Craigieburn Police for their help.
“There were a lot of tears of joy last night,’’ Ms Martin said.
Craigieburn Sgt Stuart Carter said police suspected the horses were stolen, before being released.
“They weren’t wandering around all day,’’ Sgt Carter said.
Ms Martin said the circus would increase security.
Chavella Ferroni, office administrator at Circus Olympia, said they had not even finished putting up all the tents when the horses went missing from their stables.
“We just woke up this morning and noticed they were gone. One of the leads is broken and one is just completely gone,” she said.
Ms Ferroni said the horses were integral to the show and the circus will be missing some acts because of their disappearance.
“One of the horses that has gone missing is actually our main animal and she is a trick pony she does one whole act by herself with her trainer,” Ms Ferroni said about Belle.
“The other one [Dusty] that has gone missing is part of a set in our mixed animal act so the other one won’t work without him,” she said.
Ms Ferroni said the horses were irreplaceable. “It took years to train them and they all get used to each other because they are part of a set.
The circus had offered a $500 reward for the return of the animals.


Circus clan living the dream

Stardust Circus family sisters from left Shae,11,Shakira,5 and Shania West,11 with Zipper the performing horse and Jazz the dog pictured at the Lismore Showground.
Ava Benny-Morrison 9th March 2011
IT'S EVERY kid's dream to run away with the circus and that dream is a reality for 23 of Jan Lennon's descendents.
The Stardust Circus owner and her family are in Lismore this week performing at the Lismore Showground.
Mrs Lennon has been with the circus for over 50 years.
She has watched her seven children and 16 grandchildren all play a part in the circus, whether it was her 22-month-old grandson on the teeterboard or her 11-year-old granddaughter in the springboard act.
Mrs Lennon sees no end to her circus, with plenty of young family members eager to take over the reins.
“The other circus owners are now in their 60s and 70s and their cats (lions) have died off. Their kids do not want to continue on as it is a 20-year commitment to look after the cats,” she said.
“I love the life, I love the travelling and meeting different people in each place we go to. It keeps all our family together.”
Stardust Circus is a traditional circus with four lions, 16 horses and ponies and seven monkeys featuring in the show. However, the use of circus animals has also created opposition in sections of the community.
The Lismore City Council will not allow circuses on council land and animal activist groups have mounted advertising campaigns against them.
Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre regional co-ordinator centre manager Angela Pollard believes circuses involving exotic animals should be banned.
“It's cruel that lions spend their lives being trucked around the country,” she said.
“I don't think animals performing tricks is the progressive way we should be going. We don't think there is anything wrong with humans and animals interacting, but it's the way they live their life on the road.”
Mrs Lennon conceded it was a bit of a battle sometimes.
“This is a traditional circus and we have tried to keep it like that for the majority who want to see it,” she said. “The minority that don't want to see it, it's not like the animals are hard done by. Just occasionally we find (animal liberation protesters). This area is one of the worst.
“As if we would ill-treat our animals. They are our life and they come first.”

A Very Special Clown Alley Photoshoot: All 3 Clown Alleys together as one!
Animal walk held in preparation for circus

Submitted by Fox19 Web Staff
Tuesday, March 8th
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - 'The Greatest Show on Earth' arrived in Cincinnati Tuesday morning with an animal walk.
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus comes to town in a 53-car-long steel coach and contains some of the most exotic cargo on earth.
The animal walk heralds the arrival of the circus. The half mile walk will begin at the parking lot in Sawyer Point and will continue through the park to Mehring Way.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey's FUNundrum will be at U.S. Bank Arena from March 11-20. Tickets are available at the U.S. Bank Arena Box Office, at all Ticketmaster locations, online at or at (513) 562-4949. For group sales, call (513) 421-4111 x136.
Ocala man takes best of show at Leesburg art festival for second straight year
"A Combined Show" by Jack Thursby, which won Best of Show at the 34th annual Leesburg Fine Arts Festival.
(Leesburg Center for the Arts / March 9, 2011)
LEESBURG — John "Jack" Thursby made it two in a row when he won the $1,500 best-of-show award at the 34th Leesburg Fine Arts Festival, held Saturday and Sunday.
Thursby, who lives in Ocala, also took home the top prize in 2010.
His acrylic painting, "A Combined Show" is the realistic painter's take on people putting themselves on display. A young man with sleeves of tattoos and masses of dreadlocks sits in front of a peeling poster of a Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus.
"It plays off the circus of yesterday with the tiger leaping out and the 21st-century man with a tiger tattoo," Thursby said. "It is about the way we think of entertainment when the person is the show."

