2014 Convention



Monday, December 31, 2012

JibJab Year in Review 2012: The End is Here!

6-Ton Times Square New Year’s Ball Goes On Test Drop;
 NYPD Launches Massive Security Operation
Ray Kelly: Times Square 'Safest Place In The World On New Year's Eve'

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Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Test Drop
(credit: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880)
December 30, 2012
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – There was a countdown and then cheering Sunday afternoon atop One Times Square, as officials in charge of the New Year’s Eve celebration tested out the massive shimmering ball for the big event.
The ball is comprised of 2,600 Waterford crystals and 32,000 LED lights and weighs 12,000 pounds.
“Truly is the largest crystal ball in the world,” Countdown Entertainment president Jeffrey Straus told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck. “New Year’s Eve is a moment in time where we can all look back and sort of reflect on what’s happened. We look forward to what’s going to happen in the future and we celebrate today. And it’s really a good moment to all come together and feel good.”
“Here in New York City, you see people celebrating and watching a lighted time ball come down a pole,” Straus told WCBS 880′s Alex Silverman.
The ball drop is actually an old maritime tradition, Silverman reported. But it was adopted by New York City more than a century ago, in 1904, because the fireworks they tried in Times Square burned the revelers below.
“And that message where you see this sort of massive humanity celebrating together watching and counting down together, that’s the most amazing feeling,” Straus added.
The ball will begin its 130-foot drop at 11:59 Monday night as it rings in the new year.
read more at--

I received an email from Poland yesterday.
It was from Jakub Kolosko, a very experienced professional clown who want to join The Circus that Roars with Fun (McLaren Circus).
The highly rated Kolosko duo apparently have worked in South Africa more than a decade ago and are seeking work for 2013.
I thought of sharing with you their six You Tube videos which are attached below.
All the best,
Denzil McLaren
Here's one of them--

more later!
New Year joy: Cirque Banquiste delights with early New Year’s eve and day celebrations

Liz Mikel is the Mistress of Merriment
By Nancy Churnin
December 30, 2012
Circus is the art of the impossible. Artists train for years to dazzle, delight and stretch the imagination about what humans — and animals — can do. They fly, they spin, they juggle, and balance from bizarre heights.
This year, Cirque Banquiste even has Broadway, television and Dallas Theater Center sensation Liz Mikel as the Mistress of Merriment, charming the audience and singing a seductive “Peel Me a Grape” while contortionist Cassondra does her eye-popping twists.

I listed five top choices for ways to spend an early New Year’s Eve with your family in my weekly Family Fun column Friday. After seeing Cirque Banquiste Saturday night, I realized that should have made the list; you just have two more chances to catch it — 6:30 p.m. show Monday and 2 p.m. Tuesday.
It would be so much easier if I could single out a single reason for you to see this remarkable production, but truly there are no weak links. Kirill Robkovets stuns with his Rolla-Bolla balancing act, Gena Cristiani flips while she juggles, Ricardo Sosa does a balletic hand balancing act and Matthew Richardson seems a veritable “hoop” whisperer, dancing around his hoop and spinning in it as if the two are one.

Then there is elegant aerialist Simone Marina Lazar, plus the extraordinary Laurino Borthers with their Risley Act in which one flips the other, the incredibly cute Cartoon Poodles, dancing in their tutus and riding scooters and the clowns — Dallas’ own Slappy and Monday and Nic Rainone along with Jeff Gordon with his bubbles and flying rolls of toilet paper. Holding her own among all these professionals is 15-year-old Jesse Patterson, an dazzling hula hoop artist, who brings a depth of feeling to her performance that brings a rich and eloquent sense of wonder from another age.

