2014 Convention



Friday, March 30, 2012

Circus Opens with First Responders Show

By: Allen Carter | WKRG-TV

March 29, 2012

MOBILE, Alabama --

The Ringling Brothers Circus is back in Mobile.

They opened their shows Thursday night, but they got started with a special showing.

They opened their doors a couple of hours early to give a pre-show for emergency responders and their families. They gave out about 700 free tickets to police officers and fire fighters.

“They put their life on the line each and everyday, they come to Ringling Brothers forget their worries for a day and just be a kid themselves,” said Circus production manager Jason Gibson.

The Ringling Brother’s Circus will be in town throughout the weekend.

By: Allen Carter | WKRG-TV 
March 29, 2012 
MOBILE, Alabama -- 
The Ringling Brothers Circus is back in Mobile.

They opened their shows Thursday night, but they got started with a special showing.

They opened their doors a couple of hours early to give a pre-show for emergency responders and their families. They gave out about 700 free tickets to police officers and fire fighters.

“They put their life on the line each and everyday, they come to Ringling Brothers forget their worries for a day and just be a kid themselves,” said Circus production manager Jason Gibson.

The Ringling Brother’s Circus will be in town throughout the weekend.

Elephant heads to shopping mall after escaping circus
By Alastair Jamieson,

                                                                                                                                                     Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The Ringling Bros. Circus Returns

Circus is coming to town

Posted by Picasa

Elephants are among the animals preparing for the circus tonight at the Brazil National Guard Armory. The circus will perform tonight at 4:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. 
By TIFFANY FRY, Times Staff Reporter
March 28, 2012

Brazil, IN-- Elephants are among the animals preparing for the circus tonight at the Brazil National Guard Armory. The circus will perform tonight at 4:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. 
 Animals are lining up near State Road 59 today -- and not the usual cows and horses that are often seen in the area.
 The Brazil National Guard Armory is hosting the Circus Pages, out of Florida, tonight at 4:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m., for the ninth year in a row.

The circus will have animals including: Elephants, rare white tigers, camels, acrobatic dogs, liberty ponies, horses and rare white lions.

The circus will have many acts including: Aerial acts, juggling acts, clown acts and The Globe of Death, a show packed full of gravity-breaking stunts.

Elephant rides will be available during intermission and at the end of the show. Pony rides will be available before each performance and during intermission. Camel rides will also be available before the show, depending on the space available.

Tickets cost $15 per person. Two children 14-under can get in for free with an adult. For more than two children per adult, cost is $2 for each additional child.


Posted by Picasa
Great American Family Circus to be at Jackson County Fairgrounds on Monday and Tuesday

Posted by Picasa

The Great American Family Circus will have a total of four shows on Monday and Tuesday at Jackson County Fairgrounds
March 28, 2012
By Zeke Jennings 

JACKSON, MI – The Great American Family Circus is coming to town.
The circus will be at the Jackson County Fairgrounds, 200 W. Ganson St., for shows on Monday and Tuesday. Showtimes will be 5:15 and 7:30 p.m. each day.
Tickets are currently on sale through or by calling 877-461-1564. Tickets are $9 for children (ages 12 and under) and $18 for adults. Adult tickets will be buy-one-get-one-free for those who purchase in advance.
Each performance will last approximately 90 minutes and will feature acrobats, aerialists, horse riders, monkeys, elephants, fire-eaters, magicians and other standard circus events.

A big-top goodbye from Big Apple Circus clown Barry Lubin

Posted by Picasa

Erica Thompson 
March 29, 2012
Barry Lubin

The International Clown Hall of Famer has been playing a clown named Grandma since 1975, first with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and in recent decades with the Big Apple Circus. Now he’s about to retire. The Big Apple Circus show “Dream Big,” which is running on City Hall Plaza through May 13, is part of what’s being billed as Lubin’s “farewell tour”: his 25th and final season before retiring.

‘I’ve always had trouble with authority figures, which works well if you’re a clown, because disrupting the show is a wonderful part of my job.’

Q. Tell me a little bit about your character, Grandma.

A. She’s sort of a compilation of my own grandmothers. And I grew up people-watching on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, so I was constantly observing elderly people. It just happened to be one of the characters I tried out really early in my career, and the audience sort of shaped her. I try my best to incorporate the audience into my performances, so based on what they respond to, is how I build my character. There’s a lot of me in the character. Not because I look like a little old lady, I hope, but there are some things that are very much a part of me within the character. I’ve always had trouble with authority figures, which works well if you’re a clown, because disrupting the show is a wonderful part of my job. Grandma is always mischievous.

