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Saturday, February 4, 2012
A day at the fair
During the winter, I often make the days warmer by thinking about some of my favorite things to do during the summer months. One item on the list is local fairs. Memories of area fairs include touring barns filled with impressive farm animals, eating cotton candy and caramel apples and trying to win prizes through games that may not have been quite fair. Nobody really needs a giant stuffed version of Scooby-Doo, I guess, but just seeing those prizes makes it difficult for children to save their money and not try their luck.
Fairs are a tradition that continue, and from children to their grandparents-and even important elected officials like the president of the United States-there is something at the fair for everyone to enjoy. The Butte-Lawrence County Fairgrounds bring these events to the area each year, and from the start, this fair has impressed its participants, including President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge during a visit in the 1920s.Located on the floodplain of the Belle Fourche River outside of Nisland, the Butte-Lawrence County Fairgrounds is composed of a complex with a grandstand, pavilion and buildings for exhibitions, livestock, seating areas and more. The fairgrounds is on land deeded in 1919, the year before the fair was moved to its present location. Previously, the fair was located at Newell or Vale for the yearly fair, but when the Belle Fourche Irrigation Project was proposed, a site in the center of the project was desired, and Nisland, located on the Belle Fourche River, became that site.
Earl Nelson was the contractor for the buildings at the fairgrounds, and in 1921, the fair was held in September to allow for the completion of those buildings. Since then, the annual event brings people from around the area and beyond to its location to exchange and display agricultural knowledge, enjoy the company of friends and neighbors and put on various fair traditions.
The midway is a popular attraction at the annual Cumberland County Fair, along with educational demonstrations, community exhibits and a variety of contests and entertainment. The fair was named the Champion of Champions Fair for 2011 at the annual Tennessee Association of Fairs convention held Jan. 19-21 in Nashville.
Heavy rains that came down on frozen ground and ice-covered streams caused the city’s rivers to rise to an unprecedented level early that Sunday morning.
The circus’ headquarters — called Sellsville — were along the Olentangy River north of 5th Avenue. And though the buildings there were constructed 18 inches above the supposed high-water mark, it proved to be no help as the river rose more than 3 feet above that level before dawn.
Sellsville included housing for 50 circus workers, cages, and sheds for the railroad cars that transported one of the nation’s largest circuses across the country from April to December each year.
“The icy coldness of the water was too much for several animals, including a camel, two zebus (or sacred cattle), one sable antelope, a white llama, a reindeer and two badgers, which died from exposure,” The Dispatch reported on Feb. 5, 1883.
Of the show’s 15 elephants, 10 were moved to high ground by “main force,” the newspaper said. The five largest ones, though, could not be moved and could not be induced to swim to safety. Later accounts, however, didn’t say whether the elephants had perished.
They did, however, talk about a frightful noise that emanated from the carnivore house as the water rose on the caged animals.
And the paper reported on the animals that became ill from the cold water: “A rhinoceros was on the sick list from exposure,” The Dispatch reported, “and had been given two bran mashes mixed with whiskey to prevent congestion of the lungs.”
The circus, which was known in its early days for its elephants and human cannonball, recovered by spring and logged 11,537 miles of travel the next year. The circus was absorbed by the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in the early 1900s. Sellsville ceased to exist about 1910.
Step right up! It’s amazing! It’s astounding!
An infestation of rapacious wood-eating beetles has dined on the first-floor rafters of the Coney Island Circus Sideshow theater putting it in danger of collapsing on the creeps, freaks and sword swallowers below.
Powderpost Beetle of the type that threatens the Coney Island Circus Sideshow building.
The sideshow barker Dick Zigun said that the problem was discovered last week by electricians installing a new lighting grid in the landmarked 1917 building.
“The wood was turning to dust when you touched it,” said Zigun, the show’s founder.
He said sometime over the last century a swarm of the hungry bugs — called powderpost beetles — devoured the joists over the bleachers .
The strange discovery jeopardized the Valentine’s Day for Lovers and Losers show
but Zigun and his misfit crew were able to reconfigure the seating so that no audience members are in danger.