Given the impossible nature of circus, it  seems fitting that every year the challenge of putting on Cirque Banquiste, a circus that brings international and local Dallas performers for a scant week with just a few days’ rehearsal, defies belief. It’s the dream of eighth generation circus performer Fanny Kerwich, who settled in Dallas after falling in love with Dallas’ Mark Doyle, now the Cirque’s executive producer. Together, they started Lone Star Circus as a year-round place to teach circus arts to the next generation and cirque as an annual holiday present for the rest of us — uncorking a bottle of joy to start off the new year.
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Circus Probst

Sven Rindfleisch
Uploaded on Sep 15, 2011

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New Year's Eve in Fort Collins: More than a dozen ways to ring in 2013

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Gregory Popovich of the World Famous Popovich Comedy Pet Theatre performs with his dog Felix in this 2008 photo. Popovich will headline First Friday Fort Collins this New Year's Eve.
Rich Abrahamson/The Coloradoan
Written byStacy Nick
Dec 30, 2012
First Night Fort Collins
New Year’s Eve in Fort Collins just wouldn’t be the same without First Night Fort Collins. Along with an early New Year’s countdown, this family-friendly celebration features music, theater, magic and comedy at 18 stops throughout downtown.
Headlining this year’s event, themed “Enchanted Voyage,” is the Las Vegas-based Popovich Comedy Pet Theater. Filled with pet and human tricks, the Comedy Pet Theater features a cast of 15 trained dogs and cats all rescued from shelters. Ringleader Gregory Popovich is a fifth-generation circus performer who has appeared on The Tonight Show with both Johnny Carson and Jay Leno, and David Letterman’s show, and recently was featured on Animal Planet’s “Who Let the Dogs Out.”
In addition to the pet theater, First Night Fort Collins also will feature the Presto Digitators Magic Show, Fale African Drum and Dance Troupe, Taiko drummers, the Jon Gates Yo Yo Show and Devil Dan’s Hilarious Show.
First Night Fort Collins begins at 5 p.m. in Old Town Square with a special kids countdown and events beginning at 6 p.m. throughout downtown Fort Collins (see today’s Coloradoan insert for a full schedule). Passes are $12 in advance or $14 at the event (children age 5 and younger are admitted free with a paying adult). Information:
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flying coaster

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A very popular ride years ago and the public still likes 'em!

Final Preparations for Tournament of Roses Parade

ABC News
Published on Dec 30, 2012
Brandi Hitt shares a preview of famous Rose Bowl event.
Ringmaster John Kennedy Kane Answers Your Questions
Big Apple Circus

Published on Dec 1, 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Circus Krone TV - Träume der Circuskunst

Published on Dec 28, 2012
First Winterprogramme at Circus Krone Munich (20
Circus monkeys disrupt holiday traffic
Alice Coote
The Daily Telegraph
December 28, 20126:17AM
A GROUP of monkeys had to be rescued by emergency services after the trailer they were in rolled, disrupting traffic on the state's South Coast.
The incident occurred after a trailer being towed by a 4WD overturned on the Princes Hwy at Bombo in the Kiama area about 2.50pm yesterday.
Fire and Rescue NSW officers had to help release four monkeys which were trapped in the trailer.
“We had to cut through the side to get the monkeys out. The side was facing up,” Fire and Rescue NSW Kiama Captain Peter Mitchell said.
“They survived it alright, it was just a bit of a rough ride for them.
“They were a bit shaken.”
Three monkeys that had been travelling in the trailer escaped and ran onto the highway. They were quickly rescued by circus staff.
Lanes one and two of the Princes Highway remained blocked during an operation to upright the trailer.
It is understood the 21-year-old driver of the vehicle suffered minor injuries. 
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Elephant paints at Glazer Children's Museum

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December 28, 2012
Some lucky kids had the chance today to paint alongside a pachyderm Friday, at the Glazer Children's Museum in downtown Tampa. 50 children were selected to create some art, along with Kelly Anne, a 16 year old Asian elephant from the Ringling Brothers Circus.
read more at--
Circus elephants march through Tampa
By JOSH POLTILOVE| The Tampa Tribune
Published: December 29, 2012

Elephant born at Tampa zoo 

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Officials at Lowry Park Zoo say an African elephant named Mbali gave birth to her first calf on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012.
from:, Tampa
Written by The Associated Press
Dec 29, 2012
TAMPA, Florida (AP) -- Officials at Lowry Park Zoo say an African elephant named Mbali gave birth to her first calf on Sunday. Mbali was one of 11 elephants rescued from culling in Swaziland, Africa, and brought to the U.S. nearly a decade ago.

The newborn female, sired by a bull named Sdudla, is the second African elephant to be born at Lowry Park, the first from the rescued herd.

Officials say the calf is significant because she introduces new DNA into the gene pool of elephants managed in North America.

