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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Cole Bros Circus Pt 6-the teardown (blow-off)

Uploaded by LaneInConn on Aug 4, 2011
The teardown of the new Cole Bros. big top is the "blow-off," or conclusion, of Lane Talburt's six-part series commemorating Johnny Pugh's 30 years of circus ownership.
Nuneaton Fun Fair Photo Montage 2011

Come one, come all, to the Erie County Fair
Fairgoers enjoy the "Searay" on the midway last year at the Erie County Fair in Hamburg.
August 5, 2011
By Kristy Kibler
News Staff Reporter
An iron giant of a locomotive huffs and puffs its way into town, at long last satisfying the hordes of eager eyes straining for a first glimpse of the mile-long train. As the engine and its accompanying 61 cars pull into the Hamburg station with a groan of straining gears and brakes and one last lingering, melancholy whistle, the hundreds assembled break into cheers and applause.

James E. Strates Shows has arrived, and that means one thing: It's time for the Erie County Fair.

You could be forgiven for thinking this is a moment straight out of the past, circa 1934. But it could be from 1950, 1985 or 2010 just as easily -- Western New York crowds have been gathering to welcome Strates Shows, the last railroad carnival in the nation and the midway provider of the Erie County Fair since 1924, from the beginning. Only now, instead of featuring side show acts, burlesque dancers and performing animals, the Strates Shows team unloads, assembles and operates up to 80 amusement rides. Combined with the approximate 120 independently owned game booths and food vendors Strates manages, the fair has quite a main thoroughfare on its hands.

"When you talk to anyone who's come to the fair throughout their life ... the midway, it's magical," said Lou Ann Delaney, the fair's director of marketing and public relations. "It creates a lot of memories."

The fair is an annual tradition for Lisa Aeschbacher of West Seneca. Now 23, Aeschbacher has been attending the fair at least one day a year all her life. In her younger years, it heralded the end of summer, and it remains an August staple for her and her family. She's even persuaded more skeptical friends to give it a chance, confident they'll find something that appeals to them.

"There's something that caters to every single person," Aeschbacher said. "It doesn't matter if you're a ride person, it doesn't matter if you're there for the food, if you're there for the exhibits or the animals ... there's something there for everyone."

For more than 85 years, Strates Shows has provided the fair's kaleidoscope of entertainment with an unfailing foundation -- the rides may change, but the innovation, customer satisfaction and consistent management don't.
read more:
Sneak peak of circus
As advance scouts for a traveling circus, Dave and Cherie Gregg have a lot to laugh about

Kevin Clark/The Register-Guard
Clowns Cherie Gregg and Dave Gregg entertain children at a Willamalane Park and Recreation District’s day camp Thursday. The married entertainers travel the country staging shows in advance of the touring Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus.
By Mark Baker
The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon
SPRINGFIELD — What a couple of clowns — literally.
The husband-and-wife clown duo of Dave and Cherie Gregg have been in the Eugene-Springfield area since Wednesday promoting “The Greatest Show on Earth,” the upcoming Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey “Boom a Ring” circus at Matthew Knight Arena on Aug. 26-28.

And that was just fine with a bunch of 5- and 6-year-old summer camp kids who squealed with delight during a one-hour free show Thursday at the Willamalane Center, formerly the Regional Sports Center, in Springfield.

Louella Vogegeli’s favorite part?

“When the lady was being silly,” said Louella, 5, who got to participate in one of the bits after raising her hand when a “brave helper” was needed.

Of course, “the lady” was being silly the entire time — even in a post-show interview when asked where she and her husband are from.

“From our mothers,” Cherie Gregg said.


Actually, the Greggs, who met at a “Clown College” audition in Boston in 1990, are from Foxborough, Mass. They are gainfully employed professional clowns who used to be part of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey act, but now work for the company doing promotions prior to the circus’ arrival in towns across the nation.

They travel the country in their van.

Dressed like that?

“No,” said Cherie, with a thick Massachusetts accent, a voice much different than the soft, high-pitched one the children heard earlier. “We just go from event to event dressed like this.”

Six-year-old Madison Somerville, attending her first-ever clown show, was delighted to see how they were dressed — Dave Gregg in his red-and-royal-blue suit with the black-and-white checkered socks and shirt, the straight royal blue hair, red nose and big black-and-red clown shoes, and Cherie Gregg in her black-and-white polka dot suit and jet-black hair complementing her milk-white face paint.

“I liked when she was disappearing from him,” Madison said shyly after the show, standing next to her father, Benjamin Somerville, who had come to pick her up from camp.

Yes, for a while there, Dave Gregg couldn’t seem to find his wife. Every time he quickly turned around, she was right behind him, but a tad too close for him to see. Then, suddenly, she was on the ground, her head poking through her husband’s legs.

“She’s under there!” the children screamed.

“She’s under where?” said Dave Gregg, gasping in embarrassment, before adding: “I said ‘underwear.’?”
County Fairs Kickoff in Eastern Idaho

Vintage circus bedazzles crowd,
A great night out for families

Janice Thiessen, Ottawa South EMC
Sophie the Fire Weaver performs an amazing feat of spinning flaming balls of fire over her head.

Posted Aug 4, 2011
By Janice Thiessen, Ottawa,South EMC
EMC Entertainment - Billings Estate hosted a vintage circus on July 27 which was a rare treat for the intimate crowd.

Performers delighted the audience with their whimsical and silly performance.

This was the last night in the star struck evening series which we host every Thursday in July," said education and interpretation program officer for Billings Estate Ashley Moores.