To make a donation to help with repairs, go to http://www.coneyisland.com/.Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/coney-island-venue-threatened-wood-eating-beetles-article-1.1017018#ixzz1lQfgKIUT
"It's a pretty bad show," he said, and then he lost his poker face, a big smile spreading from ear to ear.
Carden, whose circus will perform under the Shriners' banner at The Dow Event Center in Saginaw, knows better. The show that opens its four-day run at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, has racked up big numbers at the year's first stops.
"And it was all by word of mouth," added Shriner clown John Jacobs. "This is like something you'd see in Las Vegas; it has that kind of class."
"Instead of the high-tech acts, we went back to the more traditional, including a family high wire and trapeze act that is amazing," Singelis said. "The youngest member is only 13, but you should see what they can do."
There are thrills and chills, too, with a motocross act that will send the bikes flying in a diagonal arc across the arena, so high, he said, that you expect them to hit the hanging scoreboard.
The Shriner Clowns have an explosive act in the works, too, Jacobs said.
"We built a car," he said, and then made a few modifications on the classic "how-many-clowns-can-you-fit-in" skit.
Holding it all together is Rick the Rockin' Ringmaster, a former Marine who sold his business and ran off with the circus after marrying a sixth-generation performer.
"He'd make a circus full of crickets and bullfrogs something to see," Singelis said. "He's very good at what he does, and after he finishes three months with the Carden Circus, he spends another nine months with the Tarzan Circus in Canada."
And this morning found vendors setting up in the hallways, with bins of inflated SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer. By the time the show opens, the circus will also offer elephant and pony rides, face-painting and bounce-houses.
Trucks and trailers started arriving Tuesday at The Dow Event Center, and early today, crews were unloading cables and ramps and the cats billed as the Rage of the Cage.
The Pages family, who recently returned from playing Europe's one-ring shows, was busy unwinding huge coils of cable and looking for a sturdy anchor.
"Every building is different," said Jill Pages, who grew up in a circus school and married into an act that also includes the equestrian act Miss Mercedes and the Dancing Donnerts.
"The big challenge here, playing on top of ice, is that we don't have any floor bolts. But we come prepared; it's all been figured out."
This is the work, she said, the training, the planning, the build-up and tear-down.
"Then we get to play for 10 minutes in the ring as the Flying Pages," she said. "That's the fun part. We have nine people in the troupe and that's enough to mix it up, above and beyond what you'll see anywhere else. We fly with two catchers and you just don't find that everywhere."
But the bottom line, she said, is safety.
"My husband, he doesn't spare any expense when it comes to getting the right equipment. We've been doing this for years so we know what to do, but we've also been very blessed."
Discount coupons are available at businesses around town. Also go to the website elf_khurafeh_shrine_circus.com to buy tickets and for more information.
And in conjunction with The Saginaw News, circus fans will have a chance to win an electronic tablet in the Shrine Circus Tablet Giveaway.
The Shrine Circus 2012
10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Feb. 2;
noon and 7 p.m. Feb. 3;
10 a.m., 2 and 7 p.m. Feb. 4;
1 and 5 p.m. Feb. 5
The Dow Event Center, 303 Johnson, Saginaw
$14 adults, $12 children, general admission in advance; $16 adults, $14 children, reserved in advance; add $2 to each ticket on the day of show. VIP tickets, including a behind-the-scenes tour, free coloring book or program and preferred seating, cost $30
The Horizon Casino Resort has conjured up a top-notch, family-friendly act, with “Illusion Fusion Starring Alex Ramon” dropping jaws and turning heads five nights a week in the Golden Cabaret.
This entertaining show is the product of Ramon's lifelong passion for the art of magic, a pursuit he first discovered growing up in Richmond, Calif. The magician joked about this sketchy urban environment, saying, “I wasn't allowed to play in the front yard as a kid.”
If the young illusionist spent that extra indoor time honing his craft, it is certainly evident in the quality of his performances today.
Ramon's resume includes shows at Hollywood's Magic Castle, a two and a half year tenure with Disney Live! Presents “Mickey's Magic Show” and repeat appearances in Las Vegas. At 23, he joined a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey production, becoming the second-youngest Ringmaster in the history of the famous circus.
