2014 Convention



Saturday, March 24, 2012

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OC Fair Halts Elephant Rides, Ending 25-Year Tradition

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March 23, 2012  
COSTA MESA, Calif. (KTLA) -- Responding to animal rights activists, the Orange County Fair says it will stop offering elephant rides to the public, ending a 25-year tradition.

On Thursday, the O.C. Fair Board voted 7-1 against reviewing the contract of Have Trunk Will Travel.

That's the company that provided the elephant rides at the fair, which happens every July.

The vote came after an emotional hearing attended by more than 100 people.

Some people spoke in favor of continuing the rides. Others -- including animal rights activists and veterinary specialists -- asked that they be stopped.

The board said issues of liability and safety were key considerations.

New guidelines from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums will bar humans and elephants from occupying a shared space starting in 2014.

The OC Fair and Events Center is not an AZA-accredited organization.

Still, Director Nick Berardino argued that the guidelines indicated it was no longer practical to continue the elephant rides.

Kari Johnson, who owns Have Trunk Will Travel with her husband, Gary, said she was disappointed by the board's decision.

According to Johnson, the company has never had an accident at the fair, and has more than the required insurance.

Johnson also said Have Trunk Will Travel puts all its income toward elephant conservation.

But advocacy group Animal Defenders International has been very vocal in its criticism of the company.

It released video that allegedly shows trainers hitting elephants with bull hooks and shocking them with electric devices.

Have Trunk Will Travel denies any wrongdoing, and says the video lacks context.

Following the fair board's decision, Animal Defenders released a statement saying, in part: "Animal Defenders International is pleased with the careful decision to end the elephant rides at the Fair and congratulates the Orange County Fair Board for their leadership in showing compassion for animals and concern for public safety.

"The OC Fair Board has aligned itself and the fair with the most progressive practices of humane care and public safety, and sets a positive example to other county fairs in the area which we hope will soon follow their lead."

Here is a link for a very interesting video on the use of
a prod in training elephants from the Baltimore Zoo.
I think it is very informative and disputes Peta and other
activist groups complaints about"bullhooks"

Working with Anna
( Algerina Perna/Baltimore Sun / March 19, 2012 )
At the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, Animal keeper, Katie Ernest works with Anna, a 37 year-old elephant. Ernest uses a "guide" -also known as a "bullhook-" to guide the elephant. The zoo uses them in a humane way as opposed to what the latter name might suggest. The trainers also use body language, voice commands and treats to direct the elephants
Circus Big Top opens for shows at DeLand airport 

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Halley Frisco and Val perform in the ring under the Big Top during a dress rehearsal at the Cole Brother Circus of the Stars, in DeLand, on Friday. (NJ | Peter Bauer) 
From: Daytona News-Journal online
March 24, 2012 
DELAND -- Halley Frisco, 7, skipped around the circus ring Friday as Val, a 4,500-pound young Asian elephant, trailed behind her. 

Their playful routine was among the acts going through final rehearsals Friday before today's 128th edition of the Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars, which bills itself as "The World's Largest Circus Under the Big Top." 

The show opens today at the DeLand Municipal Airport on a vacant lot off U.S. 92. Show times are 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. today and 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Sunday. 

"One of the unique features of this tent is that everyone (in the audience) is only about 50 feet away from the action," said Chuck Werner, senior marketing director for the circus. 

Among the new entertainers this year are aerial artists Petya Milanova, of Bulgaria and Wendy Aguiar of Argentina. The two women hang above the ground, suspended by a special braiding hook from the hair on their heads. 

"The hair has to be wet," said Milanova, who learned the trick a couple of years ago from a friend and taught Aguiar how to do it this year. 

When asked if they get headaches, both women said no. 

This weekend, meanwhile, marks the beginning of the season for the circus that will run until Thanksgiving weekend, according to owner John Pugh. 

"We perform from Florida all the way to the New York-New England area and as far west as New Orleans. The nickname for this circus is the 'I-95 circus' because we are never too far away from the interstate," Pugh said. 