"This series has been a great opportunity for families to have something fun to do throughout the summer.

"We wanted to do something extra special for our last show."

The vintage circus had three acts: the first was with the cow guys who are comedian jugglers and stunt men, the second act was a fire weaving show, and lastly was a contortionist.

"I don't think the Billing's would have hosted a circus on their grounds.

"But we can imagine it is something they would have been excited to attend as a family.

"We're happy to be able to offer a similar experience in the modern day.

"It's a great way to reminisce of how communities would come out to see the circus when it came to town," she said.

The performance included audience members and was sweet and charming.

For more information on programs at Billings Estate visit contact the museum at 613-247-4830, visit or find Billings Estate on Facebook.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Cole Bros. Circus: Elvin Bale in the shadow of the cannon


Uploaded by LaneInConn on Aug 4, 2011

Legendary daredevil Elvin Bale is the center-ring feature of Part 5 in Lane Talburt's series on Cole Bros. Circus. Bale is the vice president-operations of the DeLand, Florida, touring enterprise.


CLYDE BEATTY-COLE BROS.......I visited the WQ's in Deland,Fl. in Jan. of 1993. I met John Pugh, and he gave me persission to tour

the grounds and take photos. I spent the entire day there, and had to leave at lunch time to go buy more film. Following are twenty

of the photos I took that great day.

Bill Prickett

Posted by Picasa

Posted by Picasa

Take a ride on the wild side

Enhanced carnival promises major thrills
By Carole Brodsky
Sean Butler, Ukiah native and unit manager for carnival giant Butler Amusements, smiles as he strolls down the midway.

"I'm happy to be home," he says. Butler hasn't been in Ukiah since March, and as a high-five to his community, he is bringing a few gifts with him.

"This year we have the largest number of rides in the fair's history. All of the rides come from the California State Fair. Mendocino County residents are getting the same caliber of carnival rides available at the California State Fair," Butler explains.

It's not just the rides that are special this year. "Fairgoers will be getting our State Fair operation. Our best managers and operators are all here in Ukiah," he notes.

Carnival rides are primarily designed and built in Italy, according to Butler. "About 80 percent of carnival rides are Italian-made," he explains.

Rides are broken down into four categories: Kiddie, Tween, Major and Spectacular. Butler has focused on expanding the rides for the younger set and delivering some major thrills for those craving the Spectacular experience.

"For the kids, we have three brand new rides." The Chopper Hopper is a new helicopter-themed attraction that takes kids about 20 feet into the air as it rotates around a central base. The Wet Boat Ride incorporates real water into the ride. "This is one of the most popular rides we have," says Butler.

The Frog Hopper resembles a mini "drop zone" ride
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Clowning around at Broadway at the Beach
Myrtle Beach

Brian Dangerous, a Ringling Bros. Clown College graduate, starts regular shows at Broadway at the Beach.
By Steve Palisin - .
Thursday, Aug. 04, 2011
Bryan Fulton can’t help clowning around, especially during National Clown Week, always the first seven days of August.

The Carolina Forest resident has brought his “Bryan Dangerous Comedy Show” to Broadway at the Beach’s “Summer Nights” on the Heroes Harbor Stage, between Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant and Ripley’s Aquarium.

Fulton, 32, gives an interactive juggling and balancing show, using skills he has built from such tenures as a clown for six years in Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus and his studies and graduation from its clown college. He said his stage show name originated from his first stunt, a dare he answered with some jumps dockside among platforms in his hometown Baltimore during high school.

Last week, he juggled some questions about his lifestyle and gave credit to his wife of 12 years, Stephanie Fulton, who manages their family business and portrays “Living Statues” locally. They have two daughters, ages 11 and almost 7.
Read more:

Cole Bros. Circus coming to Willingboro

Nancy Rokos/Staff Photographer
Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars clown, LEW-E shares a laugh with Ernestine Harvey of Lumberton during a press conference held at the Willingboro Seniors Center announcing the arrival of the circus the weekend of Aug. 12th at the Town Center.
Thu Aug 4, 2011.
By Rose Krebs
Staff writer Calkins Media, Inc.
Burlington County Times Burlington County Times .
WILLINGBORO — The circus is coming to town.

From Aug. 12 to 14, the Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars will bring its show to the Grand Marketplace parking lot on Route 130.

The 127-year-old “big top” circus will make its only stop in Burlington County as part of its East Coast tour.

It will feature the standard circus fare: animals, clowns, high-flying trapeze artists, tricks, and family-friendly entertainment.

“Willingboro needs something light for a change,” Deputy Mayor Jacqueline Jennings said. “The fact that children can come for free is just great. Everybody loves the circus. I’m excited because it’s an old-fashioned circus.”

Showtimes are 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 12; 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 13; and 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Aug. 14. Tickets are $19 for adults and free for children under age 13.

“It’s wonderful for (Cole Bros.) to still have a circus that’s a real circus, like the ones we know,” said Reva Foster, the township’s executive director of community affairs, senior services and veterans affairs.

The township hopes the circus will return every year, Foster said. Next year, the venue likely will be Mill Creek Park off Beverly-Rancocas Road.

The circus is being hosted by the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 26 of Burlington County. Resident Ron Dash, who is chapter commander, said some proceeds will benefit the veterans group.

“This is a military town,” Dash said. “They felt their generosity should go towards veterans.”

He said Cole Bros. has been generous in handing out free tickets and performing for local groups in advance of next weekend’s shows.

“They get a laugh, a chuckle, and bring a little happiness,” Dash said.

