2014 Convention



Saturday, July 23, 2011

Getting a Refund From the Belle

NBC Philadelphia, Tracy Davidson and Alexis Leonard
The Philadelphia Belle closed down without warning this week. If you had a Groupon deal, you'll get all your money back. If you booked with the Belle, they didn't know on Friday how they were going to deal with refunds. But you can call them: 757-640-9203
A boer goat nuzzles up to a fan inside the sheep barn, Thursday, July 21, 2011, at the Warren County Fair in Lebanon, Ohio, where temperatures in the area were expected to reach 97 degrees. Farmers and other animal keepers are toiling away to keep creatures cool during the hot weather sweeping much of the country. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) 7/22/11

Carousel marks 100-year milestone
Community party, free rides will celebrate the event

Bernadette O'Keefe

Bernadette O'Keefe poses with horses on the City Park carousel
Friday, July 22, 2011
By GAYLE PEREZ The Pueblo Chieftain
The historic carousel in City Park is turning 100 years old and Puebloans of all ages are invited to celebrate the milestone.

"We know that there have been generations of Puebloans who have enjoyed the carousel and when we realized it was going to be 100 years old this year, we knew we had to do something to celebrate it," said Bernadette O'Keefe, recreation supervisor for the Pueblo Parks and Recreation Department.

"We want to celebrate the memories the carousel has brought to the people of Pueblo and beyond. This carousel means so much to so many people in the area."

From 3 to 9 p.m. Saturday, the public is invited to revel, reminisce and ride on the historic carousel, built in 1911.

Young and old have enjoyed rides on the City Park carousel that is marking its 100th anniversary this weekend.

As part of the anniversary festivities, City Council President Ray Aguilera will read a proclamation declaring Saturday as the Historic Carousel 100th Anniversary Day.

There will be free carousel rides, face painting, clowns and cake. The other rides at the park will be open but will cost 25 cents. The train is 50 cents.

O'Keefe said festivities are being held this weekend to coincide with National Carousel Day, which is Monday.

The carousel was built in 1911 by C.W. Parker company in Abilene, Kan., but didn't come to Pueblo until 1914, O'Keefe said
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York Fair to make major changes in fairground design


ANDREW SHAW, The York Dispatch
America's oldest fair is about to get a major design change.

York Fair president H. Eugene Schenck just hopes the 600,000 plus patrons last year like the improvements this fall.

"It can be risky business to tinker with the fair," Schenck said Thursday.

The changes are much more than tinkering, as Schenck called it a "major upheaval."

While nothing is really being subtracted, minus some parking spaces, the main change is what's being added: Places to sit, places to walk, places to watch.

General manager Mike Froehlich, keeping the successful design of Disney World and theme parks overall in mind, has developed a new layout for the fairgrounds that will include a new, 1,700-foot long and 45-foot wide midway called Broadway that will connect the amusement rides to Memorial Hall.
The walkway is supposed to help bring together the two ends of the fair more efficiently and also create a more central common area, with several pathways connecting at the middle of Broadway at a new space called "Tymes Square"; the old-time spelling is a nod to York Fair's longevity, Froehlich said.

Other changes include an expanded amusement ride section that will have about one-third more space; more grassy space for people to set up picnic blankets and chairs; more benches and places to sit down and eat throughout the fairgrounds; more food vendors; and the relocation of the Great Country Radio Stage from in front of Memorial Hall to its east wing side, where Froehlich said the parking lot has a natural amphitheater slope for better sightlines. The animal birthing area is also being expanded.

Mostly, Froehlich said, York Fair officials wanted to make better use of green space and open things up to avoid bottlenecking. Every entrance to the fair should function as a front door, he added.

"The whole goal is a theme park atmosphere in a fair type setting," he said.

Schenck said additional announcements on fair upgrades are coming weekly, including a major attraction to be added at the end of Broadway. Admission prices are not expected to be affected by the fairground modifications.

Schenck said it's the biggest overhaul the fairgrounds has seen in its long history that dates back to 1765, outside of the Expo Center addition.

Stratham Fair begins four-day run

Kids turn upside down on the ride called "Freak Out" on a very hot morning Thursday at the Stratham Fair.
Deb Cram/
By Liz Markhlevskaya
July 21, 2011
STRATHAM, NH — The Stratham Fair kicked off Thursday with hot weather and a day filled with amusement rides, vendors, food and livestock.

“It's a great family event,” said Hampton resident Carl Hendrickson, who came to the fair with his daughter Katie, 16, and son Keith, 10

Katie enjoyed one of the new amusement rides offered by Fiesta Shows. The “Freak Out” ride swings visitors from one side to another while spinning at the same time. “I really liked it, it was really intense,” said Katie, while on the way to the next ride, “Starship Exodus.”

Hendrickson said he brings his family to Stratham Fair every year, because the event offers a perfect mix of rides, vendors and 4-H activities for youth interested in agriculture.

Rival Ink, an airbrush tattoo company from West Springfield, Mass., has one of the more than 70 vending spots at the fair. Owner Scott Primack said he chose the Stratham Fair because of the number of visitors attracted to its amusement rides and its inexpensive entrance fee.

“There are big rides here,” said Primack, who has his vending spot next to the midway. He said a $7 entrance fee per adult is a good deal and he hopes to see many customers throughout the weekend.
For young people interested in agriculture and raising livestock, those under 18 can showcase their animals and test their knowledge at the 4-H offering.

Christine Lamore, 14, of Newmarket brought her 2-year-old hen, Roberta, for showcasing on Saturday. “From day one, I knew she was going to be a good show bird,” Lamore said of her Barred Rock black-and-white hen. “She's a super docile bird — she's just friendly.”

