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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tent show shot full of fun

Aug 27, 2011

(The Leader-Telegram - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- CHIPPEWA FALLS -- Johnny "Rocket" Davenport put on a red helmet that matched a form-fitting red suit with gold trim and epaulets.
Moments before, the 15-year-old had done a final check on the lines suspending a net in the far end of the circus tent that was his final destination.
He gave a final wave to the crowd and slid into the muzzle of a canon that was tilted to at least a 45-degree angle. It appeared like they were going for a bank shot off the tent ceiling, but when the canon fired, Davenport flew through the air, arms outstretched as though he was making a swan dive, then made a half flip, landing on his back in the net
"To tell you the truth, it feels like getting hit by a car ... but then you get a nice breeze," he said after the performance.

Besides being a human cannonball, Davenport, of Dallas, Texas, helps with the announcing at Big Top Family Fun Circus, which is in Chippewa Falls for two days, and he also juggles and breathes fire.
Rocket has been a human cannonball for four years, but he has been with the circus as long as he can remember, traveling 10 1/2 months of the year with his family. He speaks English and Spanish and has been home-schooled along the way. He plans to make the circus his career -- even though circuses are becoming rarer. Four years ago 10 to 12 were performing in the U.S. Now only four remain, he said.
The circus also features a contortionist, a clown, a high wire act and other performers, along with a petting zoo that includes a baby camel and a zebra of mixed parentage.

The circus came to Chippewa Falls two years ago, and this year came back for two days and four shows.
Amanda Brown, 28, of Chippewa Falls said Friday she had never been to a circus, so she came with her four children. Her 10-year-old son, Blaine, said he liked the fire jugglers and the clown who came over to the crowd, but he also moved to the back row to avoid the clown, who was involving audience members in the show.
"I didn't want to go in front of the whole audience," he said.



Circus coming to Peru Tuesday

Saturday, August 27, 2011

By Craig Sterrett

The show must go on.

That show-business motto certainly applies to a date for a circus at Illinois Valley Regional Airport that was arranged by the Friends of Peru Pool organization.This week, Peru City Council learned that the Federal Aviation Administration would not allow this or future events at the airport to raise money to benefit entities other than the airport.But Heidi Heuser, administrative assistant to the mayor, said Carson & Barnes Circus still will show up Tuesday, Aug. 30 for two shows.“The show’s still coming. It’ll still be here,” Heuser said.She said she didn’t even bother telling circus officials the path of proceeds from ticket sales is changing.“To them it doesn’t matter,” Heuser noted.Alderman and Friends of the Pool member Sherry Mayszak said the organizers did not want to jeopardize FAA funding for the airport in any way.Performances will be at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. featuring performers from around the world, elephants, trapeze and clowns. Heuser said Carson & Barnes allows the public to watch as it sets up tents and its other portable facilities when the circus comes to town around 9 a.m. The circus menagerie includes elephants and camels, and Carson & Barnes usually sets up a small petting zoo before its shows.Discounted tickets in advance are $12 for adults age 12 and up and $6 for children ages 2-11. Heuser said more than 300 tickets had been sold.Tickets are available at Peru City Clerk’s office, Hy-Vee, Walmart, Save-a-Lot and IV Food Center. Tickets also will be available at the gate.

Cool or Cruel?

As Crowds Cheer, Animal Activists Jeer Circus

Not everyone sees the circus as entertainment.

Bridget Irons of Chestnut Hill protests outside the Cole Bros. Circus in Devon.

Credit Bob Byrne
By Bob Byrne

August 25, 2011

As more than a thousand people streamed out of the Cole Brothers Circus performance just before 7 p.m. Wednesday they were greeted by a handfull of protestors who say that the circus is cruel to animals.
Bridget Irons, a self-described animal activist for the past "25 years or so" held a hand made-sign encouraging circus-goers "Let This B Your Last Circus." Irons came from Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia to protest at the side exit gate of the Devon Horse Show Grounds along Dorset Road in Devon.
Other protestors stood at the main circus entrance at Berkeley and South Valley Forge Roads with signs that read "Stop Animal Cruelty" and others showing photographs of circus animals in what the protestors call inhumane conditions.
Irons and one other protestor at the side exit handed out double sided flyers alledging "The Cole Bros. Circus continually demonstrates gross indifference to the welfare of its animals and to the grave danger it poses to the public by displaying dangerous wild animals under inadequate control and conditions." The flyer goes on to read "Among the elephants used by the circus this year is Viola, who escaped from an inexperienced handler and ran through a crowd last year in Virginia. She was loose for about 30 minutes and was caught only after she fell and was injured. Although Viola is used to give rides, fortunately there were no children on her back when she bolted."

