2014 Convention



Saturday, November 26, 2011


Shrine Circus is underway today through Sunday in Kenner

Circus performer Dulce Vital spins while being suspended from the ceiling of Pontchartrain Center during the Jerusalem Shrine Circus in Kenner Friday, November 23, 2007.

By Quo Vadis Hollins, The Times-Picayune

Published: Friday, November 25, 2011

It’s going to be a flurry of family fun when the Jerusalem Temple Shriners present the 65th annual Shrine Circus in Kenner. Performances will be held today and Saturday at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday at 2 and 6:30 p.m. at the Pontchartrain Center, 4545 Williams Blvd.John Williamson, Shriner recorder, said this year’s production will be run by George Carden Circus International.
“We have had the same circus for more than 20 years, and this time we decided to do something a little different,” Williamson said.
Organizers hope to delight guests with aerialists, a high-wire act, lions, tigers, elephants, acrobats, motorcycle and bicycle daredevils and, of course, clowns.
The doors will open one hour before the show, and guests will have the opportunity to ride elephants, take pictures and meet the clowns.
Through the years, the Shriners circus has been a popular attraction for families. To ensure that every student has an opportunity to enjoy the performance, the Shriners have provided vouchers to students in schools in Jefferson, Orleans, Lafourche, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany and Terrebonne parishes.
“We are hoping that this will be the best year ever,” Williamson said.
During each show’s intermission, the Shriners will award one boy and one girl a bicycle. Children may sign up for the giveaway through a coupon offered in the show’s program.Proceeds from the circus benefit the local Shrine in Destrehan and its community activities. The circus is the organization’s largest fundraising event.
Tickets cost $27 for reserved seats or $20 for adults and $14 for children general admission.
Alexander Calder performs his "Circus" - Whitney Museum WhitneyFocus

Uploaded by WhitneyFocus on Oct 23, 2008

From Oct. 16, 2008 - Feb. 15, 2009, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York presents "Alexander Calder: The Paris Years, 1926-1933", a new look at the artists early years when his radical innovations included open-air wire sculptures, his beloved and important miniature "Circus", and the creation of a new artform, the mobile. This video excerpts scenes of Calder performing the "Circus" from a 1955 film by Jean Painleve
Berks & Beyond: Model trains call Fleetwood depot home

Reading Eagle: Ryan McFadden Jim Herbein of Fleetwood with his model train display in a former depot.
Ron Devlin
Reading Eagle
Originally Published: 11/26/2011
When Jim Herbein was growing up in Fleetwood, he'd catch a ride on a Reading Co. steam locomotive delivering freight to his grandfather's depot, A.R. Hoffman Lumber & Coal.
More than 50 years later, he's still riding the rails.
Herbein, 65, is chief engineer on a model railroad located in the depot, a quaint clapboard structure built in 1865.
Over countless hours, Herbein has painstakingly recreated a miniature representation of a bygone era when locomotives were the economic engines of their time.
"It was those rides on the steam engine when he was a boy," said Cindy Herbein, 57, Jim's wife. "That's what got him so interested in trains."
On Friday, Herbein opened his model train display to the public free of charge. The Herbein Line will run weekends through Dec. 23, with Santa Claus visiting next Saturday.
Reading Eagle: Ryan McFadden Jim Herbein of Fleetwood works on a trolley at his model train display in a former depot.

Reading Eagle: Ryan McFadden Jim Herbein's model train display in a former Fleetwood depot.

Reading Eagle: Ryan McFadden Jim Herbein's model train display in a former Fleetwood depot.

Reading Eagle: Ryan McFadden Jim Herbein's model train display in a former Fleetwood depot.

Reading Eagle: Ryan McFadden Part of Jim Herbein's model train display in a former Fleetwod depot

Friday, November 25, 2011


October 6, 2011

First Ford Center circus a lot of clowning around

KYLE GRANTHAM / Courier & Press

Clowns parade through the Ford Center during the opening day of the Hadi Shrine Circus in Evansville on Thursday.

By Arek Sarkissian II

Evansville Courier & Press

Posted November 24, 2011

EVANSVILLE — Sniffles the Clown gathered balloons behind the big curtain of the Ford Center on Thursday afternoon preparing to let go of reality.
With a little paint, some goofy clothes and silly attitude, Sniffles, also known as Evansville resident Wes Whiteside, said nine years of training with the Hadi Funsters helped bring his knack for nonsense to center stage at will.
"We want to make sure everyone leaves with a smile on their face," he said, adding his secret is to know when to let go of his regular self. "You have to learn to be someone that you're not.
"Just go out and have a good time."
Sniffles was one of the group of Hadi Shriners who helped put on their 78th annual circus, which kicked off Thursday at the still sparkling Downtown facility. Hadi Shrine spokesman Brian Ball said there were no problems moving the show from Roberts Stadium. Some of the few differences were that the size of the new facility required more lights and flooring.