The circus employs about 180 people when it is traveling, he added. 

DeLand is the winter home of the circus. The circus does not own the animals. Instead, the animals are property of the performers that use them in their acts.
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Under the direction of Juergen Nerger (not seen) a tiger jumps through a ring of fire during a dress rehearsal at the Cole Brother Circus of the Stars, in DeLand, on Friday. (NJ | Peter Bauer) 

"This is pretty much the circus that your grandparents came to see," Werner said. "We did try it one year without the animals and the public went crazy. They wouldn't come. The public likes the animals." 

The Cole Bros. trademark dates back to William Washington Cole and his "W.W. Cole's New Colossal Shows" in 1884. The name was changed after his death and the circus was purchased by Canadian showman Martin Downs and his son James. During the 1920s, brothers Floyd and Howard King owned and operated Cole Bros. 

The circus nearly went under during the Great Depression but survived and changed hands a couple of times. It thrived in the 1960s and 1970s under the ownership of Frank McClosky and Jerry Collins. After his partner died, Collins operated the circus for several years before donating it in 1981 to Florida State University. The university sold it in 1982 to Pugh, who formed Cole Bros. Circus Inc. 

For the last seven years, the show here has been sponsored by the DeLand Jaycees. 

"Times are tough and when you can have some fun, it brings things into perspective," said Karen Fuhrmann, vice president for community development for the group, which raised money so that underprivileged children could attend the show.
read and see more photos here:

Wisconsin's place in the Circus Worldfrom:
Mar 21, 2012
By Rob Duns

Extra Footage from previous video

Hejaz Shrine Circus returns with a whole new show 

By Jake B. Grove
from Anderson Independent
March 22, 2012
For years, the Hejaz Shrine Circus has been a mainstay of the Civic Center of Anderson and family entertainment in the Upstate. The only problem with that might be that when you see a Shrine Circus, it's hard to return the next year and see something new.

That won't be a problem this weekend as the Shrine Circus returns to Anderson with three days of lions and tigers and elephants, oh my! And when they say the show is "new and improved," they mean it.

For the first time in years, the Shrine Circus is being performed by a completely new circus company. The animals are different, the acts are different, the clowns are different and the feats of daring are different. About the only thing that is the same is the name and that's been the same for 47 years.

"For 47 years, we have prided ourselves on bringing fun, wholesome, family entertainment to audiences through the Hejaz Shrine Circus," said Sherwood Kaiser, circus administrator. "Of course, we want people to keep coming back, so we have to give them something new in addition to wholesome."

The new starts with the most majestic and popular animal in the Shrine Circus, the white tigers. From what Kaiser has been told, the Shrine Circus will feature 14 white tigers performing in one cage at the same time, and this is the first time this has happened in the United States. He said it is an awe-inspiring sight to see, and he can't wait to see the children's eyes light up when the tigers come out into the center ring.

Also for the first time, there will be a female ringmaster leading the charge of clowns, acrobats, animals and daredevils delighting the audiences at the Civic Center. Kaiser said the ringmaster has performed all over the country since she was 6 years old, as a dancer, animal coordinator and more.

Add to that two aerial acts including Monica Zerbini on the Roman Rings and Lauryn Murray on the silks dangling high overhead, as well as The Chicago Boyz performing feats of daring on the ground, and this year's circus is set to be one for the ages.

"This is one of those rare things that appeals to every age group and every demographic," said Glenn Brill, director of the Anderson Parks, Recreation and Tourism division. "And it's amazing because this is a 21st century audience enjoying something that has been around since the 19th century."

Brill said the appeal of a circus goes beyond the animals or the clowns or the ringmaster alone. The children are in awe of everything around them, he said. They marvel at the elephants marching in line and gasp when a man gets nose to nose with a tiger. And adults can relive those lost moments of their childhood with the children they love so much.

The people and the looks on their faces from the time the circus begins to the time it ends is what makes it all worthwhile to Kaiser.

"The children and the popcorn and their faces that light up make it amazing for me," he said. "And those children are all ages from 2 to 92."