Q. What’s one of your favorite parts about clowning?

A. I’ve gotten to live out a lot of my fantasies through clowning without actually having to do them. I always wanted to be a rock star, and a dancer, and a Broadway performer, and a sports star. Clowning lets me explore those without actually becoming them. 

Q. What’s your relationship like with the audience?

A. I’ve always felt like an outsider in the world of the circus. It’s a very generational and family-oriented industry. I’m sort of an interloper, and I just happened to find myself working there. I still feel like I’m more a part of the audience than the performer. I’m so in awe of these people, many of [whom] are good friends of mine. When you’re talking to someone who’s one of the greatest trapeze artists in the world, you forget what they do is so amazing. And then you see them up there and you’re reminded of how awesome they are. I think that’s possibly why the audience relates to this character, because I am one of them. I’m always trying to communicate with the audience, and part of it is being accessible.

Q. What’s different about this performance than years previous?

A. Just crying every day. For the people who come to the show, it’s a chance to say goodbye. It’s heart-wrenching for me. We opened in Virginia in September, and I didn’t anticipate people would be saying goodbye to me like that. This is their one chance to tell me they appreciate what I’ve done. I found myself trying to make jokes because they didn’t come there to see me upset; they came to laugh. And while I always hope to make them do that, I want to respect and honor their feelings. It’s that relationship that has been the hallmark of the Big Apple Circus. 

Q. What will you miss most about the circus?

A. My connection with the audience. Over the years, I’ve left the show a few different times and I find myself aching for that. I have a love affair with the audience. I know there are people that go out there that want to be loved, and they try to be loved. That was my approach in the beginning, and then something changed a few years ago — and I think it’s through time and maturity, but I simply go out there and I bring my talents and do the best I can. What happens is you get this love back.

The Circus Comes to Town, 1871
March 29, 2012 
n June, 1871, Middleborough witnessed what was undoubtedly one of the largest and most unusual sights ever seen in the community - the arrival and performance of P. T. Barnum's Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome in town.

Formed in 1871, at Delavan, Wisconsin, by P. T. Barnum, William Cameron Coup and Dan Castello, Barnum's operation was the largest circus yet seen in America, a deliberate objective of the famous showman who wanted his circus to be on a grand scale. "We ought to have a big show. The public expects it, and will appreciate it," Barnum emphasized. Based upon its immediate success and incomparable size, within a few years the Barnum circus would bill itself as "The Greatest Show on Earth", ultimately merging with James A. Bailey and James L. Hutchinson's circus in 1881.

The 1871 Barnum circus in Middleborough was heavily advertised locally, though the hyperbolic ad which ran in the Plymouth Old Colony Memorial appears to be the sole advertisement for the event which has survived.

"Coming. P. T. Barnum's Museum, Menagerie, Caravan and Hippodrome" (the ad reads). "This is the title of a Mammoth Show, which only the prince of showmen, P. T. Barnum, Esq., can organize and effectually keep on its legs. Having been out of the menagerie arena for so long a time, Mr. Barnum has had ample time to select the very best of everything, and his name alone ought to be sufficient guarantee that the exhibition he manages is first-class. In the course of a few days the "advance guard" of this monster exhibition, will arrive in town, to make arrangements for performing here. This grand traveling Museum and Circus combined, consists of seventy-five wagons; two hundred horses; one hundred and seventy-five people. Three mammoth tents, each larger than those used by any circus company, are required o accommodate this monster show. All to be seen for ONE price of admission. With all the energy and unlimited means possessed by Mr. Barnum, it required three years to organize this monster show — which will exhibit during the Spring and Summer throughout the Eastern and Middle States. At Middleboro', June 7th. At Plymouth, June 8th. "

During its first year of operation when it came to Middleborough the Barnum circus traveled by wagon. To transport its huge retinue of curiosities, the circus required some 250 men and nearly as many horses, as well as 95 wagons, carriages and cages. The vehicles were all of "exquisite workmanship and finish, no two being of the same color or design," and the spectacle of a long multi-colored train full of exotic sights and unusual sounds was thrilling for most residents. Many found amusement in standing by the roadside watching the procession make its way into town.
read more:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

World’s Biggest Big Top Circus Comes to Crockett Thurs. March 29
 At the Crockett Civic Center to Benefit the Crockett Chamber of Commerce Carson & Barnes Circus the Biggest of the Big Top shows brings its all-new show for 2012 to the Crockett Civic Center in Crockett on Thursday, March 29. Carson & Barnes, one of the last of the great American traveling big top circuses, will perform two shows at 4:30 PM and 7:30 PM. Tickets are now on sale locally and online at A portion of sales will benefit the Crockett Chamber of Commerce.