Raw Video: Mardi Gras Celebration in New Orleans

Mardi Gras revelers drank and danced the rowdy Carnival season to its peak on Tuesday, defying drizzle to snag beads from the last parades and jamming the French Quarter with colorful, sweaty costumes. (March 8)
In the limelight - Circus Gatti

March 8, 2011
Georgia Temple Midland Reporter-Telegram
By Graham Dixon
Running away from home to join the circus has often seemed a romantic proposition for many young people. When entertainment choices were few and far between, the arrival of the circus in town was a time of frenetic excitement. But a lack of choice has turned into a dazzling array - from movie theaters to video games to computers to home entertainment systems - we are spoiled by an abundance of ways to entertain ourselves.
So when a circus does come to town it is a nostalgic event. The quality of Circus Gatti varied tremendously - from periods of embarrassingly slow tedium to adrenalin-filled acts in which lives were, quite literally, hanging on the line. In between there were animal acts that ranged from the surrealistically repetitive - Shetland ponies going round, and round, and round a ring - to the familiar, such as dogs leaping through hoops.
The circus ringmaster tried to get the audience going, but something about the cavernous spaces of the Chaparral Center made intimacy difficult. Leo the Clown was frankly often abysmally unfunny. Gags such as catching hoops over the head were extended tortuously beyond their half-life. And while it is not a necessity, surely a clown should speak a lot or, as is the tradition, not at all. Leo was 90 percent mime and 10 percent a character unfortunate enough to have a voice like Scratchy from The Simpsons. Leo's expeditions into the audience were appreciated enough by the children near to him, but much of the arena was silent.
If one has been lucky enough to see a Cirque de Soleil show - I would recommend Love and Zumanity in Las Vegas - most circus aerial acts will seem a little disappointing. Of course the performers are displaying great courage and skill simply hanging from ropes and sheets 50 feet above the floor - but audiences have been lulled into expecting the spectacular. If the Cirque offers a type of real-life CGI, the traveling acts are crude magic lanterns -- they simply cannot compete.
So when the group of ladies dressed as bees ascended into the heights we were left waiting for something - only for them to slowly make their way down to the floor. But the two motorcyclists racing around in a ball changed the drowsy atmosphere into one of suspended breathing and little gulps. It is shuddering to think what might happen to these brave young men if something did go wrong. There is no margin for error in this act.
The intermission featured elephant rides, an opportunity to be photographed with a boa-constrictor and a Shetland pony ride in which - you guessed it - the equines went round, and round, and round. Shetland ponies are known for their ill-temper, but these particular individuals seemed to be in a sleepy stupor. The same might be said of the snake -- who looked fearsome enough as he was draped over brave families - but who on closer inspection was shown to have his mouth shut tight by a miniature muzzle.
After the intermission there were more animals, more acrobatics, more clown acts of dubious quality. But at the end came a tight-rope act - the Meza Troupe -- that was exhilarating, electrifying and disturbing. Standing on the floor of the arena, I noticed a young man quietly standing a few feet away - nervous, with eyes closed and eventually crossing himself. He walked unsteadily up the wire, nearly falling when at a safe height. When high above the arena, he actually lost his footing, saving himself by wrapping a knee round the wire. He then continued with the act. He even stood on his head on the wire. If his physical uncertainty was part of a well-rehearsed show then he is the Olivier of tightrope walkers. From his expression as he descended the ladder at the end it was clear that he had, in fact, nearly fallen.
As a species we find watching others risking death strangely life-affirming. The Circus Gatti achieved this end with room to spare. We just had to wait two-and-a-half hours to get there
Shake a tail feather, get out to Ostrich Festival

Michael Schennum/The Arizona Republic Stuart
Nielsen and his daughter Payton, 2, of Saint Johns, look at one of the ostriches in the holding pen at the Ostrich Festival in Chandler on Saturday, March 14, 2009.
by Luci Scott - Mar. 8, 2011, The Arizona Republic
Chandler, AZ--Even in the Digital Age, the low-tech Ostrich Festival continues to draw crowds who flock to concerts, carnival rides, food vendors and ostrich races.
The 23rd annual festival is Friday through Sunday at Tumbleweed Park in Chandler.
"I spoke to a younger couple a year ago, and they said they'd rather go to this festival than the State Fair," said Jim Brown, the festival's chairman and a member of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, the festival's sponsor.
"The festival is a better venue to watch music, and it's more of a family-type venue. You can let the kids run around on the grass."
The party includes plenty of action, such as ostrich races, a dog show, sea lion show, petting zoo, medieval jousting, a cowboy doing trick roping, a magician, dance groups and local musicians, a classic car show, pig races, camel rides and carnival rides.
"There's always something happening," Brown said.
The festival will feature food, including corn dogs, cotton candy, ostrich burgers and potato chips made fresh while hungry diners watch the cooks.
Souvenirs will be sold, including emu oil and hand-painted ostrich eggs.
Music concerts on two stages, included in the admission price, will feature Jack of Hearts, a Bob Dylan tribute band, at 6 p.m. Friday, and a Led Zeppelin tribute band, Heartbreaker, at 6 p.m. Saturday. The J. Powers Band will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, and Chuck E. Baby and the Allstars will appear at 7 p.m. Saturday. Latin groups are on deck Sunday.
Rock musician Eddie Money will be on deck at 8 p.m. Saturday.
"Eddie Money is one of those guys who really does work at a performance," Brown said. "He is an entertainer, not just a guy sitting up there strumming his guitar."
Sunday brings Grupo Control at 4:30 p.m.
A 7 p.m. Sunday concert will be performed by Motown legends the Spinners, one of the biggest soul groups of the 1970s. A Spinners' song "The Rubberband Man" reached the No. 2 spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, where it spent three weeks. It hit the top of the U.S. rhythm and blues chart in 1976.
A popular celebrity with young people, Freddie Benson (Nathan Kress) of the hit show iCarly will greet festival visitors and pose for photos from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the main stage.
Festivalgoers can enjoy an unusual activity in a shallow swimming pool, where children and adults can get inside a clear plastic ball and roll around in the water.
"I think it will be as fun to watch as to actually do it yourself," Brown said.
The Ostrich Festival has received national attention; it has been mentioned in "Reader's Digest" and on TV's "Animal Planet."