Lamore said she has been training the bird since it was two days old. “She's my baby,” said Lamore, who won first place for poultry showmanship at last year's fair. This year, her only goal is to have fun.

At the 4-H cattle barn, Alycia Wojtusik, 17, and her cousin Joey Bosworth, 16, brought about 12 cows and calves to the fair in preparation for the beef cattle showcase on Saturday. Bosworth said he first got involved in showcasing dairy goats at the Stratham Fair last year, and after helping fellow 4-Hers bring their cows into the ring, he decided to participate in the showcase this year.

The cows came from the JKJ Simmental Farm in Northwood, said Wojtusik, who has showcased the cows at Stratham Fair for the past six years. She said the cows are judged on how clean and fit they are, as well as for their calmness. To prepare for the showcase, the cousins wash the cows, clean their ears and practice walking them.

“I've always wanted to be around animals,” Wojtusik said. Wojtusik will attend the University of Maine this fall, studying to become a large animal veterinarian.

Circus Kids & The Parents Who Love Them
Brave kids join Circus Smirkus – and braver parents let them.

From thehollywood
Circus Smirkus, the award-winning, traveling youth circus, is scheduled to perform in Richmond on July 25 and 26 to benefit the Meadowbrook Waldorf School.Credit Circus Smirkus
By Johanna Corcoran
From hollywood
July 21, 2011
Running away to join the Circus may sound like a cliche, but for the kids of Circus Smirkus, it's the stuff dreams are made of.

Circus Smirkus, the nationally acclaimed youth circus, visits Rhode Island on July 25 and 26 at Washington County Fairgrounds to benefit the Meadowbrook Waldorf School in West Kingston.

What began as a small Vermont show 20 years ago has grown into a two-month summer tour throughout New England. And this circus is run almost entirely on kid power. Kids ages 10 to 18 are the stars of the show, as well as the crew and concessions staff. Their summer with the Circus teaches responsibility, teamwork and valuable performance skills; but since the troupe hails from all over the county and as far as New Zealand, it also means a summer of travel, away from their families.

Talk about an exercise in "letting go" for parents!

As a parent and someone who works with families, I'm fascinated by the kids in the show. They go through a rigorous audition process to secure one of the coveted troupe member spots. Once a part of the show, they perform in their area of expertise, which may be juggling, acrobatics, trapeze, wire walking, clowning — anything that you'd expect to see in a full-length professional circus show.

Parents: Would you let your child run away to join the circus for the summer? I had a chance to chat with three of the performers about how their parents support this circus passion. The kids are brave, but I'd say that the parents are, too.
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Hollywood Actor Joins the Circus
Hollywood resident Billy Murray lives his dream of performing as a clown in Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey circus.

Hollywood resident Billy Murray is among the clowns performing at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus this weekend. Credit: Paul Zollo
From thehollywood
By Paul Zollo, July 22, 2011
Billy Murray says he is living a dream.
The New Jersey native moved to Hollywood in 2007, like so many others, to become an actor. And though he has appeared on TV shows such as Hannah Montana and CSI, he’s made his name by becoming a circus clown.

“And not just any clown,” Murray, 26, told Patch from his Hollywood home. “I’m not bending balloon animals at kid’s parties. I’m part of the Greatest Show on Earth, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus.”

Though Billy isn’t in the current traveling cast of the circus, which opened its new show, "Fully Charged" Wednesday night at the Staples Center, he works as a clown ambassador of good will for the circus, entertaining the crowds outside of Staples as they wait to enter, as well as traveling to hospitals and elsewhere to spread the kind of cheer only clowns can spread.

Because of his love of music, Billy designed his costume to represent a one-boy band: his hat is a drum, his pant legs are keyboards and his jacket is appointed with xylophone keys. “It’s awesome, cause I’m musical,” he said.

Being a clown, despite common presumptions, is serious business. Murray learned his craft by studying with New York Goofs, where he learned every aspect of clowning from doing his own makeup to juggling, acrobatics, costuming, dancing, balancing and more.

In addition to clowning in the show, Billy also took on additional “cherry pie jobs,” as they’re known, such as participating in elephant walks. When the circus arrives by train in a new city, the elephants are marched from the train to the venue in the middle of the night.

Here in L.A. they walked three miles from the Vernon train depot to Staples at midnight Monday night.

The circus travels all year long on a mile-long train that houses some 275 people from every corner of the planet. Billy lived with the other clowns in the “clown car,” which has a dozen small rooms. “I go from car to car,” he remembered, “and you get a taste of Mongolia, Russia and China and other places from around the world. This has been an incredible experience.”

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus will perform “Fully Charged” at the Staples Center through Sunday, July 24 (with several shows on the weekend) and then move on to the Honda Center in Anaheim from July 27 to July 30.

Circus Train Accident Tragic
from: The Lakeland, FL Ledger
Saturday, July 23, 2011
On a foggy January morning, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus' private train trundled through Lakeland on its way from St. Petersburg to Orlando for three days of performances that were to start that night. It was about 9:15, and many of the "Blue Unit's" 150 performers and crew were still sleeping after the show the night before.

Kydyrjan Boulibekov, a circus horse rider from the former Soviet Union, had just woken up to use the restroom. He was walking down the train corridor when his car went off the tracks.

"Maybe it saved me, 'cause where I slept, the refrigerator fell down," Boulibekov said.

Seventeen of the train's 53 cars had derailed. Photos of the wreck, which happened near U.S. 92 and Fish Hatchery Road, showed a zigzagged pile of silver-and-red rail cars, many of them on their sides.

