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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Little big tops attracting crowds

Crestwood, Ill. resident Julie Kozeluh and her daughter, Gracie, 5, examine a model of the Ringling Bros. Circus as it appeared in about 1954 during a visit to the circus model builders’ show Friday at Circus World. The exhibit of circus models continues through Sunday at 3 p.m.

Brian D. Bridgeford / News Republic

By Brian D. Bridgeford, News Republic Posted: Saturday, June 18, 2011 3:30 am
If you love the circus, but can't afford scores of performers and animals, huge tents and your own train, you can still make one in miniature, at that's how a group of circus model enthusiasts visiting Circus World this weekend feel.
Today beginning 9 a.m. and continuing until 6 p.m. and through Sunday starting at 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., fans of circus models from as far as Australia will have 33 exhibits on display in the Deppe Wagon Pavilion at Circus World.
Museum visitors may see the model exhibit for the normal price of admission.
The enthusiasts construct their creations in scales ranging from as small as 1/16 of an inch to a full one inch to the foot, said Chris Grieder of Circus Model Builders. He said he became interested in circuses through a model-building friend and also participated with Circus World and the Great Milwaukee Circus Parade.
"I was actually the water boy on the Great Circus Parade, loading and unloading on the train crew for several years," he said.
Grieder's display, built with the help of his grandfather, Roy Grieder, is a HO-scale sideshow tent with elaborately painted signs advertising the various sideshow performers and their acts. The stages inside are assembled with meticulous attention to detail, he said.
"They're actually built with the jacks underneath them, not just blocks of wood," Grieder said. "If we took off the stripped pieces of fabric we have there you would see how they were really built."

Veteran circus model builder and Great Circus Parade participant Walter Heist displays his model of riverboat he said carried a fully-assembled circus tent and circus performers from river town to river town in the early 1900s. Brian D. Bridgeford / News Republic

Models on display ranged from large tabletop re-creations of an entire circus grounds to models of performance rings and individual circus wagons.
Evergreen, Ill. resident Jim Putz and his grandson, Mark Kozeluh, 3, looked at a model of circus rings in which the performers actually moved. He said he originally came to enjoy the museum exhibits and circus performance, only to discover the model exhibit.
"I didn't even know they were here. It's very interesting," he said. "Look at the size of them."
Australian circus fan Wayne Cordell said he visited the United States several times during the late 1980s and in 1991, rode the Great Circus Train and got a taste for building circus models.
"I was an attendant to the pigmy hippopotamus, whose name at the time was Betty Lou," he said with laugh.
Twenty years later, Cordell said he is back to enjoy the circus, circus models and the company of fellow enthusiasts again. His creation is a quarter-inch scale model of the modern Chipperfield's Circus of England.
"I'm back home, second home," he said.
Circus World Singing Ringmaster David SaLoutos said one show participant is Walter Heist of Pennsylvania, one of the founders of the model circus builder's gathering.
One of Heist's models is a paddleboat called the Southern Belle he said pushed a fully-assembled circus tent and performers from town to town along the Mississippi River during the early 1900s.
"It's actually several barges laced together and the tent put on it," he said. "They never took the tent down. It stayed up as you see it," Heist said.

July 9-10............................Ft. Meyers, FL
July 12-13.....................Ft. Lauderdale, FL
July 14........................................DeLand, FL
July 15...............................Port St Lucie, FL
July 17............................,,.......Pensacola, FL

(From Picadilly Web Site)
Ringling Bros. Clown College Special 1982 part 1 of 3

from: nicberry on utube
Bear hugs and elephant rides wow kids at Shrine Circus

July 17, 2011

Circus comes to town

Malvino the clown juggles for the crowd before the show begins at the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus last Wednesday at Yelm City Park. Photo by Dean Siemon

By Dean Siemon, Nisqually Valley News,

Published: Friday, June 17, 2011

Yelm, WA---The Culpepper and Merriweather Circus made a return to Yelm last Wednesday to the delight of children and adults, who returned to their youth for one night.
“I’m a third generation parent that has taken his kids to the circus,” said Terry Clark, who brought his 4-year-old son Joe.
The traveling circus, which originated in 1987 and is now based in Hugo, Okla., makes a stop in Yelm every two years during its national tour and organized in conjunction with the Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce.
Cecelia Jenkins, executive director of the chamber, said the chamber receives 25 percent of the gate from ticket sales, which, after bills are paid, is approximately $500.
“All of that goes on to our community service fund,” she said. “We don’t do it [the circus] as a money maker, we do it as a community service project.”
Jenkins said the community service fund is used to help sponsor community events, including Prairie Days,
“We do a lot to support community activities for our community,” she said.
Approximately 1,600 people attended the two shows, with more than 800 spectators during the second time, which the stands that were set up for the two shows were unable to contain.
“The second one actually had more people sitting on the ground,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins said she has already been told the circus plans on returning in two years.
“They go from one city to the next and they’ll come to us from Oregon,” she said. “It’s usually in May or June.”
The circus is a welcomed tradition by families, including the families who went for the first time ever last Wednesday.
“We were really excited to bring our kids here,” said Jesse Kellems, who brought his two 5-year-old daughters, Trissani and Tearra. “They’ve been looking forward to it since they saw the posters.”
“It’s fun to see something going on in town that families can enjoy together,” Gabby Mendez said.
Jenkins said she has brought her children and grandchildren to the event, but are now all mature.
“I had my nieces and nephews there,” she said. “A whole new batch of little ones.”
Clark said he was taken to the circus as a child and wanted to bring that same stability to his children.
“If you don’t hold traditions, you lose them,” he said. “Those are the things that you cherish up until your death.”