Celebrating its 76th year the Carson & Barnes Circus has been traveling the nation since 1937. While the show has changed over the decades, what remains is a solid  two-hour show that features classic circus acts, daring high-wire feats and the antics of dozens of clowns. But aside from the clowns, the prancing horses and high-IQ dogs, the biggest stars of the show are the elephants.

Carson & Barnes Circus has for many years operated one of the most successful breeding programs for the endangered Asian elephant at a massive facility in southeastern Oklahoma at Hugo. D.R. and Isla Miller, founders of Carson & Barnes, dedicated much of their lives to preserving the vanishing Asian elephant breed. Now, their daughter and circus owner Barbara Miller-Byrd continues the tradition.

Advance tickets are available now locally, and online at Prices range from $16 Adult, $8 Child at the gate on the day of the performance to as little as $10 Adult, $6 Child when purchased in advance using a discount coupon. Coupons are available locally or can be downloaded from or by visiting Get complete ticket information online at or

Carson And Barnes Circus Performances Today (03.21.12)

from: teaguechronicle
Carson and Barnes Circus, one of the last of the great American traveling big top circuses, will perform two shows?at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in Teague at the Booker T. Washington Park today, March 26 to benefit the Teague Chamber of Commerce.

Since 1937, the Carson and Barnes Circus has toured America and entertained millions under the World?s Biggest Big Top tent. Barbara Miller-Byrd is the third generation owner of the circus that travels to over 200 towns each season.

For more than 75 years, our family has brought the excitement and magic of the circus to people in towns of all sizes,? said Byrd. In fact, most communities on Carson and Barnes?s 2012 tour have a population of less than 30,000.

There is no bigger entertainment opportunity or better value for the dollar than this year?s show under the big top,? said Byrd.

Discount coupons for a savings of up to $4 on adult tickets are available online at

When you were a child did you ever think about getting that dream job by running away from home and joining the circus?

PERFORMERS FROM ALL AROUND THE WORLD come together to make up the Carson and Barnes Circus, which will perform two shows Monday at the Booker T. Washington Park.Dream Jobs: Under the Big Top
It looks like a meeting of the United Nations. But it?s just the first rehearsal for the 2012 season of the Carson & Barnes Circus. Have you ever wondered how anyone even joins the circus? Surely, it can?t be as easy as sauntering up to the big top and asking for a job.Well, you?re right. There are actually many hoops a performer must jump through before they can join the cast of the World?s Biggest Big Top Circus.

Getting Started
Barbara Miller-Byrd, owner of the Carson & Barnes Circus, and daughter, Traci Byrd-Cavallini, spearhead the talent search for the Carson & Barnes Circus each season while the Circus is settled in its winter-quarters in Hugo, Oklahoma. Every year, hundreds of performers from all over the world seek out the Carson & Barnes Circus and try to secure a coveted spot on the season?s program. Yet, the slots are limited; and there?s a performance budget Byrd and Cavallini must always be mindful of.

Each season, we try to find new bigger, better and more exciting acts. We like variety. Of course, there are the traditional acts that we are known for. We are always going to have an elephant act and some type of aerial and floor act,? Cavallini said.

Social media has completely revolutionized the way the Carson & Barnes Circus conducts business and even how it discovers fresh talent for each season.

Elephant Plays with a Galaxy Note!

Uploaded by technivator on Mar 26, 2012
Peter the elephant plays with a Samsung Galaxy Note. This is all real, no film trickery, post-production or hidden cuts -- he's just a very clever elephant.

Banned circus animals ‘will be dumped in Northern Ireland'
By Linda Stewart
Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Wild animals banned from circuses across the water could end up being shipped over here to go on display instead. 

That was the warning issued to Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill on Monday after she said she had no plans to ban wild animals from circuses here.

She was responding to a written Assembly question by South Down MLA Jim Wells, who said her response was totally unacceptable.

The minister said her reading of plans to ban wild animals from circuses in England and Wales was that it was being done on ethical rather than welfare grounds.

“I am also aware that Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) has opened a consultation seeking views on a proposed licensing scheme that would promote and safeguard the welfare of wild animals in travelling circuses in England,” she said.

Instead, the minister said she would be concentrating on the roll-out of provisions in the Welfare of Animals Act 2011, including new laws on farmed animals, dog breeding establishments and tail docking in dogs.

“At this time, I have no plans to introduce a ban on animals in circuses. However, I can assure you that I intend to take the time to assess the available evidence and give the issue detailed consideration,” she said. 