Zoo workers are monitoring Mbali and her calf to ensure established nursing and proper maternal behavior. They will soon be reunited with two other mature females, who will help care for the newborn.
From WTVT, Tampa

Wild Wonderland comes to the Zoo
Dec 27, 2012

The Lowery Park Zoo has created its own wild wonderland right here in the sunshine state. Featuring an ice slide, real reindeer, and its own snow storm, it is a true little bit of magic right here in Tampa.
Cirque Eloize brings music, athleticism to Merriam Theatre
For the Journal Register News Service
Posted: 12/28/12
Because of Cirque Eloize’s circus style of putting emphasis on choreography, music, athleticism, and theatrics -- and the fact that there are no animals in the production -- people might think that Cirque Eloize is a copy of a similar French-Canadian circus -- Cirque du Soleil.
Actually, Cirque Éloize, which is visiting the Merriam Theatre in Philadelphia through Dec. 30 as part of the Kimmel Center’s “Broadway Series,” came first. It was formed in 1993 in Quebec by Jeannot Pinchaud.
In May 2010, Cirque Éloize announced the signing of a strategic partnership with Cirque du Soleil. The “family connection” between the two cirques has had many positive results -- even down to the casting of shows. The production that is playing Philadelphia -- “iD” -- has a feature dancer who came from Cirque du Soleil -- in a roundabout way

“I’ve been with Cirque Éloize since February,” said dancer Nadia Lumley, during a phone interview last week. “A little while before that, I was contacted by Cirque du Soleil for my act. But, I was unavailable at that time because I was in a stunt show in Abu Dhabi.
“I became available in January and notified Cirque du Soleil. They put me in touch with Cirque Éloize and the casting director contacted me. I had heard of the company and had previously worked with two of the people in the cast of ‘iD.’ The show itself had already been running since 2009.”
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China Prepares For Ice and Snow Festival
Written by CBS News
Dec 29, 2012

Harbin, China -- Preparations for the 29th Harbin Ice and Snow Festival near completion for the January 5, 2013 opening.

The festival, which will take place at the Harbin Ice and Snow World theme park, will include international ice and snow sculpture competitions, stage performances, music shows, and as many as 100 other activities.

The Ice and Snow World covers an area of over 8 million square feet, with more than 2,000 ice artworks on display during the festival.

The theme park was open for a trial operation last Sunday.

The festival is one of the world's four largest international ice festivals, along with Japan's Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada's Quebec Winter Carnival, and Norway's Ski Festival. It will run for over a month.

Now thousands of visitors have been attracted to Harbin as heavy snow has turned the city into a brilliant white world. They are having fun on ice sleds and slides and making snowmen.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

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Circus comes to Raleigh with First Night celebration
from: WRAL Raleigh
December 27, 2012
'Tex's friend' or a 'Tall Texan'? State Fair asks for donations to rebuild
Big Tex
by Byron Harris
December 28, 2012

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Circus clowns cheer up patients at Children’s Hospital

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Clowns Dave and Cherie Gregg with Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus perform for a group of patients and their families at The Children's Hospital Friday morning.
from: Macon, GA,
December 28, 2012
There’s nothing funny about spending five weeks in the hospital, but Jazmine Tucker was giggling behind her cartoon-adorned face mask Friday morning.
The 5-year-old, who has been hospitalized since Nov. 23, was watching a couple of clowns perform in the activity room of The Children’s Hospital at The Medical Center of Central Georgia.
“They’re funny,” said Jazmine, who particularly enjoyed seeing the red-nosed man with blue receding hair balance a folding chair on his chin.
“We are trained circus professionals,” Dave Gregg said as he cautioned the youngsters to never, ever try to balance a chair on their own faces.
Gregg and his wife, Cherie, are “Ambassadors of Laughter” for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus.
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From Denzil McLaren---

McLaren Circus are enjoying a lengthy & successful run at Gold Reef City until Sunday 6 January 2013.

At the same time the McLaren Circus travel unit are on at Jeffreys Bay until Wednesday 2 January 2013.
Wishing you a great New Year!

Animal rights group pays settlement in circus elephant case

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The owners of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus say allegations of elephant abuse were malicious.
By Tom Watkins, CNN
(CNN) -- A circus producer said Friday that an animal rights group has paid it $9.3 million to settle two federal court cases claiming elephant abuse.