Friday, June 17, 2011

Ringling Bros. presents "The Human Fuse"

Carnival rides magnet for youngsters at PrairieFest

Kathy Brown, 2, of Oswego, takes a ride on the "Dune Buggy" during opening night of the 23rd annual PrarieFest in Oswego on Thursday, June 16, 2011. (Corey R. Minkanic~For Sun-Times Media)
By Matt Brennan For The Beacon-News

June 16, 2011

Montgomery resident Alex Silva and his 4-year-old son Marco trekked to the back of PrairieFest Park in Oswego on Thursday evening.
Marco knew where the good stuff was, and he bugged his dad to keep walking toward the carnival rides. Marco attended his first PrairieFest last year, and on Thursday evening, his father returned with him to the festival.
“We’ll probably just have my son go on some rides and eat some good food,” Alex said. “We’re just enjoying the weather so far.”
The sun came out and the weather warmed Thursday for the opening night of the 23rd edition of PrairieFest. The festival is sponsored by the Oswegoland Park District. It runs from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The festival includes carnival rides, live music, business booths, petting zoos, among other attractions.
“We have a full slate of entertainment for people of all ages and interests, and the best part is it’s free,” said Margaret Gienger, PrairieFest superintendent of marketing.
There are some major rock acts playing the festival this year. Friday night ends with Blue Oyster Cult at 9:30, and Saturday night is Sister Hazel at 8:30. Local blues favorite Howard and the White Boys also play tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. Gienger recommends that people arrive early for those acts.
“There’s plenty of parking, but the lines are always long,” she said.
The carnival atmosphere stayed strong on Thursday evening. The smell of elephant ears and fried dough wafted through the air. The circus jingles played through the speakers.
Carnival employees explained the games to those who wanted to play, with invitations like “Step right up to test your strength!” and “Everybody wins a prize!”
That’s where Oswego residents Cole Harris and Jesus Morales could be found. The 14-year-olds were making their way through the carnival at the back of the park. Harris still enjoys the rides, he said.
“They’re still fun to go on,” he said. “I like the Zipper. It’s a lot of fun.”
Harris said he would be returning again on Friday before leaving for vacation Saturday.
Morales just has fun with the event, he said.
“The whole atmosphere is pretty cool,” he said. “It’s exciting.”
For some, the festival is not so much about the thrills as it is about simply enjoying the day. Oswego resident Beth Wille came armed with a chair and a book. She planned on finding the beer tent and a nice, quiet corner of the park while her children were at the carnival.
“I’m going to enjoy the peace and quiet on a nice summer day,” she said.
Moscow Circus rolls up to Ballarat

TOP ACT: Members of The Great Moscow Circus, from left, Zheni Espana, Hanya Pandilskaya, Viktor and Katsiaryna Martisevich, Alexsandr Nareika, Tatsiana Paltauskaya, Anna Saranina and Charlenny Campello at the Ballarat Showgrounds yesterday. Picture: Zhenshi van der Klooster


17 Jun, 2011


ROLL up, roll up, roll up! The Great Moscow Circus is in town again.
And the circus at the Ballarat Showgrounds promises to amaze audiences.
Circus general manager Greg Hall boasts that the show is one of the best in the world.
“This circus has an edge of daredevilry and of pushing the limits,” he said.
“We offer absolutely top- class circus entertainment that people need to see for themselves to believe.”
Mr Hall said 16 different acts would be incorporated into each show, including illusions, a statue act, and the wheel of death, a giant steel mesh globe where many motorbikes will be ridden, missing each other by centimetres.
The Great Moscow Circus will be in Ballarat until Sunday.

Circus Runaways Meet At Real Art Ways

Still from the movie "Circus Dreams." (Handout / June 15, 2011)

June 16, 2011

by — Susan Dunne

Circus Dreams" (pictured) is a documentary about Circus Smirkus in Brattleboro, Vt., which trains teens to be entertainers. It will not be reviewed.
Showtime for "Circo" is 7:30 p.m. each day.
Showtime for "Circus Dreams" is 5:30 p.m. each day; the screening time is early because this film is appropriate for the whole family. After Friday's screening, there will be a post-film discussion with the director, Signe Taylor.
Real Art Ways is at 56 Arbor St. in Hartford. Admission to each screening is $9, $6.25 for seniors and students, $5 for members, $4.50 for senior and student members. Details:

Circus Cancel

Circus Cancel

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fiery circus performer launches self down Strip

Circus performer Brian Miser, known as “The Human Fuse,” puts on a show on Las Vegas Boulevard, June 15, 2011.

from: Las Vegas Sun

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

By Nikki Villoria (contact)
Las Vegas’ triple-digit temperatures weren’t the only thing heating up the Strip on Wednesday.
Brian Miser, known to fans as “The Human Fuse,” took to the Strip at 8 p.m. and launched himself from a giant crossbow while engulfed in flames.
Miser is the star of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s new show, “Fully Charged,” which has brought its acts to Las Vegas this week.
“Las Vegas has a huge circus tradition, and we’re really excited to have the opportunity to come back to the Thomas & Mack Center, and the chance to pull a stunt this big on the Las Vegas Strip is just too good to pass up,” said ringmaster Brian Crawford Scott.
Traffic was stopped momentarily on Las Vegas Boulevard in front of the Harley Davidson Café and CityCenter, where the giant crossbow was set up in the street.
With crowds looking on and after a final countdown, Miser soared at 65 mph some 110 feet through the air. He landed in an air bag in the street, took a bow and, still on fire, was promptly extinguished.
It was only the second time Miser has performed the stunt outside the circus; the other time was done in the streets of Manhattan.
The public performance was a preview of what is to come during the week. The circus will have performances Thursday through Sunday. For more details and ticket information, call 702-739-3267.
Rotary picks new carnival company

The Tornado is one of several rides Cumberland Valley Shows will offer Clay County residents at the upcoming Rotary Club of Brazil 4th of July Celebration.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Submitted by the Rotary Club of Brazil