“Illusion Fusion” provides a fun and intimate evening, with a wide variety of magic and plenty of audience participation.
During Friday night's hour-long performance Ramon called up no fewer than seven audience participants, including three children who each left the stage grinning with a prize in hand. Complete with card tricks, levitation, a magical box and much more, the show kept the audience curious and captivated.
Illusion Fusion starring Alex Ramon runs Thursday through Monday in the intimate setting of The Golden Cabaret inside the Horizon Casino Resort. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show is at 8. There are two shows on Saturday's at 7 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $24.95, with free tickets on Sundays for special guests 12 and under. Also, all guests under 12 receive a free $5 pre-loaded arcade card for every show. Tickets available online at www.ticketfly.com, or by calling the Horizon at 775-588-6211.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Circus Performer Bello Trapezes From Helicopter Sarasota's own Bello Nock dazzled a crowd at the Big Top Thursday when he performed trapeze stunts 500 feet in the air off of a helicopter.
By Charles Schelle
From: Sarasota Patch
February 2, 2012
In Patuxentawny, Pennsylvania, they brought out a groundhog named Phil to see his shadow on Thursday. In Sarasota, they brought out Bello Nock on a helicopter to perform trapeze.
"If you happen to see Bello see his shadow 500 feet in the air hanging upside down under the helicopter, guess what that means?" Bello asked the crowd. "Three weeks of Circus Sarasota full houses, isn't that right?"
Bello saw more than shadows on the ground as a couple hundred people showed up at the Circus Sarasota tent off of Tuttle Avenue and 12th Street where he performed a trapeze act without a safety net or parachute.
The free death defying performance served as a tease for his show, Bello Mania, which opens Friday, Feb. 10 at the Circus Sarasota tent. Bello Mania starts Friday, Feb. 10 at the Big Top and tickets are on sale now. There's a special on opening weekend tickets now for certain seats priced $10 and $20.
"We want to give you a hair raising experience," Bello said, running his fingers up through his trademark hair.
It more than raised hair.
"Are you kidding me? I almost threw up," said April Lee of Sarasota. "The second time when he hung by one foot, I thought I was going to throw up."
Bello not only does his own stunts, he makes his own stunts, too.
"I'm in an engineering state of mind, and I don't have an engineering degree," Bello said. "Once I design and come up with something, I have to daredevil it and make sure it works, then you gotta be an athlete to live through it then entertain people and do it time after time."
Bello's brother Eugene Nock was the pilot in charge of the helicopter to perform Bello's stunt Thursday.
It took 30 days of preparation and planning to pull Thursday's trick off, Eugene Nock said.
"You gotta negotiate with the FAA and present a plan and get it approved, then you have ground people," he said. It took 40 people to provide security and other ground support for the stunt, he added.
The helicopter used is only used for these type of tricks, he added.
And it didn't help there was a campaign season going on and the president in the region — the FAA tells pilots to stop flying or avoid certain airspace when there's potential security threats from the air.
"We're used to that. Our profession is doing events around the globe. We're always somewhere," he said. "Anytime it's an election year, you gotta pay special attention to that."
Georgia State Fair to return to Central City Park this spring
The main building, which covered 33 acres, was the biggest roofed structure in the United States. The fair also featured the world’s biggest greenhouse, named Horticultural Hall. It was the only building to be used after the fair closed, deep in debt, in May 1885. It was destroyed by a 1915 hurricane.
State Treasurer Edward Burke, who had been the fair’s director general, was charged with forgery and fraud and fled the country with nearly $1.8 million, which accounted for most of the exposition’s budget.
Boogie to the beat of the bayou with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen in a magical, musical journey that all begins with a fateful kiss. And fanciful dreams become reality as Cinderella meets her Prince Charming, with a glass slipper fit for an unforgettable fantasy come true. All your favorite princesses take to the ice in a spectacular finale at the ultimate Disney Princess event of a lifetime!
With your purchase of 4 $25 tickets, receive 4 FREE hot dogs and 4 FREE sodas.