“I will also take advice on the legal implications and the proportionality of the options open to me so that the welfare of animals in circuses is fully protected. I would want to examine developments in the South of Ireland as well as England, Scotland and Wales and engage with stakeholders, including circus operators and their representatives, to ensure their views are properly considered.”

But Mr Wells said wild animals from circuses in England and Wales would end up being shipped here to continue to be abused.

“Some of the world’s leading circuses, like the Chinese State Circus and the Russian State Circus, don't use animals at all,” he said.

“I can’t see any justification for animals such as tigers and elephants to be held up to ridicule just to please a few people who would pay money to watch them. There is an inexorable trend of people not wanting animals to be treated in this way. 

“The safeguards that have been in place for many years haven’t worked.”

Read more:

Circus - Wild Animals Thrill Ghanaians
General News of Wednesday, 28 March 2012
After a long while, Ghanaians are being treated to a live show, where trained crocodiles, tigers, pythons and other animals, perform different kinds of stunts and tricks with their human handlers, to their admiration and cheers.

The IL Florilegio Circus, has for the past three weeks, been holding live performances at the Afua Sutherlands Children’s Park in Accra, where they display to their audiences, their skills at handling wild animals thus making them do things that many have never seen before.
Mr. Hamed Rouzebehani, media contact person of the Italian Circus, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview, that they decided to visit Ghana because apart from Ghana being known as an amusement loving country, they "see Ghana as a very safe place to be."

He said looking at the encouraging pace of development in several areas of the country, especially in the area of entertainment, the Circus believed organising a show in Ghana was most worthwhile.

Mr. Rouzebehani said the show had been successful in many countries, explaining that, “Although this is the first time we are coming to Ghana, those who have attended the show so far have reacted very positively to our stunts.”

He said the Circus had done well in Europe, adding that it had also been to Algeria, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon among other countries.

“The kind of patronage we receive here would determine any future plans we may have for the country,” he said. “This is the first time we are bringing a show like this to Ghana, and patronage is very important.”

Tigers, a crocodile, an alligator, snakes, pythons, a kangaroo, and a dog are some of the animals that the Circus entertains its audiences with.

On the likelihood of an animal running wild and injuring a trainer or even spectators, Mr. Rouzebehani said that was absolutely impossible.

“Contrary to what many believe, animals are very kind and once you respect and treat them well, they would never betray you.”

He said besides that, the show with animals was held in an iron cage, and considering the fact that the trainers were also highly experienced and had great knowledge in animal behavior, there was utterly no risk where the animals were concerned.

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

The show ends in Accra on April 22.

Will that be a jumbo latte, miss? Moment 'Baby' the elephant went on the rampage outside Costa coffee in Cork

On the loose: Baby the Asian elephant wanders near to parked cars in Blackpool, County Cork as her handlers struggle to restrain her.
By Chris Parsons
29 March 2012
A 2.5-tonne circus elephant caused havoc after escaping her handlers are going on the run through a busy shopping centre car park.
Shoppers in Blackpool, County Cork, Ireland, were stunned to see Asian elephant Baby charging through the town's retail park after apparently fleeing from her circus home just yards away.
The 40-year-old elephant somehow wandered free from the circus in Blackpool to a busy retail park filled with cars and shoppers on Tuesday afternoon.

Courtney Circus had been parading its animals as part of a promotional stunt when Baby apparently decided to take her own route through the small Irish town.
She was spotted being restrained outside a Costa Coffee by two concerned handlers, worried whether the freed elephant would trample any nearby cars.

Stop that elephant: Baby wanders through the Blackpool Retail Park after apparently fleeing from her circus handers during a promotional tour

Instead the huge animal galloped through the car park and charged past a barrier into the town centre as her handlers struggled to keep her still.
Coffee shop manager Egle Vilumaite said she had been alerted to the elephant by a customer.
She said: 'One customer just said, 'Look there is an elephant running', and I was like 'Yeah OK', because the day before they were actually walking the elephants around for publicity. 

Posted by Picasa
Bid for freedom: Baby's handlers insisted no-one was ever in danger during the incident, despite the 2.5-tonne elephant apparently wandering around of her own accord

Read more:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Coleman's carnival coming to Middletown this week for 96th year

Posted by Picasa

Catherine Avalone | The Middletown Press 
3.21.12  Ray Rio eyes the next bolt as he attaches the bracket for the Thunderbolt marquee at of the Coleman Bros. Carnival Wednesday afternoon. The 96th season starts Tuesday, March 27 at 6 pm and runs through Sunday, April 1 at Palmer Field in Middletown
By Press Staff
Published: Monday, March 26, 2012
MIDDLETOWN – Featuring a new LED light show and bungee jumps, the Coleman Brothers Carnival is opening this week for its 96th annual event.

