2014 Convention



Saturday, March 10, 2012

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Circus Imagination Brings “Big Top” With “Big Thoughts” To Fair
The Circus is Coming
Join Mashery under the SXSW Big Top!
By Chris Furguson
 Visitors to the 2012 California Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta may meet a young man in a ringmaster outfit as soon as they enter the fairgounds.
 The ringmaster, Caton Hegwer, is looking for children to be part of one of the new  daily attractions to the 2012 California Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta, the “Circus Imagination.”
 Circus Imagination, which Hegwer runs with his wife Carolina, is a traveling children’s circus act the encourages the participants to use their imaginations.
 “Parents state being more than pleased with the idea of some face-to-face fun that regenerates the notion of educational and safe enjoyment away from screens and remote controls.,” said a release by the couple.  “Aiming to maximize their full creative potential by strengthening their confidences, the major triumph of Circus Imagination is still the fact that it does not end when the show is over.”
 “Its inspiration to play outside and use your inventiveness is taken home by every child.”
 Up to thirty kids may participate in the act, all featuring colorful costumes that fit over the kids’ regular clothes.  All the costumes are designed and by Carolina.
 While the volunteers are dressing, Hegwer tells a story about his father, who went to a big circus and was inspired to create a circus in his backyard using some friends and some old Halloween costumes.
 The 100% safe show also encourages the audience to participate by applause and vocalizing gasps, oohs and aahs.
 Acts within the Circus Imagination include Tina the Tightrope Walker, Sandow The Strongman, Clarence the Clown, Marco the Lion Tamer and his Ferocious Animals, “Believe It Or Not,” The Butterfly Ballet, Champagne Sisters, Dead Eye McBang the cowboy or Calamity Oakley the cowgirl, The Amazing Animal Parade and Zazelle, The Human Cannonball.
 All acts feature the children pretending to do circus acts, so safety isn’t a concern.
 At the end of the show, Caton encourages the children who participated and the ones who watched to not watch television or play video games when bored.
 “They waste your time and your brain,” added Hegwer.
 DVDs of the show are available for participants and parents are encouraged to film their kids’ performances.
 At the Circus Imagination is located near the North entrance behind the pony rides.  They perform throughout each day at various listed times

Animal-rights activists protest Ringling Bros. circus at Izod Center
Friday March 9, 2012
The Record
EAST RUTHERFORD — About a dozen protesters shouted slogans and played graphic videos of elephant abuse outside the Izod Center on Friday night as spectators — including scores of children — arrived for the opening night of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

The protests, which have dogged the circus for years because of alleged animal abuse, were given new life in November, when Feld Entertainment of Vienna, Va., which owns Ringling Bros., agreed to pay $270,000 to settle allegations that its handling of elephants, tigers, zebras and other exotic animals violated federal animal welfare laws.

The government said then that the fine was the largest ever assessed against an animal exhibitor under the Animal Welfare Act.

“It’s inexcusable what our species is doing to another species,” said Ray Ipolito, 42, a protester from Ridgewood.

The protest Friday was sponsored by Friends of Animals United NJ/NY, or FAUN, a nonprofit based in Red Bank.

“When people come in, they guard their kids … but afterwards, this booth is packed,” Ipolito said, referring to the protest area. He cited a stunt in which exotic animals jump through hoops of fire and added, “When was the last time you saw a ring of fire in the jungle?”

In a statement, Feld Entertainment dismissed the protesters’ concerns.

“Activist groups who distribute false and inaccurate information about the animal care at Ringling Bros. will never be satisfied with animals being presented to the public no matter how humane the care,” the statement read. “Everyone who comes to Ringling Bros. can see for themselves that the animals are healthy and well adjusted.”

The allegations are nothing new for the company, but the fine last year gave new credence to the accusations. Among other allegations, federal inspection reports released then said circus handlers made elephants perform when they were ill and used the same wheelbarrows to feed meat to tigers and haul away their waste.

