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Saturday, October 8, 2011

New Jersey's first circus-arts training center opens in Hillsborough Sunday

Craiag Quat and David Ramsey practice juggling at the Circus Place in Hillsborough.

Courtesy of Sharyn Brandman

Written byPamela MacKenzie Staff Writer


Oct. 7, 2011

HILLSBOROUGH — Most children at one time or another dream of running away to join the circus, thinking of it as a glorious escape from responsibilities. But the new circus-arts training center here, the Circus Place, which aims to be a fun place, has a completely different goal in mind: It aims to help students build self-confidence and encourages them to learn team work. The center official opens from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Flying on a trapeze, riding a unicycle, walking on stilts and juggling objects is not usually the typical after school activity. However, that view is about to change when the exciting world of circus arts and performance comes to New Jersey this October,” said Sharyn Brandman, director and co-owner of the Circus Place in Hillsborough.

Kyra Brandman on a trapeze at The Circus Place in Hillsborough. / Courtesy of Sharyn BrandmanBrandman explained that students of all ages are invited to take classes or seek individual instruction. Classes are small to insure proper attention to each student, and private lessons are available.Also, her business partner, Craig Quat, not only has experience working with special-needs individuals with physical and mental challenges, but he also has customized props to specifically work with these students.“Sharing the circus experience with students who have physical, developmental or emotional limitations is our greatest joy,” Brandman said.The open house on Sunday will have professional performances, workshops, food and family activities. Participants can tour the facility, learn about the equipment and try their hand at all things circus, Brandman said.Once familiar with basic skills, students can join a performance troupe with the goal of performing for family, friends and in local events. Brandman said that the Circus Place hopes to create a troupe of young performers (defined as younger than age 22).Quat and Brandman hope that children who do not enjoy competitive sports will find their center offers a good athletic alternative.“Circus is about community, collaboration and acceptance,” Quat said. “We are excited to offer something different from the usual organized sporting activities. We teach teamwork, in a no competitive environment, while building coordination, athleticism and self-confidence.”Through the use of modified props and innovative instruction, Circus Place teaches hand eye coordination, patterning, balancing and strengthens both fine and gross motor skills in a fun environment. Classes are small to insure proper attention to each student, and private lessons are available.“The Open House is just the beginning. Come be part of the excitement,” Brandman said.
If you want to go:
What: Open House at the Circus Place
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9
Where: 6 Jill Court, Hillsborough

Cuban circus troupe wows audience at Katara

Saturday, 08 October


DOHA: Twenty-seven member circus troupe Circuba cast a spell on hundreds of spectators, mostly children yesterday at the Katara Drama Theatre as a highlight of the first Latin American Cultural Festival (LACF) in Qatar.
Cuba’s national circus Circuba’s two shows proved a crowd-puller with some families going home disappointed as the venue ran out of seats and ticket sales to watch the acclaimed performance of the group recognised by Unesco shot up giving an early sign of the festival’s success.
Acrobats, clowns, dancers, hoopers, tightrope walkers, contortionists, jugglers and other stunt-oriented artists brought smiles on the young crowd. Their virtually flawless balancing acts were splendid and heart-stopping, revealing their strength, agility and expertise after years of training in circus arts.
The 90-minute show was not simply a display of magic tricks and exceptional balancing, strength and innovation in circus but an art form as the performances were further enhanced by their colourful costumes, dance and music which were purely Latin American.
It was also made interactive with the participation of children from the audience having them experience the show up close as they were invited onstage by some of the performers.
Some of the more captivating acts included an amazing combination of balancing and hula act; balancing oneself using only one finger while on top of four chairs; and the final act of the lady on a tightrope.
Circuba is associated with the Cuban National Circus School founded on 1968. Members of the Circuba company have to first complete the normal academic course work required of all Cuban students before they can hope to be accepted for the four-year program of rigorous training in the circus arts.
The ten-day LACF, running until October 15, showcases the best of South American music, dance and film. It brings together over 230 artists and performers from nine South American countries including Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
A total of 15 performances and eight film screenings over the course of the festival highlight the Latin America’s history and art through an array of traditional, folkloric and modern art expressions.
Four shows await audiences today at the Katara Drama Theatre starting with the Cuban comedy-drama film ‘Viva Cuba’ which is mainly for children at 11am and Argentinean drama-adventure film ‘Iluminados Por El Fuego’ at 5pm. These will be followed by a performance by world acclaimed ‘Familia Assad’ group of musicians who will play a fusion of Middle Eastern and Brazilian music and a unique tango presentation with by Uruguay’s Tango Vivo.
Tickets are available at the Virgin Megastore from 9.30am to 12midnight at both Landmark and Villaggio outlets. They can also be purchased online at
All performances and film screenings will take place at either the Drama Theater or Opera House at Katara Building 16. The Peninsula


Ringling Bros. - Barnum 200 Clowns & Cream Pies

Uploaded by ringlingbros on Oct 3, 2011
Ringling Bros. continues through New England - Worcester this week and Boston next week!
Ringling Brothers - Barnum 200 New England Premiere

Uploaded by ringlingbros on Sep 30, 2011
Manchester is rolling out the red carpet for the New England premiere of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents BARNUM 200 at 5:45pm tonight at Verizon Wireless Arena!