The Rotary Club of Brazil recently announced it is bringing a new carnival company to Forest Park for the 76th Brazil Rotary 4th of July Celebration. For 25 years, Cumberland Valley Shows -- based out of Lebanon, Tenn., and owned by Jeremy and Kate Floyd -- has prided itself in providing the best in family entertainment.
The Floyds say it has always been a goal of Cumberland Valley Shows to make every visit of every patron a memorable and enjoyable one.
The Cumberland Valley Shows Carnival was featured in "Hannah Montana: The Movie."
Cumberland Valley Shows carries with it an entourage of spectacular rides, children's rides, games and food. Some of the larger rides include the Downdraft, Himalaya, the new High Energy, and the 65-foot-tall Eagles 16 Ferris Wheel.
Children's rides include the Carousel, the Circus Train and a variety of others.
As an alternate to mechanical rides, Cumberland Valley Shows has numerous attractions including the Glass House (a mirror maze), The Magic Carpet (a multi-level fun house), and the giant 90-foot-long Super Slide.
For those who love a game of skill, state-of-the-art midway games such as Water Race and the traditional Duck Pond, among others, are provided.
Carnival food is always a favorite among midway patrons and Cumberland Valley Shows will provide several, including corn dogs, hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, cotton candy and popcorn.
Ticket prices will also be new this year, with Cumberland Valley Shows and the Rotary Club of Brazil working together to make ride prices as family friendly as possible. During the past three years, the Rotary Club of Brazil was using a different carnival company and was locked into ticket prices.
"It will be very different this year because the owners of Cumberland Valley Shows are great to work with," Rotary Club of Brazil President Dr. Miranda Goodale said. "Jeremy and Kate Floyd really want to help Rotary offer ticket pricing that is very family friendly."
Advance sale tickets are currently available at First Financial Bank, Harris Bank, Riddell National Bank and Terre Haute Savings Bank in Brazil.
Pay one price tickets are $10 each in advance and will be $15 at the park.
"I hope that these prices, which are lower than the last three years, will allow more people to come out and enjoy the celebration and come out more often," Goodale said

Couple enjoy clowning around

Dave and Cherie Gregg are a married clown couple who lit up the hearts of patients at the Women's and Children's Hospital

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 Photo by P.C. Piazza

Lafayette, LA--Minutes before their performance at Women's and Children's Hospital, clowns Dave and Cherie Gregg are already getting comfortable with their surroundings.
Dave has blue hair and wears a red and blue polyester jacket with matching pants. Cherie has red and white make up and a polka-dotted tutu.
After hanging a banner, they head over to the fish tank.
"There's Nemo," Cherie says and points.
"How do you think a clownfish tastes?" Dave asks.
"I bet they're funny-tasting," Cherie replies.
The husband and wife team are a part of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth. Rather than travel with the famous circus, Dave and Cherie drive a month to six weeks ahead of the main event as The Ambassadors of Laughter, bringing their act to hospitals, boys and girls clubs, summer camps and "pretty much anything that will have us," Dave more at:

Contortionists, tightropes and acrobatics, oh my!

New exhibit brings the circus to the city

Jeanne Noonan for NewsNY

Daily News reporter Jacob Osterhout tries out the tightrope walk at the new circus exhibit


Wednesday, June 15th 2011

It's a scientifically proven fact that nothing is more fun than the circus.
But not everyone can run off and join the show. So the New York Hall of Science in Queens has the next best thing, an interactive exhibit that allows New Yorkers of all ages to learn the science secrets behind their favorite circus acts.
"Circus! Science Under the Big Top" opened June 11 at the museum in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. As a circus lover, I, along with close to 100 kids from various local schools, was granted a sneak peek at the unique exhibit.
After a morning of trying my hand at tightrope walking, trapeze acrobatics and body contortion, let's just say it's a good thing I still have a day job.

Jeanne Noonan for News

A harness strapped to the ceiling kept our reporter safe as he made his way across the thin metal wire.
My guide, Alyssa December, must've done her research. Upon our introduction, she takes one look at me and walks straight to the carnival-show tent. There I learn how much pressure it takes to bend a metal bar and how to properly swallow a sword. (Hint: Straighten the esophagus and don't sneeze.)
We then move to the contortionist part of the exhibit, and I attempt to fold all 6 feet of myself into a glass box whose dimensions are 20 by 21 by 20 inches.
As a slew of elementary school students laugh at my inflexibility, I succeed in fitting nearly 70% of my body into the more at:

Acrobatics, Aerial Dance, Fire Spinning, Unicycling and Clowning Around

In Portland, The Circus is Always in Town

Ordinary folks are getting involved in acrobatics, aerial dance, unicycling and general clowning around. Photo: Heather Zinger

June 15th, 2011

By Hannah Aronowitz

Double-decker bikes, fire-spinning clowns, flying trapeze artists and death-defying acrobatic stunts. In Portland, you don’t have to wait for the circus to come to town.
From concerts to parks, in studios and on the street, circus arts performers are taking over every inch of this city. For exercise, fun, a challenge and a treat, ordinary folks are realizing they don’t have to leave town to join the circus and are getting involved in acrobatics, aerial dance, fire spinning, unicycling and general clowning around.
The Wanderlust Circus is perhaps Portland’s largest collective of performers who join together to put on breathtaking shows involving an ever-evolving group of clowns, aerialists, acrobats, stilt walkers, contortionists, jugglers and unicyclists.
The acrobalance troupe Kazüm is one of the Wanderlust Circus’ star spectacles due to their impressive mix of human strength and tension, comedy and costumes.
Ulrikka Haveron founded Kazüm in 2005 after she found her way to Portland from Texas a few years earlier. She started taking classes at Do Jump!, a local company that creates a unique blend of theater, aerial work, dance, music and visuals.
“There was nothing like that in Texas,” she says. Coming from a dance background and with a tiny build, Haveron says it was way more fun to practice acrobalance—a blend of adagio (partner lifts, throws and tosses) and hand balancing.
“There were a lot of people playing around with it, people were interested, but I had a dream of something more organized,” she more at:

New Jersey toughens rules for Ferris wheels after 11-year-old dies

By Sarah Hoye and Katie Silver, CNN

June 15, 2011

(CNN) -- The state of New Jersey is imposing harsher restrictions on Ferris wheel safety after an 11-year-old rider fell to her death earlier this month.
Officials are mandating riders be at least 54 inches to ride without supervision, according to a letter from Michael Triplett of the New Jersey Carnival and Amusement Ride Safety Unit.
Triplett also "strongly recommended" that each car have at least two riders, and added that if a manufacturer has a more strict requirement, that requirement should be followed.
The changes coincide with the release of a preliminary report into the death of Abiah Jones of Pleasantville, New Jersey, who fell at Morey's Piers Mariner's Landing Pier, in Wildwood, on June 3.
Jones, who met a 54-inch height requirement, was on a school trip when she fell from one of the park's main attractions, called The Great Wheel. After receiving first aid at the scene, she was taken to Cape Regional Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
How the girl fell is still undetermined, and officials have no eyewitnesses, according to a report by the state of New Jersey. Surveillance footage showed her during the fall but did not show her leaving the gondola, the report said.
It determined she entered the ride as a single rider and sustained "significant head trauma as well as cuts on her arms and shoulders," hitting several objects on her way to the ground.
The findings also concluded operators had no knowledge of any problems, the ride had no mechanical defects, and no other problems had been reported in its 25-year history.
"The fact that Abiah Jones was alone in the gondola, without any nearby passengers, may have led her to take a risk that she would have been convinced not to take if there were other riders in the gondola," the state investigator concluded.
At 156 feet, the ride is one of the tallest wheels on the East Coast, Morey Piers spokeswoman Lindsey Young told CNN.
Thousands expected to flock to chicken festival

The giant frying pan, a staple at the Delmarva Chicken Festival, is loaded with poultry during last year's event. / CHUCK SNYDER/ BEACHCOMBER

Jun 16, 2011


Written by Sarah Lake
GEORGETOWN, DE -- More than 20,000 people are expected to flock to Georgetown this weekend for the 62nd annual Delmarva Chicken Festival, a celebration of all things poultry.
"(We) are enthusiastically preparing for the return of the Delmarva Chicken Festival to our community," said Jeanne Dukes, festival chairwoman. "We look forward to welcoming thousands of visitors to our beautiful town while focusing on an industry that ... is an economic force within the Georgetown community and the Delmarva Peninsula."
Since 1950, the festival's main attraction has been chicken cooked in a giant fry pan. During the two-day event, more than three tons of chicken will be cooked in the 10-foot pan.
Chicken Capers, a competition for children, will be held Saturday and includes the Chicken Scratch -- a game whose objective is to separate money from chicken feed by scratching through a mound of cornmeal -- as well as a spoon race, egg toss and three-legged race.
Friends of the Georgetown Library is sponsoring the Chicken Festival Race, which includes a one-mile walk, a 5K race/walk and an adult/child walk.
Headlining this year's musical lineup is The Funsters, a 10-piece local band that plays a wide variety of music, ranging from Frank Sinatra to The Beatles.
Also performing at the festival are Joe Baione, a jazz musician; Touch of Brass, an instrumental quintet; The Stims, an acoustic band; Rick Huddle, a children's performer; The Delmarva Big Band; OH BOY!, a rockabilly tribute band; and the Baile Folklorica de Frankford dance company.
Chicken Meets the Chef will spotlight local chefs who will conduct two-hour cooking demonstrations, preparing two recipes featuring Delmarva-grown chicken.
The festival will also feature carnival rides and games, pony rides, a baby chick display, a home and trade show, an arts and crafts show, a healthy living expo and an educational exhibit.
read more at:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


~ Update on $1Dollar Drive



Dear Dick, Over the past few months our $1 Dollar Drive has been extremely successful.

We have raised over $2,000 in just a short time.

Thank you for your support and please continue to spread the word.

If you haven't already donated your dollar, please donate to help support our animals. We are only asking for one dollar.

We believe we can reach one million people worldwide.

If each of the million people donate just one dollar to the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary we will be able to improve our facility, continue to care for the animals that currently call the Sanctuary home, and rescue more animals that are in need of sanctuary.
The staff and the animals at the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary thank you for your support.




Sarasota restaurateur converts circus railcars into diner, archive


Chef and historian Bob Horne has been restoring Jomar, John and Mable Ringling's private 1917 Pullman railcar, which currently sits adjoined to his restaurant Bob's Train.
from The Sarasota Herald Tribune
By Dale White
Published: Sunday, June 12, 2011
SARASOTA - Restaurateur Bob Horne thinks he owns "the best-kept secret in Sarasota."The 68-year-old antique rail car aficionado who also is a fan of Ringling Circus history is combining his passions at Bob's Train, a hard-to-find bar, restaurant and circus memorabilia archive. The business is located in four Pullman railcars that he is restoring — including the "Jomar," John and Mable Ringling's personal railcar.
"It was going to be cut up," Horne said of the once-abandoned railcar that, in its day, was the epitome of luxury travel for Sarasota's prominent circus family.
In 2004, a law firm that owned the Jomar (a blend of John and Mable's names) allowed Horne to take possession if he paid the costs of moving it from where it sat rusting behind a cement plant north of downtown.
Businessman Harvey Vengroff let Horne relocate the 1917 Pullman onto an unused railroad track in a former lumber yard behind his debt collection business at Third Street and School Avenue.
On the same track, Horne relocated a 1960 Pullman, a 1947 Pullman and a 1957 Pullman he bought from Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus that previously housed traveling performers.
He calls his railcar collection the Sarasota Suncoast Railroad.
In 2007, the former owner of Bob's Place, a popular restaurant on Central Avenue, got back into the lunch business by converting the 1960 Pullman into a bar and dining room.FactsINTERESTED?Bob's Train, a railcar restaurant in a former lumberyard at School Avenue and Third Street in Sarasota, is open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays and from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.Yet he is anxious to expose his fixer-upper of a business venture and make it a landmark of community pride, entertainment and more at:

Scotland could introduce wild animal circus ban
By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent

Monday, 13 June 2011
Scottish Nationalists may ignore the “strong legal advice” given to the UK Government and introduce a ban on wild animals in circuses north of the border, according to officials. A spokeswoman for the SNP administration said ministers would decide this summer whether to include a ban in Scotland’s next annual legislative programme in September, despite warnings from Westminster than a ban might provoke a legal challenge.
The statement follows a passionate debate in Hollywood in which SNP, Labour and Green MSPs criticised successive failures to bar tigers and other creatures from the big top, prompting the Scottish Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson to say their continued use was “unacceptable.”
Promising he would look for a way to resolve the issue, Mr Stevenson said: “The dilemma for ministers is how a ban could be introduced.”
As reported in The Independent, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in Westminister has rejected a ban in favour of a licensing system.
Circuses that use around 20 wild animals such as tigers and zebras say they are well-treated, but animal welfare organisations – and now a growing ban of celebrity campaigners – say a life of small enclosures and training and travelling mean they should be re-homed to wildlife parks and sanctuaries. read more at:
Circus sparks controversy

This is not natural,’ resident says

Circus returns. While one resident is accusing the Shrine Circus of cruelty, Larry Solheim, general manager of TZ Productions, which runs the event, says this just isn't the case. file photo By Amanda Persico

Jun 13, 2011

from: (Canada)
The Shrine Circus is returning to town Wednesday for two shows and along with the animal performances comes controversy.

Newmarket’s Susan Morris claims the circus’ two Asian elephants are examples of animal cruelty.“Look at their eyes,” she said. “Their eyes are just dead. This isn’t natural and this isn’t the way it should be.”The largest abuse comes in the way the animals are carted from show to show and forced to do crowd-pleasing tricks, she said. “Elephants don’t do this naturally,” Ms Morris said. “You can see their broken souls.”

That is not the case, according to Larry Solheim, general manager of TZ Productions, the company that runs the Shrine Circus. The term “animal cruelty” is something activists came up with, he said. “We’ve never been charged with animal cruelty,” he said. “We’re inspected at every venue.

These people claiming animal cruelty are taking things out of context and using other companies as an example against us.

”Rather than put all circuses in the same camp, Mr. Solheim asks you consider the Shrine Circus on its own merits.

The production is family owned, with more than 10 generations of experience with exotic breads, Mr. Solheim said.

And with that comes knowledge and experience about how to make animal welfare the No. 1 concern.

Over the past 20 years, the company has participated in elephant transportation studies to find the best method of travel for the giant creatures. The trailers that carry the elephants are customized to provide for proper drainage, ventilation and temperature to keep the elephants comfortable, Mr. Solheim said. “We don’t put 10 animals at a time in a box car,” he said. “We engineer the tour so we only travel about 16,000 miles (25,000 kilometres) a year and our tour stops are within 60 miles (96 kilometres) from each other.

”The elephants in the TZ Circus production are housed in customized exercise pens, he said, adding TZ Productions was one of the first companies to tether the animals using custom-fit cotton.“It’s mad what people think,” Mr. Solheim said. “People think elephants and they think chains on their legs.

That’s not done anymore and we’re pioneers at that.”

The circus provides patrons with a learning experience.“We don’t just perform, we educate,” he said. “We want to give people a greater appreciation of what these wonders can do. You won’t find that in any book, video or picture.”But children are not learning about the animals, Ms Morris argued. “It’s like if aliens came down and wanted to learn about humans and we send them to the Don Jail,” she said. “This is not a learning experience. This is not natural. I love the circus, but it should be something without animals. The circus needs to change.”

Circus faces fear of clowns in Studley

Don’t be scared: Circus clowns Kakehole and Popol tackle clown phobia.

Tuesday 14th June 2011

THE circus is coming to Studley this month, and it's bringing with it a rather unusual offer of therapy for local residents suffering from Coulrophobia.
Clowns were recently listed as the third greatest fear in the UK, only beaten by spiders and needles on the scare scale, and John Lawson's Circus has decided to do something about it.
'Clowncelling' as the circus is phrasing it, will be available to any residents who would like to work through their clown-based issues.
Ringmaster, Attila Endresz, said: “It is surprising how many people seem to be frightened of clowns. Although you would always expect to see a clown at the circus, some people react with terror. And I’m talking about the adults."
Kakehole, who works as a clown for the circus, added: “We have developed some techniques to encourage people to overcome their fears. We gently introduce ourselves, explain the art of clowning, and perhaps even help the person to discover their own inner clown.”
The circus will be at the recreation ground off Crooks Lane, from Friday, June 24 until Sunday, June 26.

Circus helps out in Joplin (6/13)

Elephant trainer, George Hanneford, III, performs with his two elephants during Piccadilly Circus on Sunday at the Civic Center. (KAREN WINK / AMERICAN PRESS)
By Rachel Warren / AMERICAN PRESS
The Piccadilly Circus rolled into town Saturday, bringing with it a clown car full of heroes and one big celebrity.
The circus made national news last month when performers helped Joplin, Mo., residents clean up in the aftermath of the devastating tornado.
Zack Garden, Piccadilly Circus general manager, said the circus passed through Joplin on its tour across the country.
Garden said he and some of the circus performers ventured into the destroyed neighborhoods to help Joplin residents sort through debris when he saw something that bothered him.
“There were tow trucks out there charging money to move cars and debris,” he said. “So we decided to bring the elephant out there.”
Ocka, the circus’s Asian elephant, helped performers as they separated the debris into piles of wood, metal and personal items.
Garden said the circus’s other two elephants are African and not physically built to pull heavy materials.
“The majority of people were happy and were crying,” Garden said. “Everybody was crying, including myself.”
Garden said several residents offered to pay the circus for their services, but he refused.
Cuinn Griffin, Piccadilly Circus promotional director, said the circus was set to perform at Joplin’s Memorial Hall on May 29.
But the arena was being used to house several patients forced to evacuate the devastated St. John’s Regional Medical Center.
“It was either take a day off or go out and do something nice for the community,” Garden said.
Several of the circus’s clowns and performers visited the arena to cheer up patients, he said.
Griffin said clowns also visited several other shelters in the area.
“We just did whatever we could to help out,” Garden said.

The Show Goes On

Circus granted building permit.