From: Wilkes-Barre TIMES LEADERPosted: February 3Shrine Circus set for April 9-14 at ArmoryThe 63rd annual Irem Shrine Circus will take place April 9-14 at the Kingston Armory. For advanced, reserved tickets, call the circus office at 570-714-0783. Some members of the Irem Shrine Circus Committee at the initial planning meeting, first row, from left: Noel Conrad, circus chairman; Cataldo Saitta, chief Rabban; Albert G. Endres, potentate; Paul L. Detwiler, assistant Rabban; and Kevin J. Roche; uniform unit president. Second row: Robert Rhoads, publicity; William Patton, P.P., co-chairman; Joseph T. Herbert, co-chairman; Scott Thomas, high priest and prophet; David Pugh, usher chairman; William Richards, finance chairman; and Allan Rose, guest chairman. Also on the committee are William Bookwalter, armory chairman; Lynn Sheehan, novelty chairman; and John Richards, service chairman.
Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/community/Shrine_Circus_set_for_April_9-14_at_Armory_02-02-2012.html#ixzz1lKzjyOri
Thursday, February 2, 2012
"If the rides comply with the public safety and interest requirements in the enactment, then we will give the operator the green light," he said, adding that the fun fair during Thaipusam would be set up at a vacant lot in the temple grounds.
Detractors of the amusement rides argue that temple grounds are sacred and having such amusement in religious grounds was sacrilegious, while poorly maintained rides could pose a threat to public safety.
Hindu Sangam president R.S. Mohan Shan said: "A temple is a place of worship, not a carnival.
"The temple could instead organise cultural shows in line with the religious tone of the festival."
Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam temple committee chairman Datuk R. Nadarajah, however, supports having the amusement rides.
"People come with children from outside Klang Valley for the festival.
"Some come from Kedah and the east coast and have no means to travel home immediately. They end up spending the night here, so such rides are important to keep these families occupied," he said, adding such rides were common, even in India during festivals.
Nadarajah called on the public to be pragmatic as the rides were located quite a distance from the nearest temple.
Last year, MPS acting chairman Jaid Ehsan said no fun fair permit would be issued for Thaipusam celebrations this year.
Jaid added it would no longer approve applications to set up fun fairs at places of worship.
A week prior to his statement, MPS directed the operator of the fun fair in Batu Caves to cease operations during Thaipusam after the state government directed local authorities in the state to stop issuing permits to fun fair operators to operate within places of worship during religious festivals.
The directive was issued after individuals and non-governmental organisations, citing public safety, called for the closure of the fun fair at the compound of the Batu Caves temple. It was also reported that the operator of the rides had not applied for a permit from MPS and as such it was illegal and was issued a notice to that effect.
However, a day later the council did an about turn by giving the operator the green light.
The council stated that the approval was merely a conditional approval and was based on the operator's adherence to safety requirements.Read more: Fun fair permit under consideration - Central - New Straits Times
Jorge Rodriguez hammers in the brass pole as he and others install the first figure, Leroy Carr, on the Tennessee Fox Trot Carousel at Riverfront Park. The Carousel was designed by Red Grooms and will hold 36 figures that represent prominent figures of Tennessee.
Mary Elizabeth Dugmore of Nashville rides with her grandson Adam Dugmore Lindsey, 11 months, on the Everly Brothers which is part of many famous personalities on the Tennessee Fox Trot Carousel at Riverfront Park. All of the carousel figurines were carved by Red Grooms. -JOHN PARTIPILO
“They’re just like people. They have their moods and their strengths and weaknesses,” he said in a phone interview from Birmingham, Ala., where the circus was performing last week. McClain, known as “America’s Favorite Cowboy,” performs with his 7-year-old Appaloosa Comanche along with an animal act that includes ponies, goats and llamas in Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s first-ever tour of “Dragons.”
The 142nd edition of the circus features three touring companies this year — Dragons (blue tour), which is new, Fully Charged (red tour) and the Barnum Bash (gold tour). Fully Charged will be at the RBC Center in Raleigh Feb. 8-10; Dragons will be at the Greensboro Coliseum Feb. 8-12 and Barnum Bash will come to the Crown Center in Fayetteville March 8-11.