Circus fans cheer as protestors outside decry animal acts in the Cole Bros. Circus at the Decon Horse Show grounds.Credit Bob Byrne

The Lynchburg, VA News & Advance Newspaper covered the incident at the time. You can read that report by clicking here. An animal rights website, In Defense of Animals (IDA), also offered an account of the same incident which you can read here.
Animal rights protests are nothing new to american circus perfomances. Protestors are a staple at Ringling Brothers performances and The Cole Brothers Circus wherever they perform. Circuses know they are under close scrutiny. Cole Brothers Ringmaster Chris Connors made a veiled reference to the accusations he knew circus-goers would encounter as they left the Devon Horse Grounds. As the Ringmaster thanked the crowd for coming he ran down a list of the wonderous acts they had just seen, including performances "by our happy, healthy animals."
Circus owner John Pugh, who pleaded quilty in February to selling two elephants in violation of the federal endangered species act, (see the U.S. Department of Justice statement on the case here) told Patch he brought animal acts back to his circus several years ago because the public wanted them. Tuesday afternoon, both before the show started and during the intermission, parents and young children queued up in long lines up to take a ride on Viola.

Families lined up for rides on Viola the elephant at the Cole Bros. Circus.
Credit Bob Byrne
The protestors' flyer asks circus patrons, among other things, to write to the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #28 in Lower Merion "and ask them to stop using Cole Bros. Circus as a fundraiser."
FOP Lodge 28 President Gavin Goschinski told Patch he respects the protestors right to voice their concerns and opinions. Goschinski said he would not endorse any enterprise that he believed engaged in animal cruelty as a way to raise funds for the organization. He said the FOP has been sponsoring the circus for 40 years and he has been personally involved with circus fundraiser for the past 14 years.
Goschinski said the circus is a major source of funds for the FOP's Health & Welfare Association which helps support the needs of retired Lower Merion and Narberth police officers.


Gregory Smith of Portland sets up his booth, Mighty Hawk Concessions, on Thursday at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem. / Danielle Peterson / Statesman Journal

State Fair Rides, Stage Certified Safe

Additional precautions were taken in the wake of Indiana State Fair tragedy, as well as Tuesday's earthquake.

By Nick DiMarco

August 25, 2011

File photo: Lights whirl through the night at the 2010 Maryland State Fair.

Credit Monica Lopossay

From The Zipper to the iconic swings and everything in between, all 40 Maryland State Fair carnival rides have been certified safe, the Department of Labor’s Amusement Ride Safety Unit announced Thursday afternoon.
Safety inspectors additionally met with project supervisors in charge of constructing the music stage in the wake of the Indiana State Fair tragedy that claimed five lives and injured dozens of others. The stage inspection is not required by law.
“Families from across the state will celebrate Maryland at this year’s State Fair and the Maryland Department of Labor is committed to ensure that all families enjoy the fair safely. The Amusement Ride Safety Unit has inspected all 40 rides at the fair and will be on site through September 5 to oversee the safe operation of everyone’s favorite rides,” said Maryland Labor Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez in a release.
“As we prepare for our fair, we remember those who lost their lives at the Indiana State Fair earlier this month," the statement continued. "Maryland is committed to safety and we are taking extra precautions to ensure that every visitor leaves the fair with a smile and plans to return next summer.”
In the wake of Tuesday's earthquake, fairgrounds president Howard "Max" Mosner ordered yet another examination of midway carnival rides—specifically rides that are supported on uneven ground by blocks.
There has only been one non-mechanical accident reported to the Amusement Ride Safety Unit at the Maryland State Fair in the last five years, according to a release.
Hundreds of thousands are expected to descend upon Timonium beginning tonight at the annual Ridemania preview event and continuing through Sept. more at:

The Maryland State Fair kicks off on Friday.