Of course, there is no explaining a circus in words. As it has always been, the Shrine Circus is something that has to be experienced to be appreciated. But when it is, it's something you want to do all over again.

It is that way for Brill and the Parks, Recreation and Tourism division. They are in talks to get the Hejaz Circus to come to town twice a year in the near future.
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Until then, the Hejaz Shrine Circus will be at 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Civic Center of Anderson. Tickets are $10 for children and $11 for adults in advance and $12 and $13 the day of the show. Children 2 and under will be admitted free.

For more information, call 864.260.4800 or go online to for tickets. Money raised from the Shrine Circus goes to benefit multiple philanthropic efforts by the Hejaz Temple.

Circus Vargas to host opening show in Temecula

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Circus Vargas will host its opening show at the Promenade in Temecula on March 29.
Friday, March 23rd, 2012
TEMECULA - You’re invited to join in the thrilling world of Circus Vargas! Take a look beyond the sawdust and spangles, a peek past the wonder and the mystique, and discover why Circus Vargas is "America’s Favorite Big Top Circus." It is family entertainment at its finest, and it is coming your way. The blue and gold big top will be in the Inland Empire opening in Temecula at the Promenade on March 29-April 9, San Bernardino by the Interstate 10 Freeway and Waterman Avenue April 12-16, Victorville at the Mall of Victor Valley April 19-23, and in Ontario at the Ontario Mills Mall April 26-May 7. 

Unveiling its greatest collaboration to date, Tabares Entertainment joins forces with famed singing Ringmaster Kevin Venardos for a production of musical magnitude in its most exciting, innovative edition ever. Acting as host and master of ceremonies, Venardos skillfully melds melody with movement, adds a bit of Broadway and a splash of razzle-dazzle for an unbelievably entertaining extravaganza. Singing an original score he himself conceived in conjunction with talented composer and lyricist Larry Lees, Venardos adds an additional dimension to an already amazing cast of performers and sets the stage for this clever production. 

Arrive 30 minutes early for the interactive pre-show where children of all ages get a chance to be center stage under the big top. They will be guided through a crash course in circus skills with host Jon Weiss and his lovely wife, Laura. 

For more information about Circus Vargas and to purchase tickets, visit, by phone at (877) 468-3861, or at the circus box office which opens one day prior to the first show.

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BEST/PTO Circus and Carnival Saturday 

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Courtesy photo.
Bucky and GiGi, shown here during a performance in 2011, will perform again this year at the Cirque du Jour at three shows on Saturday, March 24. The shows are at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. at the Bedford High School.
Bedford Minuteman
Posted Mar 23, 2012
Bedford, Mass. —  
It’s that time of year  -- the Cirque du Jour is back with former Ringling Bros. comedy duo Bucky and GiGi returns with the BEST/PTO Circus and Carnival from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 24 at Bedford High School, 9 Mudge Way. The shows are at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and the carnival will be going on from noon to 5 p.m. Each show is 45 minutes. All proceeds from the circus and carnival to benefit BEST/PTO (Bedford Elementary Schools Together/Parent Teacher Organization).
In addition, BEST will host a family carnival with traditional carnival food, face painting and over 15 games where everyone wins a prize. The raffle will be returning again this year with items donated by local businesses. Back by popular demand is the Principal Pie Shop -- come throw a pie at your favorite principal, teacher, firefighter or police officer.

Read more: BEST/PTO Circus and Carnival Saturday - Bedford, MA - Bedford Minuteman

Heritage Association of Frisco cancels Kelly Miller Circus

By Elizabeth Knighten
March 23, 2012
The cotton candy, pop corn and juggling will have to wait for next year as the Frisco Heritage Association announced Thursday that the Kelly Miller Circus will not be coming to Frisco.
 Buddy Minett, president of the board for the Heritage Association of Frisco said the event was canceled due to the inclement weather DFW received throughout the week.