Michael Norris of Cole Bros. said the circus, which puts on about 200 shows a year along the East Coast from February to November, has a new big top this year. Setup starts today.

Norris visited the township’s senior center off JFK Way on Wednesday with Lew-e the Clown to announce the circus’ arrival. A preview performance was offered to the residents gathered.

Lew-e, also known as Lee Andrews, entertained with a few tricks.

“Hopefully, you will come join us. It takes you back to your childhood and you can just be a kid again,” he said.

Tickets and coupons are available at various area merchants or by calling 1-888-332-5200 or visiting They also are available at the box office before showtimes


photo by Kathleen Leinen • Daily News
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Carson & Barnes Circus set up a big top in Breckenridge, Minn. on Wednesday and performed two shows for Twin Town residents. Clockwise from top left, 8-month-old Presley Wiebusch rides an elephant with uncle Brett Dohman of Breckenridge.

Circus Thrills at the Fair

Aug 4, 2011.
Globe of Death
By Karen Cernich, Missourian Features Editor The Missourian
Step right up! Step right up, folks, to see some amazing stunts!

The Victoria Circus is in town this week, setting up its “big top” near the north gate of the Washington Town and Country Fair.

If you watched the Pirates of the Colombian Caribbean shows at last year’s Fair, you may recognize the acrobats in this year’s circus — they are one in the same.

But the show and stunts are entirely new, said “Lady Victoria” Murcia, whose family is behind both shows.

“There’s more action and a lot faster pace,” she told The Missourian.

Last year the pirate show included a Wheel of Death, but for the circus act it is known as the Wheel of Destiny. Only one end of the rigging has a round cage, but the other end is weighted so the wheel spins faster, Lady Victoria explained.

There’s also the Globe of Death, which the family describes as “an attention getter.” It’s a 14 1/2-foot-tall cage ball that three performers ride tiny motorcyles in — up and around the walls, sometimes reaching speeds of 45 miles an hour.

“They weave different patterns sideways and even completely upside down all within inches of each other,” Lady Victoria explained.

If you would like to see a sneak peek of this before the Fair opens, you can do an Internet search to find a video of Lady Victoria’s niece and nephew (of the Fearless Flores Family) performing the stunt on America’s Got Talent earlier this month. The children are just 13 and 8 years old.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Zoppe Family Circus revives the days of old in South Burlington

Giovanni Zoppe as Nino in the Zoppe Family Circus. The show comes to Technology Park in South Burlington this weekend for six shows starting tonight. / Courtesy photo

Written bySusan Green, Free Press Correspondent

Aug. 3, 2011

Think of it as “When Napoline Met Ermengilda.” As creation stories go, the origins of the Zoppe Family Circus — appearing this week in Vermont — seem quite romantic: A French street performer visiting Budapest in 1842 fell for a Hungarian ballerina.
“Her father was not in favor of a clown marrying his daughter,” explained Giovanni Zoppe, a great-great-grandson of Napoline and Ermengilda Zoppe. “So, they moved to Venice and began their own circus.”
Giovanni Zoppe, following in ancestrial footsteps and wearing a bulbous red nose, will transform himself into Nino the Clown Prince of Italy during six shows scheduled for today through Sunday in South Burlington. He is also the the circus director, and his wife, Amy, is an aerialist. They often bring out their 21-month-old son Julien to take a bow. Moreover, Giovanni works alongside his two sisters — Tosca, an equestrian, and Carla, who orchestrates the dancing dogs — and their spouses.
“I was trained as a bareback rider like my father but I also do trapeze and juggling,” Giovanni Zoppe, 45, said.
Giovanni Zoppe’s father, Alberto Zoppe, was lured to the United States by filmmaker Cecile B. DeMille, who cast him and his daredevil horse act in 1952’s “The Greatest Show on Earth.” In order to participate in the movie, the Italian circus star collaborated with the legendary Ringling Brothers, which agreed to his unusual proviso.
“My father only signed the deal when they sent an elephant to our circus in Italy in exchange,” Giovanni Zoppe said. “There were no elephants in all of Europe after World War II.”
Alberto Zoppe remained in Hollywood for more than a decade, serving as an advisor on other motion pictures and making his television debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in early 1964, just a few weeks before the Beatles. He was with the Ringling Brothers circus for six years and married a member of the famous Flying Wallendas, high-wire artists whose legacy goes back to 1780.
Leaving the film industry behind, Alberto then launched an American chapter of the Zoppe Family Circus, currently headquartered in Chicago. After two children and a divorce, he tied the knot again in the early 1960s with vaudeville singer Sandra Kaylar. He was 43; she was 17.
Giovanni Zoppe, one of their three offspring, was first seen under the big top a few days after his birth. His dad continued in the circus ring even after replacement of both hips. As an octogenarian, Alberto Zoppe, was finally sidelined following a series of mini-strokes; he died two years ago at age 88.
During the show’s run at Technology Park in South Burlington, the Zoppe Family Circus will strut its stuff in a 600-seat tent. “It was designed by my father and has a unique garlic-shaped fiberglass top with an exhaust fan that sucks out the hot air,” Giovanni Zoppe said.
The 28-person troupe, half of them relatives, spends about 30 weeks a year on the road delivering the thrills and chills of a traditional circus.
Burlington’s Flynn Center is presenting the Zoppe circus and artistic director Arnie Malina, agreed with Giovanni Zoppe on the kid-friendly nature of the show.
“This circus is a real throwback, with lots of audience participation,” he said. “They’re a breath of fresh air, delightfully charming and old-fashioned.”
Giovanni Zoppe references his clan’s history.
“We are what circuses were 100 years ago,” he said “Circus and family mean the same thing in my opinion.”
Big Top Splendor: Cole Bros. Circus returns to South Jersey for family fun

The Cole Bros. Circus returns to southern New Jersey with performances Thursday, Aug. 4 and Friday,  Aug. 5, in Mays Landing, Monday, Aug. 8, and Tuesday, Aug. 9, in Seaville and Wednesday, Aug. 10, and Thursday, Aug. 11, in Rio Grande.
Posted: Thursday, August 4, 2011 12:00 am Updated: 12:09 pm, Wed Aug 3, 2011.