By: Aisha Milton

You'll find all of the usual fair-favorites. Everything from good food to fun rides to musical entertainment and of course the animals.
More than a 500,000 people visit the fair each year and it's been named one of the top 50 fairs in the country.
Country singer Gretchen Wilson will perform on Friday and pop sensation Justin Bieber hits the stage Sunday September 5th.
The Maryland State Fair runs from August 27th to September 6th at the Fairgrounds in Timonium.Read more:

Ocean City Empties Out As Irene Approaches - Video - WBAL Baltimore

Ocean City Empties Out As Irene Approaches - Video - WBAL Baltimore

Friday, August 26, 2011





More than elephants: Circus features cats, dogs and clowns, too

Catherine Carden, elephant trainer with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, enters the ring with Carol (left), Dutchess (center) and Patty (right), three Asian elephants in the show.

By Amber Nicholson,

Oregon NewsLab

Published: Aug 25, 2011

EUGENE, Ore. - There is love in the air at the Matthew Knight Arena.
Love for our four-legged friends - and love between our fellow two-legged friends.
On Thursday, the cats, dogs and elephants were happily out and about on the arena floor with their trainers, all of whom happen to be married couples.
The morning started out with a clown exclaiming, “House cats really can do a lot more than just sit there and look at you and say ‘don’t touch me.’”
Maya and Andre Panthelog, both have been with the circus for 12 years, brought out three of their 12 cats to perform and back up the clown’s statement.
Though there was need for a little more coaxing than maybe had been anticipated, the cats pulled through for their trainers.
Not to be outdone by feisty felines, Hans and Maria Close came out next to perform with their three dogs, a poodle named Gunner, a white terrier named Toby and a brown and white terrier named Cito.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Review: War and Peace at the Circus

By Jayne Bennett


Thursday 25th August 2011

GIFFORDS circus has this year taken on an epic challenge: to bring a (very, very abridged) version of Tolstoy’s immense novel of the Napoleonic war in Russia, War and Peace, to the big top.
The ambitious idea works, however, thanks to the massive efforts of Russian-born director Irina Brown and an enormous cast of performers who include actors, a 15-strong orchestra and some very talented circus stars.
It’s very difficult to dive straight in to such a complex and complicated concept, but Nell and Toti Gifford have done just that and the result is entirely authentic.
Granted, you won’t find any clowns with big red noses in this performance, but you will find plenty of magic and mysticism induced not just by the talents on display but also by the period costumes, music, lighting and props used.
The first half is largely given over to the actors, but there is still a chance for the world-renowned hand-balancer Pat Bradford, and his wife Kate, to give the audience their money’s worth early on.
Both Toti and Nell give the equine lovers in the audience an opportunity to admire their horses, but Natalia Demjen’s silks act, followed by the Pavlov Troupe’s mesmerising parallel bars act bring the first half to a tumultuous end.
As Napoleon marches into Moscow, the performances get more intense, with flying knives, fire and horses kicking up their heels, but all’s well that ends well as the doves of peace settle.
Throughout the performance Tweedy the clown is the constant happy thread which ties the show together and keeps it from becoming altogether too serious. He deserves a special mention for his pre-show gig with ‘Keith’ the iron and for keeping the audience members on their toes - especially those unlucky enough to be sat next to the gangways!
There are just a couple of weeks left to catch this year’s Giffords extravaganza, and although the cast and crew must be getting tired, they really don’t let it show.
If you can find a couple of spare hours to catch a show this summer, then Giffords’ Russian spectacular makes a refreshing change from a ‘traditional’ circus.
Giffords circus is currently located on Marlborough Common, with performances twice daily until Sunday, August 30, when it moves on to its final venue of Cirencester’s Stratton Meadows.

Fun-loving ringmaster's love of Memphis no joke

Photo by Brandon Dill

UniverSoul Circus ringmaster and native Memphian Tony Tone urges the crowd on while members of the audience dance in the ring as during a performance at Hickory Ridge Mall.