"The location we were going to put it on," Minett said, "with all the rain that we got this last week ... the location where we were going to put it was so muddy we couldn't even get it mowed on Wednesday.
 Minett said the organization tried to mow the open field north east of the Frisco Square, but the landscaping equipment "sunk down into the mud." With all of the circus equipment and trailers, the organization did not think the muddy land was suitable for the show.

"We were down to literally a one day time frame where we were trying to find another location," Minett said. "We just couldn't find another suitable location in the time that we had left, so the feeling was if you're one day out -- they were actually on their way here and some of the trailers and stuff actually came and we couldn't find another suitable place to do it."

The organization decided to cancel the show, which was scheduled to perform today through Sunday, on Wednesday evening. The possibility of rescheduling was considered for the fall; however Minett said the organization did not align with the circus' traveling schedule.

The organization has posted information its website to inform ticket holders of the cancellation.

"We're trying to spread the word," Minett said. "It's been mostly through electronic media because it's such short notice, and then we're going to refund all the tickets."

For ticket holders who purchased through Tom Thumb, Minett said, the process will be different than for those that purchased through the Heritage Museum.

"We know the sales we have directly from the museum," Minett said, "so it will be much easier to refund, but we'll refund everybody's money."

 According to the organization's website,, "The refund process will take place at the Heritage Museum (6455 Page Street) between the hours of 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. on March 23, 24, 29, 30, and 31 and will require you to return your tickets in order to receive a refund."

Any tickets unreturned after March 31, the organization will "be assumed to have been a tax deductible donation."

Minett said it's unfortunate because the circus lost several performing days two years ago when DFW received heavy snow in March.

"This year we get rain," Minett said. "Sometimes mother nature doesn't cooperate."

Big top, family fun coming to the MAC

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Vicki Adam 
Morehouse Activity Center rep Buddy Savage says to expect posters like this to pop up all over town with information about the Ticolini Circus coming March 31.
By Vicki Adams
Bastrop Daily Enterprise
Mar 23, 2012
BASTROP, La. — The Ticolini Circus will be appearing at the Morehouse Activity Center (MAC) March 31 with family-friendly fare for people of all ages. The acts scheduled to perform include extraordinary acrobats, magnificent jugglers, beautiful aerial ballerinas, daring wire walkers, performing animals and funny clowns.

Friends of the MAC member Buddy Savage has been coordinating the Ticolini Circus, which is visiting Morehouse Parish for the first time.

“I think a circus is a family event that everyone can appreciate,” Savage said. “All children enjoy a circus.”

Among the acts is the champion hula hoopers. Performing since the age of four, their champion hula hooper has performed in the Sarasota Circus Festival where she won three gold medals. Using amazing speed on her hands and waist, she moves more than 75 hula hoops at the same time.

Another act scheduled is the performing house cats. Uncaged and unleashed felines climb up and down pedestals and jump through hoops.

Cathy Ticolini is the representative for the circus. She said they’ve had good responses to the show.

“People love the show,” Ticolini said. “We have towns we go to every year. When they find out we’re coming back, they come because they want to see it again.”

The two performances are scheduled at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. March 31. Tickets are $12 for adults. Children under 12 years old get in free when accompanied by an adult. Two free children per one adult.

Coupons for the show can be purchased on their Web site ( Adults receive $2 off when they bring a cut out of this Bastrop Daily Enterprise article.
Ticolini suggest everyone come an hour before showtime to enjoy pony rides, jumping on the Moon Bounce, face painting and pictures with the world’s smallest horse, Twilight.
“Our show is like a European show,” Ticolini said. “It’s magical”

Magicians to Wow Central Oregon Coast in Flurry of Shows

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Published 03/23/2012 
(Lincoln City, Oregon) – This time, when they say a trip to the Oregon coast town of Lincoln City is magical – they really mean it. March 28 – 31 is the “It's No Illusion” festival of magic, featuring live performances of various up and comers in the slight-of-hand world, such as Matt Baker & Steve Hamilton, Hart Keene, Joe Black and Heather Pearl. The magicians will roam throughout the crowd at the Lincoln City Cultural Center, teaching guests tricks and illusions (above: magician Steve Hamilton). 