For At The Shore

Every night, Jose Bermudez is shot out of a cannon, flying through the air at about 65 miles per hour as the Human Cannonball. For him, it's just another day on the job.

Bermudez, you see, is among the featured performers in the Cole Brothers Circus, which will make three stops in southern New Jersey this month. And, he's a circus lifer, a third-generation performer who began when he was 7 years old.

"My dad worked for the circus for 45 years, so he taught me and my brother," Bermudez says. With Cole Brothers for 14 years, Bermudez says he first toured in South America before traveling America with the circus, and he enjoys traveling up the coast each year.

"We travel for nine months of the year around the East Coast from Florida up to New York," he says. "We see a lot of people, a lot of friends. It's great to travel with the circus; it's fun."

Residents will have the chance to watch Bermudez soar through the air during one of the circus' three South Jersey stops: Thursday, Aug. 4, and Friday, Aug. 5, in Mays Landing; Monday, Aug. 8, and Tuesday, Aug. 9, in Seaville; and Wednesday, Aug. 10 and Thursday, Aug. 11, in Rio Grande.

The performer admits that when he first became the Human Cannonball he was a little scared.

"When I started, yes of course a little bit because it's something new," Bermudez says. "But now I'm used to it; we do it every day now. I like to do that; it's fun to fly in the air, it's great."

Bermudez encourages fans to look for him before the show, when he will be at the face-painting booth. He also entertains the crowd as a clown along with his wife and brother.

"We have four more clowns. We're having a comedy car with my wife. ... It's a great show."

Circus to be a Classic Big Top Show
Kelly Miller Circus to perform at Avon,Ohio Knights of Columbus on Sunday

By Julie A. Short
August 3, 2011
The circus is coming to town!

The Knights of Columbus Father Ragan Council 3269 in Avon will host two shows by the Kelly Miller Circus at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Aug. 7 on the council grounds.

“It’s very exciting to be bringing this type of entertainment to Avon,” said past Knight of Columbus Grand Knight John Hricovec. “I personally saw the circus two years ago in Geneva, and another member saw it on Kelleys Island. The two of us got together and thought we could pull this together and have nice family event.”

The Kelly Miller Circus has been in existence since 1938, according to information posted on the circus website. Today, the circus travels throughout the country with a fleet of 25 vehicles.

Assisting with set up for the event are the elephants themselves. According to Hricovec, Kelly Miller Circus uses its elephants to set up the show tent. The public is invited to watch the event at 9 a.m. the day of the show.

“What makes this event so special and different is you are right up near the action,” said Hricovec. “Every seat is a good seat. When the performers spit fire, you can feel the heat. You are up close to the animals. It’s definitely something to see and an affordable way to spend an afternoon with the family.”

A portion of the proceeds from the circus shows will benefit the Knights of Columbus. Hricovec said money raised will be used to assist Catholic churches and schools in the community, as well as assistance for the developmentally disabled. He said that, between the council and the foundation, Avon's Knights of Columbus donated more than $40,000 to various organizations last year.

Fifteen hundred seats will be available for each performance.

Advance tickets cost $10 for adults and $6 for children 12 and younger. Tickets will be available the day of the show, with the price $15 for adults and $7 for children.

Not your grandpa's circus
Street performance art comes to Musikfest via Zany Umbrella Circus

Zany Umbrella Circus, featuring Ben Sota and Erin Carey, performs 2-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on Main Street as part of Musikfest. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO / August 4, 2011)
By Tim Higgins, Special to The Morning Call
August 4, 2011
The circus is in Ben Sota's blood.

Even when he was a younger man studying architecture at the University of Pittsburgh, Sota could be found juggling in his spare time, a trick he learned at age 11 by tossing tennis balls. Now 30 , he has just earned a different degree, this time a MFA in physical theater from the Accademia Dell' Arte school in Tuscany, Italy.

"When I was 12 years old, my grandfather taught me how to walk on homemade stilts and juggle," says Sota fondly. His grandfather, he explains, taught himself these tricks to amuse friends and family during the hard times of the Depression. "If he could use the circus to get him through a rough time," Sota often tells his audience today, "we can, too."
READ MORE:,0,5037191.story

Circus Vargas 2011
Thursday, Sep 15
at Weberstown Mall, Stockton, CA
See the circus as it should be seen … under the Big Top!
Circus Vargas is excited to bring the Big One to San Joaquin County with big heart, big laughs, big talent & big FUN!
Arrive 30 mins early for the free interactive pre-show where kids of all ages are invited center ring to learn circus tricks.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Gloucester Video




We’re on a Mission to be the Most Liked Circus in the World!

"The Awesomest Show Ever" to take place under the big top is heading to Memphis as UniverSoul Circus brings the most electrifying and interactive single ring extravaganza to the parking lot of Hickory Ridge Mall, Aug. 23-28. Tickets are on sale now.