KYLE GRANTHAM / Courier & Press

A poodle in a skirt follows it's trainer through one of the rings at the Hadi Shrine Circus at the Ford Center on Thursday.
"We were just saying this morning that it was actually like setting up at Roberts, again," he said. "Everything just seemed to flow perfectly and everyone worked quite well."
Ball said the Shrine Circus is the last in North America to use a live orchestra playing for every performance. It also is one of the few remaining three-ring circuses, he said.
Another difference is that each act to perform in the circus is hired separately, and they are brought together to make the entire show. Proceeds from the circus will stay in Evansville and will be used to support the Hadi Shrine facility, which in turn provides events like Shrinersfest to benefit the community, he said.
Ball said those who saw the show on Thursday should expect a similar version through the weekends. And adults who toted the kids along but want to see it again on their own should not feel alone.
KYLE GRANTHAM / Courier & Press
"Ernestina" hangs and spins from her neck above the Ford Center floor during aerial acrobatic performances at the Hadi Shrine Circus on Thursday.

"It's not just mom and dad bringing their kids – it's grandparents bringing their grandkids," he said. "But we also have grown adults continuing to love the circus."
Rick "Outback Jack" Smallwood said he has been a Hadi clown for 26 years, and each installment improves. Outback Jack said he is a legacy of such clowns. His father became a clown as a young man.
"Then I came in and when my father passed away, my son came in," he said. "It's a family tradition."
Liz Robling and her family eagerly waited for the show to begin standing on the arena's large concourse. She said although it wasn't her first circus, it was for the facility.
"It's a nice arena," she said, adding of the circus, "I hope it was like it was at Roberts Stadium."
Azad Kabir and his family also were anxious for the circus to begin. He also said the atmosphere generated by the show was electric.
"It really is very nice," he said.
The circus will take place through Sunday.
For more details, go online to


Human cannonball takes final flight in Hadi Shrine Circus

Daredevil will cap career with 6-story shot from a cannon

Courtesy David "Cannonball" Smith

David "Cannonball" Smith soars over two Ferris wheels in a picture from 2004.

Evansville Courier & Press

Posted November 24, 2011

By Roger McBain

David "Cannonball" Smith plans to go out with one last bang this Sunday, concluding his high-caliber career in the city where he began performing as a professional daredevil.
The 69-year-old will blast out of a 36-foot-long cannon, soaring six stories over the floor in the Ford Center to land in a net, in the climax of Hadi Shrine Circus performances that begin today and run through Sunday.

David "Cannonball" Smith emerges from his custom cannon to soar six stories above the


contributed photo / David "Cannonball" Smith
He plans to quit going ballistic after this circus closes, grounding a career that's sent him sailing over Ferris wheels, a baseball scoreboard and outfield fence and the international border between the United States and Mexico.
Smith, a former math teacher who stepped out of the classroom to soar in the circus, dove, literally, into professional daredevilry in Evansville's Hadi Shrine Circus more than four decades ago.
He made his entrance as a sponge diver, leaping off a beam in the 42-foot-high Roberts Stadium, into a pile of foam mattresses collected for him locally after the giant air bag he'd shipped for the stunt failed to arrive.
It looked scary, but it was easy for Smith, a high school and college gymnast. "I dove straight down and then rotated onto my back."
Several years later Smith left sponge diving and trapeze work to launch his career in a higher caliber act — blasting out of stage more:

NICA Circus Showcase 2011

Jordan Beth Vincent

November 25, 2011

National Circus Centre, to December 3

IT'S that time of year again, when graduating students from Melbourne's elite training institutions emerge from studios across the city to show off their newly developed skills. Every year I marvel at the impressive skill level coming out of NICA, and this year is no exception.
Highlights from the class of 2011 include Zoe Newitt's elegant aerial dance on the vertical rope, David Coombs' gorgeous suspended spins on the giant hoop, and Thomas Gorham, who balances on a swinging trapeze. On his head.
The show suffers, unfortunately, from its overall direction. Director Megan Jones fails to find a theme to tie in the disparate acts. Almost every act is too long (and with 17 graduates this really adds up) and the overuse of melancholy instrumental music contributes to a sluggish dynamic. Moreover, there are moments of questionable taste, such as when a blow-up doll becomes part of a trapeze act.
Jones needs to rein in her production, editing to ensure every performer looks his or her best onstage.
At the end of the day, any show of graduating students is going to have its rough patches. Rings will fall, hula-hoops will refuse to hoop in concert, and that big finishing trick will prove elusive when it really counts.
But this is a chance to marvel at the abilities of these performers, who - missteps aside - are truly fearless artists. In only a few weeks they will become professional, ready to take on the stages of Australia and the world.Read more:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Raw Video: Preps Underway for Macy's Parade