From Ron Finch
Uploaded by ldcam21 on Apr 8, 2011
DANBURY FAIR and the good ole racetrack

Vendors Confident About Profitability at the Big Fresno Fair

Georgia National Fair opens in Perry

By ANGELA WOOLEN - Friday, Oct. 07, 2011GRANT BLANKENSHIP/THE TELEGRAPH Haley Herndon of Byron, left, spreads her arms on the largest of the swing rides on the midway of the Georgia National Fair in Perry on Thursday. A new ride at the fair this year is the Stinger, an 85-foot pendulum ride that swings the rider 360 degrees and goes end-over-end.Read more:
Big Apple Circus returning to Ninigret

By Doug Norris/Features Editor

Thursday, October 6, 2011

CHARLESTOWN - Summer may be in the rear-view window, but the Big Apple Circus has given South County something to look forward to over the long winter with the announcement that it will once again raise the tent at Ninigret Park.
Big Apple will make Rhode Island the last stop on its 2011-12 season tour, performing 14 shows from June 23 to July 8, 2012.
"They are one of the world's great circuses, and to know that they're coming back to Charlestown is wonderful news," said Heather Paliotta, executive director of the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce.
"We have always loved performing there," said Philip Thurston, public relations manager for the circus. "We love the audiences, we love the venue, and we never wanted to leave. We've always been looking for a way to make it back."
Thurston said the circus has not been immune to the difficult economy over the past few years.
"We know that Rhode Island has been particularly hit hard," he said. "And we've gone through some of the same things - cuts, layoffs, furloughs, a shrinking budget. But we always knew that we were wanted by the community of Charlestown and the surrounding towns, and we're thrilled to be coming back."
This year's show, "Dream Big," opened last week in Dulles, Va., to rave reviews from The Washington Post and DC Theatre Scene. Thurston said it "is all-new and created from two artists from the world of opera." Renaud Doucet, who has performed as an actor, solo dancer, ballet master and choreographer in international dance companies, serves as director and choreographer. Andre Barbe, with experience in TV, theater, opera and musical theater, provides the scenic design and costumes.READ MORE AT:

The circus comes to Vail Friday

Two shows taking place at Dobson Ice Arena in Vail

Daily staff report

Thursday, October 6, 2011

VAIL CO--Picadilly Circus has been entertaining families for 25 years. The circus stops at Dobson Ice Arena in Vail Friday. Two shows will take place — one at 4:30 p.m. and one at 7:30 p.m. Attendees will see the “Elephant Extravaganza,” where an elephant stands on one foot; “Motorcycle Madness,” where motorcycle daredevils somersault and spin in a big “Globe of Doom”; and Katunga, the giant jungle monster.
There is also Mongolian angels, contortionists, aerialists, circus clowns and a 1923 Model T.
The special attraction is “The Boxing Kangaroo” named Rocky who weighs in at 250 pounds. The circus will last an hour and a half.
Free children's tickets have been distributed at elementary schools, pre-schools, daycare centers and churches around town. Visit to learn more.
Man Born into CircusWatch the story
FROM: WNEP-TV, Wiles Barre-Scranton
Aug 8, 2011
Video Vault back to 1984 when then Reporter Marisa Burke spoke with a man who was born into the circus way of life.

The 99th Annual Cherokee Fair Comes to the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds

By Maria Scandale

October 2, 2011

Guests who want to come along for the whole ride through a spectrum of fascinating heritage can watch the people’s history unfold through age-old artifacts or live re-enactments. Not far from the fairgrounds, the tribe maintains the lauded Museum of the Cherokee Indian as well as the Oconaluftee Indian Village, a re-created window to Cherokee life 250 years ago as a time of great change began.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is a federally recognized tribe that is separate from the more populous Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. The Eastern Band is made up largely of Cherokees who evaded the U.S. Government’s forced removal of 1838, the infamous Trail of Tears.
Tribal history says the Cherokee have been at home in the Great Smoky Mountain territory of western North Carolina for 11,000 years. That means the 99th Annual Cherokee Fair of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians on October 4-8 is a relatively new celebration. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have been reaching out to visitors with the message of “Shi-yo and welcome.”
This years 99th Annual Cherokee Indian Fair, held at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds on Highway 441 (Tsali Blvd.) in Cherokee, North Carolina.

“The fair was started to introduce visitors to the area, to our Cherokee crafts and culture, ” said Mary Ferguson, tribal director of travel and tourism for the tribe. “We love for people to come, and we love for people to learn about our culture.”

The fair is as colorful as its fireworks, with nightly entertainment, a lively carnival midway, food, crafts, games and activities for all ages. You’ve got Think Litefoot and Charlie Daniels on the music roster, and contests that choose not only Teen Miss Cherokee, but the man with the longest hair, the baby that crawls the fastest, and the most proficient shooter of the traditional blowgun. This is only a part of the five-day picture.

High expectations for West Alabama State FairWith predictions of perfect fall weather, organizers hope to draw crowds

Jamyia Allen, 7, enjoys the Mini Himalya ride at the West Alabama State Fair and Expo on Sunday afternoon at Munny Sokol Park off Watermelon Road in Tuscaloosa. Proceeds from the fair benefit United Cerebral Palsy of West Alabama.
Megan Smith

The Tuscaloosa News

By William Evans Special to the Tuscaloosa News ,

October 3, 2011 p.m.

Tucked away in the quiet edge of Tuscaloosa, Munny Sokol Park is busy.
Brenda Ewart, the person responsible for all the commotion, says she is pleased the West Alabama State Fair and Expo has found a niche three years after moving across town. And with perfect fall weather predicted this week, the fair could attract families from surrounding communities in droves.
“With no rain, we could raise $100,000,” Ewart said.
As Development Director of United Cerebral Palsy of West Alabama, a nonprofit organization that serves people with intellectual or physical disabilities in 16 counties, Ewart combed West Alabama to find a suitable location for the annual fair. The event accounts for 82 percent of the fundraising for United Cerebral Palsy.
“There is so much competition among nonprofits, but nobody’s doing a fair,” Ewart said.
After nine months of searching, Ewart settled upon Munny Sokol Park off Watermelon Road in Tuscaloosa.
“We feel like it’s a safer place, and we can control who comes in and out, whereas the other fairs that set up kind of fly-by-night have no entrance, no exit and no designated parking,” she said. “It was baby steps for us.”
The fair brings in nonprofits and local businesses that have set up information booths
under the Mercedes-Benz-
sponsored white tent at the entrance where tickets are bought.READ MORE:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011


from Tulsa, OK

The 2011 South Carolina State Fair
October 12-23, 2011
Fair organizers tout new attractions
The Rocky Mount Fair will run from Oct. 12 through Oct. 22 at the fairgrounds.