There’s no doubt about it – the 243 year history of the modern circus has finally been reborn in the form of UniverSoul Circus, nationally recognized for its unique brand of high energy audience interaction and thrilling circus artistry. Whether you’re dancing in the aisles with the Ringmaster; rapping to The Sugarhill Gang; volunteering for the "Soul Train Line;" singing 2,200-part harmony with the kids to Sponge Bob Square Pants, or enjoying a musical finale with the entire cast line-dancing to Michael Jackson’s "Thriller" – there’s something for everyone to interact with at UniverSoul Circus, recently proclaimed by a youthful online fan as "The Awesomest Show Ever."

WHEN: August 23-28

WHERE: Hickory Ridge Mall

Ridgeway Rd and 6075 Winchester Rd, Memphis, TN 38115

UniverSoul Circus is on a mission to be the most liked circus in the world by acquiring 1 million "Likes" on Facebook by December 2011, the end of its 2011 tour season. It’s as simple as going to and pressing the "Like" button. You’re going to love our show, but you can "Like" us now on Facebook.

The UniverSoul Circus line up for 2011 will flat out blow you away. New acts include the beautiful and enchanting Rahel of Ethiopia will twist and turn her way into our hearts with a cutting edge presentation of contortion we like to call Pretty Girl Rocks. If that’s not enough we traveled all the way to Dalian, China to unearth Modern Biker Girls, a group of amazing young ladies who will put any extreme biker to shame with their amazing two-wheel, non-motorized, dexterity. And we’ve brought new meaning to the Russian Swing Act, armed with an acrobatic attitude and a whole lotta rhythm as they swing themselves into the upper echelons of our big top.
Clare County Fair kicks off today
Published: Monday, August 01, 2011
Clare Managing Editor

CENTRAL MICHIGAN--Two circus shows including the "Globe of Death" are some of the events today as the Clare County Fair begins.

James Earhart's Globe of Death is performed by stunt drivers in Circus Pages, a Florida-based entertainment group that also features elephants, white tigers, camels, acrobatic dogs, liberty ponies and horses.

Circus Pages is scheduled to perform twice daily at the Clare County Fairgrounds in Harrison.

Events start today with the judging of

youth rabbit and cavy classics and showmanship at 9 a.m., along with the judging of youth swine classes.

Draft horse halter classes are being judged at 10 a.m., followed by youth sheep market classes at 1 .m.

Ride specials will be offered when the carnival midway opens at 4 p.m.

Youth cat classes are to be judged at 7 p.m., followed by the USA Demolition Derby and Auto Enduro.

Judging of open class poultry and showmanship starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday, along with youth saddle horses.

Beef classes and beef showmanship judging is set for 11 a.m., followed by the carnival midway opening at noon.
Circus rolls into Warrnambool

Bonita Brophy loves the circus life, so setting up the big top doesn’t get her into a spin. With hula hoops at hand, she’s just one of many circus folk getting ready for shows in the south-west.
03 Aug, 2011
THE Perry Bros Circus has invited south-west families to come out and clown around under the big top this weekend.
After successful stays in Colac and Camperdown, the family circus arrived in Warrnambool yesterday to set up for some old-fashioned family shows.
The multigenerational act is one of Australia’s oldest circus families, touring the country for more than 150 years.
A management and performance crew of eight multi-talented people run the circus, which includes jugglers, whipcrackers, hula hoops, diablos, wire walks, ponies and clowns in three shows at the Warrnambool Showgrounds from Friday to Sunday.
Manager Warren Brophy, also a performing clown and whipcracker, said the entertainers as a family provided a great night out for other families.
“It’s not just for adults or just for kids,” he said.
“The oldest person we had at Camperdown had just turned 97 and she really loved it.
“We’re all family-orientated and my boy is the seventh generation.
“We’re one of the oldest circus families in Australia, more than 150 years old.
“Right through both world wars, we’ve kept going.”
This weekend is the Perry Bros Circus first stint in Warrnambool in more than 10 years, Mr Brophy said.
“It’s been a long time,” he said yesterday.
“We go all over, to a lot of towns. Noorat is next.
“We prefer smaller towns where people are more friendly.
“People are more hands-on, they tend to help out and they tend to appreciate it a bit more.
“The audience is right there with us because it’s a small tent and we’re with you the whole time.”

Castle Museum in Saginaw opens circus exhibit on Friday

Published: Tuesday, August 02, 2011
By Carol Zedaker Booth Mid-Michigan The Saginaw News
"Under the Big Top," an exhibit showcasing the circus in all its glory, will open at the Castle Museum of Saginaw County History on Friday, Aug. 5.

The centerpiece of the exhibit is a unique 1,200-piece miniature circus, hand-carved by John Mackay of Syracuse, N.Y. Each wooden figurine took Mackay from four to 40 hours to carve and paint.

Mackay, who died in 1982, spent more than 35 years on this project as a hobby. The exhibit is on loan from the Tri-Cities Historical Museum in Grand Haven.

The exhibit also will feature Mackay’s workbench and his tools, posters and circus act props.

A companion exhibit developed by Castle Museum staff will feature some of Saginaw’s circus greats, such as William Hulme, popularly known as The Flying Zeno, Fred Jenks, The Flying Melzoras and others. Photographs and artifacts will be on display, including a video of the Melzora family performing in a circus.