With more than 30 rides and attractions for all ages, the carnival has set up camp at Palmer Field on Bernie O’Rourke Drive.

While the Coleman family members now live in Florida, the company was based in Middletown for decades and still stores its rides and equipment on Newfield Street in the winter. Coleman Brothers puts on about 25 different carnivals throughout the Northeast. Middletown is always the first of the season, because it’s family’s hometown. It then moves on to Shelton from April 4 to 15.

The carnival has earned the nickname “The Rainmaker” over the years, because it seems to rain whenever the show arrives in town. Tuesday is expected to be mostly sunny. Wednesday and Thursday may see some rain, according to The weekend is expected to be sunny with temperatures in the 50s and 60s.

Along with a Ferris wheel that can be seen from several blocks away and an Acceleration Station train ride, Coleman Brothers provides a slide, swings, the Sizzler, a Tilt-A-Whirl and a Mardi Gras-themed funhouse. For younger kids, the carnival offers a Kiddie World section consisting of The Merry Go Round, a Super Slide and fun favorites like The Wiggle Wurm and Winky The Whale. And of course, there’s plenty of food, including fried dough, pizza and cotton candy.

This year’s carnival will open Tuesday at 6 p.m. and will stay in town until April 1. On Saturday and Sunday, the carnival opens at 1 p.m.

Wristbands will be sold Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. and are good until closing. Saturday and Sunday family wristbands will be sold from 1 to 4 p.m. and are good until closing

Fair Dates
 March 28 thru April 1, 2012
 For info email:
Tropicana Field 
St Petersburg, FL

Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa

2012 63rd Annual
Spring Shows

In celebration of Sailor Circus’ 63rd Annual performances, the 2012 Spring Show is expected to be like none other! This high energy performance will be an action-packed show illustrating the Sailor Circus’ talented youth.  As you experience the  fine  of the art of the circus, these performers will amaze you with their modern day presentation on the aerial silks and take you down memory lane with circus classics such as the high wire and clowns and the electrifying finale of the flying trapeze.

Date Day Matinee Evening 
March 28 Wednesday   7:00 
March 29 Thursday    7:00 
March 30 Friday   7:00 
March 31 Saturday  11:45 7:00 
April 4 Wednesday   7:00 
April 5 Thursday   7:00 
April 6 Friday   7:00 
April 7 Saturday   7:00 

Shrine Circus Elephant Gets Pampered

Posted by Picasa

By Gillette Vaira
Mar 27, 2012 
BILLINGS - The circus has come to town, and they have brought with them some very special entertainers. Esa, a 41-year-old Asian elephant, puts on circus shows across the U.S. ten months out of the year. Her trainer gives her daily baths and a pedicure every three to four weeks. 

When she's not getting primped, she likes to eat. She has three to four bales of grass and 200 gallons of water a day. She also eats 50 pounds of sweet feed each night, and her trainer said she could eat boxes and boxes of apples.

"Like you see, she likes to play, check everything out," said Habib Omar, an elephant trainer. "She loves kids. I mean she likes to be around people. Her and Bonnie. Bonnie is the other one."

You can meet Esa and the other elephant in the circus, Bonnie, in Billings this week before or after the show or during intermission. You can catch them and their friends performing in the Al Bedoo Shrine Circus Wednesday through Sunday at 4 and 7 p.m. at the Shrine Auditorium. They'll also have a 1 p.m. showing on Saturday and Sunday.

Trained tigers and lions

Uploaded by CircusTVru on Aug 29, 2011

(Available at nominal cost) 
and More

2012 Show Dates and Times
April 9th through April 14th, 2012
(subject to change) 
Monday Afternoon April 9th 1:30 P.M. 
Monday Evening April 9th 7:00 P.M. 
Tuesday Evening April 10th 6:30 P.M. 
Wednesday Morning April 11th 10:00 A.M. 
Wednesday Evening April 11th 7:00 P.M. 
Thursday Morning April 12th 10:00 A.M. 
Thursday Evening April 12th 7:00 P.M. 
Friday Morning April 13th 10:00 A.M. 
Friday Evening April 13th 7:00 P.M. 
Saturday Matinee April 14th 1:30 P.M. 
Saturday Evening April 14th 7:00 P.M. 