The alleged abuse is “all about maintaining profit,” said Anthony Botti, FAUN’s founder.
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Roll up, roll up! The circus is here

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From left, Shannon Darnell, 15, Mike Lea, Jan Erik Brenner, Kristine Bennett, Angelo Darnell, 19, and Edward Pinder, eight. Photo: SM190311-002ow

Published on Friday 9 March 2012 
THE heated Big Top of Pinder’s All Human Circus is on Stamford Recreation Ground until Sunday, March 11.

Directed by Erika and Eddy Pinder and Mike Lea, this family show is suitable for all age groups and features plenty of comedy, magic and speciality acts blended into a magical extravaganza.

Performance times are tonight (Friday, March 9) at 6pm; tomorrow (Saturday, March 10), 2pm and 5pm and Sunday, March 11, 2pm. All seats are £9. See local shops for discount vouchers. 

Contact 07578083755,

China getting giant roller coaster made in Md.
Published 03/10/12
BALTIMORE (AP) — A Baltimore company says it's building the world's tallest indoor roller coaster for a shopping mall in China.
Maryland's Department of Business and Economic Development touted the project Thursday as one of the state's exporting achievements.
Premier Rides Inc. says the coaster is for the Great Mall of China, opening next year near Beijing.

Premier isn't releasing the coaster's specifications for competitive reasons. The 90-foot Canyon Blaster at Circus Circus in Las Vegas is currently billed as the tallest indoor roller coaster.

Premier Rides moved its headquarters from Millersville to Baltimore in 2010. Its other projects include two "Revenge of the Mummy" indoor roller coasters at the Universal Studios theme parks in Florida and California, and a Yamaha Racing Coaster at the Trans Studio indoor theme park in Bandung, Indonesia.

Jordan Circus comes to Port Huron

Members of the "Flying Campas" perform high above heads on the trapeze Tuesday during a presentation by the Jordan World Circus inside McMorran Main Arena. / MELISSA WAWZYSKO/TIMES HERALD
Times Herald
Mar. 7, 2012
Lions, tigers and bears took center ice at McMorran Place Tuesday afternoon.

The three-ring Jordan Circus visited Port Huron for two packed shows.

After the lights dimmed, the audience cheered in excitement as a spotlight illuminated a cage of two lions and three tigers.

The big cats were put through their paces, as a lion tamer had them walking the plank and jumping through flaming hoops.

Acrobats dangled from hoops and long silk strands hung from the ceiling of McMorran’s main arena, swinging back and forth to a musical routine.

The performers pushed their acts to the brink as they juggled swords, flaming batons and balanced themselves on seemingly mad towers of chairs that stretched far into the air.
Ginny VanBuskirk of Port Huron brought her daughter, Ginny Nestle, and granddaughter, Paige Nestle, 7, both of Kimball Township, to the show Tuesday. It was the first circus experience for the whole group – and they were enthralled.

Paige and her friend Mashyla Jamie, 5, of Port Huron, were both celebrating their birthdays at the circus. The girls couldn’t tear themselves away from the exotic acts in the middle of the arena.

Two black bears nearly stole the show as they lumbered to the center ring to show off their tricks. Their act was followed by four motocross riders who wowed the crowd by circling each other in close quarters in a large spherical cage.
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Trainer Billy Morris shows off the talents of Elephants Betty, Vicki, and Tori on Tuesday during a presentation by the Jordan World Circus inside McMorran Main Arena. Children and adults alike said they enjoyed the show. / MELISSA WAWZYSKO/TIMES HERALD
During the intermission, people clamored to get a picture with a black bear, hop on a back of a pony, pose for a picture with a snake and take a ride on the back of an elephant.

Marysville brothers Cameron Toles and Chase Toles, ages 6 and 4, respectively, marveled at the two elephants who towered over them.

“I liked the first part when the tigers went through the fire,” Cameron said.