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fair among Orlando's earliest traditions

Orlando’s first fair took place in 1886 on the shores of Lake Eola, according to the 1975 ‘Centennial History’ of the city by Eve Bacon. The wooden building at the left stands where the Rosalind Club is today, Bacon wrote. This photo of the 1886 fair shows that advertising zeal is nothing new: The large banner for Sparks & Hand on Court Street vows, “We Allow No One to Excell Us in Quality or Prices.” (Orange County Regional History Center / March 6, 2011)
Joy Wallace Dickinson,
Florida Flashback From:
The Central Florida Fair has returned, wrapping up on March 6. You'd never know it from looking at the bright lights of that modern midway, but the fair is actually one of our area's oldest continuing institutions, tracing its official founding to 1910.
Its roots go back even further. In 1886, Orlando city fathers built an exhibition hall by Lake Eola and put on a show. In those days, Orlando touted itself as "the Phenomenal City," built on the peel of an orange.
Soon, the Great Freeze of 1894-95 threw citrus growers for a loop, but by 1909 area boosters had recovered enough to form the Orange County Fair Association.
A century ago, in February 1911, the Daily Reporter-Star proclaimed that the Orange County Fair had "opened in a blaze of glory."Read more at:,0,5385307.column

Cirque Mechanics Strikes Gold with 'Boom Town' at the New Victory this April

Monday, March 7, 2011, by BWW News Desk
"As circus artists, we aim to show the outrageous things that our bodies can do and to surprise people as much as we can," said Chris Lashua, artistic director of the Las Vegas based contemporary circus troupe, Cirque Mechanics. "However, we take circus one step further by building machines that not only capture the spectacle of circus, but thrill in a whole new way."
Similar to Cirque Mechanics' critically acclaimed show Birdhouse Factory (New Victory 2008), Boom Town, which will have its New York premiere at The New Victory Theater from April 8 through April 24, features custom, one-of-a-kind gizmos that serve as both performance props and scenery. "A wagon wheel is repurposed as a chandelier, which becomes an aerial hoop when someone starts swinging on it. That's the magic: you don't know it's an apparatus until you see us use it," explains Lashua, a former BMX cyclist. "Birdhouse Factory opened our eyes to what we could do and build. We discovered that the gears and chains and cogs and pulleys are very much a part of what we do."
In Boom Town, acrobats climb up swaying poles, fly high and fast on revolving cranes, jump on moving ore carts and balance on towers of whiskey jugs. Inspired by Chaplin's Gold Rush, HBO's "Deadwood" and the characters played by Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin in Paint Your Wagon, Boom Town's Wild West cast of competitive saloon owners, star-crossed lovers and dynamite prospectors defy gravity in this high-flying gold rush frenzy!
The creative team for Boom Town includes: director, Chris Lashua; assistant director/choreographer, Aloysia Gavre, and writer/performer, Steven Ragatz, all of whom are Cirque du Soleil veterans. The performers, plucked from Cirque du Soleil, the Pickle Family Circus and Moscow Circus, include Timber Brown, Elena Day, Hannah French, Charlotte Greenblatt, Wes Hatfield, Kerren McKeeman, Andre Nurse, Steven Ragatz, Michael "Tex" Redinger and Clint Bobzien.
Ticket InformationTheater-goers who buy tickets for three or more New Vic shows qualify for free Membership benefits, including a 35-percent savings. Tickets to Boom Town cost $25 (orchestra and front mezzanine), $18 (mezzanine) and $9 (balcony) for Members, and $38 (orchestra and front mezzanine), $28 (rear mezzanine) and $14 (balcony) for Non-members.Read more:
Circus holding animal walk Tuesday morning

Submitted by Fox19 Web Staff
Tuesday, March 8th
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - 'The Greatest Show on Earth' arrives in Cincinnati Tuesday morning with an animal walk.
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus comes to town in a 53-car-long steel coach and contains some of the most exotic cargo on earth.
The animal walk heralds the arrival of the circus. The half mile walk will begin at the parking lot in Sawyer Point and will continue through the park to Mehring Way.
The walk is tentatively scheduled for 11 a.m.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey's FUNundrum will be at U.S. Bank Arena from March 11-20. Tickets are available at the U.S. Bank Arena Box Office, at all Ticketmaster locations, online at or at (513) 562-4949. For group sales, call (513) 421-4111 x136.