Then for kids, there's even a Magic Camp held on those mornings, so spring breakers can get a headstart on a new career.

Seattle's Matt Baker is a Guinness World Record holder, and has performed his comedy stunt show in over 14 countries. He's been on Last Comic Standing and America’s Got Talent, and has won numerous awards out of Washington state. He's been on the stage for 20 years.

Joe Black has been a magician, stage hypnotist and hypnotherapist for 15 years. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Woman attends fair for 69 years

Posted: Mar 23, 2012

Behind the scenes at the Cole Bros. circus in DeLand

Passing the ‘barre’ — Members of the Cretu Family, from Romania, practice world-renown acrobatics and barre routines. 
By Jen Horton
from: The Deland Beacon
Mar 22, 2012
The sky is a blue you can’t find anywhere else in the world, the early-morning springtime sun dances on new greenery, and two women are suspended between two palm trees.

You don’t realize you’re holding your breath, as 14-year-old Wendy Aguiar’s braid is hooked to Petya Milanova’s braid, and the two are lifted into the morning sky, until your breath rushes out in a big whoosh.

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Hair-raising! — Wendy Aguiar, 14, and Petya Milanova practice hanging by their hair at the Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars winter headquarters in DeLand. They are suspended from rigging strung between two palm trees. The 128th Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars has shows scheduled at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 24, and at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, March 25. The event is being hosted by the DeLand Jaycees. Parking is free at the airport showgrounds off U.S. Highway 92 on the north side of DeLand. 
Yes, they are suspended from palm trees by their hair, as they practice for the launch of the Cole Bros. Circus 2012 season.

Chuck Werner, senior marketing director of Cole Bros. Circus, invited The Beacon to the circus winter headquarters in DeLand for a sneak peek at this year’s attractions.

The Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars winter headquarters is off Old New York Avenue, just past the Amtrak station. There, dozens of performers limber up and practice death-defying feats in anticipation of opening to a full house on the DeLand Municipal Airport showgrounds March 24-25.
read more:
Big Top Circus

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March 26 - Big Top Circus is Coming to Town!
Thanks to the sponsorship of Paris Area Chamber of Commerce, Culpepper & Merriweather Circus, America’s Favorite Big Top Circus is coming to Paris, Arkansas on Monday, March 26th at The North Logan County Fairgrounds with two scheduled performances at 5:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Now in its 28th edition, C&M Circus has become internationally known for quality family entertainment. This authentic One-Ring, Big Top Circus has been featured on National Geographic’s Explorer TV series, Entertainment Tonight, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Arizona Highways Magazine. It has also been featured on the A&E Special: Under the Big Top and most recently, On the Road with Circus Kids, a Nickelodeon special featured on the Nick News Program
This year the circus is proud to present Skeeter as the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus Advance Clown. Skeeter will be in town on Wednesday March 14th from 1-3:30 pm to visit schools, day cares, recreation centers, libraries, and senior centers. She might be seen in stores, walking down Main Street or handing out the official 2012 Culpepper & Merriweather Circus Coloring Contest sheets.

Skeeter got her clown start at the early age of 9 years old in Columbus, Ohio. She is a graduate of the Ringling Clown College and has spent much of the last 25 years traveling around the country – clowning around.

Skeeter’s clown program educates students and community members about what a day in the life of a clown is really all about. She spends time talking about the different types of clowns and the history of the circus. Skeeter will delight audiences with her unique style of clowning, comedy and true love for the circus.

Bring your friends and family out circus morning to watch as a familiar place in your town is transformed into a bustling Circus City. Activity swirls around the grounds as animals are unloaded, the Big Top is erected, and rigging is prepared for performances later in the day. Enjoy the magic and tradition of the American Circus with your family and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m. watch the raising of the Big Top, then stay for the FREE Tour. This presentation offers a unique face-to-face opportunity for families, schools, and interested community members to meet and learn all about the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus family and includes a walking tour of the circus grounds. Learn interesting facts about our performers, the history of our show and the different species of animals in our Circus Family. In this presentation we will also address topics such as hygiene, grooming and the veterinary care all of our animals receive.