By John HendersonTuesday, October 4, 2011Helicopter and monster truck rides as well as a community stage to showcase local talent are the latest additions to the upcoming Rocky Mount Fair.
The attractions were added as fair organizers try to revamp the fair, which this year is scheduled to run 11 nights, from Oct. 12 through Oct. 22. It includes a weekend and a Saturday on the second weekend.
Last year’s event lasted seven days and one weekend.
Norman Chambliss III, whose family owns the fairgrounds property and has managed the fair since 1978, has hired professional fair manager Hubert Bullard to manage this year’s event and draw up plans for an expanded fair next year.
Bullard has managed the fair in Robeson County for 35 years.
Playworld Amusements out of Michigan is providing the fair rides as was the case last year.
“In addition to the standard carnival – the games, the concession, the food – we’re having a petting zoo, camel rides, pony rides and monster truck and helicopter rides,” Chambliss said.
Playworld Amusements owner Jeff Brady said there will be about 30 rides, with three new ones.

Circus cheer

Carolyn Armstrong and Hayley-Jane Hulme (top) on the aerial hoop at Gravity Dance Studio, Marton.

Published on Tuesday 4 October 2011
TALK about going through hoops in the name of keeping in shape!
At Gravity Fitness Studio, in Marton, they are doing just that.
Women of all ages can take part in the latest fitness craze, and the studio is the first in Blackpool to offer it. Billed as the class for anyone who has ever fancied being in the circus, aerial hoop is really taking off.
Carolyn Armstrong, who runs Gravity – which is fully kitted out with showers, lockers and a changing area – said: “It’s something different. A lot of women say to me ‘I’ve always wanted to be in the circus’. That’s what it feels like! It’s a great all over workout, but above all it’s brilliant fun. Anyone can do it, all ages, all fitness levels.”
At a basic level – and all beginners start on a hoop suspended from the ceiling at two points, at a very low level – class participants practise sitting, swinging and posing with the hoop. It can be used for dance routines, and those taking part in the class can progress to doing more complex moves and balancing tricks on the hoop.
Carolyn, from Bispham, who herself used to perform at the Tower Circus during the 1970s, and was one of the Tiny Tots, said: “It’s great for toning the whole body, it helps improve core strength and balance, and coordination.
“It also helps improve flexibility, and I run flexibility classes, too, to develop this further. We can set the exercises to music and use the hoop to dance with, they can do some beautiful poses.”
With her dance background and years of experience in dancing and fitness, Carolyn hopes her studio, on Brinwell Road, can entice women who have previously shied away from exercise classes.
“Some of the clients are older ladies, and I think they like to come to me because I’m not a youngster myself. The youngest person I have is 25 and the oldest is 76! So it really is for anyone.
“There’s a friendly atmosphere, and a lot of the ladies come to classes for the social aspect, as well as fitness. They can have a chat and a cup of tea.
“We always work at a low level – safety first. And we also do the aerial silks, which is similar to the hoops, and has the same benefits, as well as being great fun. We do that in smaller groups of three, rather than a class, because it’s more technical.
“We offer a whole range of classes designed to get people in shape, but also have fun, such as zumba, pole fitness and hula hoop.”
Log on to or call 07706 357007.
A love affair with the fair

The photo taken at The Great Danbury State Fair in 1981, its final season, by Paul Gassner of Danbury. Photo: Contributed Photo / CT Robert Miller, Staff Writer

FROM: The Danbury News Times

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

DANBURY -- There were trollies in Danbury once. One October in the early 1930s, Millie Godfrey got on a trolley with her mother and rode it to Backus Avenue.
And there, rising in front of her, was the gate to wonderland: The Great Danbury State Fair.
"As old as I am, I can remember when I was 6 years old," Godfrey, 83, said. "I can remember the trolley taking us right to Backus Avenue. I can remember my mother packing our lunch in a shoe box. I can remember sitting in the Big Top, eating lunch with her."
Throughout western Connecticut, the memories of the fair -- The Great Danbury State Fair -- remain strong and the affection undiluted. It was 30 years ago this month when the fair opened for its final 10-day run, then closed and auctioned off its holdings.

Its steam locomotive and sound system were auctioned. So were its Model Ts and tramcars, its antique tools and high-wheeled bicycles, its grandstand and Big Top, and the more than 100 huge figures the fair's last owner, John W. Leahy, had amassed over the years -- cowboys and Indians, pigs and pixies, Robin Hood and Uncle Sam among them.
The fair would be replaced with a year-round extravaganza, the Danbury Fair mall, which opened in 1986. It's now the second-largest mall in the state and the fifth-largest in New England. Cars fill its parking lots whatever the month.Read more:
Comedy juggler draws crowds at Dixie Classic Fair

Using skills he developed as a street performer, comedian-juggler Dale Jones stops moving crowds with his performances on the walkways near the cattle barn at the Dixie Classic Fair. Here he uses 15-year-old Billy Glenn as a support while riding a unicycle.


By: TIM CLODFELTER Winston-Salem Journal

Published: October 05, 2011

Some people might see trying to juggle with only one hand as crazy.
But for Dale Jones, who is performing at this year's Dixie Classic Fair, it was a challenge that has led to a long career.
Jones, 55, has been a professional juggler for more than 35 years despite having the use of only one arm.
His right forearm and hand are atrophied, the result of a childhood accident when he was growing up in St. Louis, where he still lives with his wife and two children.
At age 8, he fell off a jungle gym and broke his arm, which led to a blood clot.
Complications set in, and he almost lost the arm altogether. He has minimal use of the arm, but has learned how to compensate.
He also doesn't want sympathy, just laughs.READ MORE

Circus Una's Thrilling Motorcycle High Wire Act

Circus Una flies high above the crowd of the Legendary Buffalo Chip Campground last year during a performance of their death-defying motorcycle thrill show.

Bryan Harley,Cruiser Editor

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

They put their lives on the line several times a day for days on end, one perched proudly in the saddle of a Suzuki 250 suspended 50 feet above the ground on a thin metal wire, the other dangling precariously below her on a trapeze bar as she executes aerial acrobatics with power and grace.