Feld Entertainment, Inc., trumpeted the settlement with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) as a victory for its Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

"These defendants attempted to destroy our family-owned business with a hired plaintiff who made statements that the court did not believe," said Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment, in a statement.

"Animal activists have been attacking our family, our company, and our employees for decades because they oppose animals in circuses," Feld said. "This settlement is a vindication not just for the company but also for the dedicated men and women who spend their lives working and caring for all the animals with Ringling Brothers in the face of such targeted, malicious rhetoric."

The ASPCA was one of several animal rights groups that sued Feld Entertainment in 2000, alleging that circus elephants were abused.
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rbbb wins

Animal rights group settles lawsuit with Ringling

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 (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus elephants are escorted during the animal walk from the train station to the Bi-Lo Center, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012, in downtown Greenville, S.C.
by The Associated Press
Published Friday, Dec. 28, 2012 10:33PM EST
WASHINGTON -- An animal rights group will pay Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus $9.3 million to settle a lawsuit the circus filed after courts found that activists paid a former circus worker for his help in claiming the circus abused elephants.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Friday it was not admitting any wrongdoing in settling the lawsuit. The New York-based animal rights group was one of several involved in a lawsuit filed in 2000 against the circus' owner, Feld Entertainment Inc., claiming elephants were abused. Courts later found that the animal rights activists had paid a former Ringling barn helper involved in the lawsuit at least $190,000, making him "essentially a paid plaintiff" who lacked credibility.

Two courts agreed the former barn helper, Tom Rider, wasn't credible and didn't have a right to sue. As a result, they didn't address claims the circus violated the federal Endangered Species Act by allegedly chaining the elephants for long periods and allowing trainers to use sharp tools called bullhooks.

The Vienna, Va.-based Feld Entertainment Inc. sued the animal rights groups and Rider in 2007, accusing them of conspiring to harm the company's business and other illegal acts. The lawsuit claims the groups were working together with the goal of permanently banning Asian elephants from circuses.

Friday's settlement covers only the ASPCA. Twelve other defendants including The Humane Society of the United States, the Animal Welfare Institute and The Fund for Animals are still involved in the lawsuit.

The ASPCA said in a statement that "this litigation has stopped being about the elephants a long time ago" and that officials decided it was in the group's best interest to resolve the lawsuit after more than a decade.

The chairman of Feld Entertainment, Kenneth Feld, said in a statement that the settlement was a vindication for the company and its employees
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Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey "BUILT TO AMAZE!" Human Cannonball

Published on Dec 28, 2012
This is the lovely young Elliana Grace staring as the all new human cannonball for Ringling's "BUILT TO AMAZE!" I really love how my camera caught the sound of the blast just perfectly.
Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey "BUILT TO AMAZE!" Closing Act

Published on Dec 28, 2012

senft bros

New Providence's Senft twins capture top photography prize for second time

Jason and Justin Senft's photo of a circus elephant playfully painting a bright red heart onto an artist's canvas was awarded "Best of Show" by H.S.H. Princess Stephanie of Monaco and will be exhibited this month at the 37th Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo in Monaco and at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida.
(Photo by Jason and Justin Senft)
By Independent Press
on December 28, 2012
In a spectacular showing, Jason and Justin Senft, of New Providence, American artists and identical twins have won "Best of Show" for an unprecedented second time in the Fédération Mondiale du Cirque’s annual international photography competition. Jason and Justin Senft’s idyllic “Norman Rockwell-esque” photograph features a talented circus elephant playfully painting a bright red heart onto an artist’s canvas while a circus clown looks on with amazement.
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Jason Senft photographs a flying trapeze act while perched on one of six 50-foot tall towers that hold up the big top. (Photo by Jason and Justin Senft)
The Senft’s winning image, which portrays the contest theme “Circus: The Art of Happiness,” was selected by Federation Honorary President H.S.H. Princess Stephanie of Monaco from 12 finalists chosen by an international panel of judges. Incredibly, and setting a record, three additional photographs by the Senfts were also selected. Their photographs will be exhibited in January 2013 during the 37th Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo in Monaco and at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida. The Senft’s winning images will also be featured on the cover and within the Federation’s 2013 wall calendar.
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FBI releases files on Marilyn Monroe, who was monitored for ties to communism
from: CTV News Video Network
The U.S. agency has released its files on late actress Marilyn Monroe, admitting the star was monitored for ties to communism. Reporter Anthony McCartney has details.
see the new report video here--