In recent years the Tent Raising and Morning Tour has become a popular program for families and interested community members. It is presented in a way everyone, young and old can learn many interesting facts about the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus Family. This is a special part of Circus Day that should not be missed.

On circus day, our performers bring the magic of the circus to life in each 90-minute show. This year’s lineup includes an All-Star group of performers and entertainers that include Miss Simone and her amazing trapeze, Miss April on the Rolla Bolla, The Arlise Troupe on their wild and crazy unicycles, and lets not forget the performing Jungle Cats that will certainly have you on the edge of your seats. All with original music written by the talented, Matt Margucci from Los Angeles, California. Our performers are sure to amaze and delight audience members of all ages.

SAVE MONEY by purchasing your tickets in advance. Advance tickets are available at: the Paris Area Chamber of Commerce, CV’s Family Foods, Circle S Convenience Store & 22 Foods Convenience Store. Prices for advance tickets are $6.00 for children ages 2 to 12, children under 2 are always free, and $9.00 for adults. On show day tickets will be $12.00 for adults and $7.00 for children. Buy your tickets early and save.

For more information or to purchase tickets with a credit card call 866 BIG TOP 6.

Circus Day Schedule (times may vary) 
Between 9:30 & 10:00 a.m. – Tent Raising & FREE Tour 
4:30 p.m. Midway & Box Office Open (pony rides, moonbounce, concessions and more) 
5:00-6:30 p.m. – First Show 7:30-9:00 p.m. – Second Show 

Cole Brothers Circus, Yankee Stadium,
 22 June, 1950

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Big-top circus returns to DFW


Photo Courtesy of Carson & Barnes - Asian elephants Isa, Bennie and Bunny move into place during their floor routine at a recent Carson & Barnes Circus show. The 76-year circus returns to DFW this weekend with seven shows at the Millennium Business Park in Allen.
By Chris Beattie
Thursday, March 22, 2012 
Big-top thrills are not just for movies and memories. Circuses have dwindled since their mid-20th century prime, but they haven't vanished.
And the "biggest" indicator is in town.
"It's more of a circus feel because, in our opinion, if you don't have a tent and an elephant, you're not really a circus," said Barbara Miller-Byrd, third-generation owner of Carson & Barnes Circus, self-proclaimed the world's biggest big-top show. "We definitely have a beautiful tent, we definitely have elephants and you're about 50 feet away from the action."

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Photo Courtesy of Carson & Barnes - The famous Aerial Bamboo act, which originates from China, is a constant feature in Carson & Barnes Circus shows. Performers entertain on a metal pole that dangles from a chain 30 feet above audiences.
Carson & Barnes Circus returns to the DFW area with a three-day stint at the Millennium Business Park in Allen. The 76-year-old circus will pitch its 142-feet-by-131-feet tent Friday for seven weekend shows.

The circus, which every year travels to about 15 states around the nation from March through November, entertains spectators with a tradition that lives on through trapeze acts, clowns and cotton candy.
"We've just got a well-rounded circus that features all the things that you would think of when you think of a circus," Byrd said. "We welcome [guests] from age 2 to 102, and we think that we can entertain many generations at the same time."

That generational approach stems from the circus's evolution over the years. Now stationed out of its winter quarters in Hugo, Okla., Carson & Barnes began as a small-time "dog-and-pony" show in 1937 in Smith Center, Kansas.

Byrd's grandfather, Obert Miller, father D.R. Miller, and uncle founded the Al G. Kelly & Miller Bros. Circus. When D.R. entered into a partnership with a man named Moore in the 1960s, they changed the name because D.R. "just liked the way it sounded," Byrd said.

The central circus crew, including the animals, has lived in Hugo since 1941. This year, the circus will present more than 200 performances around the country, moving close to 200 members and 70 vehicles about 50 miles every day to the next destination.