The boys were brought to their first circus Tuesday by their grandmother, Gail Toles, of Marysville.

Gail Toles said she remembered attending her first circus on Water Street in Port Huron when she was a young girl, and wanted to give her grandsons the same magical experience.

Pure silliness

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CLOWNING AROUND: Ringmaster Attila Endresz tries to take Clumbsy The Clown in hand at John Lawson's Circus
Isle of Thanet Gazette
Friday, March 09, 2012
ROLL up, roll up, the circus is coming to town. John Lawson's Circus rolls into Ramsgate again next week ready to set up the big top at its usual ground, nestled between Haine Road and Manston Road.

John Lawson's Circus, which uses no animals in its show, has won the Best Small Circus In Great Britain award four times and is designed to appeal to all ages. It has been starting its nationwide tours in Ramsgate for about 13 years.

Although health and safety regulations, the escalating cost of diesel and the tough financial climate make it increasingly difficult to take a circus on the road, John says there is no other life for him.

He said: "When things are hard, people say 'let's go and enjoy ourselves' so we try to help with that and keep the prices reasonable.

"People might not be able to afford Alton Towers but they could afford to come to the circus and have a great time."

This year's new programme features ringmaster Attila Endresz battling to control a show full of crazy capers from Clumbsy The Clown and Nerus, who tries to balance on a swaying lamppost.

John, 50, who was a clown and juggler himself until about seven years ago, believes that clowns go a long way to explaining the enduring appeal of circuses.

He said: "They appeal to young children, or the child in us adults, because of their pure silliness.

"Also, a clown says or does things that children would love to do. They challenge authority and we love them."

The show runs from Wednesday until Sunday, March 18 and features acrobats Angel Bojilov on the slack-wire; Ivan and Vala Digtchev on the low-wire; and Aaron Darnell on high wires in the big top roof.

Other breathtaking acts include sword and dagger balancing with Miss Claire-Marie; Western-style knife display with The Navadas, from Hungary; plus juggling, acrobatics, magic and, new this year, Spider-Man, who will be swinging around high off the ground.

Performances are at 4.30pm and 7.30pm Wednesday to Friday, March 14 to 16, 2pm and 5pm on Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. Tickets cost £8 or £6 for both performances on the first day.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Tigo brings Italian Circus IL Florilegio to Ghana 

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From: Samuel Nii Narku Dowuona/Adom News/Ghana      
    March 9, 2012
Tigo Ghana has brought internationally acclaimed, multiple award-winning Italian IL Florilegio Circus to Ghana on a six-month tour of the country.

The tour, which is also under the auspices of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture, would take the circus to Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi.

The Circus is currently in Accra, and are stationed at the Afua Sutherland Children’s Park, where they have been performing twice a day since March 2, 2012, and would continue daily until April 22, 2012.

“IL Florilegio is set to meet its audience’s entertainment requirements with its clowns, acrobats, jugglers and animals: tigers, crocodiles, and snakes among others,” a statement from the group said.

Each show has a running time of two hours, each full of breath-taking, enchanting and spectacular performances.

The shows comprise a magical fairy tale story, that is encapsulated in the most aesthetical and exceptional performances with an International appeal.

A statement from IL Florilegio said “a special attention has been paid to the creation of clothes and the choice of music and choreographies to excite both the Italian, Ghanaian and other communities in Ghana.”

The group has brought in artistes and technicians from four continents of the world – they include Georgians, Iranians, Brazilians, Colombians, Italians, Venezuelans, French, Mexicans, Turkish and Albanians, to ensure the audiences got the best value for their money.

“We also tailor-make the charges for every country we tour to make it affordable for the citizens of each country to attend and see our performance,” the statement said.

IL Florilegio combines a mixture of great classic performances of the circus and strong sensational ones in its final act to wow audiences, and the take out for guests is usually a delightful experience as they will laugh and become emotional.

IL Florilegio belongs to the Togni family in Italy, and has been the National Circus of Italy since 1950.