Friday, December 28, 2012

Ringling Bros Presents
Gold Edition

Published on Dec 27, 2012
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® is proud to present FULLY CHARGED, Gold Edition, an all-new powerful surge of circus entertainment! Be a part of circus history as The Greatest Show On Earth® harnesses the energy of the audience to power the performers. Witness superhuman stunts so close, you can FEEL it! Experience the excitement as Ringling Bros.® transforms energy and power into megawatts of thrills. Imaginations ignite for Children Of All Ages with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents FULLY CHARGED, Gold Edition! Go to for more info.

Elephants to walk through downtown Tampa on Saturday
By Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times Staff Writer
Dec 27, 2012
You can get a look at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey elephants Saturday morning when they walk from the train station in downtown Tampa to the Tampa Bay Times Forum, where they will be performing Wednesday through Jan. 6.
The parading pachyderms will unload at 10:30 a.m. and begin a walk at 11 a.m. from the railroad tracks near the corner of Nuccio Parkway and N Nebraska Avenue, next to Union Station. The circus animals will walk west on Cass Street, turn south on Morgan Street, turn east on Channelside Drive, in front of the Forum; turn south on Old Water Street, and parade around the back of the arena to the Animal Open House, where elephants, tigers, acrobats and aerialists will be on hand.
The circus is at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Tickets are $16-$100. For show times and ticket information visit

‘Biggest ever’ Showman’s circus under the big top next week

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Mitch Traphagen file photo
Over the years, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been contributed to organizations caring for youngsters, due to the generosity of the people who come together to produce the circus and the audience attending each year.

by MelodyJameson
December 26, 2012
GIBSONTON — Sweet and salty aromas of cotton candy and roasting peanuts accented with the pungent fragrance of fresh wood shavings, shapely young aerialists floating without apparent effort under the big top, a large contingent of tuneful musicians, prancing animals performing on command, clowns in colorful getup – all of these tasty, awesome, happy, goofy features are on tap next week when the 30th annual Showmen’s Association Charity Circus takes over their event center here.
 This year, three non-stop action shows are scheduled on Saturday, January 5, beginning at 1 p.m., according to C.M. Christ, promotions coordinator. The second production is set for 4 p.m. and the third at 7 p.m., he added, with the midway open one hour before each show.

Staged annually by the association on grassy acreage at its headquarters, 6915 Riverview Drive, the event incorporating all the sights, sounds and smells of the traditional circus is the organization’s largest fund raiser of the year, Christ noted. And because all of the components of the circus are donated, all of the monies it generates can be contributed to such organizations as the Mary Martha House in Ruskin and children’s hospitals. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been contributed to organizations caring for youngsters, due to the generosity of the people who come together to produce the circus and the audience attending each year, he said.
 Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the entrance, with children under 12 admitted free with coupons available at various business sites around the South County area and when accompanied by a paying adult. Parking is free.
 The 2013 edition of the Showmen’s circus includes a variety of popular acts returning due to demand, plus new features, Christ noted. For example, Jack Cooke’s Comedy Cars again are in the line-up, as are the kid-friendly performing pigs, and so are Wayne Franzen’s trained elephants.
 Performing horses and dogs, along with more exotic animals like camels as well as llamas, also are expected to be in the ring. Then, there are the aerial artists at home swinging overhead from trapeze to trapeze, plus tumblers and jugglers and clowns galore, he added. Justin Loomis, from St. Petersburg, is to be the ringmaster.
 The circus has grown with each successive year and in 2013 will feature the largest circus band to be found in any similar show, noted Lee Stevens, event coordinator. This assembly of talented musicians will provide at least one concert “of real circus music,” he added.
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Circo Victor Hugo Cardinali - Natal 2012/2013 - Desiré

Published on Dec 27, 2012
Gonçalo Teixeira Diniz
Desiré on a fantastic number of balancing act in circus show Victor Hugo Caparas-Christmas 2012/2013!Show filmed by RTP

Jeff Cogen: Circus advanceman
From promoting elephant handlers and clowns to leading a professional hockey team
Nathan Morgan | Nashville Business Journal
Nashville Predators CEO Jeff Cogen began his career promoting shows for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. Cogen, pictured above at the Nashville Zoo, said one of his strategies was walking with the animals as they paraded into a new city.
from:Nashville Business Journal
by Jamie McGee, Staff Writer
December 28, 2012
Jeff Cogen, CEO of the Nashville Predators, first got to know Nashville in his early 20s as an advanceman for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, a job he held for seven years.