Published on Nov 23, 2011 by AssociatedPress

The helium heavies that will float through Manhattan for the famed Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade are almost ready for their official debut. This year's parade will feature more than 50 balloon creations, 27 floats and 800 clowns. (Nov. 23)


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Aut Mori Grotto Brings Circus to Town

The circus with a purpose is set to entertain valley residents this holiday weekend.

The Aut Mori Grotto will be putting on nine performances of the Royal Hanniford Circus this weekend at the former South Range High School Gym in North Lima. Wednesday was the opening performance with a show set at 7 p.m. Thanksgiving night. There also will be shows at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday.

Doors open one hour before the performance. Seating is limited to 1,000 seats per show and tickets are $20.

Besides the Grotto clowns, guests will be entertained with the trapeze act as well as circus animals. This is the major fundraiser for the Grotto organization.

Those heading into the circus Wednesday evening were greeted by protesters. About a dozen members of the local PETA group stood outside holding signs. They are against the treatment of the animals that perform in the circus.
Animaux de la Ferme - Cirque Medrano

Uploaded by MrThony774 on Jul 8, 2011
Spectacle du cirque Medrano , Coulommiers - 5 Juillet 2011
Circus comes to town

Hadi Shrine event begins at new venue

KYLE GRANTHAM / Courier & PressYessica

Alvarado hangs from a ring suspended from the I-beams above the Ford Center on Tuesday as she tests the rigging before the 78th Hadi Shrine Circus, which starts today. Yelena Yust, another aerial acrobat, watches from the floor.

By Thomas B. Langhorne

Evansville Courier & Press

November 23, 2011

EVANSTON, Ill. — With the taller ceiling, larger floor and better spacing that the Ford Center offers for this year's Hadi Shrine Circus comes another change — higher ticket prices.
Last year's circus at Roberts Stadium charged $19, $21 and $24 for reserved seats and $12 for pre-circus general admission tickets, but this year's numbers at the Ford Center are $21, $26 and $32. General admission tickets were $16 until 10 p.m. Wednesday and $19 thereafter.
Brian Ball, public relations manager for the circus, attributed the higher ticket prices to a $2 per ticket facility fee charged by the Ford Center and extra costs incurred to move there after 55 years at Roberts.

Photo by Kyle Grantham, The Evansville Courier & Press Jeremy Garcia walks along one of the I-beams over the floor of the Ford Center as he and other members of the circus rigging crew set up suspension lines for pieces of the circus show. Patches of carpet along the beams mark the spots where rigging lines were set by Garcia and the four other members of the rigging crew.

"We have additional wiring for electrical because the floor is bigger, some additional cabling, some additional lights because of the size of the floor," Ball said.
But Ford Center Director Scott Schoenike said Roberts Stadium charged the Shriners the same $2 per-ticket facility fee.
"To be honest, all events pay $2 facility fees, if not more," Schoenike said. "The (Evansville) IceMen pay a $2 facility fee, the U of E basketball pays a $2 ... it's pretty common across the nation. It's a little bit of showboating from the Shriners."
Apprised of Schoenike's remarks, Ball said Roberts did charge a $2 parking fee per ticket "at one time."
The Shriners expect the 78th Hadi Shrine Circus, which kicks off at 3 p.m. today, to attract between 40,000 and 45,000 people over the course of its four-day, eight-show run.

KYLE GRANTHAM / Courier & Press The floor of the Ford Center takes on a new pattern from the temporary flooring put in place for the Hadi Shrine Circus to begin on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day.