The circus has carried a heritage they inherited from their Togni dynasty from 1870 when the first circus was created till date without any interruption.

IL Florilegio has won worldwide acclaim with various artistic circus presentations in countries such as Italy, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Ireland, Turkey, Hungary, Greece, Iran, Algeria, Syria, Lebanon, Qatar, and Morocco. The Togni family also owns Cirque Amar (registered in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia).

The other local sponsor of the tour are Cowbell, Power Malt, Sandra Ice Cream, LG, Polytank, Universal Motors, and Autoparts.
Circus returns to Northwest Iowa

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March 8, 2012
Estherville Daily News
SPENCER - Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, the world's oldest form of family entertainment comes to you in Spencer. The James Cristy Cole Circus is returning for the third consecutive year with all new acts and a brand new show.

The James Cristy Cole Circus is a true old-fashion, three-ring nostalgic circus and a time-honored tradition that has been entertaining kids of all ages for over 20 years. The Circus will be making a stop at the Clay County Regional Events Center on Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25. Circus fans will have the opportunity to see three performances over the weekend: Saturday, March 24 at 2:00pm and Sunday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Doors open one hour prior to show times.

Tickets are on sale now and are $16 and $11 for reserved seating, based on seat location. Limited VIP packages will also be available for $25 each. Experience the circus adventure of a lifetime with the VIP pre-show party.

The pre-show party package includes a VIP ticket and a backstage tour before the show. Come early and have the opportunity to meet some of the circus performers, the ringmaster and have a close up look at the animals in the circus. VIP ticket packages will include a special admittance ticket for admittance into the pre-show party. The party starts 1 1/2 hours before the show and lasts for a half hour. Latecomers may miss the opportunity. Meet in the lobby to be directed to the party. Any child who has celebrated their first birthday must have a ticket to the show.

Tickets may be purchased at the Events Center Ticket Office (Monday Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.), online at, charge by phone thru Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, and at all Ticketmaster outlets.

"We are truly excited to bring back this full three-ring family circus to Spencer," said Scott Hallgren, General Manager for VenuWorks at the Clay County Regional Events Center. "James Plunkett, the owner and producer of our Circus, is a fourth generation circus performer himself, and he knows how to produce a quality show. James has worked with several Shrine organizations across the country in producing circuses for them. In fact, the same circus and circus acts you'll be seeing in Spencer were in Omaha for the Tangier Shrine Circus. Please come out and join us for a fun-filled family day-the James Cristy Cole Circus will remind you of the good 'ole days when you went to the circus with your mom and dad or grandma and grandpa, but yet will still have all the fun and magic kids love today!"
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Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey Circus at Meadowlands thru March 18
Johnathan Iverson really did run away with the circus


Among the spectacles are trapeze acts, ladies who hang from their hair, daredevils and stilt-walkers. / Associated Press ~
Written by Kelly-Jane Cotter, Staff Writer
Mar. 9, 2012
As ringmaster for “the greatest show on earth,” Johnathan Iverson tries to be a genial host.

“A ringmaster is a glorified fan who gets paid well to exude bombast,” he explains. “And he has every right to, because what he’s presenting is the height of human and animal artistry.’’
Iverson’s stage patter will center on lofty themes for “Dragons,” the production of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus currently on tour at the Izod Center in East Rutherford. The show evokes ancient myths and modern action movies alike, as daredevils, acrobats and clowns attempt to conjure a magical dragon through displays of wisdom, courage, strength and heart.
Iverson — whose previous entertainment credits include singing in the Boys Choir of Harlem — does more than introduce the acts, however. Trained as an opera singer, he uses his big, bold voice to sing the “Dragons” theme and to lead the Broadway-like interludes between acts. Singers and dancers in dazzling costumes fill the floor and then quickly disperse, leaving the next act in the spotlight.