For the job, he traveled to cities throughout the Southeast, rented the arena, found sponsors or businesses that would promote the circus, sought publicity from media outlets and built interest in the show ahead of and during the circus.

Along the way, he developed friendships with clowns, tiger trainers and elephant handlers, and made a point to participate in the animal walk that paraded the circus from ...
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A Day in the Life of a Circus Performer
NewsChannel 7 WSAW TV Wausau, Northcentral
March 29, 2009


Ringling Bros. circus gives Tampa a peek behind the scenes

Clowns will be a big part of the show that lets visitors see how band members and performers prepare.
The Tampa Tribune
December 27, 2012
Magnificent elephants, astonishing acrobats, a human cannonball and lots of clowning around, it can mean only one thing — the circus is coming to town.

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be here Wednesday through Jan. 6 with an all-new show called "Built to Amaze," a three-ring spectacle advertised to give visitors a look at the inner-workings of the circus.

"It's a play on the intricacies of what makes the Greatest Show on Earth work," said Nicole Feld, producer of Feld Entertainment. "The nitty-gritty of what goes on behind the scenes."

Visitors will get to see how band members and performers prepare. Even the elephants will wear hard hats, said Feld.
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Acrobatic unicycle act The King Charles Troupe was the first African- American act in history to appear with Ringling Bros.
And guests can expect lots of new surprises, such as a human cannonball Elliana Grace, who will be shot from a cannon and soar more than 100 feet through the air.

Grace, 20, has been training for her cannonball performance for three months, building muscles and practicing her technique, which includes tightening and compressing her body before launch. She says she is eagerly awaiting the first time she is shot out of a cannon in front of the crowd.

"I'm going to be so nervous," said Grace, who has worked in the circus as an aerialist, tumbler and horseback rider. "I can't imagine what it's going to be like (on opening day). It's really all about technique and getting over the fear."
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THURS JAN 3 @ 7:00 PM
Seneca-Allegany Community Center
Adult Tickets $15 At The Door
Check Area Stores For $5 Off Adult Coupons!
2013 Premiere! 36th Annual Appearance In Salamanca

Nino, the clown performs with Zoppé Italian Family Circus
 Photo: Chandler, AZ Center for the Arts


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 Mini pony is returned to circus
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photo/Circus Berlin
27. 12. 12
The missing miniature pony "Fridolin" has been returned to his circus owners safe and sound after an anonymous tipoff that he had been abandoned at a bus stop .

The pony was returned after a number of high profile news reports including one in this newspaper which the circus owner believes put pressure on whoever had taken him to realise that they couldn't keep him – and to give him back.

According to the anonymous caller they had taken the pony in order to give some Christmas cheer to a sick child – and it had been fed baby food in the time it was away. They apologised for the inconvenience. Police are investigating.

The Vienna Christmas Circus (Wiener Weihnachtszirkus) which is currently based in Liesing said that Fridolin was its star attraction.

The miniature pony vanished early on Monday last week and the 60 centimetres tall animal remained lost for a week.f
 Circus director Adolf Lauenburger said: "It seems as if somebody opened the paddock and lead the pony out – but from our side we are not worried about looking for punishment for whoever was responsible for taking the pony. What is much more important is that we get him back for the next series of performances.

"Fridolin is the tiny star of our animal crew and works together with another horse to entertain the public. One of the great things about him is that he doesn't have a fixed schedule – he just does what he wants and is a real natural performer in entertaining. Nobody taught him – he just seems to know."

He said the pony was irreplaceable and as he had been bottle fed and raised since he was a foal he would have been easy to lead away.

The pony has a chip identifying him and also answers to his name.

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