The exhibit is open through Oct. 30.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011




Ohio State Fair Tour 2011



Friday night storm CoasterBob62

There was a chance of storms in the forecast Friday night, but I decided to go ahead and visit the Ohio State Fair anyway. I'm glad I did. Although many rides were shut down for the night, I still enjoyed the light show, both on the ground and overhead. More footage from the night is yet to come.... Filmed July 29, 2011.

Westmorland County Fair underway in Petitcodiac

VIKTOR PIVOVAROV/TIMES & TRANSCR Corey Steeves of Havelock competes in the command class during the Gymkhana equestrian competition at the Westmorland County Agricultural Fair yesterday.
By Yvon Gauvin
Times & Transcript staff
Monday, August 1st, 2011
PETITCODIAC - "It's a nice, quiet place to come and watch horses," Warren Lewis of Colpitts Settlement said yesterday.
Lewis, his wife, Jane, and sons were among the spectators seated in the grandstands outside the horse ring for the first day of the 2011 Westmorland County Agricultural Fair in Petitcodiac.

The opening event for the fair was the light horse show and gymkhana, which involved horsemanship with riders and horses called on to perform different tasks as well as the competitive racing events. As many as 40 horses had arrived for the horse show, said fair spokesman Susan MacLeod.

The Lewis family has a hobby farm complete with several work horses that Warren employs for yarding work in the woods like his grandfather and his father did.

"It gets into your blood," he explained. "I'm stuck on animals," he laughed.

As for the fair, it's a family deal.
read more:

Circus coming to Standish Aug. 19
By James Kuch
News Editor
STANDISH, MI — The circus is coming to town.

For the first time ever, the Standish Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting the Kelly Miller Circus on Friday, Aug. 19 at the Arenac County Fairgrounds in Standish.

Chamber President Andrew Radatz said he expects the circus to be a hit for the area.

“I think this is going to be a great opportunity for family to come out and spend some quality time together at a fun event,” he said.

Radatz said the circus, founded in 1938, will feature elephants, tigers, lions, clowns, and a tight rope performer.

“It will all take place under a big top tent,” he said. “I have been told that this is a top-notch circus.”

Radatz said he hopes the community shows interest in the event.

“I think this is a great way to bring people into the downtown district,” he said. “Business owners that I have talked to are very interested.”

Radatz said the chamber of commerce began discussing the possibility of the event back in April of this year.

“It all came together quickly and smoothly,” he said. “We did not really run into any bumps along the way.”

Radatz said the circus will take place at the midway location of the fairgrounds. He added that some proceeds from the event will go toward upkeep of the fairgrounds.

“I think this is a good event for the fairgrounds,” he said. “We need good events there.”

Radatz said circus activities will begin at 7:30 a.m. that Friday.

“The tent will be raised at 9 a.m. and it’s free for anyone who wants to come out and see the tent raised.”

There will be two shows, with the first opening at 4:30 p.m. and the second starting at 7:30 p.m.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Heat Takes Toll on Delaware State Fair
Updated: Aug 01, 2011

from: WBOC-TV 16, Salisbury
HARRINGTON, Del. (AP)- Organizers say the heat took a toll on attendance at the Delaware State Fair for the second year in a row.

Danny Aguilar, the fair's assistant general manager and director of marketing, said the heat was most severe during the first few days, but attendance bounced back before the fair closed Saturday.

Aguilar said that attendance figures were as low as 25 percent of normal during the worst of it.

The 10-day fair usually averages about 302,000 patrons. And although officials reported few heat-related health problems for human visitors, some of the animals didn't fare as well.

The poultry barn saw temperatures as high as 104 degrees. Organizers sprayed down tin roof with water, but the heat killed some birds and rabbits.

click on image to enlarge & read

Uploaded by WisdomEntertainment1 on Mar 10, 2011

Tonny Petersen's Hell Drivers Continue To Amaze Fans With Thier 70 Minute Auto Thrill Show! Complete with precision driving, reverse spins, motorcycle stunts, deliberate crashes and gravity defy two wheel driving!

Motorcycle & Auto Stunts From the 1950's

Uploaded by ChicagoHarleyWorld on Oct 9, 2008

Filmed at Soldier Field in Chicago Illinois in the 1950's. We see brief perfomances by the Side Tricks motorcycle stunt riders and the Trans World Daredevils.
Circus students climb walls between cultures

1 Aug 2011
"Art has the biggest potential for social healing that I know of," says the director of Israel's Association for the Development of Circus Arts.
The Israel Circus School runs multicultural programs to bring Jewish and Arab schoolchildren together.
By Avigayil Kadesh

If you're swinging from a trapeze or performing a risky acrobatic stunt, you've got to have total faith in the teammate entrusted to synch with you. And so, reasoned Hanita-Caroline Hendelman, circus training could provide a perfect - and perfectly offbeat - setting for building bonds between all cultures in Israel.