By Sara Patterson, Memphis Commercial Appeal

August 25, 2011

Before Tony Tone became the "marvelous and magnificent" ringmaster of "The Most Interactive Circus in the World!" he was the quintessential class clown at Overton High School.
When Tone, whose real name is Anthony Maurice Luewellyn, isn't working his audience into a frenzy 14 times a week for the traveling UniverSOUL circus, one might find him fine-tuning his impersonation of the company's CEO, Cedric Walker.Next.Show producer Deneise Howard said Luewellyn's impression recently passed the ultimate test -- a phone call to Walker's wife.
"He does a great one of Onionhead the clown," she added. "No one is safe."
After a show in the Hickory Ridge Mall parking lot Wednesday morning, the native Memphian talked about his last five years on the road.
It's "not a normal life," he said, but one he seems made for.
After graduating from Overton in 1989, Luewellyn, now 40, attended University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky. He was already versed in gymnastics and theater from his grade-school days, but in college he discovered stand-up comedy.
"His friends told him to get on the road," his mother, Phyllis Freeman, said by telephone Wednesday. Luewellyn took his show on the road, traveling the country and living out of his suitcase.
"I can't be any more proud of him," Freeman said. "I can't even put it in words."
Luewellyn didn't run away to the circus. He ran into it when his first comedy manager became the show producer. Howard, who described Luewellyn as "charismatic, energetic, likable and good-looking," encouraged circus management in 2006 to use the comedian as ringmaster.
"There was a mishap once with a motorcycle that wouldn't crank," Howard said. "It was right in the midst of the gas crisis and Tony immediately went into how prices were affecting everybody.
"He made people laugh; they thought it was part of the show."
Before the elephants began to pirouette on stepping stools Wednesday, Luewellyn cranked the music and hundreds of children jumped from their chairs to move like Tony Tone.
"Hands on your hips," he commanded the crowd. Then, pulling his plaid golf cap to one side, he encouraged them to "Jump On It" to the Sugar Hill Gang song.
Luewellyn said circus life has taken a toll on his voice and his love life. There's homesickness, according to his mother.
"It's great being home," he said. "Just the genuine love and support of the people here."
And there wasn't the hint of a joke behind his words.

Circus in hunt for new clowns

Aug 25 2011

by Kevin White, Caernarfon and Denbigh Herald

A TOP circus, which returns to Gwynedd this bank holiday weekend, is on the look-out for local clown talent.
John Lawson’s Circus returns to Pwllheli from tomorrow (Friday) to Tuesday, August 30, boasting some of Europe’s top circus talent – but bosses will soon have to fill a few vacancies, as their star clowns Kakehole and Popol are looking to move on to pastures new.
The circus organisers are now hoping to recruit a local with a knack for falling over or throwing a custard pie, although according to one of the stars of the show this is not an easy role to fill.
Ringmaster Atilla Endresz said: “Good clowns are actually very hard to find. There are many circus schools both in the UK and Europe, but these mainly produce gymnasts and trapeze artistes. We are finding it increasingly difficult to hire clowns!”
Kakehole and Popol are currently in their third year with Lawson’s Circus, where they regularly create a chaotic kitchen catastrophe with exploding eggs and a runaway chicken. They have now decided to spread their wings and travel abroad, so the circus has decided to look for new comic talent during it’s tour of the UK.
Attila added: “Many people have a romantic dream of running away with the circus, so now we are offering them the chance to be part of the show.”
The circus is holding auditions for anyone over 16 with an ability to play the fool. Any potential candidates will be invited to appear in one of the performances in Pwllheli and appear alongside the Deltai Troupe, who somersault through the air to land on a four inch bar, and high flying trapeze daredevil Angelo.
Popol the clown warned: “Anyone can wear a red nose but that will not necessarily make them funny. You have to have a good sense of comic timing, and a personality that seems natural in the ring. Both Kakehole and myself draw on our own characteristics and exaggerate them when we perform.”
When the circus finishes its tour in October, the best applicants from around the UK will be offered contracts to star in next year’s show.
John Lawson’s Circus appears on Abererch Road, Pwllheli, from Friday until next Tuesday, with two shows daily at 3pm and 7pm.
Tickets costs £8.00, or £6.00 on the first day. To book tickets or enquire about a clown audition, contact the ticket office on 07860 498833.