The crowd below cranes their necks with anxious appreciation as the girls of Circus Una perform their death-defying act on the high wire above with their skill, bravado and modest safety tethers the only thing between them and the hard ground below.

Red-headed Sara revs the bike like a pro as it darts up the line while Una flies above the crowd with fairy-like grace. Sara then begins shifting her body side-to-side as Una spins and twists below, hanging at times by a knee or one foot.

The crowd favorite, though, is the grand finale when the duo spins 360-degrees, the motorcycle completely upside down, Una’s feet straight up in the air above. The crowd erupts with appreciation and another performance by Circus Una is in the books.

We caught up with the daredevil duo at the Bikes, Blues & BBQ (BBB) motorcycle rally this past weekend.

We first saw Circus Una performing over the amphitheater of the Legendary Buffalo Chip Campground last year where they thrilled Sturgis crowds in town to see the likes of Bob Dylan and Kid Rock perform. At BBB, Circus Una was the featured attraction at the Washington County Fairgrounds, the official campground of the rally and site of events like the lawn mower pulls and BBQ cooking competitions.

Una Mimnagh, the trapeze artist, and Sara Young, the rider, were kind enough to talk about their motorcycle high wire act in between shows Saturday.


Weird! Real Life Flea Circus!

Uploaded by britishpathe on Oct 4, 2011

Weird! Real Life Flea Circus! Filmed in Paris in 1949, this genuine flea circus sees some very big fleas pulling various miniature vehicles across a table. They are harnessed by a thin wire. Rather disgusting! However, until about 1930, performing fleas were in fact a main carnival attraction.
Send in the clowns ... and sporty elephants!

cover story: Circus Spectacular at JQH Arena Trainer Larry Carden says circus is a "cool experience for everybody."

Johnny the Clown is one of many human and animal performers that will entertain circus lovers during Circus Spectacular 2011, which plays tonight through Sunday at JQH Arena. / Agente Entertainment Inc.

Written byKaren Bliss For The News-Leader

Oct. 5, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, MO--An elephant throwing a football, a human cannonball and motorcross motorcycle stunts are just some of the things you might see at Circus Spectacular.
Not only will the standard circus acts be going on, but there will be also be performers of world renown doing their own acts, according to a press release. This includes David Smith, the world record holding human cannonball, and Karoly Zeman, a world champion bike rider.
"With the girls, animals, and the acts it's just a really cool experience for everybody," said Larry Carden, the elephant trainer.
David "The Bullet" Smith said that even though he gets shot out of cannon during every show that it still makes him a little nervous.
"It's pretty challenging and nerve wracking," he said. "I have spent years and years perfecting it and making it a science, but there are all sorts of different venues. We try to get as close to the ceiling as we can."
Smith said he is following in his father's footsteps, as his father also enjoyed being shot out of a cannon. In fact, the cannon Smith will be flying from during the circus was designed by his father.
"As a kid I watched my daddy do it," Smith said. "I am trying to carry on the tradition. It was pretty natural to me to fall into that career."

An aerialist demonstrates strength and skill during her act for Circus Spectacular 2011. / Agente Entertainment Inc.
Smith isn't the only act in the circus who works in the family business. Carden is performing in a circus that his father owns.
"I loved being around animals," Carden said. "I fell in love with it when I was 16."
Carden said he enjoys working with all animals, but that working with the elephants, including Bo the Elephant who weighs about 11,680 pounds, is his favorite part.
"Elephants are just so smart," he said. "They can remember about 65 to 70 spoken commands. Just like people they can't all do the same things. Bo can throw a football and hit a baseball with a bat."
The show will also feature The Georgettes, a troupe of showgirls; Bruno Blaszac's Bengal Tigers; and aerial acts, according to the news release.
The show isn't all about the acts either, as the circus will be a fundraising event benefiting Champions Committed to Kids, a group that helps kids with serious illnesses to be a part of an athletic team.
Family Pharmacy is selling tickets to the event at their stores. Family Pharmacy President Lynn A. Morris said in a press release that the company was excited to be part of a charitable event.
"...We are very happy the Springfield Circus Spectacular has partnered with Champions Committed to Kids and also raise money for a very worthy children's charity," Morris said.
Before the circus, visitors can get up close and personal with the human and animal performers.
"We are having a pre-party ... where you can get pictures taken with the circus performers and the animals," said Theresa Masterson, media and public relations director for the circus .
Prizes will be given away at tonight's and Monday's performances, according to a press release.
Both Smith and Carden said the show is entertaining and that they are proud to be a part of it.
"The whole show is just phenomenal," Smith said. "I haven't been on a circus tour for 11 years, but I was invited to participate and it's just been a riot the whole time."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

RC Cola -- where's my moon pie?




RBBB Barnum 200 (blue) showed in Peoria, Il, Sept 23,24, and 25, at the Civic Center. Joe Frisco, Jr, and his son, Joey (#3) managed
and presented the ten elephants, which included the young Sundara and Barack , products of the RBBB Center for Elephant
Conservation breeding program. Hy-Vee grocery, with Susan Waltrip, dietician, and Mark Simon, produce mgr., provided an excellent
lunch for the elephants, including a "watermelon smash". Sarah Burke, DVM, and Meliss Peterson, Vet Ass't, from RBBB Center for
Elephant Conservation, FL, were visitng the show providing vet care and performing routine animal inspections.
The show moved
Peoria, IL. to Manchester, New Haven.

Posted by Picasa


Chipping Norton Mop Fair Video Montage 2011

Uploaded by FunFairsUK on Sep 15, 2011
Siobhan McAndrew: When life really is a circus

Circus Family: Jodie Urias and her family, Geovi, 11, and daughter Alyssa, 7. In the back is husband Erwin Urias, a 4th generation circus performer.