The Jan. 13, 1994, wreck is likely the most notorious in Polk County history. In fact, there are many in this county who still remember the circus train wreck, even though it's now been 17 years.
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Friday, July 22, 2011








check it out---

One Tank Trip: Civil War Road Show

Karin Mallett Reporter
July 20, 2011
EASTON, Pa. -- The big top goes up when the circus comes to town, so what happens when the Civil War arrives?
A trailer expands.
"It goes from eight foot wide to 24 foot wide," said John Seitter, project manager for Pa. Civil War 150, which is a traveling road show housed in an expandable trailer that, from now until 2014, plans to visit all 67 counties in Pennsylvania.
We caught up with the show when it made a stop in Easton.
"It's really a side of the Civil War that a lot of people don't know about, and that's the home front," said Seitter.
One story at a time, you'll learn how the war impacted men, women and children.
It's an immersion experience, one that covers almost all the senses.
All the stories you hear might inspire you to tell one of your own, and you can do that in the story booth.
It's all set up with a web cam, and it even tells you where to look. In 90 seconds, you can share what the Civil War means to you.
Planners waited a long time to hear these stories. The road show has been in the making for the past six years.
It will spend the next three on a journey to find even more.


Alfred Beautour - Tigres - 19º Festival Internacional de Circo de Monte Carlo

Cirque du Soleil classic updated for smaller arena venues

Young Zoé is bored. Her parents ignore her. But in the imaginary world of Cirque du Soleil’s long-running “Quidam,” she meets characters who encourage her to free her soul.
July 21, 2011
By Channing Gray
Journal Arts Writer
By now, fans should know what to expect from Cirque du Soleil, the Montreal-based circus troupe that combines Olympic-caliber gymnastics and acrobatics with a healthy dose of performance art. At some point — and usually more than once — there will be a scene in which performers twist and turn in ways that Mother Nature never intended. There will be aerialists and acrobats who spin around like human whirligigs. There will be great sets and costumes. And there will be a storyline — the stranger, the better — that ties everything together (or at least gives the individual performances a vague semblance of order).

Certainly, all those ingredients can be found in “Quidam,” a long-running production that was recently updated by the Cirque creative team of Guy Laliberte, Franco Dragone and Gilles Ste-Croix. The show, about a lonely teenage girl whose fantasies come to gravity-defying life, comes to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center for a five-day run beginning Wednesday, July 27.

Recently, Journal arts writer Channing Gray talked to one of the show’s performers, Jamieson Lindenburg, about the production and about the experience of touring with the world’s best-known new-wave circus troupe.
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Leopard attacks villagers
Published: July 20, 2011
from the Charleston, SC Post and Courier
Photo by AP

In this July 19, 2011 photo, a leopard attacks a forest guard at Prakash Nagar village near Salugara, on the outskirts of Siliguri, India. The forest guard being attacked was injured.
In this July 19, 2011 photo, a leopard prepares to attack a forest guard, left, at Prakash Nagar village near Salugara, on the outskirts of Siliguri, India.

In this photo taken Tuesday, July 19, 2011, a leopard attacks a forest guard as another runs for cover at Prakash Nagar village near Salugara, on the outskirts of Siliguri, India. The leopard, which suffered injuries caused by knives and batons, died later in the evening at a veterinary center.

In this July 19, 2011 photo, a leopard runs to escape after attacking a forest guard at Prakash Nagar village near Salugara, on the outskirts of Siliguri, India.
Big Top circus installation sets up at ISU galleries
By Dan Craft

Thursday, July 21, 2011
NORMAL -- It can require up to three rings to contain a circus.

But it's taking all four exhibition spaces in ISU's University Galleries to house the big-top summer show, "Magnificent Menagerie," on view through Aug. 7.

It's the first major circus-themed installation in the space since the summer 1992 show, "Palace of Wonder: Circus Collections in Illinois."

Where that exhibit was chiefly culled from vintage posters in Milner Library's internationally known Circus and Allied Arts Collection, the new show's scope has broadened.

The classic Milner poster art is still there, but so are numerous other elements, from historic artifacts to recently created works by area artists.

"We wanted to take another direction," says curator Tony Preston-Schreck. "The collaboration with Milner has been more in-depth, contributing to a broader conversation involving artifacts, films and more."

Alterations of the space include images painted on the walls, reflecting various periods of circus history here, from a traditional (pink) elephant to something completely current and B-N-specific --a yellow Chihuahua, referencing present-day Gamma Phi Circus performer Christian Stoinev and his performing Chihuahua, Scoobie, both of whom have received national recognition.

The goal, says Preston-Schreck, is to bring together selections from the Milner collection, recognition of Gamma Phi's contributions and a present-day evocation of circus-related art.

As visitors enter the University Galleries' main space, they'll encounter the "Magnificent Menagerie" head-on, including 21 posters, two vintage films documenting the Ringling Bros. Circus by noted B-N photographer Elizabeth Stein, artifacts like a 1919 circus throne and a video recording of Gamma Phi's April 16, 2011, performance.
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Bob Trendler: The maestro who brought music to ‘Bozo’s Circus’
Posted in Chicago Media blog by Robert Feder on Jul 21, 2011
Chicago baby boomers have lost another symbol of their youth to that big top in the sky.