Rare white lion cub born at Colombian circusA rare white lion cub born at a circus in Colombia is thought to be one of only 300 left in the world.
24 Aug 2011

The newborn cat named Milagros, the Spanish word for 'miracles' came as a surprise for the circus troupe based in the Colombian city of Monteria.
"The plan is to raise it so that it can grow up and then we'll see if we can work with it," a member of the circus said.
Though Milagros' parents both have yellow fur the cub was born snow white.
White lions, believed to be native to the Timbavati region of South Africa are not albino but get their colouring from a recessive gene.
Milagros is in good health and receiving special care.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Circus camels win friends at Crawford County Fair

Michael DeJohn, 6, and Jarrett DeJohn, 11, of Meadville, climb onto a camel for a ride at the Zerbini Family Circus at the Crawford County Fair on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011. Their 7-year-old sister, Sofia, waits her turn. The circus' Charlie English helps them board. VALERIE MYERS/Erie Times-News/ERIE TIMES-NEWS
By VALERIE MYERS, Erie Times-News
August 24, 2011
MEADVILLE, PA -- The most unusual livestock at this week's Crawford County Fair may be Sally and Louis, grazing near the dairy barn.The camels, star attractions with the Zerbini Family Circus, carry passengers on rides around the big top before and after daily shows.Performances and rides continue through the 66th annual fair, ending Saturday on the Leslie Road fairgrounds in West Mead Township."The kids, especially, like the camels," said Leticia Zerbini, a Mexican-born member of the 10th-generation Zerbini circus family. Grown-ups prefer the aerial and trapeze acts debuting at this year's fair, Zerbini said.The circus played to a full tent, of about 800 spectators each, in free 2 and 6 p.m. shows on its opening day at the fair on Monday. The Florida-based circus was hired by the Crawford County Fair so that visitors can see the show without paying additional admission."Crowds are always very good. You can't see a circus very often," Zerbini said. "In the past 10 years, seven more circuses went out of business. You can't stay in Florida all year; you have to go on the road. For many people, that's hard."But not for the Zerbinis, who began touring Europe with sideshows in the 18th century. The family moved its circus to Algeria, in North Africa, and ultimately to the United States in 1968.Born into a circus family in Mexico, Leticia Zerbini met and married Alain Zerbini, the ninth-generation Zerbini showman, in the United States.Their daughter, Melody, 27, is ringmaster of the show at the Crawford County Fairgrounds. Son Julian, 17, leads trained dogs through their paces."For me, and for my family, this is all we've known. We have always been in the circus, and always been together 24/7. For us, traveling is not so hard. It's our life," Leticia Zerbini said.Alain Zerbini will join the family in Meadville today, after packing up another Zerbini circus performing at the North Carolina State Fair. A third family circus is currently performing in Wisconsin.The shows travel mostly up and down the East Coast from April through October before heading home to a 15-acre complex near Sarasota, Fla."It's like it used to be, traveling from Turkey to Italy and France in Europe. Traveling between states is like that. We have to get our books out and check the laws and regulations for each one," Leticia Zerbini said.Fire and safety regulations for circuses have been strict since 1944, when more than 160 people died in a fire during an afternoon performance of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Hartford, Conn.Now performing in fireproof tents rigged according to laws in each state, the modern Zerbini Family Circus is inspected by state and local officials wherever they perform, including Connecticut."I always say, if you can play in Connecticut, you can play anywhere," Leticia Zerbini said. "And that's a good thing. We don't want anyone to be hurt."Six-year-old Kayla Green, of Erie, wasn't worried about being hurt as she peered over the orange mesh gate at the big top and at the camels grazing outside before Tuesday's afternoon show. A sign promoting camel rides for $5 prompted a look inside her Hello Kitty wallet, where Kayla counted five ones."I'm going to be the first one on that one," she said, pointing to Sally.Her dad, Mike, said that he thought she wanted to buy a cowboy hat instead.The little girl thought about it."Aidan has a cowboy hat," she said, referring to a neighborhood friend. "He's never ridden a camel."Free Zerbini Family Circus performances continue at 2 and 6 p.m. through Saturday, with an additional show Saturday morning at 11.
Free Minn. State Fair App Unveiled