All Shows Held at the
109th Artillery Armory
280 Market Street
Kingston, PA 18704
(Next to Kirby Park)

Posted by Picasa
Camel riders

Uploaded by CircusTVru on Oct 11, 2011

Monkeys, magicians, musicians - something for all at Yuma County Fair

Posted by Picasa

A new show in this year's daily entertainment round-up is “Wild about Monkeys,” featuring Kevin and Martina and their trained baboons performing fun, educational shows for audiences of all ages.
March 27, 2012
Editor's Note:
 The Yuma County Fair will take place April 3-8. This is one in a series of stories about what visitors can expect this year.

There's a little something for everyone this year at the April 3-8 Yuma County Fair — including some new shows to keep visitors entertained.

“We want to offer good, quality entertainment to the people that come out for the fair,” said Eric Wofford, Yuma County Fair manager.

A new show in this year's daily entertainment roundup is “Wild about Monkeys,” featuring Kevin and Martina and their trained baboons performing fun, educational shows for audiences of all ages.

Jerry Breeden the ventriloquist is also new this year along with Terry Godfrey the magician.

Breeden and his cast of unusual characters are known for their “clean comedy” and feature musical celebrity impersonations, magical illusions and classic rock 'n' roll songs in their shows. They have performed together for audiences in eight different countries.

Godfrey incorporates magic, comedy and audience participation into his acts, which he has been performing since 1985 to audiences in 14 countries. 

Circus Imagination and comedian Matt Baker are also new shows at this year's fair.

Circus Imagination teaches kids how to have fun the old-fashioned way: by using their imagination. Through acts, stories and dress-up, the crew use their imagination and creativity to put on a mini-circus.

Matt Baker, a stand-up comedian, will be performing his acts that have been featured on numerous television shows such as “Last Comic Standing” and “America's Got Talent.” 

Read more:

Windjammers circus music coming to Waynesboro
WASHS graduate will be on stage with Windjammers

Posted by Picasa

By Stephanie Harbaugh
from: The Record Herald
Mar 27, 2012 
Waynesboro, Pa. — Close your eyes and envision the clowns, trapeze artists, elephants, tigers and all the musical fanfare childhood memories of the circus evokes.

 In July, the musical sounds of the big top will come alive when Windjammers Unlimited marches into Waynesboro for its annual convention.

 Some 150 to 200 members of the nonprofit group, comprised of musicians from the United States, Canada and Australia, will begin arriving in Waynesboro on Tuesday, July 17. They will give a concert Friday, July 20, in Waynesboro Area Senior High School.

 Civil War circus

 In south-central Pennsylvania, commemorations of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War are in full swing and the coordinators for this year’s Windjammers convention, Bill Link and Marjorie Von Drach of Waynesboro, wanted to incorporate that history.

“This year our performance will incorporate 12 different conductors, and 12 musical selections including three from the Civil War era and nine circus pieces,” said Link, a long-time tuba player with the Windjammers.

“When circus musicians immigrated to America, they began their own bands and when the Civil War broke out those same musicians found themselves fighting in the Civil War and playing in military bands,” explained Link.

“Circus music embodies all kinds of music,” added his wife, Von Drach, a nonplaying member of the group, citing a laundry list of genres including waltzes, galops, rags and polkas.

 Waynesboro musician

 As part of the convention, one Waynesboro student or graduate was given the opportunity to join the Windjammers at the concert.

 Zachary Grass, 19, the son of Calvin and Deborah Grass of Waynesboro, who plays the tuba, will be accompanying the Windjammers. Grass is a 2010 Waynesboro Area Senior High School graduate and now attends Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

“He is a very talented musician and we’re very pleased to have him join us,” said Link.

“This scholarship has provided a great opportunity for a young musician to play with experienced instrumentalists and perform the particular king of music — circus,” said Von Drach.

 The name of Windjammers comes from the musicians jamming wind into their horns and instruments for several hours at a time. Once a circus would begin, the musicians would play for one to three hours at a time. Because of their stamina with few opportunities to gasp for air, they earned the nickname Windjammers, explained a Franklin County Visitors Bureau press release.

“Its very vigorous playing,” said Link. “A lot of people cannot even begin to imagine a circus musician having to play three concerts a day plus providing accompaniment to all acts throughout the show,” Link said.
read more:

Sneak peek: Dinosaurs come to life at Cedar Point

Cedar Point's Bryan Edwards explains Dinosaurs Alive, the new attraction for 2012.