Visitors near a tiger in a cage.Credit CherylAnn Fernandes

By Denise Buffa0


After barring the circus from opening Monday, city officials have granted a building permit to Cole Bros. Circus, allowing them to open Tuesday and Wednesday at the mall.
Although a circus official concedes that an animal-rights' group's complaints that a camel and the public were too close, prompting circus workers to further separate the two, officials from the circus and city both said the building permit denial had nothing to do with the animals.
The denial of the permit stemmed from concerns about the safety of the big-top tent, which holds more than 1,000 visitors, officials said.
Railings had to be put up, chairs had to be secured, exits had to be accessible, and an extra engineer had to confirm an original engineer's determination that the tent was safe, according to officials.
"We've made everybody happy," the circus' Tim Orris, who is in charge of obtaining permits for the show.
Milford's director of permitting and land use, Jocelyn Mathiasen, noted that the city officials had expressed concerns about the big tent last month, but said the circus didn't respond to the concerns until last week.
"I was very disappointed that we weren't able to get the permit on time," Mathiasen said.
Politically, it would've been easy to grant a permit, according to Mathiasen. But the public's safety, especially in light of a historic 1944 circus fire in Hartford where more than 150 people died, was the city's ultimate concern, she said.
"We need to make sure that all buildings and temporary structures are safe," Mathiasen said.
Meanwhile, four to five animal rights activists showed up at the Westfield Shoppingtown/Connecticut Post Mall on Monday and complained a camel was too close to the public, according to Orris. So circus workers, deeming it a valid complaint, rectified the matter, Orris said.
"They made sure no one was getting near any of the animals," he said. "If someone comes up with a legitimate complaint, we address it."
Orris could not say how much money the circus may have lost Monday, when it was prohibited from putting on two shows because the city refused to grant a building permit.
The show is ready to start, Orris said.

Not one, but two circuses arrive in New Orleans

In 2010, Travis Arbuthnot gets a fist bump from the Zing Zang Zoom Clowns of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
By Maria C. Montoya, The Times-Picayune
Tuesday, June 14, 2011,
I truly believe one never is too old for the circus. Each year, I get goose bumps as we wait in line to enter the New Orleans Arena.

This weekend, there's not one but two circuses to catch in New Orleans. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus runs through Sunday at the Arena, and the UniverSoul Circus, also continuing through Sunday, will offer shows at the vacant lot at Bienville Avenue and North Jefferson Davis Parkway, the site of the old Mercy Hospital parking lot.

Each time I write about attending the circus, I inevitably get emails and phone calls from folks saying the animals are treated inhumanely. I apologize in advance for upsetting you, but yes, my family still is going to the circus.

I grew up attending the Ringling shows, and, as a poor kid living in Florida, it was one of the few highlights of each year. My mother was sick and never could attend, but she always would give me $10, a lot of cash for us back then, and my circus experience was magical.

While $10 probably wouldn't buy my children a soda these days, the show is just as wonderful for us. It's two hours of no texting, bickering or singing Elmo songs. Last year, Press and Christina sat in awe, watching acrobats soar and dogs leap with their mouths wide open. No one pinched anyone, and no one cried.

It was pure bliss for me. Earlier this month, when I spoke to Ringling's ringmaster, Johnathan Lee Iverson, he said, "The circus has no age limit. ... There is no other show in entertainment that is more generationally diverse."

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Circus 2010

An I movie created by JohnJohn Walker from A single tour on his families circus(Walker Bros) in 2010. Also see a life time of traveling and performing with a real circus!

In Circus Spotlight: Ringmaster Peter Sturgis

"The show must go on" is no simple slogan for veteran circus ringmaster Peter Sturtgis of Baraboo, Wisconsin.
Big cats coming to the Cherokee County Fair

Kay Rosaire and Clayton Rosaire.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Cherokee Chronicle Times

The Cherokee County Fair will be held this year on July 7 and run until July 10 at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds.
This year's featured act will be the Kay Rosaire Big Cat Encounter Tiger Show.

Clayton Rosaire, son of Kay Rosaire, will be presenting this attraction.

When Kay Rosaire or her son steps into the huge steel arena they bring gasps of appreciation from the audience when their will and skill prevails over the deadly strength and stealth of the tiger and lion. Respect is the key word, according to Kay. She respects the natural ability of her charges and they respect the fact that she is the master, the one they must obey.

This does not come easy. Hours and hours of patience and perseverance in training are involved and the result is that patrons are treated to a rare display of a fearless young lady's command over savage jungle beasts. Kay Rosaire is an eighth generation circus performer, from one of England's most respected Circus families. The Rosaires are known world wide in the circus and entertainment industry for their gift in animal training ability. Kay is something of a rarity, a feminine trainer who actually trains her own animals. Audiences are amazed as she puts these huge, magnificent felines through a very complex and dangerous series of routines.

Back in the Day - June 2, 1966: West Milford Egg wouldn't crack
Sunday, June 12, 2011
A husband’s dare led a West Milford woman to become a daredevil high wire circus artist who performed 75 feet in the air without a net, she recalled at 78 years old.

Mrs. Lena Egg said it all began when she married husband Charles Egg when she was 22.

"Mr. Egg was a member of an acrobatic team called ‘The Spauldings’ and he was having trouble keeping partners. I thought I could fill the gap and told him so. He didn’t believe I could do it. So just to prove it, that’s how I got into show business," she said.

Before trying the high wire, she performed on the rings, T-bars and trapeze. She feared the height of the wire but practiced it just to show her husband what was up.

"I never got the stunt right in practice, but when appearing before an audience, the ham in me came out, and I did the act right," she said.

The Spauldings were well-known in the circus and vaudeville world "many years ago," we said.

When daughter Eleanor joined the act at age 3, she was billed as "The Youngest Acrobat in the Country."

Even though she was 78, Lena Egg could still stand on her head as long as most people could stand on their feet.

Egg said that during her show business career she fell only twice and both times she wasn’t hurt because "we learn how to fall."