"Seven years ago, I initiated the project of having classes from Jewish and Arab schools meet through circus to foster dialogue," says Hendelman, director of the Israel Circus School and the Association for the Development of Circus Arts in the Galilee town of Kfar Yehoshua. Three years ago, she began working with multicultural youth at risk, too. "We try whenever possible to mix groups of different cultures," she says
"My main interest is how we employ the arts in social healing. I don't mean art or drama therapy, but art in its fullest form. I think art has the biggest potential for healing that I know of, and the Israel Circus School is a fully artistic and professional school for adults, youth and children. They learn to be creative, responsible, artistic members of the community, but as part of their training we involve all our students in our various multicultural projects."
Under the banner "Circus Arts for Social Change," she is now creating a local and international network of circus artists and supporters interested in building a new socio-political agenda "to find innovative and creative means of resolving conflict situations and setting up new social priorities towards creating a society that cares, honors and respects all its members." read more:

Kangaroo boxing show goes on despite PETA opposition

Source: (AHN) Reporter: Windsor Genova Location: Kissimmee, FL, United States

Published: July 31, 2011 06:39 pm EDT

Topics: Crime, Law And Justice, Justice And Rights, Human Interest, Curiosity, Arts, Culture And Entertainment, Entertainment
Authorities are not stopping a Florida show featuring a boxing match between a circus artist and the only boxing kangaroo in the U.S. despite opposition by the animal rights protection group PETA.
Javier Martinez and Rocky the kangaroo got the green light to proceed with their show in the Kissimmee circus as the the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission found no signs of animal abuse and violation of the law upon inspection of the performers.

The Florida State Boxing Commission, which was also asked by PETA to stop the show, could not intervene because its jurisdiction only covers human boxers.

Martinez, 52, has been doing the show around the U.S. since the mid-1990s. He said Rocky is not trained to punch and fight but only moves its paws to simulate boxing.

PETA legal fellow Carney Anne Chester claimed that forcing the kangaroo to wear a boxing outfit and harassing it into fighting is cruel and illegal in Florida so the show must stop.
Read more:

Sunday, July 31, 2011



Kelly Miller Circus sets up shop in Chester Township (with videos)
By Cassandra Shofar
Published: Sunday, July 31, 2011
The eyes of Jackson Sturtevant and his friend David Skovira lit with excitement as they watched an acrobat sail across the ceiling Saturday afternoon at the Kelly Miller Circus in Chester Township.

It was the first time the two boys from Mayfield Heights had ever been to the circus, which sets up shop in Chester almost every year.

"The guy changing his pants was awkward," Jackson said.

"And some of the tricks were unexpected."

David's mom, Emma Skovira, said this was her first time at the Kelly Miller Circus as well.

"It's a lot of fun," she said. "The dogs were cute and the elephant rides were fun."

The one-ring circus was intimately set close to its audience on the grounds of West Geauga Middle School, making its performances up close and personal.

"We just moved here from Illinois and this is a better circus than they ever had back there," said Nikki Schafman, who brought her 5-year-old son, Ayden, and her mother, Carol, along.

"My son rode the elephant here. He never would at the other (circuses)," Schafman said.
read more:

A Summer Circus Train
Catch the circus train in Essex before it pulls out of the station on Sunday.

By Karena Garrity
Looking for a different, unique way to spend a fun and exciting summer day in the area? Look no further than the Valley Railroad Circus Train and Big Top Show. There is still time to pick up tickets for the whole family to attend this one of a kind entertainment experience.

Complete with clowns, acrobats, juggling, balloon making , a petting zoo, puppet show, midway rides, traditional circus fare and more. This is the first time this special event has come to Essex and today is the last day to come and enjoy what many are calling, “the best family day event around.”

“My whole family had a great time,” exclaimed Dan Dubay, who made his way to the circus celebration from his hometown of Middletown.

“Everyone loves the trains and the circus show was amazing, especially the guy who climbed up on the chairs and then went upside down. It was great and everyone really enjoyed themselves.”
The event, which cost $25 per person (kids 2 and under free) started with a robust welcome from the Ringmaster as passengers boarded the authentic Circus Train ride from the Lee Company parking lot, on Bokum road in Essex to the Essex Steam Train lot. Upon departure from the historic steam train, colorful clowns greeted children and adults with juggling tricks, hula hoops, balloon animals and more. The succulent smells of sugary confections such as cotton candy and fried snickers and Oreos saturated the air down the midway, which included several kiddy rides, a beautifully painted carousel and a very popular, giant giraffe bounce house.
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Carnival is ‘a way of life’ for fair workers

Ryan C. Henriksen
Rick Moise shoots basketballs over his head to entice fair-goers to take a shot at his game at the Boone County Fair Friday. Carnival workers say there are tricks to the games, but they all can be won.
By Bailey Reutzel
Columbia Daily Tribune Saturday, July 30, 2011
Three rows of shiny soda cans and crumpled beer cans zip horizontally at the cork gun game as Altraimaine Sayles tries to entice visitors to shoot-till-you-win for $2
Ladies,” he says to three tall blondes walking past the booth at the 65th annual Boone County Fair, “come get yourself a prize. We’ve got teddy bears.”

The game stand is filled with an array of stuffed animals — small lime-green turtles, yellow and blue bears and the big prize, a plush electric guitar with money print designs.

Brittany Lowery, who travels with the carnival, said she fills the stand with stuff to draw in people because “maybe they don’t see something they want, but they see there’s a bunch of stuff so they decide, ‘Maybe I’ll play.’ ”

Lowery’s grandfather started the Lowery Carnival Co. in the early 1960s, and she was born and raised in the carnival.

She has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and an associate in pre-law, and Lowery said although she wants to find a job in her field of study, she doesn’t have any interest working 9-to-5 when she can make just as much money “being boss” of a few stands at the fair. She owns two game stands and one novelty tent.

Lowery said carnival workers often are misunderstood.

“When people think of carnival workers, they think” we’re “ignorant, that we’re kooks. People associate carnies with trash,” Lowery said.

Deep-Fried on a stick : There’s no food like that fair food

Amanda Jost of Wahpeton sells cheese curds to some customers as fairgoers wait in line for the cheesy treats
Every self-respecting fairgoer has experienced the food on some level – whether it is something as radical as deep-fried pickles, or just a modest pile of cheese curds. By: NATHAN KITZMANN, DL-Online
The pickles, by the way, made their Becker County Fair debut this year.