"When it turns spring and starts to get green, we get itchy feet, we're ready to get on the road again and travel all over the U.S. and entertain people," Byrd said, referencing meal trucks, mechanical trucks and the rest of the Carson & Barnes troupe. "It's like a little city moving down the road."
read more:

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Circus performance in Venice aims to boost arena funding


From The Sarasota Herald Tribune
Thursday, March 22, 2012
VENICE - Cirque Italia will become the first international circus to open in Venice in more than two decades when a show named "Aquatic" makes its splashy debut Friday.
 What: Cirque Italia
Where: Jacaranda Plaza, Venice
When: Tonight 7 p.m.; Saturday 11 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m., 5 p.m.; and again next week beginning Thursday.
Cost: Adults $20-$35, children $10-$35
Tickets/more information: Call 485-7675 or go to

The show will open in a new $2.3-million set donated by the famed Italian circus, the third-largest in the world, which extended a helping hand from across the Atlantic Ocean after owner Manuel Rebbechi learned the Venice circus arena could be torn down in lieu of repairs estimated at $10 million.

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Prince the Penguin and Aura Cardinaci pause for a photo during rehearsals for their upcoming appearance in the production of "Cirque Aquatic Under The Big Top."

"Facebook saved us," said Tito Gaona of the Venice Circus Arts Foundation while showing off the 1,244-seat custom-built circus tent now standing in the Jacaranda Plaza parking lot at 1667 U.S. Highway 41 Bypass South. "That's how he found out about us. This is all state-of-the-art and all-new equipment. It's the modern circus."

The one-ring blue-and-white tent houses a circulation system pumping 35,000 gallons of water through the "water circus tent" made in Venice, Italy by Bassano del Grappa. The tent and all equipment was lent to the Venice Circus Arts Foundation for a series of 13 fund-raising shows over two weekends.

Operations Director Pamela Clark said advance ticket sales are steady. 

"We've already sold 40 percent but we still have a long way to go toward of goal of selling out every performance," Clark said.

A portion of every ticket sold will be donated to the Venice Circus Arts Foundation for its "save the arena project," which needs $10 million to renovate the former home of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, circa 1960-92. 
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New fair lands in Burnley

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Burnley Bonanza. (s)
Thursday 22 March 2012
Burnley, Lancashire---
ALL the fun of the fair is coming back to Burnley.
Following the success of last year’s Burnley Summer Sizzler Theme Park, a new spring fair is set to brighten up the town.

Opening tomorrow, the Burnley Bonanza Theme Park can be found in Hargher Street, just off Accrington Road, and it will be running until Sunday, April 1st.

There will be a mass of white knuckle and family rides for thrill-seekers including Energy Storm and the Tagada as well as all the favourites such as waltzers, dodgems and the Drop Zone. 

Other new attractions will include the thrilling Superstar and a crazy fun house.

Unlimited riding wristbands are available at £4.99 allowing visitors to stay and carry on riding for free for up to four hours.

Admission is by wristband only and the park will be open between 1 - 5 p.m. and 5 - 9 p.m. on weekends and through the week from 5 - 9 p.m.. 

A wide variety of refreshments will also be available, as well as an arcade, various games, bungee trampolines, hoopla stalls and side stalls. 

Mr Alan Cowie, one of the organisers of the event, says: “We are providing an excellent value for money day out and following the success of the Burnley Summer Sizzler we were looking forward to coming back before Easter. We fully understand that money is tight, at the moment, so we have kept the one price admission at an amazing low price. 

“Buying the wristbands means that parents can bring their children along and know what they are going to spend. There is nothing worse than having to tell a child he or she can not go a certain ride, as there is no money left. With the wristbands, they can ride as many times as they like.

“We can guarantee our guests a safe day out locally at a first class visitor attraction. To sample some of our rides you would have to travel to an amusement or theme park. 

“We are bringing the entertainment back to Burnley and we hope that people will come out and see what a fantastic array of equipment we have brought for their enjoyment.”
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