Zoppé Italian Family Circus - Oct. 6-9, 2011
From: CarpenterCenter, Long Beach, CA
The Family Circus returns to welcome your family into the intimate 500-seat tent for a one-ring circus that honors the best history of the Old-World Italian tradition. The adventure begins as Nino the clown leads you on a journey that features acrobatic feats, equestrian showmanship, canine capers, clowning and plenty of audience

Everyone should have a circus story - or two

By Ted Escobar
The Chronicle editor Columbia Basin Herald

Sunday, June 12, 2011
The upcoming circuses at Royal City (June 12) and George (July 4) encouraged Jill Baker, this paper's paginator, to wonder last week if I had a circus story worthy of a column.
Yes I do, more than one.
The best circus I ever attended was Circus Vargas in Yakima a couple of decades ago. I'd never seen a circus so big. It had everything, from midgets to giants, from ponies to elephants, from fire eaters to trapeze artists.

The second best circus was Circus Circus in Las Vegas, and that was because it gave me a chance to rest. It was the first Las Vegas trip for Pat and me, and we were accompanied by our children.

We didn't go to gamble so much as we went to see. Mostly we walked around, day and night, observing the sights, viewing the lights.

I was dog tired when we arrived at Circus Circus one afternoon. The kids enjoyed it immensely. Yea for me. I just sat.

My first experience with a circus occurred right next door to our house in Granger in 1958. I crossed the fence, right after the circus arrived in its 1940s and 1950s trucks, to get a back stage look.

I was offered a job. The pay was free tickets. Later when I told Pat this story, she said a couple of her brothers had done the same thing at the same circus.

While I was there helping, I noticed a python snake in a glass enclosure. It had a big bulge just behind the head. I thought something was wrong. So I asked.

"No," the man said. "He just ate. That's a whole chicken."

We had chickens, lots of them in a coop in our back yard. Made me wonder, but I didn't ask. I was only 13, and all around me were crusty, greasy adult men.

I learned that day that there is no clowning around before the show. Everybody works on the setup. And sometimes people become testy.

A fight broke out right in front of me. It ended when one man hit the other with an elephant hook and ran for the hills. Nobody died, but the police were called.

I crossed the fence back to the house - without my tickets - thinking I was done with that incident. But a short while later, the police were at my house interviewing me.

My best circus story was really my father's. He was seven when P.T. Barnum brought his show to Silver City, New Mexico.
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Sunday, June 12, 2011




Police: Donkey roamShippensburg,PA after escaping from circus
By staff reports,
June 10, 2011
A donkey was found roaming the streets of Shippensburg Thursday, according to Shippensburg Borough police.

Police received one report from a passerby regarding the donkey, but they were unable to find it. Another passerby, however, was able to stop the donkey near a gas station at Fayette and Orange streets, according to police.

Police were able to contact the circus staff at the fairgrounds, who were able to retrieve the animal.

The Neighborhood Files
Wenatchee Youth Circus Coming to Edmonds
Edmonds youth can catch the show and even consider joining the circus themselves next summer.

By Heidi Dietrich
June 10, 2011

Circus fans can catch a show in Edmonds when the Wenatchee Youth Circus travels to town next month.

The performers, who range in age from five to 19, will hold outdoor performances at the Edmonds Civic Center. The show takes place on July 12 at 7 p.m. and July 13 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m, and is sponsored by the Edmonds Exchange Club and Edmonds Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services.

Wenatchee Youth Circus includes children and teens skilled in trapeze, unicycles, tight wire, and other acts. There are currently between 40 to 50 circus members, and all children -- including Edmonds kids -- are eligible to join. Youth from as far away as Massachusetts, West Virginia, and Australia have joined the traveling circus for the summer months.

Circus members begin practicing in October of every year. During the winter months, they rehearse tumbling, trapeze, and teeter board in the Orchard Middle School gym in Wenatchee. In the spring, they head outdoors, where they are able to practice high rigging acts. Performances begin in May and last through the summer.

The Wenatchee Youth Circus dates back 59 years, when Orchard Junior High principal Paul Pugh started the group as an after school tumbling group for his students. The gymnasts performed at basketball games, schools assemblies, and community service club meetings.

Pugh eventually began to add more acrobatic disciplines to his group. After retiring from Orchard Junior High, he began to focus full-time on running the circus.

The Wenatchee Youth Circus now travels around the state with a flatbed trailer that hauls five small circus wagons. One wagon converts into a raised covered bandstand, and the others haul equipment. A separate trailer serves as a cook shack with a refrigerator and two large freezers. Cooks prepare three meals a day for 100 to 150 performers, chaperones, and guests.

Parents of the performers design and create the costumes. Parents also serve on a board to help manage the circus and travel with the circus as chaperones.

Circus performer plunges 20 ft. at Colorado show
The Associated Press
Saturday, Jun. 11, 2011
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A Ringling Bros. Circus performer has been taken to a hospital after falling 20 feet before a Colorado Springs crowd.

The Colorado Springs Gazette reports that the performer was carted out of the World Arena during an intermission at the circus Saturday.

Ringling Bros. production manager Chantal Stringer says the performer had been preparing for an act that required he climb in and out of a wheel that rotates on an axis. He was outside of the wheel when he plunged onto what circus-goer John Flores described as a thin piece of padding.

Flores says the performer landed on his right shoulder.

Stringer says the performer, who has not been named, seemed to be in "good spirits" and "doing fine" Saturday evening. The cause of the fall is under investigation.
Circus coming to Secaucus this Sunday for two shows

Kelly Miller Circus come to Secaucus this Sunday at 2 p.m. and then again at 5 p.m. at Harmon Meadow, 100 Plaza Drive.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
By Jean-Pierre Mestanza/The Jersey Journal The Jersey Journal

The Kelly Miller Circus is coming to Secaucus this Sunday with elephants, tigers, clowns, and circus stars from all around the world.

The show comes a day after the town's first annual Hometown Street Fair, which will go on today until 10 p.m. at Center Plaza and Front Street.

The circus will be at Harmon Meadow parking lot, 100 Plaza Drive. Tickets before circus day are $10 for adults and $6 for kids. On circus day, tickets will be $15 for adults and $7 for kids.

Two shows are scheduled tomorrow, one at 2 p.m. and the other at 5 p.m.