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Circus performers clown around in their costumes before the big show. / Associated Press
Among the acts is the Torres Family. Originally from Paraguay, these motorcyclists perform dizzying feats within a 16-foot steel sphere. Describing what they do does them a disservice, because it’s far more impressive in real life than in words. But, for starters, they cram eight motorcycles into that sphere and zip around and zig-zag in a way that seems to defy gravity.
The Kung Fu Kings and the Shaolin Troupe present martial arts from their native China. The Shaolin Troupe focuses on qigong, a martial art requiring strength, agility and concentration. They get hoisted into the air atop the points of five spears, among other feats.
“These guys are bad, man,” Iverson promised. “They are real, authentic kung fu masters. Every movie I’ve seen can’t compare to what these people can do with their bodies — jumping through fiery hoops, bending steel rods with their throats.”
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SRB miffed that Pinkett Smith hasn't returned city's calls
By Jill Rosen
The Baltimore Sun
March 8, 2012
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blakewants to teach Jada Pinkett Smith a lesson in that old, scratch my back, I'll scratch yours thing.

Earlier this week the actress sent the mayor a letter, asking her to make sure the elephants are well treated when the Ringling Bros. circus comes to town later this month. She feared the circus would be jabbing the animals with pointy sticks.

But the mayor is something less than moved to act. Particularly after the actress didn't exactly help her out.

“We’ve reached out about homelessness, about school issues,” Rawlings-Blake told WJZ. “I would have loved to gotten some feedback, support or concern about those issues that are very pressing to the city.”

And that's not all. The mayor, a known fan of the circus, who's accepted free tickets to the show and even a ceremonial role in the event, said she's still looking forward to it this year.

“I appreciate the fact they continue to come to Baltimore," she told the TV station. "I’ve enjoyed the circus in March since I was a child. I take my daughter."

This comes just after the actress was slammed by the circus spokesman for being "completely misguided" about the elephant issue.

"She doesn't know the first thing about elephants or about how to take care of them," Stephen Payne, the spokesperson for Ringling Bros., told Baltimore Insider Wednesday. "She's completely misguided."

Daredevil Wallenda To Speak At Ringling 
Sarasota's Nik Wallenda will cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope this summer, but he's coming to Ringling Museum Saturday to share his inspiring story. 

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By Charles Schelle
Sarasota's Nik Wallenda has tall plans this summer crossing the Niagara Falls on a 1,800-foot high wire.

But before the "King of the High Wire" crosses a natural wonder of the world, he's going to try to fulfill the wonderment of kids and families giving them the behind the scenes look of his daredevil life Saturday at the Ringling Museum.

Wallenda will be part of the family-centric Center Ring Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. in the backyard of the Circus Museum. The event is included with the regular admission for the museum $25 for adults; $20 for seniors, $5 for children 6-17; and free for children under 5.

Wallenda says it's fun to talk to get crowds involved and answer their questions — especially from youngsters.

"They ask everything you can imagine: 'Are you crazy? Do you have magnets in your shoes? What do your kids think about?'" he told Patch.

Wallenda says he's going to talk about the history of his daredevil family,  his own life and trying to prepare for his performance atop the Niagara Falls set to be televised live on a Discovery cable channel. A date has not been set for the walk, he said, but will most likely be at the end of August.

His family is so well known throughout the seven generations of daredevil performances, that they're called the Great Wallendas. His ancestoral circus roots go back to the 1780s, but it was Karl Wallenda, a German immigrant hired by the Ringling Bros. in the 1920s who created the seven-person chair pyramid where they would form a human pyramid on a high wire.
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Thursday, March 8, 2012


Setting up in Armory.