The circus staff and animals all travel by train, something McClain enjoys.
“It’s relaxing,” he said. “I love it!”
McClain was raised on a ranch in Kansas City, Mo., and began riding bucking ponies and steers at the age of 5. His father, Lu, founded the Bill Pickett Rodeo in 1984; it was America’s first all African-American touring rodeo and Andre made his rodeo debut at the age of 7.
It was in 2002, while researching stilts for a routine he hoped to use in his “Wild West Arts” one-man show with his father’s rodeo, that he visited the 132nd edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s circus. Andre’s animal training ability interested the circus personnel and he was offered a job working with the show’s exotic animal staff. He has also served as the host of the All Access Pre-Show for the 133rd edition.
This particular tour is called “Dragons” because it is the Year of the Dragon, according to the Chinese Zodiac.
“Strength, courage and wisdom — this show brings out the spirit of the dragon,” he said.
The ads make it look mystical and dream-like, so when McClain is asked if there are any “dragons” at the event, he just said “come to the show to discover what it’s all about.”
As a child, McClain never went to the circus, but as an adult, he described the experience as “just amazing. Generations after generations of these artists perform. These performers risk their lives every day; there are no special effects.”
Some of the acts McClain mentioned included Viktoriya Medeiros and Widny Neves, the Hair Hang Heroines, who will hang 35 feet in the air from their hair; the Great Alex Lacey, who trains lions and tigers, and the Globe of Steel, a popular motorcycle stunt show, which he said “could break some world records this year.”
“It’s truly a great show. We make dreams come true every night. We encourage everyone to come on out and discover the secret behind Dragons,” he said.
Uploaded by AttractionsMagazine on Feb 1, 2012
The Valentine's Day Romance Edition of "The Magic The Memories and You" premiered at The Magic Kingdom on 2/1/12. This special segment will run through April 15th and features scenes inspired by some of the most romantic moments in Disney animation including : Lady and the Tramp, Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, Cinderella and Tangled!
This highly interactive exhibit developed by museum staff (including staffers with professional circus backgrounds) lets kids in on big-top action from two perspectives: backstage and center ring.
“This is not a circus where you’re just a spectator,” said Jennifer Farrington, president and CEO of the museum. “This is a circus where everything from the preparation that practices the skills, the poster making, the behind the scenes to the performing is all for the children or for the family members — there’s nothing to say that mom or dad can’t jump in and spin plates. We wanted to give children an environment that really inspired a do-it-yourself circus experience.”
Museum staff wanted to follow the popular “Move” exhibit with another physically immersive exhibit that encourages movement along with dramatic play, Farrington said, and hit upon the circus theme as a way to accomplish those goals.
“We loved the physicality [of “Move”]; we got a lot of great feedback,” she said. “We wanted to imbue the next experience with a lot of dramatic play and fantasy. … We just thought that circus is such a rich theme in children’s literature; it’s such a unique experience for children to go to the circus — it has this magical element to it. We hit upon the topic pretty quickly and decided what we really wanted was a do-it-yourself circus.”
“Circus Zirkus” offers visitors two entrances: one to the “grittier” backstage area and one to the center ring. While backstage little performers can practice circus skills using a variety of props and costumes, create routines for the spinning hoop or flying trapeze (which can be made wheelchair accessible) or make circus poster art.
“It is about practicing skills and creating a routine — that backstage feel,” Farrington said.read more at:http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/weekend/10351006-421/big-top-fun-awaits-at-circus-zirkus-exhibit.html
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Ringling's $20 million plan to buy and renovate a manufacturing plant and 47-acre tract in Ellenton reinvigorates the region's connection to its nearly 100-year-old circus legacy, said Haley, the president of the Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"It is that thing that makes our area really unique," Haley said. "Not a lot of places have that circus heritage. So, to have more of the business of the circus located in the area becomes really important."
The site on the north shore of the Manatee River will become the global production center for Feld Entertainment Inc., Ringling's parent company that also produces Disney on Ice, Disney Live, Monster Jam and Feld Motor Sports productions.
Haley noted that her office recently launched a circus-themed promotion for travel professionals.