by Leif Knutson / FOX 9 News

August 22, 2011

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Even though you may visit every year, it's easy to get lost at the Minnesota State Fair. But now technology has got a handle on the great Minnesota get together, as an app has been created to help you navigate the fair grounds
The free state fair app can be downloaded through the Apple App Store and the Android Marketplace. It's designed to help fairgoers find booths, barns, food favorites and more, said Fair spokeswoman Brienna Schuette
To help with cell phone reception, new mobile cell towers have been added at the fairgrounds. Read more: Free Minn. State Fair App Unveiled

Circus train arrives, unloads for midnight parade down Truxtun

There's no need to have your head checked if you saw elephants lumbering down Truxtun Avenue Monday night -- the circus is officially in town.
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey: Fully Charged circus will open Thursday under the big top of Rabobank Arena at 7:30 p.m. The circus show is in town through Sunday.
Horses, mini-horses and zebras were also unloaded from the train that brought some of the circus animals, which arrived from San Jose at about midnight.
The show's large exotic cats did not travel by train. They arrived by other ground transportation.
The parade to Rabobank took about 15 minutes.

High-flying, death-defying daredevils draw crowd at fair
Tina Winn, who performs as Galaxy Girl, hangs upside-down Tuesday as Johnny Rocket spins her around while riding a motorcycle on a suspended track 40 feet in the air at the Sandusky County Fair. Galaxy Girl and the motorcycle stunt men perform shows at 2, 4 and 7 p.m. daily at the fair. / Jonathon Bird/News-Messenger

Written by

Mark Tower, Staff writer

Aug. 24, 2011

FREMONT, OHIO -- Revving motorcycle engines were interspersed with gasps and thunderous applause during the Galaxy Girl daredevil show Tuesday at the Sandusky County Fair.

At the center of the spectacle was Tina Winn, also known as Galaxy Girl. Winn, whose family has worked with high-wire and trapeze acts for seven generations, said the work is difficult on the body and mind, but it's better than going every day to a desk job she would hate.

"We make it look fun, but it really is tough on you," she said. "I do it because I love it. Every day is a new challenge."

Members in the crowd shield their eyes from the sun while watching as Galaxy Girl does a handstand on top of a 127-foot swaying tower at the Sandusky County Fair. / Jonathon Bird/News-Messenger

"It's a little windy up there, mind you," fellow stunt man Johnny Rocket told a crowd gathered around the show near the Hayes Avenue entrance. He compared the height of the space needle to a 12-story building.

"Remember, I have absolutely no nets, no safety devices of any kind ... and no brains," Winn said, joking with the crowd while doing a record-setting handstand from a steering wheel-sized ring at the top of the needle.

Another stunt included dueling motorcycles racing around inside the "Globe of Death" and the "Cyber Cycle," where Winn, perched on a trapeze, spins at high speeds propelled by a motorcycle on a track 40 feet above the ground.

Onlookers young and old gasped as Winn first hung from the trapeze by only her legs, then performed the helicopter spin by supporting her body with only a loop around her neck.

McKenna Willis said she and her friends really enjoyed the show, but she would never consider doing the dangerous stunts the daredevils undertook.

"I thought she was going to fall," Willis said. "I like to stay on the ground."

Jeff Weickert described the performance simply as "awesome." His daughter, Melissa Weickert, said she needed to close her eyes while Winn was on top of the aerial space needle.

Winn, who spends time after each show talking with fans, said meeting people at fairs and other events is part of the fun.

"I get to meet lots of great people," she said.

Winn, a Sarasota, Fla., native, said she comes from a family of circus performers and was born into performing death-defying trapeze and high-wire stunts for a crowd. When she married into a family with an eight-generation history as motorcycle daredevils, her fate was sealed.

During the show, announcers touted Galaxy Girl as being responsible for numerous world records and being featured at county fairs across the country, Walt Disney World and Disneyland and other theme parks, She has opened for musical acts, including KISS.