Cyclist brothers Ivan and Alex perform some stunts for the crowd at Old Bridge High School as part of the Yankee Doodle Circus. Three performances were held Feb. 26 to benefit the Alumni Path Foundation, which is working to honor Old Bridge alumni by creating an engraved brick walkway at the school. SCOTT FRIEDMAN



Interview with Carson & Barnes Performer Jennifer Walker
I had the opportunity to speak with one of the hardest workers in the Carson & Barnes Circus, Jennifer Walker. Her acts include the Dog & Pony Show and the Aerial Cloud Swing. She was more than happy to tell us more.
InParisTexas: How long have you been with Carson & Barnes?
JenniferWalker: Ever since I was 11 or 12 years old. I was in the circus with my mother. She trained the 4 rings of the circus. She worked on the Dog & Pony Act…it’s the same act we have now!

The Truth about PETA Hits New York

The first time our exposure of hypocritical pet-killing by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) hit the streets of New York, it looked like this:

March 5, 2012

Now, the city’s media are joining in the outrage. In response to our revelation that PETA killed 95 percent of the dogs and cats it housed in its Norfolk, Virginia animal shelter, the New York Post editors took the radical animal rights group to task for its hypocrisy. They thought its acronym fit the name “People Eradicating Thousands of Animals.” Needless to say, if PETA co-founder Ingrid Newkirk had a subscription to the Post, she has probably canceled it.
The Post‘s editors didn’t spare any punches against PETA’s pet massacre, quipping that “people certainly took note when PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk proclaimed ‘a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.’ Except now, the dog is dead.”
The editorial also noted that millions of dollars that pay PETA’s annual budget come from wealthy animal rights foundations. As it turns out, PETA would rather spend most of money on provocative and offensive advertisements and frivolous lawsuits than protecting homeless pets.
With each passing day more and more people are learning the dirty secret once hidden behind the walls of PETA headquarters. If you would like to take action, you can sign our petition to revoke PETA’s animal shelter license here.

Circus thrills kids - and kids at heart

Children ride elephants during intermission at the circus. / News-Leader file photo

Written byKatie Tonarely


Mar. 7, 2012

Starting tonight and continuing through March 18, the Greatest Show on Earth comes to downtown Springfield with the return of the annual Abou Ben Adhem Shrine Circus. “The circus takes you to a different place where you can have a wonderful time,” says Tom Morris, administrator of Abou Ben Adhem Shrine Mosque.
The 1903 building first hosted the circus in the 1930s, Morris says, and Carden Entertainment has been wowing audiences since 1963.Old favorites, new thrillersThough a time-tested favorite show, the Carden Circus also features a new tiger act for 2012. Daniel Raffo will present the Dynamic Royal Bengal tigers. Morris is sure the act will wow audiences. To get the tigers into the building before the circus, a crane will be used to lower them into the Shrine Mosque. “It’ll be a neat deal to watch,” Morris says.Along with the new tiger act, Springfield favorites will return, too. Morris’ favorite? The Arias Family’s fast-moving poodle. “That’s a really tremendous act,” he says. “It’s the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.” The fast-moving poodle dresses in an elephant costume and looks like a miniature elephant. The crowd, especially kids, goes wild when they see it’s a poodle inside the costume. “Maybe I’m a kid at heart, but that’s my favorite,” he says.
What would a circus be without tigers? This year’s Shrine Circus will feature a new tiger act.
Making it a family affairKids enjoy other aspects of the circus, too. Springfield mom Katie Maiden took her three young children to last year’s circus, and for them, the trapeze and the wheel of steel were the big hits. “I found it nerve-racking,” she says, “but the kids were amazed and in awe.”Morris agrees that the circus caters to children. “When you hear the excitement of the kids, it really makes you feel good that you’re doing something,” he says. Also, the performers are trained to cater to children and interact with them. “They get a response.”Entertainment for the greater goodIn addition to seeing daring feats, $2 of the ticket money will go to Shriners Hospitals on the Shrine Hospital Nights at the Circus. These shows will be tonight and next Monday-Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are only $8 on the Shrine Hospital Nights at the Circus. These special tickets can be purchased at Fast and Friendly convenience stores.“I would recommend the show,” Maiden says. “It was easily two and half hours, and we got our money’s worth in entertainment and excitement.”