Provided to the Reno Gazette-Journal

Oct. 4, 2011

Jodie Urias is like so many moms who occasionally think of a trip alone to the grocery store as a vacation.She's busy raising son Geovi, 11, and daughter Alyssa, 7, while balancing a career that puts her right in the center of a business that has been in her husband's family for four generations.She struggles like most parents to plan family outings that are fun but educational while fitting in homework, the family dog and the jaunts to the kids' doctor and dentist appointments.It sounds like a lot to juggle, and she's not even one of the clowns. The 30-something mom is in Reno this weekend performing with Ringling Bro. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.Urias joined the circus when she was 19, after seeing a show with her 5-year-old nephew."I was so impressed with the Spanish Web, I thought, 'I would love to do that,'" Urias said of the aerial circus act where a performer does a sort-of ballet while suspended from a braided rope 35 feet in the air.The college student, with a job working at a nursing home, tried to talk to someone about running away and joining the circus the next day."But the circus had already moved, so I called and got someone who said I could meet up with them, practice and audition."Urias, the youngest of 12, thought it sounded like a fun way to spend her summer. She was even a bit surprised when her parents, who have 11 other children in more traditional careers, approved."My dad said, "Well, you better get new tires.'"Urias, who had no circus or formal dance training, practiced for two weeks before the show each night with an accomplished performer from Columbia. She followed in her car, with new tires, from city to city staying in hotels."It's unusual for someone to stick with the circus if it isn't something their family has always done," Urias said.Two weeks later, Urias got the part.She fell in love with the life and Erwin Urias, a circus performer who rides motorcycles at 60 mph in a 16-foot-wide steel globe.His high-speed act, Zing Zang Zoom, was created by his great-grandfather in 1912. Erwin and his brother, Melvin Urias, are the fourth generation to more at:

152nd Mississippi State Fair Set To Begin

Fair Gates Open Wednesday

The gates to the 152nd Mississippi State Fair open Wednesday. organizers are taking care of final details.

October 4, 2011

JACKSON, Miss. -- Organizers are busy taking care of final details to make sure that the 152nd Mississippi State Fair is a safe one before the gates open Wednesday.
Many vendors arrived at the fairgrounds Tuesday, setting up stands and making sure food and rides all pass inspection.
Stuntwoman Tina Winn said she's setting up for the 28 daredevil shows she is set to do for Circus Maximus before the fair ends.
"They have the Wheel of Death and they have tight wire walkers, a human cannonball," Winn said. "I'm galaxy girl, and I climb 127 feet in the air."
On the food side, vendors said they aren't taking any risks as Health Department workers started handing out stickers for vendors who meet the standards.
"(The department worker) checks and makes sure everything's clean. Even the valves and things, they have to be cleaned. (There should be) no bacteria or anything in them," said Pam McIntyre, of World's Finest Food.
"We just got here (Monday), so we're just trying to get it all together. We were at the MidSouth Fair just before here," said Mike McGrath, of The Best Around Concessions.
McGrath said he still needs his Philly cheese steak and nacho stand inspected.
"(I) love it here. This has always been a great fair. My father's been doing it for 30 years, and my brother and I do it now," McGrath said.
Organizers said they expect up to 650,000 visitors to attend this year.
"It brings everybody together, a lot of diversity, a lot of different interests. You'll see people of all ages here," said State Fair Commissioner Lester Spell.
The fair will run until Oct. 16.
Read more:

A lot of preparation goes into Heritage Fair

Midway rides light up the night sky at the Carolina Foothills Heritage Fair Tuesday.

By Ray Chandler

October 4, 2011

FAIR PLAY — The smells and sounds of the fair are already in place, a faint smell of grease from the carnival rides is overpowered by the sweet scent of heated sugar that will end up as candy apple coating or blossom into cotton candy.
But even before the gates opened Tuesday for the first time to the public taking advantage of $1 tickets for all, there was still work to do for this third annual Carolina Foothills Heritage Fair,
The unmistakable smell of livestock reminds that this is an agricultural fair. So does the loud tock-tock of antique diesel tractors being moved into the display line that includes many more antique tractors as well as iron-wheeled hay bailers and even a moveable cotton gin. A breeze riffles the leaves of cotton plants cultivated months ago just for this fair on S.C. 59 north of Fair Play in southern Oconee County.
None of this return to yesteryears happens by itself.
Benny Simpson has worked with carnivals for more than 15 years, ever since leaving Corbin, Ky., as a 16-year-old, putting up and taking down rides at traveling fairs all over the Southeast.
“It was a job at the time, and I didn’t have one,” he said. “You get used to moving around a lot and just get to liking that, so you do it.”
It’s an odd schedule of late nights and sleeping late and quick teardowns after the last night and getting ready for the next move. But it’s habit forming. He’d have a hard time working a 9-to-5 job now, Simpson said.READ MORE:

Big Fresno Fair kicks off with rainy skies

Mood remains high despite damp forecast.

JOHN WALKER / THE FRESNO BEE - Under cloudy skies Tuesday, Bob Williams, owner of Midway attraction "Fire Fly Water Race," washes dirt off his awnings as he prepares for the opening of The Big Fresno Fair on Wednesday. The National Weather Service says the worst of the rain today may be over by the time the fair opens at 2 p.m.

By Paula Lloyd / The Fresno Bee

Tuesday, Oct. 04, 2011
The rain that's forecast for opening day of The Big Fresno Fair is really a blessing in disguise.
At least that's what fair CEO John Alkire says – his way of finding a silver lining in a dark cloud.
"It's our natural water truck from the good Lord," Alkire said. "It keeps the dust down and keeps everything clean."
Raindrops may keep the dust down, but they also may dampen attendance, which last year totaled more than 22,000 on an opening day of light rain.
"It will hurt us on opening day, but we should pick back up if the weather improves," Alkire said Tuesday as workers rushed to finish final preparations.
The National Weather Service forecasts 100% chance of rain Wednesday, but the worst could be over by the time the fair opens at 2 p.m.Read more:

Lou Jacobs Clown Car 1987

Uploaded by H8Bozos on Oct 2, 2008

This home video was shot on my (Kevin Starr) camera by Dick Van Dyke while we were filming the Clown College 20th Anniversary CBS TV special in 1987. This was for a special Alumni show and this is the first internet release to my knowledge.
I spoke with Dolly, Lous daughter in Sept. 2008 and she confirmed this was the last time he performed this bit. He was 84 at the time and still well over 6 feet tall; he got into this car and was able to drive it into the ring he was a contortionist as well as one of the most famous clowns ever to work on Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey Circus. He did this routine in the 1952 movie The Greatest Show On Earth also starring James Stewart, Charlton Heston and many circus performers from back in the day.
Man of Steel Pier

Amusement park operator

By Jared Kaltwasser

October 03. 2011

Steel Pier amusement park’s bungee-powered Rocket ride blasts thrill-seekers 200 feet into the air, then hurtles them back to earth.
The park’s president, Anthony Catanoso, likes a good adventure, but after nearly 20 years of short-term leases and constant insecurity, the new co-owner of the pier property is happy to have his feet firmly on the ground.
Catanoso is a principal of Steel Pier Associates, which purchased the pier from Trump Entertainment Resorts in August for $4.25 million.
Steel Pier Associates is comprised of Catanoso, two of his brothers, Ed Olwell, and architect Paul Steelman. With the exception of Steelman, Catanoso, his brothers and Taft Johnson, have operated the pier amusement park since 1993 under a series of short-term leases from Trump Entertainment.
In its early days, the 113-year-old pier was a major entertainment hub, playing host to acts like The Three Stooges, Amos ’n Andy and Frank Sinatra, as well as carnival shows and attractions like a diving horse. The pier closed in 1976 and burned down in a 1982 fire, but it got a new start when Resorts International rebuilt the pier and sold it, along with the under-construction Taj Mahal casino, to Donald Trump.
A decade later, seeing a healthy market and demand for family entertainment, Catanoso and his partners approached Trump Entertainment about taking over operation of the pier. It took some convincing, he more:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011




Zoppé Commercial For Addison, 2011

Uploaded by CircusZoppe on May 10, 2011
Mid-South Fair ends 156th year on high note

Focuses on future as event wraps

By Yolanda Jones

Memphis Commercial Appeal

Posted October 4, 2011

Photo by Stan Carroll The 156th annual Mid-South Fair wrapped

up last weekend in Southaven.

"We had nine beautiful, rain-free days," said Mark Lovell, president of Cordova-based Universal Fairs, which ran this year's event. About 70,000 people attended this year's Mid-South Fair in Southaven, down from the estimated 75,000 who attended last year.
The event ended its 10-day run Sunday at DeSoto Civic Center, where the fair has been held for the past three years since moving from Memphis.
"We had nine beautiful, rain-free days," said Mark Lovell, president of Cordova-based Universal Fairs, which ran this year's event. "Things started off soft, but then things got better and better. The last two days were packed with people."
Only one day of rain marred the 156th annual fair.
"The crowd was not as big (as last year), but I'm happy because we had a fair with no one getting hurt and no problems," Lovell said.
Southaven Police Chief Tom Long said his officers made no arrests and took no incident reports during the fair.
The event is slated to call the Civic Center home until 2014, but officials are looking at a possible long-term partnership -- one that Lovell, who also operates the Delta Fair at Agricenter International, hopes to be part of.
This year's Delta Fair drew about 200,000 earlier in September.
Lovell's two-year management contract with the Mid-South Fair, in which he paid the fair a guaranteed fee to control the cash-strapped event, ends this year.
He said he has submitted a proposal to fair officials to continue the arrangement but is waiting to hear whether he will run next year's event.
"I'd love to be part of the fair," he said. "It is great working with the Civic Center folks, and I think the fair is a great event for the area."
Milton Rodgers, the new executive director of the fair, said the board of directors will decide about Lovell's contract in the coming weeks.
He added that this year's fair was successful, with R&B singer Ginuwine's show bringing in a big crowd.
"We had a very happy fair," Rodgers said.
In the next three years, he said the fair will work with the Civic Center to bring back the creative arts show, the agriculture component and strengthen ties with Mid-South schools.
"Our days of 4,000 animal entries are gone, but we will try to have more crops, crafts and merge the old and new at the fair in the coming years," Rodgers said. "It will all add to the fun if we do it right."
At the Circus

Uploaded by markel253 on Jun 4, 2011

We visit the Cole Brother's Circus on Staten Island, NY

Coosa Valley Fair bringing new features, animals

by Lydia Senn, staff writer

from: Rome Ga News-Tribune

Oct. 3, 2011
Each year the Coosa Valley Fair brings to Rome the giddiness of childhood, the smell of familiar, fried fair foods and the thrill of a new ride or two.
But this year the fair is also bringing in some new surprises and some cooler weather.
“We’re going to have excellent weather, we couldn’t have asked for better fair weather,” said Nan Langford, President of the Coosa Valley Fair Association.
Langford is hopeful that highs in the low 70s all week will drive in big crowds, even bigger than last year’s record total of 80,000 fair goers.
And visitors will have more than just great weather to look forward to; this year the 63rd annual fair will have new surprises like new animals in the livestock pavilion and a new pageant.
“It’s so community oriented and family oriented, and we always want to keep it agriculture oriented,” Langford said.
This year’s fair, which will run Tuesday through Saturday, will include a new event with bands Babe’s Bayou and Runnin Wild Band, who will perform in the special events building on Friday night at 7 p.m.

Read more: - Coosa Valley Fair bringing new features animals
Coventry 50p Fun Fair video Montage 2011

Uploaded by FunFairsUK on Oct 2, 2011
'Humor Abuse': life from a clown's POV

Lorenzo Pisoni didn't have to run far to join the circus — he grew up in it, son of the founders of the Pickle Family Circus. He shares his memories in "Humor Abuse," the first play he's written, being staged by Seattle Rep in October as its season opener.


Lorenzo Pisoni recounts his life growing up in the circus in "Humor Abuse" at Seattle Repertory Theatre.