Shrine Circus comes to Woodstock

circus ringleader who keeps the show together is the eloquent ringmaster Devin Chandler.

Jim Fox, Special to QMI Agency
Saturday, June 11, 2011

Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, the big show is about to begin.

Be dazzled by the biggest, most spectacular and amazing acts yet to be seen under the big top.

Yes, the circus is coming to town so come on out and clown around and be mesmerized by these amazing feats of daring.

The annual Shrine Circus brings with it a cast of acrobats, aerial artists, animal trainers, clowns, the bellowing and entertaining ringmaster and other performers.

Big top entertainment comes to the Woodstock, Ont.’s Southwood Arena on June 20; the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex on June 21; and Western Fair in London on June 22, all for two shows at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Other stops include Owen Sound on Tuesday (June 14); Newmarket, Wednesday (June 15); Cambridge, June 17-19; Toronto, June 24-26 as well as various later dates; Mississauga, June 30-July 3; Sarnia, July 5; and Windsor, July 6.

It travels to other cities in Ontario including St. Catharines, Belleville, Peterborough, Brampton, Hamilton, Oshawa, Vaughan/Richmond Hill/Aurora, Kingston, Ottawa, Petawawa, Brockville and Cornwall on Aug. 10 before heading into Quebec.

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Northeast Fair opens June 21, Family Day June 24
June 12, 2011
from: The WilkesBarre, PA Times Leader

People from all walks of life will visit Pennsylvania state fairs this summer and fall, enjoying the entertainment, delicious food, thrilling rides, agricultural exhibits, animals, educational opportunities, motor sports, to participate in the friendly competitions, and just to take in some of the family fun and excitement.

One of Northeast Pennsylvania’s biggest and most affordable annual family events, the Northeast Fair, a Pennsylvania State Agricultural Fair, will open on Tuesday, June 21 and continue through Sunday, June 26, at the 42 acre fair grounds located off Route 315 in Pittston Township.

The Northeast Fair offers more than 1,500 contests with thousands of dollars in prize money to be awarded, allowing plenty of opportunity for Pennsylvania residents to enter their favorite contests and show off their talents.

Contest categories in the 2011 Contest Guide include special baking contests, floral exhibits & horticulture, needlecraft, arts, photography, crafts, wine & beer making, home produced foods, vegetables & tomatoes, 4-H, rabbits, evergreen trees, grain & hay, fruits & nuts, group exhibits, antique farm equipment, fair queen contest (limited to Luzerne and Lackawanna County residents), apiary & maple products, home grown music, special categories limited to youth under 19 years of age, beautiful baby contest.

First place blue ribbon winners of several contests will represent the Northeast Fair at the 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show, competing against the first place winners of other Pennsylvania Fairs for the title and cash prizes of Pennsylvania’s best. The Northeast Fair Contest Guide includes simple instructions of how to register for a contest, how to exhibit, and how to claim awards.

Don’t know what contest to enter? The 2011 Northeast Fair Contest Guide is available on the fair website or by calling the fair office at 654-2503.

Entertainment includes a Demolition Derby and Figure 8 racing, great concerts, community group performances, educational petting zoo and pig racing, Ron Diamond, hypnotist and magician, Buffo the World’s Strongest Clown and much more. And there will be a wide selection of food at this year’s fair.

There may still be one or two time slots open on one of the community stages, so if your group or solo act and would like to perform, call Community Organizations Chairperson, Mary Jo Searfoss at 654-0724. The fair committee knows that there’s a lot of local talent in the area and the Northeast Fair is a great place to showcase it.

Two protest circus is cruelest, not coolest
Employees: Animal care is unparalleled
By Kyle Suratt
June 10,2011
SAN ANGELO, Texas — Even as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus took center stage Thursday night at Foster Communications Coliseum, a San Angelo woman and her younger cousin stood outside protesting.

Jessica Sanchez, 20, and cousin John Borjas, 15, their car windows painted with messages such as "cruelty is not entertainment," held up signs in a parking lot across from the coliseum at 50 E. 43rd St.

The vegetarian said she wanted to go out and speak her mind.

"It went really good," said Sanchez, who received support from family and friends on Facebook.

"We received a lot of thumbs-up and honks," but also faced yells from circus spectators, she said.

Sanchez and Borjas protested from 5 to 7:30 p.m. only on Thursday night because "it makes a better statement on opening day," she said. The circus is in San Angelo through Sunday.

The circus employs full-time personnel to care for the animals everyday on tour and also has one on-call veterinarian staff member in every city, Janet Aria, director of animal stewardship for the circus, said.

"Our animal care is unparalleled, it's what we are all about," said Aria.

Sanchez sent for a packet from PETA — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an international animal rights group — with stickers, fliers and other materials to help spread the word that she "is an 'ele' friend" she said.
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Two protest circus is cruelest, not coolest
Employees: Animal care is unparalleled
By Kyle Suratt
June 10,2011
SAN ANGELO, Texas — Even as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus took center stage Thursday night at Foster Communications Coliseum, a San Angelo woman and her younger cousin stood outside protesting.

Jessica Sanchez, 20, and cousin John Borjas, 15, their car windows painted with messages such as "cruelty is not entertainment," held up signs in a parking lot across from the coliseum at 50 E. 43rd St.

The vegetarian said she wanted to go out and speak her mind.

"It went really good," said Sanchez, who received support from family and friends on Facebook.

"We received a lot of thumbs-up and honks," but also faced yells from circus spectators, she said.

Sanchez and Borjas protested from 5 to 7:30 p.m. only on Thursday night because "it makes a better statement on opening day," she said. The circus is in San Angelo through Sunday.

The circus employs full-time personnel to care for the animals everyday on tour and also has one on-call veterinarian staff member in every city, Janet Aria, director of animal stewardship for the circus, said.

"Our animal care is unparalleled, it's what we are all about," said Aria.

Sanchez sent for a packet from PETA — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an international animal rights group — with stickers, fliers and other materials to help spread the word that she "is an 'ele' friend" she said.
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