Circus: Pinkett-Smith doesn't know first thing about elephants

By Jill Rosen

The Baltimore Sun

March 7, 2012

A day after Jada Pinkett Smith sent a heartfelt letter to Baltimore's mayor, pleading for her to stand up for circus elephants she believes are being abused, circus officials called the actress "completely misguided."
"She doesn't know the first thing about elephants or about how to take care of them," Stephen Payne, the spokesperson for Ringling Bros., told Baltimore Insider Wednesday. "She's completely misguided."
In a letter dated Tuesday, Jada Pinkett Smith wrote to the mayor, "as a mother and proud Baltimore native," asking her to stop the circus from using devices called bullhooks to prod the elephants into performing.
Pinkett Smith reminded Rawlings-Blake of the city's law against any “mechanical, electrical, or manual device that is likely to cause physical injury or suffering” to a performing animal.
"Unlike me and other actors, elephants do not choose to perform," Pinkett Smith wrote. "These endangered elephants will soon be in your jurisdiction. My friends at PETA and I join animal advocates across the state in asking for your leadership in holding Ringling accountable and requiring the circus to comply with Baltimore’s absolute prohibition of the use of devices such as bullhooks."
Payne said, yes, the circus does use bullhooks to move elephants along. And yes these instruments do have pointy, ends. However, he says the preferred term is "guides." And they don't hurt the animals.
"It's an extension of the elephant handler's arm," he said. "A long established, universally accepted and humane way of managing large elephants."
Payne said the seven elephants that will arrive in Baltimore later this month for the circus are well-treated, with veternarians on call 24 hours a day.
He chalked up the complaint to an attention-grab by PETA and a well-intentioned starlet who took the activist organization's bait.
"In terms of PETA, it's PETA, another shameless attempt for them to exploit a cleebrity and get attention for their cause," he said. "I would say [Pinkett Smith has] been misled by the people of PETA."
Payne invited Pinkett Smith to come see herself how well the circus animals are treated. And the people of Baltimore, too.
If you want to, the show's annual elephant brunch at Lexington Market will be at noon on March 28. The circus arrives in Baltimore March 21 and will stay, elephants, hooks and all, through April 11.

The James Cristy Cole Circus will feature all of the popular circus acts with an elephant, bears, horses, dogs, and more, when it returns to the Clay County Regional Events Center for three shows Saturday and Sunday, March 24-25. (File photo)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Spencer Daily Reporter

The world's oldest form of family entertainment comes to you in Spencer. The James Cristy Cole Circus is returning for the third consecutive year with all new acts and a brand new show to the Clay County Regional Events Center on Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25. Circus fans will have the opportunity to see three performances over the weekend, at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 24, and 1:30 and 6 p.m. Sunday, March 25. Doors open one hour prior to show times.
"We are truly excited to bring back this full three-ring family circus to Spencer," Scott Hallgren, general manager for VenuWorks at the Clay County Regional Events Center, said. "James Plunkett, the owner and producer of our Circus, is a fourth generation circus performer himself, and he knows how to produce a quality show. James has worked with several Shrine organizations across the country in producing circuses for them. In fact, the same circus and circus acts you'll be seeing in Spencer were in Omaha for the Tangier Shrine Circus. Please come out and join us for a fun-filled family day--the James Cristy Cole Circus will remind you of the good 'ole days when you went to the circus with your mom and dad or grandma and grandpa, but yet will still have all the fun and magic kids love today."
The James Cristy Cole Circus is a true old-fashion, three-ring nostalgic circus and a time-honored tradition that has been entertaining kids of all ages for over 20 years.
The James Cristy Cole Circus will feature all of the popular circus acts with an elephant, bears, horses, dogs, and more. New for the 2012 edition of the circus is The Castle-Hall Performing Bears -- multi-talented animals -- doing tricks an average human can't even perform, including handstands, walking on rolling globes, riding bicycles, and dancing. America's favorite circus animal and featured act -- the elephant -- is back again.
"Jeffery's Jalopy" comedy car routine features Jeffrey and his real, working 1927 Model-T.
Aerial artists will be performing their poetry in motion on the Roman Rings, aerial lyra's and featuring the aerial adagio on the cradle.
No circus would be complete without a ringmaster. The ringmaster for the James Cristy Cole Circus is Cristine Herriott-Plunkett. Also appearing with her is her registered Lipizzaner-Pinto horse "Cebero." As co-producer of the James Cristy Cole Circus, she designs and sews all of her costumes and puts the "bling in the ring!"
Richmond native in UniverSoul Circus