Bob Trendler, the cheerful bandleader of Bozo’s Circus whose career spanned 40 years on WGN-Channel 9 and WGN-AM (720), died this week in Palmetto, Florida. He was 99.
To generations of viewers, Trendler’s name will always be synonymous with the 13-piece Big Top Band he directed on the venerable children’s show from 1961 until his retirement in 1975. Despite a 10-year waiting list for tickets at one time, Tribune Co. gradually downgraded the most popular and successful locally produced children’s program in television history before finally canceling it in 2001.
In a tribute to “Mr. Bob” on his Svengoolie blog Wednesday, fellow Chicago television icon Rich Koz wrote: “When the Bozo show took off, he and his band would play the theme music, the music in and out of every segment, the accompaniment for all the circus and entertainment acts that appeared, as well as songs for skits that Bozo and his pals did. . . . And so we lose another link to those fantastic nostalgic days of the old school Bozo show.”

The son of a Viennese prima donna, Trendler was an accomplished pianist who began his career in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. He joined WGN as an arranger and conductor in 1935 during the heyday of live music on radio, and was named musical director of the WGN Orchestra in 1956.

Al Hall, longtime producer and director of Bozo’s Circus, recalled why Trendler was the “obvious choice” to become the show’s bandleader in The Golden Age of Chicago Children’s Television. “The station had Bob under union contract and they had to pay him whether they used him or not,” Hall told author Ted Okuda. “So when they came up with Bozo’s Circus they decided to use him for that. Oh, his band was great! And Bob himself was a good addition to the show; he played the part of the maestro very well.”

Trendler’s name surfaced earlier this year when an electric organ used on Bozo’s Circus was acquired at auction and donated to the Museum of Broadcast Communications. Although the organ was never part of Trendler’s official studio band, its discovery set off a wave of nostalgia for the show and its music.
Funeral services will be held Thursday in Bradenton, Florida. Trendler is survived by two sons, David and Robert Jr., six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.

Fair just a few days away

2011 Bean Queen candidates and 2010 Bean Queen
Published: Thursday, July 21,2011
Tribune Staff Writer
HURON COUNTY —The tents are up as the Huron Community Fair is just days away from opening its midway rides, games and other activities which bring people through the gates year after year.

In an effort to help fair-goers enjoy the activities at this year’s fair without the strain on their pocketbook, fair board members have set one price, $12 per person, for each day/night for rides along the midway.

Don Wheeler, fair board member, said the reduced price for midway rides is something he and fellow board members thought would help families who are looking for a place close to home to bring their kids for a day of fun.

While the fair kicks off officially on Sunday with the unloading of the livestock, the midway rides won’t open until 1 p.m. on Tuesday, and will open at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The midway will open at noon on Saturday.

Wheeler said Elliott’s Amusements are providing the rides and offer the $12 price on Tuesday and Saturday each year. As for the other days throughout the week, Wheeler said a number of local businesses — including McDonald’s Food and Family Center, Talmer Bank, Heritage Sustainable Energy, and the Huron Community Fair board — are picking up the additional cost of lowering the ride prices.

Due to the contract the fair board has with Elliott’s Amusement to provide the rides, it can’t reduce the cost from $15 to $12 each day without someone or some businesses picking up the extra costs.

“Thankfully, we have these businesses that have come forward to help us out,” said Wheeler. “Our goal for the fair is to have a fun place for people to come and have a good time.”
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Thursday, July 21, 2011




Be sure and double click to enlarge to read!

Leamington Spa Fun Fair Video Montage
FunFairs UK


From Fred Hoffman

Lewis & Clark Circus reopened July 11th to Big Business in Pennsylvania.
The old blue/green big top has been completly refurbished and looks great.
Show will close again for August and reopen after Labor Day for it's Fall tour, ending in early November.
Everyone is happy to be back to work after that terrible disaster, proving everyone is "with it and for it".
Fred Hoffman
Pottstown, PA

Tickets available for circus to benefit Masonic Lodge


Local residents will have the opportunity to see a circus under a "big top" tent Aug. 3, when the Kelly Miller Circus comes to town. It will set up on Ballfields 1 and 2 on the north side of West Pioneer Trail.

Performance times are 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Presale tickets will be available at $10 for adults and $6 for children, while same-day tickets will cost $15 and $7, respectively.

Adult tickets are for residents 12 years and older, while children tickets are for those at least 2 years old.

The circus is a fundraiser for W.K. Ricksecker Masonic Lodge No. 606 across the street from the event site.

Presale ticket sites are Mantua Feed and Grain on Route 43 across from Aurora Farms Premium Outlets, Zeppe's Pizza, Doogan's, Richner's Hardware on the square in Twinsburg and Bell Station on Route 306 in South Russell.

They also can be purchased at and more information about the circus is available there.

A coloring contest in association with the circus will take place, with winners receiving tickets to Wildwater Kingdom.

The Kelly Miller Circus was begun in 1938 by Obert Miller and his sons, Kelly and Dory, and initially was known as the Al G. Kelly Miller Brothers Circus.

John Ringling North II, a member of the Ringling brothers circus family, took over the operation in 2007. It is based out of Hugo, Okla.

The show travels with a fleet of 25 vehicles and requires an area of about 90,000 square feet to set up on. The big top tent has a capacity of 1,500 and is 120 by 130 feet and 40 feet high.

The tent will be set up the morning of the performances and removed immediately after the final show.

Returning acts this year are juggler Raul Olivares, Australian aerialist Nikita, fire eater Brian LaPalme, Casey McCoy's Tigers and the Silk Road camels.

New are rope spinner Joel Falk, Fridman Torales' loop walk, the Bollywood Dancers, Lyra Aerial Ballet, Caroline Rice's dog and pony review and Brian LaPalme's protege Jeremiah Cook.