By Misha BersonSeattle Times theater critic

Pardon my nostalgia.
During a recent breakfast interview with Lorenzo Pisoni, star of the one-man show "Humor Abuse," and Lorenzo's father, Larry Pisoni, I had a happy flashback.
I was in Glen Park in San Francisco on a sunny afternoon. Lorenzo, a tyke at the time, was expertly performing a sketch with his dad, the co-founder, director and chief clown of the Pickle Family Circus.
Father and son wore identical striped shirts, baggy pants, funny caps. And Lorenzo didn't miss a beat mirroring Larry's hat tricks and other shtick.
They were a duo act for much of the younger Pisoni's childhood, as the Pickles toured the West Coast — with Seattle a regular stop.
Today that precocious little boy is 34 and a handsome, poised New York actor and Cirque du Soleil alum. His lauded stage memoir, "Humor Abuse," opens Wednesday at Seattle Repertory Theatre.
And his soft-spoken, gray-bearded dad, a semiretired performer and teacher living in Mountlake Terrace, is one proud papa.
"Humor Abuse" recounts Lorenzo's growing-up years in the family circus (his mom, Peggy Snider, co-founded the Pickles). He started performing at age 6, but don't let his show's title mislead more at:

Monday, October 3, 2011


Uploaded by AviatorVideo on May 25, 2011

The Greatest Show on Earth is a 1952 drama film set in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The film was produced, directed, and narrated by Cecil B. DeMille, and won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Its storyline is supported by lavish production values, actual circus acts, and documentary, behind-the-rings looks at the massive logistics effort which made big top circuses possible.
The film stars Betty Hutton and Cornel Wilde as trapeze artists competing for the center ring, and Charlton Heston as the circus manager running the show. James Stewart also stars as a mysterious clown who never removes his make-up, even between shows.
In addition to the film actors, the real Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's Circus' 1951 troupe appears in the film, with its complement of 1400 people, hundreds of animals, and 60 carloads of equipment and tents. The actors learned their respective circus roles and participated in the acts.
Adjusted for inflation, the film's box office is among the highest-grossing films in the United States and Canada.

Tears of a Clown
Written by: Robinson/Wonder
Performed by: Herbert and The Aviators
Circus chef dishes out meals on traveling railcar




Friday, September 30, 2011

NASHUA, NH– Whipping up a fresh batch of crawfish fettuccine for a clown, a snake charmer and a cowboy, chef Michael Vaughn was asked where the last stop on the tour was.
He paused but couldn’t remember.
“That’s where we draw a blank,” Vaughn said, laughing.
After asking a member of the crew, Vaughn, wearing a large, black chef’s coat, was reminded: Peoria, Ill. They had been traveling for three days by train before stopping Thursday in the switching yard off Colburn Street in Nashua.
The next stop: a set of weekend shows at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester.

Staff photo by Don Himsel
Local chef Michael Buckley, left, talks with Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus chef Michael Vaughn in the circus Pie Car Thursday, September 29, 2011. The circus is in Manchester this weekend.
“It’s been a long trip,” Vaughn said before taking a break from being in the kitchen.
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, “The Greatest Show on Earth,” is rolling into the Queen City today, putting on six shows this weekend, the first starting tonight.

read more at:

Royal Variety Show 2009 - Human Ventriloquist Dummy


Uploaded by Finchie10 on Aug 1, 2010
Paul zerdin does the funniest human ventriloquist act EVER at the royal variety show 2009
Mississippi resident recalls novelty basketball team

Texas Cowgirls traveled with Harlem Globetrotters

Associated Press

From: The Commercial Appeal Memphis, Tennesse

October 2, 2011

PEARL -- Picture this: A double-deck bus barnstorming the northern United States and Canada with the Harlem Globetrotters filling the upstairs and the Texas Cowgirls, a women's basketball team, riding below.
The Globetrotters, featuring Wilt Chamberlain and Meadowlark Lemon, were black. The Texas Cowgirls were white.
The years were 1957 and '58.
"We got a lot of strange looks," said Barbara Leggette, a resident of Pearl, near Jackson, who was 18 years old and a member of the Cowgirls at the time. "But us and the Globetrotters got along great. They looked after the girls in every big city we went to and made sure nobody bothered us."
Those big cities included New York, San Francisco, Boston and Chicago. Small towns were on the schedule, too, "because we played every day and usually twice on Sunday," she said.
It was, in some ways, a traveling circus. The Globetrotters were proving that comedy and basketball made good companions.
The Cowgirls -- formed in 1949 and disbanded in 1977 -- always opened the entertainment, taking on local men's teams. They came onto the court wearing western hats, vests and holsters filled with cap pistols. Whenever a player made a shot during warm-ups, she would take off something.
"We'd get all the way down to our uniform, and the crowd would start yelling 'More! More!' but that's as far as it went," Leggette laughs. "Lord help me if my daddy could've seen that."
Rarely did the Cowgirls lose.
Indian Summer at the Fair

The North Georgia State Fair is a carnival that brings back all of the nostalgic sights, sounds, and tastes of county fairs of the past. Just make sure to ride the Tilt-A-Whirl first and then eat the funnel cake.

By Rob Maynard


October 2, 2011

We made it out to the North Georgia State Fair at Jim R. Miller Park last weekend. Took three generations of the family out on a sunny Sunday afternoon to see what we could see. I’d been meaning to go for years but never got around to it. I grew up in a town with a major county fair that included animal exhibits and blue ribbons for everything from squash to pies. From that standpoint, the North Georgia State Fair falls short. It’s really more of a big carnival with a few exhibits and a petting zoo thrown in to give it a patina of authentic, old-time fair-ness. But for what it does have, this Fair is quite a hoot.