Crews worked throughout the week to set up for the shows.
The event, which is expected to cost about $300,000 to put on, is the major fundraiser for the Hadi Temple. The temple doesn't disclose how much the event brings in. The money helps the Shrine maintain its facility and present events such as the Shriner's Fest, which the Hadi Shrine expanded to take the place of the annual Freedom Festival on the riverfront.
Higher ticket prices aside, Shrine and Ford Center officials agree the Ford Center's 230-foot long and 85-foot wide floor allows for a better show."Roberts was always a three-ring circus, but the problem was (circus acts) were right on top of each other," Schoenike said. "The floor space here is longer and there's more square footage on the floor, so they can spread those acts out a little bit more."
Ball noted that the Ford Center's scoreboard retracts, which he called a big advantage.
"It's completely out of the way, which we were never able to do at Roberts, so it actually gives us more fly space we can work with to get all our riggings and ropes and everything up," he said.
"We're actually able to add additional lighting -- more true theater or stage lighting – up overhead instead of having everything on the floor like we've done in the past. It gives us a little more definition, a lot more color, more sensation for people to see."

Shalom, ‘Grandma’

This clown’s trademark character is patterned after Jewish grandmothers in Atlantic City. Maike Schulz/Big Apple CircusA star of the Big Apple Circus, Barry Lubin steps out of the ring after nearly three decades.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

by Steve Lipman

The Big Apple Circus’ bubbe, overloaded purse in hand and sensible, rubber-soled shoes on her stocking-clad feet, is shuffling away from the big top.And with her go the ghosts of Barry Lubin’s own Jewish grandmothers, the ones he spent time with all those years ago in Atlantic City. Lubin, who created his alter ego, “Grandma,” the matronly figure with the red smock and the curly gray wig, more than 35 years ago, said he patterned the character after them, and any number of other Jewish grandmothers he saw on the Atlantic City boardwalk in the 1950s and ’60s. Rather than play a traditional clown, he would take his inspiration from them. He spent a career paying homage to them, and to grandmothers everywhere.
Lubin says he remembers Myrtle Weinberg and Ann Lubin, his bubbes, as “warm, nurturing individuals.” But his Grandma, who doesn’t speak while performing in the Big Apple Circus, is really everyone’s grandmother, with no discernible ethnic or religious characteristics. The typical crowd during a recent show was multi-racial and multifaith, including nuns in habit and Muslim women in the hijab. All laughed at Grandma’s antics.But the laughter for Grandma at the Big Apple Circus will stop next year.Lubin, who first crafted the role while working for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, has announced that this will be his last season (his 29th) as Grandma with the Big Apple Circus. He’s moving to Sweden.
The circus ends its current New York run on Jan. 8, and takes the show on the road. After its season closes in July, Lubin will settle in Sweden, where he has a girlfriend and post-Big Apple entertainment and education possibilities. “I will seek opportunities worldwide,” he says, preparing for a recent show.
“I am walking away from the dream job,” Lubin says, sitting at a table in a dressing room a hundred yards from the tent in Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park. “It’s time for me to do other things with my life.”read more at:

South Florida fair ride shares name with poison gas used in Holocaust

Posted: 11/23/2011

•Ariel Barkhust, Sun Sentinel

A carnival ride at this year's Broward County Fair shares a name with the poisonous gas used to kill millions in the Holocaust.
The ride is "The Zyklon." Zyklon B was the name of the lethal cyanide gas used at Nazi death camps.
But, the ride's owner said, that's definitely not what it's named for. Zyklon is German for cyclone.
Still, it's offending some in South Florida, home to the most Holocaust survivors in the nation, after New York City.
"I know it's so many years ago now, but I wish people would still care," said Mildred Blank, of Pembroke Pines. Her husband of 60 years, Paul Blank, was a Holocaust survivor. He died in May.
"I saw the name and recognized it immediately from the stories he told."
The name "Zyklon B" was printed on the metal canisters manufactured by a German company called Degesch.
"Of all the names in the world, why do they need to name rides that?" said Rita Hofrichter, a Holocaust survivor who works at the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center in Hollywood. "It's upsetting to me to come across that, as a survivor. I lost my whole family in the gas chambers, particularly in Auschwitz."
The German word has caused problems for businesses in America before. A company sought to trademark appliance names that used the word Zyklon in 2002, according to an Associated Press report at the time. The appliances included coffee machines and gas ovens.
The company quickly withdrew the application, the report said.
The Zyklon carnival ride at the Broward fair comes from Michigan-based Wade Shows.
The company's owner Frank Zaitshik said he inherited the name of his ride from the manufacturer, now-defunct Pinfari, which was based in Italy. There are probably hundreds of Pinfari Zyklons all over the country, Zaitshik said.
Zaitshik said he had heard this complaint before but assumed the cyanide gas that killed millions and the common ride name were not the same.
But recently, he looked it up and saw that the words were identical.
Now he said he plans to change the ride's name.
"There's actually no ill will intended to anyone of the Jewish faith, and I apologize if the name has offended anybody," he said.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Mr Chambers was a great person and will be missed by many show folk!
(Click on image to enlarge)
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Circus elephants prepare to partake in Thanksgiving pumpkins