Chihuahua thwarts robbery at Altadena smoke shop
July 18, 2011-- from:

Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials Monday released a video of a robbery attempt foiled by an enraged and barking Chihuahua, hoping the public can identify the two assailants.

The attempted robbery took place July 7 about 7:30 p.m. at Ace Smoke Shop on North Lake Avenue in Altadena. The video shows two hooded men, one armed with a rifle, running into the store and demanding money.

The store owner quickly begins placing money in a robber’s backpack. As he does, his Chihuahua erupts into ferocious barking at the two men, who beat a hasty retreat, running out of the store with the backpack but taking less money than they could've gotten.

At one point, one of the robbers even points his rifle at the diminutive but undaunted pooch, who chases the pair out of the store and down the street.

Neither the owner nor the dog was injured in the incident.

The suspects are described at male Latinos between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 10 inches. One wore a black hooded sweatshirt, white shorts, black shoes and a red bandanna, and carried a black and gray backpack. The other wore a black jacket with yellow trim, dark shirt and pants, and a black ski mask, and was armed with a rifle.
Moonlight elephant walk returns to downtown L.A. as circus hits town

July 19, 2011
There's a lot to be seen on the streets of downtown Los Angeles on any given night -– but a parade of elephants stands out even there.

Eight Asian elephants from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus made their annual tail-to-trunk trek through the streets of downtown Los Angeles just after midnight Monday after arriving by train in the city of Vernon. Leading a group of 10 show horses and accompanied by their trainers, the pachyderm parade began at 25th and Alameda streets and lasted three miles before reaching Staples Center, the site of the upcoming Ringling Bros. shows slated for this week.

The elephant walk is meant to drum up attention for the circus' "Fully Charged" performance, which begins Wednesday at the Staples Center and runs until Sunday. The circus will tour the Southland for the next month: performing in Anaheim from July 27-Aug. 7 and in Ontario from Aug. 10-14.

Heat not stopping Burlington Co., NJ Farm Fair

A Family Wired For Thrills .

Jeremy Daniel/Richard Termine
The 'Wheel of Death' sequence during Cirque du Soleil's 'Zarkana.'
JULY 21, 2011.
Roberto Navas Yovany makes some people very nervous. This makes him very happy.

An eighth-generation member of a celebrated circus family, Mr. Navas Yovany, with his sons Rudy, Ray and Rony Navas Velez, is part of a headlining high-wire act in the new Cirque du Soleil show "Zarkana," which opened late last month at Radio City Music Hall.

The quartet joyously cavorts some 26 feet above the enormous stage, jumping rope, jumping over one another—in one memorable maneuver, 20-year-old Rony leaps over two family members—balancing on a chair, running to and fro, all on a cable that's more than 32 feet long and less than an inch wide.

"When we finish a trick and the people like it, they say 'this is fantastic,'" said Mr. Navas Yovany, 52. "But I will sometimes hear people in the front row say 'Stop! Stop! No more!' because they are afraid for us," he added, beaming. "But I am not frightened."

So very far from it. "Roberto will say, 'We could do this other trick. We could add another wire,'" said Ann-Marie Corbeil, the show's artistic director. "Sometimes it's exhausting. He has a million ideas."

"Zarkana," which is grandly described as an acrobatic rock opera—the description is one-third accurate—and includes visuals like rolling eyeballs, writhing snakes and an enormous spider web, centers on Zark (oh, please, turn off the Zark), a red-caped magician who's trying to locate his lost love and his lost powers. "Acrobats and clowns," he exhorts early in the proceedings, "wake up, dance and fly."
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This Day in History: The Walter L. Main Circus May Have Come to Town
Train wreck almost destroyed circus and canceled show.

By Lon Cohen
July 20, 2011
An advertisement that ran in the Port Jefferson Echo on July 15, 1893 announced that the circus was coming to town on July 20 of that year.

The Walter L. Main was a popular show back in the late 1800s traveling by rail all across the United States to entertain folks with what the ad says are 1,000 men and horses employed for the event. Three rings of excitement were promised with a display of performers and wild animals, including a Shetland pony 26 inches high and a tail “15 feet in length.” Long enough, an illustration showed, for a grown man, two young ladies and a little boy to all hold at once.

The actual show that year may have been in danger of never materializing even though performances were promised for various towns across Long Island. On the morning of May 30, 1893, a tragic train wreck killed five employees and many of the animals from the circus.

“Five persons lost their lives when the train of the Walter L. Main Circus jumped the tracks on the morning of May 30, 1893, in one of America's worst circus disasters,” reads a report on the Circus Fans Association of America website. “Wild animals were released from shattered cages, and wrecked circus wagons and equipment were scattered across the site.”

The New York Times reported on the train wreck as well saying that “the cars went down a steep grade and over an embankment.”

The Times reported that lions and tigers got loose and fifty horses were killed, though the paper did say that the elephants and camels were safe.

Another article says that Mr. Main was able to rebuild his circus in short order with the help of the local populace and complete his shows that year.

“Believing the show must go on, Main stayed in Latrobe eight days, during which time he assembled another circus by borrowing and buying from others in the business,” reads the report. “He went on to complete his show engagements for the season.”

No reports found in any local Long Island papers say that the circus was canceled that year nor do they make mention of the train wreck.

Subsequent advertisements and announcements in various papers tell of the circus surviving that year to return to entertain folks in Port Jefferson for decades afterwards. Reports show the circus coming to Port Jefferson as late as 1931.
The freakiest, geekiest circus folks around!