Galaxy Girl and her partners host three shows daily at the Sandusky County Fair at 2, 4 and 7 p.m. Admission to the show is included in the $7 general admission tickets available at any entrance to the fairgrounds.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Bello Nock Circus -
Pre-Sale MillsEntertainmentNY

Meet Bello Nock, Daredevil Clown

2010 International Circus Festival in Monte Carlo

The 2010 Festival du Cirque in Monte Carlo, filmed on Saturday, January 16 in the opening show of the festival. The song is Phoneme by Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9), which was recommended to me by Thanks Boaz!

Monday, August 22, 2011


Somerset County Fair PA off and running

Calvin Ott competes in the hot tractor pulls, 7,500 weight class, Saturday during the opening day of the Somerset County Fair. (Philip Petrunak)

PHILIP PETRUNAK Daily American Staff Writer

August 20, 2011

The Somerset County Fair got off to a great start Saturday with a huge crowd and beautiful weather.
The first day of the week-long celebration featured tractor pulls, a market goat judging and great food, among other attractions.
“It’s a packed house,” said Dave “Orlo” Weller, tractor pull organizer. “The crowd’s impressive for an opening day, considering the amusement rides aren’t set up yet.”
While the grandstands filled for the tractor pulls, the market goat show was drawing an impressive crowd of its own.
“It’s been a great show,” said organizer and fair board member Rachael Mostoller. “It seems to be growing and we’ve had a lot of wonderful kids out here today.”
The market goat grand champion trophy went to Forrest Ohler, 21, of Rockwood, and his goat Cassius.
“It’s a lot of hard work and it’s a family effort too,” Ohler said.
Forrest is the son of Scott and Lisa Ohler.
Mostoller said the event is made possible by the volunteers who put in countless hours throughout the week. Volunteers from Meyersdale ambulance and Meyersdale fire department were among those contributing their time to the opening day’s success.
The Circus is Coming to Roseville
Circus Vargas will pitch-tent Sept. 8-12 at the Westfield Galleria at Roseville.

August 21. 2011
Circus Vargas will be pitching up its blue and gold tent in Roseville soon. The circus is coming to town at the Westfield Galleria at Roseville Thursday, Sept. 8 through Monday, Sept. 12.

They'll be bringing their Big Top tent as seen in the book-turned-film "Water for Elephants" to Roseville for their new 2011 production. This edition of Circus Vargas takes you on an artistic journey, encompassing the cultures of the world, in a series of vignettes depicting the experiences, memories and visions of a traveling circus performer.
Circus-goers will go on a captivating jaunt across the globe, seen through the eyes of aerialists, acrobats, comedians and more, as they transcend language, age and cultural barriers. Thirty minutes before show time, fans will get a pre-show peek into the world of Circus Vargas, hosted by reality TV personality from the CBS show "The Amazing Race," Jon Weiss.
Prior to every show, Weiss will be front and center welcoming the audience and inviting children to take a "center stage" look at life under the Big Top. Everyone is encouraged to participate in the pre-show action, and to join Weiss as he guides them on a quick crash course in circus skill and stamina.

Educated entertainer wows with words and fire at Heritage DaysEric Scites trades opera for 18th century ‘magic’

NICK ADAMS/The Register-Mail.
Eric Scites of Faire Wynd’s Circus spits fire during Heritage Days at the Rendezvous campsite on Sunday. The circus features traveling performers who reenacted illusions popular during the 1740’s.
By CHARLIE GORNEY The Register-Mail
Posted Aug 21, 2011
GALESBURG — The Fire-King, also known as the Human Salamander, also known as Eric Scites of Pomeroy, Ohio, took the stage to spit fire and perform slight of hand tricks Sunday during the 17th annual Galesburg Heritage Days.
Scites’ show, which he said is meant to be historically accurate, is modeled after the early 18th century traveling entertainer, for to call himself a magician would have been illegal. Nevertheless, his joking, lighthearted tone came out on stage.“I’m a magician,” Scites yelled as he tried to lure in more audience members. “Come watch my hopes and dreams disappear!”
Scites said he strives to do everything that traveling entertainers would have done in the early 18th century, but he does it in a modern way so it can be appreciated.
The show was simple, yet entertaining. Everything Scites used (rope, a ring, cups, balls, small torches) could be easily fit into the average briefcase. He explained that traveling entertainers would use small items with which they could impress people and still travel light.
“The concept of a large, traveling circus is mostly a 20th century idea,” Scites said.
As a final historical tidbit, Scites said traveling entertainers, as a result of their travels, were generally more educated than the average person.
The 10 a.m. Sunday show focused on “misdirection,” or the practice of drawing the audience members’ attention away from the trick as it happens. Though he threw in some fire spitting and swallowing for a “wow” factor, his simpler tricks included tying knots with one hand and tying knots around a rope in midair.
Scites’ wife, Susan Scites, said after the show that this is their full-time job of about 17 years, and though they legally reside in Pomeroy, they rarely find time to make it home while performing in a different location each weekend.
“I got a useless college degree (in opera performance) and tried to make something of it, and this came to me,” Eric Scites said after the show. “It took off, and I had to run with it.”