Free & Cheap in New York: Tues., March 27 
UniverSoul Circus is clowning around in the Bronx

Posted by Picasa

Elephants unpack their trunks before performing with the UniverSoul Circus in the Bronx.
By Ashley Lofters / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS 
Tuesday, March 27, 2012,
UNIVERSOUL APPEAL. The UniverSoul Circus is back in town and bringing its elephants, clowns, aerialists and acrobats to the Bronx. Universoul celebrates diversity by combining pop and hip hop under the big top. 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $20. 149th St and Exterior St., across from Gateway Center. After its run in the Bronx through April 1, the circus will appear April 3-15 at the Roy Wilkins Park in Queens and April 18-29 at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. (800) 745-3000.
Read more:

TEMECULA: Kids can ‘join’ circus 

Circus Vargas is coming to Temecula and will stage performances from March 29 to April 9. Jon Weiss, seen as last year's circus was being assembled, balances a shopping cart on his chin as workers set up the big top tent at The Promenade mall. 
The Press Enterprise 
Published: 27 March 2012
Circus Vargas is coming to Temecula for a series of shows under the big top.

The circus will be at The Promenade mall from Thursday until April 9.

In addition to the shows, Circus Vargas will put on an interactive pre-show before each performance in which children of all ages will get a crash course in circus skills. The pre-show takes place 30 minutes before each performance.

Posted by Picasa

CONTRIBUTED IMAGE Jon Weiss stages an interactive pre-show before each showing of Circus Vargas that gives kids the opportunity to get a crash course in circus skills. The circus comes to Temecula from Thursday, March 29, to April 9.
Also, singing ringmaster Kevin Venardos has joined the circus’s cast and is expected to bring more razzle-dazzle to the show. He sings an original Circus Vargas song conceived in conjunction with composer and lyricist Larry Lees

Prices for Circus Vargas range from $25 to $50 for those who are 11 years or older and $20 to $45 for children between 2 and 10 years old.

Ticket information: 1-877-GOTFUN1 (1-877-468-3861) or 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Posted by Picasa

Ringling Bros. - Fully Charged is Coming to Columbus, OH!

Uploaded by ringlingbros on Mar 23, 2012
It takes megawatts of thrills to power up this electrifying all-new edition of The Greatest Show On Earth! You've got to see how Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey gets you FULLY CHARGED with thrills and excitement and memories to last a lifetime!
MPBN will show 'Circus Dreams' feature documentary

Posted by Picasa

Harry Powers photo
 Joy Powers and Maddy Hall, above, are on a mission to prove that girls can be funny, too. They are featured in "Circus Dreams," a documentary about a troupe of 12- to 18-year-olds who are living out their dreams as members of the traveling Circus Smirkus. Maine Public Broadcasting Network will show the film on April 5 and 7.
Mar 26, 2012 
LEWISTON — In early April, Maine Public Broadcasting Network will show "Circus Dreams," a  feature documentary that captures the adventures of a sweet, funny and extremely bendy group of tweens and teens.

These 12- to 18-year-olds are living out their dreams within Circus Smirkus, the acclaimed traveling youth circus based in Vermont.

The film follows the young performers from the competitive audition process through their intensive three-week rehearsal period in the Vermont countryside, where they are coached by performers from the Ringling Brothers Circus, Big Apple Circus and Cirque Du Soleil. Physical theater artist Fritz Grobe, of Eepy Bird and Oddfellow Theater fame, is the juggling coach.

"Circus Dreams" chronicles their exhausting 70-performance tour in 14 towns over seven weeks, capturing their intense work ethic, passion for performance, deep friendships and budding loves.

The film focuses on four characters: Joy Powers and Maddy Hall, best friends and clown partners, who are on a mission to prove that “girls can be funny, too;" Jacob Tischler, who overcomes of his sense of isolation by finding a place to shine in the circus ring; and Thula Martin, a 12-year-old hula dancer from Hawaii, who grows from an injured child into a capable young woman over the course of the film.

The supporting cast includes death-defying aerialists and two brothers on a quest to become the best diabolo jugglers in the world.

"Mainstream media aimed at teens and tweens tends to feature a lot of negative stereotypes and rampant consumerism and really lacks positive role models, especially for girls," said filmmaker Signe Taylor. " In 'Circus Dreams,' I wanted to present a noncommercial, authentic and alternative vision of the struggles and triumphs of youth."

"Circus Dreams" has received numerous festival awards, including an Indie Spec Award at the 2011 Boston International Film Festival.

WCBB-Channel 10 will show the film at 10 p.m. Thursday, April 5, and 11 a.m. Saturday, April 7.

Circus Smirkus will return to Maine this summer on its 25th anniversary tour,  with four live performances in Freeport on Aug. 6-7 presented by and benefiting the Merriconeag Warldorf schools.