This kid is awesome. Phineas handily won the kid’s portion of last year’s Coney Talent Show. The contest returns to the Boardwalk on July 30 with similarly daring feats.
By Alex Rush
The Brooklyn Paper
July 21, 2011 / GO Brooklyn / Where to GO
The carnie competition is back!
The second annual Coney Island Talent Show returns to the Boardwalk on July 30, paying homage to the neighborhood’s history as the early 20th century capital for kooky entertainment.
This year’s contest will feature circus freaks and sideshow geeks (hey, it’s what the category’s called), including contortionists and celebrity impersonators; dance troupes; and a costume contest. There’s also a “creative kids” round for pre-teens and teens who think they have what it takes to be the People’s Playground’s next great circus performer.

The show’s host may be just as entertaining as the competing acts: World Famous BOB — a longtime staple on the city’s burlesque and drag queen circuit known for Marilyn Monroe-look and the ability to mix martinis with her cleavage — will lead the annual ode to Coney’s past, when sword-swallowers and men who could blow smoke through their ears were a dime a dozen.

“It’s really great to bring the entertainers together with people from the community to celebrate the tradition,” said Gin Minsky, a Bushwick-based dancer who will be competing with a less-bodily harming, 1940s-style swing routine.

The Coney Island Talent Show on the Boardwalk (between W. 10th and W. 12th streets), July 30 from 4 to 8 pm. Free. For info, visit
Adventure under the Big Sky
Thursday July 21, 2011
I was in Livingston, Mont. visiting my daughter and grandson, Finn, when the Carson & Barnes Circus came to town for one performance. We thought it would be fun making memories and sharing Finn's first circus experience together, so when Lesa said, "Mom, let's ride the bikes to the circus," I answered, "Sure, honey." It sounded like an adventure and a great opportunity to be one with the land.

Never mind the fact that I wasn't exactly in bicycle riding shape and got breathless climbing up the subway stairs in New York City. I'm now in Big Sky Country "where the deer and the buffalo roam and the skies are not cloudy all day."

Being in such a small town, walking or biking to your destination in Livingston is a popular mode of transportation. And, biking to the fairgrounds bordered by the mighty Yellowstone River was only a ten block trip. I thought it would be a snap!

So, Lesa hitched the little carriage to her bike for Finn and in no time we'd packed up water and snacks and were in tandem heading to the fairgrounds.

Following Lesa and getting farther behind with every passing block, I kept chanting to myself…"I can do this; I can do this… no turning back now." I wanted to be an active Grandma, not just the rocking chair kind. But, after the first block I was already huffing and puffing and thinking that the bike seat could sure use more padding.

Once we got to the fairgrounds, we hopped off our bikes and walked them to the bike parking area.

After taking a moment to recoup, we headed to the ticket stand. On the way we passed the giant slide; the kind on which one climbs up one side and then slides down the other. Finn, at 2 years and 10 months, is one of those little boys who never stops. Having had his first slide ride a few months ago, he was eager to go again.

Mommy firmly said, "Later Finn." So, after diverting his attention to the camel and elephants, we continued on to the Big Top.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cole Bros. Circus: Coping with Tornadoes, Local Regs

Another teriffic video from

Lane Talburt!

Uploaded by LaneInConn on Jul 19, 2011
In Part 3 of Lane Talburt's video series, veteran showman John W. Pugh recalls lessons learned from unpredictable encounters with Mother Nature, inconsistent local inspections in his 51-plus years with Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus (the title was shortened to Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars in the early 2000s).
Nursing home resident treated to special circus

Exotic animals and chipper staff provide a perfect day.

Nursing home resident treated to special circusExotic animals and chipper staff provide 
a perfect day.Betty Goltzene (left) and her husband of 56 years, Phil, a patient at Eaglewood Village Care Center, enjoy the company of an albino wallaby presented by Whitney Snow, an animal program specialist from the Columbus Zoo, during a circus-themed party for Phil on Tuesday. The event was made possible by Crossroads Hospice in Dayton. Staff Photo by Barbara J. Perenic

By Brandon Smith-Hebson, Staff Writer

July 19, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, OHIO — “I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Phil Goltzene, 77, as baby exotic animals were shepherded out the door of Eaglewood Village Care Center at the conclusion of his specially requested circus.
Goltzene speaks softly when he does speak, the victim of old age and its diseases. Betty Goltzene, his wife of 56 years and lively as ever, enjoys taking care of him.
Which is why she, too, had such a good time Tuesday afternoon, when she sat next to him through the popcorn, cotton candy, clowns and animals provided by Crossroads Hospice.
“You just want to thank everybody,” Betty said, “because it was so wonderful.”
The organization tries to provide a “perfect day” to all its patients, a spokesperson said, and this was the one Betty chose for her husband.
Goltzene was a lover of circuses when he could get to them, she said. The lobby of the nursing home, crowded with other residents and staff members during the show, was plastered with circus posters Goltzene had collected through the years.
As the Columbus Zoo can only bring smaller animals to its traveling events, their chipper staff members mostly handled baby animals.
First came a curious dingo, who brought smiles to the faces of 
rows of people in wheelchairs. Then a shy 10-month-old black-footed African penguin. Then a baby wallaby in a pouch imitating its mother’s.
When time came for the leathery-brown armadillo, the handler offered it to Goltzene to touch first.
“I don’t want no armadillo,” Goltzene said.
His family, seated around him, laughed along.

Florida Boxing Commission Asked To Stop Kangaroo Show
by Sharon S.
July 19, 2011

Activists have asked the Florida State Boxing Commission to stop a boxing match they say is illegal and cruel. The opponents are a kangaroo and the owner of a Central Florida circus.