Circus Smirkus wraps up 2011 tour

Greensboro, Vermont - August 21, 2011
Anson Tebbetts -
You know summer is coming to a close when the circus ends its run in Vermont. Sunday was the final day for Circus Smirkus performers. The youngsters perform all over New England for seven weeks each summer. And as tradition goes, they completed their run in Greensboro, the home base of the circus.

This year's theme took on the lighter side of journalism. "It was front page follies so it was news, newspapers, radio and that kind of stuff -- also in the 20's so a lot girls, reporters, newscasters," said Circus Smirkus member Brita Larson. "It's been really good this year. We had a new troupe this year so we were unsure on how it would all go and we have actually been told by quite a few people this is the best show they have ever seen."

And the show did go on -- right in the middle of a hail storm. Folks inside the tent didn't seem to notice what was happening outside the big top.

Pizarro: Laid-off San Jose cops get a night at the circus

By Sal Pizarro
San Jose police officers who lost their jobs this summer because of the city's budget circus were invited by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey to bring their families to the real circus.
Thirteen of the laid-off cops and their families, adding up to 54 people, were guests of the circus at HP Pavilion on Thursday night. They received a special welcome from Ringmaster and San Jose native Brian Crawford Scott, who thanked them for their contributions to keeping the city safe.
The show, "Fully Charged," is in San Jose through Sunday, before moving on to the Cow Palace in Daly City (Sept. 1-5) and Oracle Arena in Oakland (Sept. 8-11).

Sunday, August 21, 2011





Steuben County Fair, Bath NY

Circus returns to Addison for second year of thrills

Alex the Clown, a Carson and Barnes Circus favorite, will return to Addison’s annual big top event this year.

from: chicago daily herald


By Megan Bannister.

Less than a week before students return to the halls of Indian Trail Junior High in Addison, a different group will be taking over the school.These newcomers, tough, aren’t preteens.They’re performers from the Carson and Barnes Circus, the “Biggest Big Top in North America,” presented by the Village of Addison.
“It gives adults a chance to act like a kid and go with their kids to see some of these animals up close that they would never get to see otherwise,” Mayor Larry Hartwig said.

Guests will be dazzled by the animals, performers and sideshows of the Carson and Barnes Circus when its members perform at Indian Prairie Junior High in Addison. The circus will perform seven shows opening today and continuing through Sunday.
Although the Shriners are no longer involved with the event, the Carson and Barnes Circus still promises to provide some jaw-dropping thrills and family fun.
“It worked out so well for everyone last year we decided to continue doing it,” Krage said.
Organizers urge those planning to attend the circus to purchase tickets in advance to ensure a seat.

The Carson and Barnes Circus will provide some high-flying thrills when it opens today.
“I really didn’t know what to expect last year and I just loved it,” Krage said.SuperSaver tickets are available before any of the seven shows for $10 each or $25 for two adults and three children. Tickets also may be purchased at the gate for $22 for adults and $10 for kids.
A prepaid ticket may be used at any of the seven shows, a change from last year’s event.
SuperSaver tickets also will be sold through a number of churches and service organizations from not only Addison but also Elmhurst, Bensenville and Wood Dale. A portion of the ticket price will then be donated back to the local group.
“They really, really do a fantastic show,” Krage said. “And there’s a lot to do before and after the show.”