from•By: Ron English

TAMPA, Fla. -

As families across the country prepare for their Thanksgiving meal, the elephants of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be enjoying their own special feast right here in Tampa.
The circus is in town preparing for its once in a millenium event that honors The Year of the Dragon, which premieres at the beginning of 2012.
But before the big show goes on, the elephants will chow down on a special menu including a mix of pumpkins, fruit, bread and other holiday treats on Thanksgiving.
Celebrating with the munching pachyderms will be circus families and special guests. Children from the Tampa Metropolitan YMCA will be in attendance for a once in a life time experience with the elephants.
The celebration starts at 10 a.m. at the Florida State fairgrounds.
Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Presents Drangons is a never seen before show that brings together mystic dragon lore with authentic circus feats that will premier Its worldwide premier opens at the St Pete Times Forum January 4-8.Read more:

UniverSoul Circus Helps Promote Healthy Living at West Broad Street YMCA

By: Tuquyen Mach

Published: November 22, 2011

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) -- The battle against childhood obesity inspired one group to get kids off the couch and moving.
The UniverSoul Circus has teamed up with Project Rock Out! to encourage kids to exercise and families to live healthier lifestyles. They brought the program to the West Broad Street YMCA Tuesday.
But in addition to the serious message, they also wanted to make sure everyone had fun.
"To set a great example for the children... Don't smoke, don't drink, to stay straight. Learn... Get all the education that you can," said Onionhead the Clown from UniverSoul Circus.
Project Rock Out to Work Out also aims to promote physical fitness through hip hop.
Several performers from the circus were on hand for the event. They'll be doing shows in Savannah Thursday through Saturday.

Bandwagon rolling toward the Big Apple

Harold "Heavy" Burdick of Baraboo's Circus World Museum loads the United States Bandwagon onto a semi-trailer Monday afternoon. The wagon will travel to New York City where it will appear in the 85th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Tim Damos / News Republic

Tim Damos, News Republic

Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It has been 108 years since the last nail was pounded into the United States Bandwagon. And it's still going strong.
Harold "Heavy" Burdick of Baraboo's Circus World Museum loaded the wagon onto a semitrailer Monday afternoon. It's destined for New York City, where it will appear in the 85th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
"People go crazy for it when it goes down the parade route," Burdick said.
Bode Wagon Works built the wagon for the Ringling Bros. World's Greatest Shows in 1903. It was Ringling's main bandwagon from 1903 to 1918 and toured with Barnum & Bailey through 1920.
But for 70 years after that, it sat in storage.
Burdick headed up a Circus World team that rebuilt the wagon in 1992. Only five of the original carvings that decorated the sides of the wagon remained.
The Baraboo museum has 218 old circus wagons, the world's largest collection. Burdick's restoration work has made him one of the world's leading circus wagon experts.
He has made the trip to New York City for roughly the last 15 years, he said, to accompany whichever wagon was sent on the long journey. But he doesn't get to ride in the parade.
"I just make sure it gets there safe and sound," Burdick said. "I walk along with the wagon and watch the wheels to make sure everything holds up."
The Big Apple Circus pays Circus World to use the wagon each year.
"It's a great opportunity," said Circus World Museum Executive Director Steve Freese. "To have this unique wagon and then be able to participate in the largest parade in the country is pretty significant."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011




NOVEMBER 13, 2011

How about Billy's new wardrobe!

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India's Sonepur Fair 11.18.11

Part II

#6 A stuntman receives Indian Rupee notes from spectators as he rides on a motorbike inside an attraction called the "Well of Death" during the Sonepur Mela on November 16, 2011 in Sonepur near Patna, India. The cattle fair, held in the Indian state of Bihar, has its origins during ancient times, when people traded elephants and horses across the auspicious river Ganges. The mela used to attract traders from places as distant as Central Asia. It is one of Asia's largest cattle fairs and lasts for a fortnight.Daniel Berehulak - Getty Images

#7 An Indian man offers a piece of apple to a baby monkey he was trying to sell at the Sonepur Fair, in Sonepur, near Patna, Bihar, India, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011. The fair, which is held annually,was originally a cattle and animal market where traders bought and sold livestock on the holy river Ganges.Kevin Frayer - AP

#8 A boy rides a horse as he demonstrates its prowess to potential buyers during the Sonepur Mela on November 16, 2011 in Sonepur near Patna, India. The cattle fair, held in the Indian state of Bihar, has its origins during ancient times, when people traded elephants and horses across the auspicious river Ganges. The mela used to attract traders from places as distant as Central Asia. It is one of Asia's largest cattle fairs and lasts for a fortnight.