The Rocky Show Circus is a travelling exhibition that is based in Kissimmee FL. The show features circus owner Javier Martinez who dresses up a kangaroo named Rocky in boxing trunks, puts him in a boxing ring and taunts the animal until he begins to fight back.

According to WFTV Martinez isn’t breaking any laws, but animal rights groups have begun protesting outside the circus because they believe forcing the kangaroo to fight is an act of cruelty.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has gone a step farther saying the fights are illegal because every boxing match in Florida must be licensed. They have petitioned the Florida State Boxing Commission (FSBC) to stop the fight.

FSBC told PETA they only monitor human-to-human fights, but out of concern for the kangaroo, the commission contacted Florida Fish and Wildlife to intervene. FWC reported that Martinez has all of the correct permits, but they uncovered several citations given in the past to the circus by the USDA. One of those citations was “for failing to provide veterinary care and decent living conditions for the circus animals.”

Although The Rocky Show Circus is in good standing with the USDA, the agency decided to look into the matter further by sending a representative to watch one of Rocky’s fights.
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I just saw this on e-bay and thought of you!!!

Saw the K-M circus in Tully, NY last night, great show!!!!!

Ronald C. Finch
Keeping animals cool at county fairs
July 18, 2011
from WTVG, Toledo, OH

Geauga Lake's Big Dipper has buyers lined up

Jul 18, 2011 Written byKim Wendel
BAINBRIDGE -- Geauga Lake Big Dipper roller coaster enthusiasts have been fearing its demolition since Geauga Lake amusement park closed on Sept. 21, 2007.
Channel 3 has learned that, despite nearly four years of ups and downs, the current owner is still fielding offers from others to buy the historic roller coaster from him, move it and save it from demolition.
The owner, whose name has never been disclosed, is still negotiating with buyers, said Tom Woosnam, the local agent who has been handling all the offers for the Big Dipper for the current owner.
Woosnam told Channel 3 Sunday -- exactly three years and one month since his winning bid of $5,000 at Cedar Fair's auction of the rides and attractions secured the ride -- that he is negotiating with two potential buyers right now.
He declined to name them but did talk about another recent potential more:
Gates open on summer staple

Carnival rides, live music are part of 170th Saratoga County Fair

The scene is colorful but not quite ready yet at the Saratoga Fairgrounds, Ballston Spa, NY on Monday, July 18, 2011 for this weekend's Saratoga County Fair. (Erin Colligan / Special To The Times Union)


Special to the Times Union

Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Jim Cinguergrano remembers being a 5-year-old boy with his dad when the older man sold 60-cent steak and sausage sandwiches to customers at the Saratoga County Fair.
Nearly five decades later, the sandwiches might be a little more expensive, but they are still a "must-eat" attraction at the fair.
The Saratoga County Fair grows a year older Tuesday as it kicks off its 170th year. The fair, one of the earliest to take place in the region, will unfold over 30 acres and will feature everything from carnival rides to livestock contests.
"We want there to be so much going on that you can't see everything in one day," said Fair President Bill Schwerd. "For the same price as a two-hour movie, you can come to a fair and see a whole mixture of things."
There's plenty to do and see.
The fair will have 100 vendors with foods ranging from the traditional french fries and hot dogs to cupcakes sold on a double-decker bus and a fried pastry filled with Kool-Aid.

The new main attraction, The Big Aerial Show, features acrobats performing handstands and high-wire acts 80 feet above the air. Saratoga is the first fair in the state to feature the troupe.
"We want to make sure you don't walk in and see the same thing every year," Schwerd said. Read more:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011




About the Show
For its 34th Season the Big Apple Circus dares you to
Dream Big!
It’s an All–New Show, where the World’s Greatest Circus artists are presented under an intimate Big Top, and no seat is more than 50 feet from the ring!
Let your imagination soar and summon the most amazing acts — A juggler with a suit to fit his sweet feats of fancy handiwork! A mechanical doll who comes alive in a sinuous balancing act! Spirited horses, frolicsome dogs, and a capybara and porcupine to perk up the sawdust party! Audacious acrobats who astound with athletic grace! Comical conjurors with magical moments of grand illusion! The aerial daring of the trapeze flyers! A singing Ringmistress and the Big Apple Circus Band creating the ringing melodies of memories to last!
And Grandma !! Yes, Grandma, apogee of comical aspiration and mirthful joy! Your dreams will inspire a Big Apple Circus of living thrills and marvelous delight — a celebration of the imagination — an astonishing circus world of wonder!
Renaud Doucet,who has performed as an actor, solo dancer,ballet master,and choreographer in international dance companies,joins this season’s creative team as director and choreographer.André Barbe provides the scenic imagination and exquisite costumes, drawing on his experiences at the National Theatre School of Canada. Multi-talented Guy Simard,with over 350 production credits in lighting, as theatre consultant or technical director, returns as lighting designer. Four-time winner of the MAC Award for Technical Direction, JP Perreaux returns to the circus as sound designer.
Joining the Big Apple Circus as composer is mathias rüegg,founder of the Vienna Art Orchestra where he wrote over 350 compositions and arrangements. Music Director Rob Slowik leads the Big Apple Circus Band.
The Company The Big Apple Circus annually presents an all-new show featuring renowned circus artists from around the world. This year's performers come from America, Bulgaria, China, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mongolia and Russia.
Upcoming Dates
Washington, D.C.
September 22 - October 10
New York, NY
October 20 - January 8
Circus Kids And The Parents Who Love Them Brave kids join Circus Smirkus — and braver parents let them.