By: Tammie Smith

Richmond, VA Times-Dispatch

Published: March 08, 2012

<< Crewe

Former Richmond-area resident Deomonte Crewe has danced his way to the big time…and big top.
The 15-year-old, who went to Chalkley Elementary in Chesterfield County for first through fourth grades before moving to the Atlanta area, is a performer in UniverSoul Circus, which rolls into the Richmond area Tuesday for a six-day run.
Crewe dances with the Bone Breakers, a troupe that mixes hip-hop steps and sounds with contortion — twisting and bending arms, limbs and torso in ways that seem humanly impossible.
"When I come on stage, it just gets me excited," said Crewe, interviewed by phone after a recent performance. He has been touring with the UniverSoul Circus since earlier this year, doing several shows a week and on weekends.

"It's fun," he said. "I get to meet people from different countries."
UniverSoul Circus features a multi-ethnic, multi-national lineup, with acts such as Russian Swing from Belarus, Acrobatic Kung Fu from China, and trapeze performers from Cuba.
Though Richmond is no longer Deomonte's home, he has plenty of relatives here, including grandmothers, Robin Crewe and Charmaine Hansley, and aunts, uncles and cousins.
In fact, said Felecia Hansley, his mother, many of their Richmond relatives are planning to be at the opening night performance Tuesday.
"It's got to be well over 60-something people," said Hansley, mentally adding up all the family members who've sent word on Facebook that they will be there.
Showbiz is a family affair for the Hansleys.
Felecia Hansley said she used to do choreography, and husband Donielle Hansley, also from Richmond, is a rhythm and blues singer who performs under the name D.V.US.
Deomonte and his siblings also perform together as part of a family troupe called the DNA Dancers.
"We all have the same DNA," said Deomonte, explaining the name. Little sister Nyielle, age 9, also auditioned for the circus and got a call-back.
"She's a hip-hop dancer/contortionist," Felecia Hansley said. "She's training to be in the circus for next year. She will be doing some contortions. We're still not sure that's all she will be doing.
"I'm very excited about it," said Felecia Hansley, who travels with Deomonte when he performs, and tutors him.
Deomonte said he's been dancing since age 3 or 4. He also dances with other teen performers, including singer Shun Hendrix.
"My mom and my dad, they met off of dancing," Deomonte said. "My dad used to have his friends that danced. I used to come in the room and just watch them dance. From there, I just started learning and learning."
UniverSoul Circus

When: Tuesday-Sunday

Where: Richmond Raceway Complex, 600 E. Laburnum Ave., Lot D at Gate 4.

Tickets: or (800) 745-3000.

Tickets $15-$28.50 plus about $6-$7 in ticketing fees.


After more than a decade, Circus Smirkus will pay a visit

By Katie Lovett Features Editor

The Daily News of Newburyport

Thu March 08,2012

Circus Smirkus will once again entertain in the Greater Newburyport area.
As part of their new season, the outdoor theater group, Theater in the Open will host the traveling youth circus in August at Manter Field in Byfield.
Circus Smirkus, which is based in Vermont, is celebrating its 25th anniversary Big Top Tour this summer. Each year, a group of youth troupers travels throughout New England to perform for audiences. The show, "Topsy Turvy Time Travel!," will feature acrobats, aerialists, jugglers and clowns.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012