For starters, doesn't every child reach a point in life when they need to finally be exposed to carnies and the grand American tradition of roustabouts, sharpies, lot lizards and shills? It kind of prepares them for adult life, in a way. Even in a day and age of frequent fliers and globalization, there is something in the ‘pick up and go to the next town’ world of the carnie that still strikes a resonant chord in many of us. On this Sunday the carnival workers weren’t particularly active. Barkers in their booths seemed desultory, content to let their colorful booths and trinkets lure passersby instead of pressing the hard sell. A higher number of the carnies seemed to be Caribbean then the ones I remembered from my youth, but thankfully enough of them reminded me of Tom Waits that I was able to enjoy a warm Indian Summer afternoon’s nostalgia bath.
And how about the food! There’s enough deep fried goodness for sale to make Paula Deen swear off carbs. Deep fried candy bars, tomatoes, cheese, funnel cakes, corn dogs—you name an unhealthy and possibly delicious junk food item and they’re frying it up in a vat of oil at the North Georgia State Fair. Like your turkey legs smoked on the grill and stacked in juicy pyramids? This is your Valhalla. Wash it all down with lemonade or a multi-flavored slushy (you make it), then it’s off to a dessert of apple dumplings and ice cream, a “big chocolate thing” and cotton candy spun in more colors than Dolly Parton’s coat. In the days before pastries and ice cream cones were available in every corner convenience store and fast food joint, the fair was an annual clearinghouse-bacchanal of all the things you couldn’t eat for the rest of the year. But the best Fair advice I can give to you, fellow traveler, is the most obvious—troll the food stands after you ride the rides. Especially, if like me, you haven’t jumped a carnival ride in decades. Because between the equilibrium smashing and intestine jiggling of the Moonshot, Cyclops, and the classic Tilt-A-Whirl, let’s just leave it that you don’t want to take off with a pound of funnel cake on board, Rube.

The sights and smells and sounds swirl around as the dollars fly out of your poke and you debate whether it’s worth it to see The Giant Rat or the World’s Largest Snake. I wished for the sideshow freaks and hairies I remember my father talking about. In those days a young man learned a lot about life at the carnival sideshow. Today’s kids have YouTube and trash television. The modern sideshow freaks have flown the carnival coop and make their fame on reality shows. Nostalgia only goes so far.
Today’s your last day to check out the North Georgia Fair until next Indian Summer. It might not live up to your memories of the County Fairs of your childhood, but that won’t matter to your kids as they take off across the sky on the Flying Circus Swing.

Sunday, October 2, 2011




It's been called to my attention by

Mr Jim Elliott that I made a bad mistake

identifying pictures that were posted in an article yesterday!


is not---


Clown Lou Jacobs’ famous car, top, is on display as part of a new interactive exhibition for the Tibbals Learning Center at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.

Sorry I guess I hadn't woke up yet!



First meeting of the season, Wed Oct 5 at the club house, doors open at 7pm, meeting promptly at 7:30 pmDESSERTS and RAFFLE ITEMS, please.Bob Collins, founder of BIG TOP TOURS (highly recommended) and Board Member of Circus Sarasota will be our speaker and will share the inside scoop of the merger of Circus Sarasota and Sailor Circus, this is going to be interesting.BRING A GUEST if you like, your friends are always welcome.
Jackie LeClaire

Biographical slide show of the life of Jackie LeClaire.
Big E's Wayne McCary lives out his dream as president of the Eastern States Exposition

G. Wayne McCary is marking his 20th year as president and chief executive officer of the Eastern States Exposition.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

By Cynthia Simison, The Republican


The intricately-carved carousel horse in his office is a major give-away.
So, too, are the vintage Cole Bros. Circus poster framed on one wall, the elephant lamp, the shelves of books about the history of the circus and the plastic bag filled with Bello Nock clown dolls that sits near his desk.
G. Wayne McCary loves the circus. Really loves the circus.
“At some time in your life, I think everyone feels like running away to join the circus,” McCary says. “Not everybody gets to fulfill that dream. I really have.”
He caught the circus bug in childhood. As a real-life kid of the 1950s, McCary would help tear down the merry-go-round for New England’s popular Coleman Brothers traveling carnival as it made its way through Connecticut.

Big E president G. Wayne McCary is shown here in 1996 with circus ringmaster John Herriott, left, and Sylvia Zerbini. Dave Roback
Fresh out of college, he was booking circus and entertainment acts up and down the East Coast for a Boston talent agency.
Today, McCary is living out a dream-come-true job as he marks 35 years of service to the Eastern States Exposition, the last 20 of which have been as president and chief executive officer. It’s a job which has taken him from the White House to the royal palace of Monaco; he’s a hall-of-famer for state, regional and international associations in the fair industry; and he’s producing shows that now feature a second generation of circus stars he’s booked over the years.
McCary is just the sixth CEO of the exposition, an enterprise which has annual revenues approaching $20 million and pumps nearly $225 million into the region’s economy each year, according to an independent survey of the fair’s economic impact.

The Big E Super Circus is produced by exposition president G. Wayne McCary. This 2002 photo shows McCary conferring with the late Tom Hanneford of the Hanneford Royal Circus which provides the equipment and personnel for the Big E Big Top. Hanneford died in 2005. David Molnar
The exposition is a non-profit organization established in 1916; its federal stax records show it “provides year-round opportunities for the development and promotion of agriculture, education, industry and family entertainment.” The exposition gives 1 percent of its revenues annually – last year the amount was about $184,000 – to a trust fund established under McCary’s guidance in 1994 to aid local charities.

Bello Nock, left, clown-daredevil and star of the 2011 Big E Super Circus has some fun with the man who produces the circus, G. Wayne McCary, president of the Big E, during a performance. - Don Treeger
The exposition is a non-profit organization established in 1916; its federal stax records show it “provides year-round opportunities for the development and promotion of agriculture, education, industry and family entertainment.” The exposition gives 1 percent of its revenues annually – last year the amount was about $184,000 – to a trust fund established under McCary’s guidance in 1994 to aid local charities. In 2010, the exposition’s gross revenues were $18,460,049; McCary, who earns a base salary of about $400,000, oversees a staff of 1,000 (along with another 1,000 who volunteer and 2,500 who work for vendors and concessionaires). read more at:

Children of All Ages Trailer

CHILDREN OF ALL AGES is a three-ringed documentary that pays tribute in Barnumesque style to America's most important entertainment form: The Circus. 1) The country's OLDEST YOUTH circus! 2) The world's LARGEST MINIATURE circus! 3) The LAST ORIGINAL Ringling performers!