By Johanna Corcoran

July 18, 2011

Running away to join the Circus may sound like a cliche, but for the kids of Circus Smirkus, it's the stuff dreams are made of.
Circus Smirkus, the nationally acclaimed youth circus, visits Rhode Island on July 25 and 26 at Washington County Fairgrounds to benefit the Meadowbrook Waldorf School in West Kingston.
What began as a small Vermont show 20 years ago has grown into a two-month summer tour throughout New England. And this circus is run almost entirely on kid power. Kids ages 10 to 18 are the stars of the show, as well as the crew and concessions staff. Their summer with the Circus teaches responsibility, teamwork and valuable performance skills; but since the troupe hails from all over the county and as far as New Zealand, it also means a summer of travel, away from their familiesREAD MORE AT:

Florida State Boxing Commission asked to stop boxing kangaroo show

Rick Chandler

Jul 18, 2011,

Well here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write: The Florida State Boxing commission is currently embroiled in a big controversy over boxing kangaroos. “Steroids?”, you’re asking yourself. No. Animal cruelty.
The “Rocky Show Circus,” a traveling exhibition which is currently in Florida, features a kangaroo dressed in boxing drunks which boxes a human. PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has sent a complaint to the FSBC and the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation, asking them to stop the show. Apparently, all boxing matches in the state must be licensed by the FSBC, even if they include marsupials.
Martinez, who dresses up a kangaroo named Rocky and taunts him into fighting back, has been repeatedly cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including failure to provide adequate veterinary care and safe animal enclosures. Rocky is clearly stressed and has charged people during photo shoots, chewed on his own arm, and attempted to flee the ring during the act.The Rocky Show Circus has been banned at other venues due to protests, including one in Australia last year.
My question has always been, why traditional boxing? Wouldn’t kangaroos be better suited to kick boxing? Anyway, no one wants to see animals mistreated or abused.
But then, PETA adds this chilling graph:
Please only attend innovative, exciting circuses that don’t exploit animals, like Cirque du Soleil.If you’re gonna try and force me to watch this, PETA, then I’m sorry to have to say that you’re on your own here.

Jugglathon raises funds for upcoming trip
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
from:, Middletown, CT

Interstate fair kicks off today

July 19, 2011

By BRETT DUNLAP ( , Parkersburg News and Sentinel
MINERAL WELLS, WV - Organizers are hoping for a big week as the 39th annual West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition kicks off today near Mineral Wells.
The fair runs today through Saturday at the fairgrounds on Butcher Bend Road.
Throughout the day on Monday, crews from Reithoffer Shows were busy putting together the carnival rides while vendors were setting up their booths and livestock raisers were getting their animals ready to show, said Russ Collins, vice president of the fair board.
''Things are coming together,'' he said. ''Three days ago this was a little flat farm with an office and a few small buildings. You look out there (Monday) and we are a little city.''
Activities begin today with the 4-H Rabbit Show at 9 a.m. and still exhibit judging at 10 a.m.
''The main grounds and everything will be open at noon,'' Collins said. ''That is when we officially kick things off.''READ MORE AT:
A youthful spirit instills old Idlewild amusement park

The handcars at Idlewild Park (Idlewild Park)

By Brady MacDonald Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

July 17, 2011

Reporting from Idlewild Park in Ligonier, Pa. - As one of the oldest amusement parks in America, Idlewild Park in Ligonier, Pa., has always been geared toward youngsters under 12 years old.
Idlewild is about firsts and lasts. For generations, kids have ridden their first merry go round, Ferris wheel and roller coaster at the idyllic park. At the same time, Idlewild is home to many last-of-their-kind rides, including a caterpillar, haunted swing, tilt house and Tumble Bug.
A cross between a wooded national park and permanent carnival, Idlewildl stays true to its origins by allowing visitors to bring their lunches in coolers and baskets.
Founded in 1878 as a campground in a picturesque mountain valley with fishing, boating, picnicking and dancing, Idlewild was built along a railroad line as an enticement to increase passenger traffic.
By the turn of the century, Idlewild had added a steam carousel in the center of the park. Today, the Olde Idlewild area celebrates the park's traditional amusement rides, including the 1920s merry-go-round, the 1938 wooden Rollo Coaster, the 1939 Whip and the 1947 canopy-covered Caterpillar.
In 2010, Amusement Today awarded the Golden Ticket for the world's best children's park to Idlewild, which wrestled the "King of the Kids" title from six-time champ Legoland California.

Check out the big top; Culpepper Merriweather Circus is coming to Independence, MN

Published: Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The city of Independence is sponsoring two performances of the Culpepper Merriweather Circus at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 25, at Pioneer Creek Park, located on County Road 90 north of Highway 12.
The traditional circus tent will shelter audiences rain or shine at an event that happens every other year in Independence.
Circus goers can save money by purchasing tickets in advance at Independence City Hall, Maple Plain Food Center and Coborn's supermarket in Delano. Advance tickets are $9 for adults and $6 for children over age two-and-a-half. The day of the circus, tickets will cost $12 for adults and $7 for children over age two-and-a-half. To purchase tickets with a credit card, call 866-BIG-TOP6 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Delaware State Fair awarded 2011 Best of Delaware for Entertainment

The Delaware State Fair is a winner in this year's 2011 Best of Delaware list from Delaware Today. We're excited to be included in this list of some of our favorite restaurants and spots in the state. If you live in Wilmington and can't make it down for opening night of the Fair, check out the Best in Delaware party at the Chase Center on the Riverfront. It's sure to be a great time, but we know that everyone will really be wishing they were at the car-crushing, non-stop action, seat-shaking Moster Truck Thrill Show that we'll be hosting.

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