"We're following Ringling around to promote the circus ties to Sarasota at performances. We had a great response at our first event in Miami," she said.
Another is scheduled in Atlanta next month.
It is difficult to overstate the Ringling impact on the region, which developed into an arts and culture destination because of the number of visual and performing artists who initially came to work with the circus when John Ringling moved the winter quarters to Sarasota in 1927.
Ringling built a mansion along Sarasota Bay and a museum to hold his vast art collection that was turned over to the state after his death. He also became actively involved in real estate and land development.READ MORE:http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20120131/ARTICLE/120139915
Nock, whose tall stalk of blond hair makes him instantly recognizable, will perform the stunt as high as 500 feet above the ground between 11:30 a.m. and noon near 12th Street and Tuttle Avenue.
The public is invited to attend the free aerial performance by Nock, a Sarasota native who is headlining this year's circus performances.
The helicopter will be flying over the Circus Sarasota big top tent — again erected across 12th Street from Ed Smith Stadium — to herald the show's annual winter engagement from Feb. 10 to 26.
Nock has performed the stunt over the Statue of Liberty in New York and now will do it in his hometown.
Tickets for all Circus Sarasota performances are available online at circussarasota.org, by calling 355-9085, or at the box office adjacent to the big top. Circus Sarasota is a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving and enhancing Sarasota's circus legacy and offering community outreach programs
Part of our family Christmas gift was front-row seats for Henry and Laura, along with their parents, when the big circus arrived in Tallahassee this past weekend. It was their first visit to a circus and the anticipation was great, especially by the grandparents.
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my, we taunted them on the trip down. Ironically, there were none of the above, illustrating how much circuses have changed since my own boyhood.
I can still remember the smell of all the sawdust under the big tent. Sometimes I was lucky enough to see the big elephants working to pull the poles and tent up. Everything was done by hand with the help of the animals.
The tickets were sold in small stands leading up to the entrance of the tent. Peanuts and popcorn were the main treats along with an occasional cotton candy. The main forms of advertising were color posters that were plastered on everything from telephone poles to the windows of vacant buildings.
If you were lucky enough to see a really big circus, the tent was large enough to have three rings or centers of activity. When one act finished in one ring, another would start in the second, allowing the audience to be constantly entertained.
As famous as Ringling Brothers Circus has been, it did not invent the circus. The origin of a traveling show with trained animals, acrobats and clowns is believed to have originated in ancient Rome.read more: http://www.thepostsearchlight.com/2012/01/31/the-first-time-at-the-circus/
Social media networks filled up with people wondering what happened to a circus tiger stolen amid the chaos.
Matamoros residents reported that a tiger belonging to the Johnny Lam Circus was stolen Tuesday afternoon.
It all happened amid a gun battle the brought traffic to a standstill with a series of narcoblockades.
Officials have not released information about injuries or casaulties but did confirm that the shootout took place near the city's WalMart store.
Circus officials could not be released for comment but Action 4 News spoke to Tamaulipas State Police about the incident.
State police said no official paperwork has been filed to report the white Bengal tiger as stolen.
Sources told Action 4 News that thieves took the feline in a cage attached to a trailer belonging to the circus.
Matamoros residents created the #SeRobaronUnTigre hashtag on Twitter to discuss what happened.
The Johnny Lam Circus recently arrived in Matamoros and advertised on television where they featured their white Bengal tigers among their acts.
Circus officials had set up in an area off the periferico loop near the WalMart and the Televisa TV station.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
THE BYRD FAMILY - BELLATTI TENT, Circus Fans of America, sponsored MYSTIFICATON, classic magic, comedy, and variety show, Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at the Routt Catholic High School in Jacksonville, Il. The show featured TIM & BARBARA TEGGE and NATE SORRILL, juggler, and was produced by Dan Reynolds. There was a real good crowd and they loved the show. Tim and Barbara presented several magic displays that I had never seen. Barbara is a third generation "antipodiste".....foot juggler. She was in the 1952 movie, "The Greatest Show on Earth".
Tim & Barbara Tegge, producers
Nate (19) Sorrill, juggler
Dan Reynolds, promoter
Chair levation - Tim Tegge