Orange County Fair 2010 Russell Bros Circus

Uploaded by MissTheTipper on Mar 27, 2011
Montage of the wonderful Russell Bros Family Fun Circus
at the Orange County Fair 2010

Eating Lunch with Elephants

(photos by Karley Osborn)
Posted on March 26th, 2012
by Carol Shih 

We sent D Magazine intern Karley Osborn to eat lunch, and she came back with photos of these wrinkly friends.

This is a story about circus elephants who do lunch.
 Jump for the circus.
 Orange shopping carts sectioned off the El Rio Grande parking last Thursday, turning the space into an elephant-sized cafeteria for the afternoon. MEGA 107.5 blasted music from a tent outside the supermarket as super(sized) stars Bo, Cindy, and Jenny from the George Carden Circus chowed down on their favorite treats from the produce aisle: red apples, carrots, and bananas.

The purpose of the pachyderms’ public snack break? A little bit of promo for the Shrine Circus, running March 30th-April 1st at the Fair Park Coliseum.

Heavy traffic on I-30 caused the circus’ blue transport truck to arrive about 30 minutes behind schedule, so when the three Asian elephants did finally disembark they were Hungry with a capital H. Bo and his lady-friends pre-gamed with an appetizer of hay, then suited up in harnesses bedazzled with red and blue stars before walking trunk-in-tail to the center of the parking lot where their banquet tables awaited.

Weighing in at 12,000 pounds and standing 11 ½ feet tall, Bo the bull is the largest performing elephant in the world. As it turns out, he just may be the greediest, too.

“When it’s time to relax, [the elephants] love their sweet grains. That’s like their dessert at the end of the day. We have to watch Bo because he’ll steal the sweet grain from the girl elephants,” says Bill Cunningham, executive director of the circus.

As the elephants continued to swipe up piles of produce, we learned other interesting facts: that elephants can eat up to 150 pounds of food a day and are meat-eaters in the wild, although our circus friends stick to a primarily celeb-style vegetarian diet. Well, except for Bo.

“Bo’s been known to eat hot dogs,” says Cunningham. “He ate 61 hot dogs and then spit out number 62. That was his limit.”

As it turns out, troublemaker Bo’s history is as unique as his appetite. In an ironic twist of every Water for Elephants-type melodrama we’ve ever been exposed to, Bo was born in captivity and kept as the pet of a private individual before being rescued by the circus. Yep, you read that right.

Posted by Picasa

According to Cunningham’s account, Bo was having trouble in his environment and his owners just couldn’t quite figure out why. In came George Carden of George Carden International Circus, who immediately noticed three things: that Bo was bright, that Bo was intelligent, and that Bo still had his testicles and was going into musk.

“And that’s, you know, not a good combination for a 12,000 pound animal,” Cunningham explains.

We can only imagine.

After a 50,000-dollar surgery, Bo was back on his feet. Soon he became not only a star performer for George and his elephant-training son Larry, but a family member as well.

“I’ve been with George sitting from here to across the parking lot, and Bo is honking because he hears George just talking,” recalls Cunningham. “And George will go, ‘knock it off, son!’ And the elephant, 60 yards away, will honk back at him.”

See, folks? Looks like sometimes it’s okay to run away to the circus after all. To catch up with Bo, Cindy, and Jenny, be sure to grab tickets to the Shrine Circus.  If you happen to find yourself backstage after the show, make sure you have red apples from El Rio Grande on hand—that’s their favorite snack.

Oh, and one last thing you should probably know:

“When you’re feeding them the sweet grain, they purr like a cat,” says Cunningham. “To feel love in a different way—a version of that is to have four elephant trunks around you.”

Now that’s the kind of spectacle that deserves to be called the greatest show on earth.

Posted by Picasa

To do list --
Big Apple Circus’ "Dream Big.”

Posted by Picasa

March 27, 2012\

PICK OF THE DAY Clowning around The cozy one-ring Big Apple Circus is back for its annual visit with ‘‘Dream Big!’’ a new show chock-full of juggling, acrobats, animal acts, and flying trapeze artists. 
It’s also the farewell tour for Barry Lubin, who will be donning his curly gray wig and yellow support hose for the Big Apple for one last run. See the International Clown Hall of Famer transformed into the lovable Grandma alongside acts including the Flying Cortes, Russian juggler Dmitry Chernov, the Chinese Shandong Acrobats, Swiss hand balancer Melanie Chy, and Jenny Vidbel and her Arabian horses and dynamic doggies. 
March 27, sold out. March 28-30, 6:30 p.m. Additional shows through May 13, see website for schedule. $15-$65. Boston City Hall Plaza. 888-541-3750, TUESDAY