Daniel Berehulak - Getty Images

#9 Street vendors wearing devils horns look on as they sit at their stand during the Sonepur Mela on November 17, 2011 in Sonepur near Patna, India. The cattle fair, held in the Indian state of Bihar, has its origins during ancient times, when people traded elephants and horses across the auspicious river Ganges. The mela used to attract traders from places as distant as Central Asia. It is one of Asia's largest cattle fairs and lasts for a fortnight.

Daniel Berehulak - Getty Images

#10 An Indian carnival worker smiles as he sits in his ticket booth outside a ride at the Sonepur Fair, in Sonepur, near Patna, Bihar, India, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011. The fair, which is held annually,was originally a cattle and animal market where traders bought and sold livestock on the holy river Ganges.

Kevin Frayer - AP

Railroad Club Train Show and Sale attracts large family audience

Josh Radtke · The State News East Lansing resident Julie Libarkin holds up Jacob Leroy, 6, center, so he can see the circus setup Sunday for the Lansing Model Railroad Club Train Show and Sale at the MSU Pavilion.

By Rebecca Ryan

NOV. 21, 2011

Inside a room of the Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education on Sunday morning, train whistles blew and children cheered as model trains barrelled around handmade tracks. In another room, families crowded around vendors’ stands, eager to purchase their own model train sets.
The Lansing Model Railroad Club Train Show and Sale was held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Pavilion, attracting more than 3,000 people by the end of the show, said Ron St. Laurent, treasurer of the Lansing Model Railroad Club.
At least 500 model train vendors and enthusiasts from across the state attended the event, which also attracted vendors from Indiana, Illinois and Ohio, St. Laurent said.
New and used model trains, Thomas the Tank Engine toys, big Lionel trains, old railroad timetables and other model train paraphernalia filled the vendors’ tables.
With such a wide variety of vendors, representatives of the Lansing Model Railroad Club said they hoped to attract people of all ages, and club president Michael Frezell said he was happy to see so many families at the event.

Theme Parks Circuses of the Modern Era

From Travel

21 November, 2011 by Martin Kelly
Roll up, roll up – the circus is in town. Only it’s not the circus as history knows it. I’m talking about the modern version – theme parks, which are playing an increasingly important role in driving global tourism, especially in Asia.There’s not another tourism category that works harder for its business with consistent reinvention and aggressive, creative marketing the core mantras.
Never has this been more obvious than the past year, a tough 12 months for the Australian industry thanks largely to its geographic focus on the Gold Coast.
The Queensland holiday strip has been doing it tough and this has been reflected in the recent performance of the two big players – Village Roadshow and Ardent Leisure.
Village owns Movie World, Sea World and Wet ‘n’ Wild, while arch rival Ardent Leisure operates Dreamworld and Whitewater World.
The two fought it out tooth and nail in the first half of this year with a price discounting war stimulating demand – attendance at Ardent Leisure parks were up 30% to 2.7m – but hitting revenue with reduced profits for both operators.
Still, they made pretty good money, all things considered, demonstrating that well-run theme parks are not the rollercoaster ride some may think.
Village Roadshow’s theme park division, which also includes Australian Outback Spectacular, Paradise Country, Village Roadshow Studios, Sea World Resort and two USA water parks – earned $87.2 million before tax last year.

...Local history: New Philadelphia's 'Paddy Strine' excelled on wire.

By Jon Baker staff writer

Posted Nov 20, 2011

John Edward “Paddy” Strine of New Philadelphia possessed an extraordinary sense of balance.
At the age of 12, he discovered that he had a gift for walking on tightropes without a balancing pole. That led him to a long career performing at circuses, street fairs and homecomings — well into his 60s.
His specialty was walking on the slack wire, where the rope or wire hangs a bit loose and the tension on the wire is provided by the performer and his props. It’s a dangerous stunt to perform.
“Anything can happen to you on the slack wire,” Strine told the Dover Daily Reporter in 1935. “On a 7-foot stretch of swaying wire, one misstep may mean a serious mishap.”
Yet Strine never had a bad more at:

Monday, November 21, 2011

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