Jill Winkels — the Manager for Hansen’s Amusement Foods out of Fergus Falls, which hosts all of the for-profit vending in the fair food court — says the dish has been an unexpected success.

“They’re going over very well,” she said. “It’s a very good product.”

Such is the nature of the fair-food vending business: show up, sell products that seem appealing and hope they catch on.

There is no safety net to protect the vendors from ruin, nor is there a large, bureaucratic company to take most of the workers’ profits.

In a rare departure from convention, the food vendors — Midway-associated and independent alike — operate very democratically.

Personal earnings are directly contingent on sales, so everyone works together to make every precious stop as successful as possible.

Co-workers must operate almost as a family to be profitable, and loyalty to the company is a must.

“This isn’t a business you can let someone run for you,” Woodward said. “You have to travel with it.”

Fair food vending is capitalism in its purest form, a cutthroat game of Sink or Swim.

Circus clown auditions come to O.C.
Talk about clowns at the Pedro


Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is looking for a few good clowns. The prestigious entertainment institution is holding auditions via its Clown College at Honda Center in Anaheim from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 2.
Clown hopefuls must come prepared with a 3-5 minute routine that displays the ability to exaggerate facial expressions and body language, athleticism or any unique physical skills, an understanding of comedy as well as a sense of personality. Contestants will also share why they want to perform with the Greatest Show on Earth. Previous professional clowning experience is not required. Performers selected to travel with the circus must be 18 years of age or older and must preregister for auditions at

Clowns, clowning around. Pedro and his trusty work sidekick Kelli Skye Fadroski will be on hand to interview potential talent and will be trying out for possible new careers.
The Clown College coincides with "Fully Charged," the all-new Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus show happening at the Honda Center through Aug. 7.

Elephant battle rages as circus comes to Toronto
Published On Fri Jul 29 2011
Kate Allen and Gloria Er-Chua Staff Reporters
Months after a protracted battle over Toronto Zoo’s three elephants resulted in the decision to move them away, two new pachyderms have just rolled into town — and animal activists are not pleased.

The Shrine Circus, operating in the parking lot of Centerpoint Mall, features two elephants. The beasts are trotted out twice every performance for rides at $10 a pop and perform tricks during one segment of the show. The circus is a fundraiser for charities supported by the local Shriners’ chapter.

The mall’s Facebook page has become a flashpoint for criticism directed at the show’s organizers.

Protests are planned for every show this weekend at the Yonge St. and Steeles Ave. mall.

Susan Morris, who organized the demonstrations, has been protesting the Shrine Circus elephants’ treatment for three years. “They basically live on a truck and in a parking lot.

“I’m trying to get people to see that maybe it’s not right and to go for circuses that don’t have animals,” she said.

Larry Solheim, general manager for TZ Productions which produces the circus, said the elephants do well under the company’s care.

“Elephants thrive in captivity,” he said, adding they are transported in custom-built trailers and their average trip is 100 kilometres. On the road, they live in a compound with climate-controlled facilities.

The company’s herd of around eight animals lives in Florida when they are not performing.
read more:
Ringling Bros. circus returns to Cow Palace

after six-year absence

By Neil Gonzales
The big top is coming back to the Cow Palace after a six-year hiatus, bringing with it galloping stallions, dancing elephants and human daredevil acts.

But animal-rights activists plan to greet its return with protests.

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus will perform at the Cow Palace Sept. 1-5 as part of a swing through the Bay Area. The circus will also perform at San Jose's HP Pavilion Aug. 17-21 and Oakland's Oracle Arena Sept. 8-11.

The last time Ringling Bros. stopped by the Cow Palace was in 2005.

Cow Palace CEO Joseph Barkett said he is pleased to have back an event that had been a staple at the state-owned entertainment venue. "It has been a tradition out here in years past," he said.

He partly attributed the circus's absence to a decline in attendance. But over the past two years, he said, the Cow Palace has been working with Ringling Bros. to resume the shows. Ringling Bros. has expressed interest in continuing to perform at the Cow Palace on an annual basis, he added.

The Cow Palace hosted a small circus in the parking lot in 2009. But the Ringling Bros. event is a much bigger production to be shown in the main arena, Barkett said.

The Ringling Bros. show, dubbed "Fully Charged," will include a world-class animal trainer riding horses into a full gallop and choreographing 4-ton Asian elephants in a dance routine, a man being propelled through the air like a human crossbow and a family executing
high-wire stunts.

The circus doesn't amuse People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, however. PETA spokeswoman Carney Anne Chester said the organization will hold rallies against the circus at all three Bay Area performances.

"PETA is urging people who are against animal cruelty to boycott the circus," Chester said. "Animals used in the circus suffer routine physical and psychological abuse. This cruelty has no place in family entertainment."

PETA condemns how circus animals are made to work. "The only way to get these amazing animals to perform these ridiculous tricks is through constant threat of physical punishment," she said. "They are also subject to grueling travel."

Ringling Bros. officials dispute PETA's assertions.

"The physical and behavioral needs of our animals are a top priority that can be seen in every city we visit," Janice Aria, director of animal stewardship for Ringling Bros., said in an email.

"Ringling Bros. also meets or exceeds all federal, state and local animal standards," Aria said. "In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducts regular unannounced inspections of all federally licensed zoos and circuses to ensure compliance with government regulations and policies, and Ringling Bros. has never been found in violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act."