2014 Convention



Saturday, May 12, 2012

Jeff McBride 2009 Dancing Canes
 (Masters of Illusion)

Uploaded by renditionsdesign on Jan 31, 2009
Master magician Jeff McBride debuted this astonishing routine on the first episode of the new MyNetworkTV series "Masters of Illusion." Jeff, who has earned his place in the Guinness Book of World Records for three different feats, is one of the most original and diverse performers working today. Jeff is also a world renown teacher and founder of the McBride Magic and Mystery School, in Las Vegas, NV.

Circus comes to Manassas area

Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars tent raising
Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars raised their tent at the Prince William County fairgrounds near Manassas on May 11, 2012.
By: Keith Walker | InsideNova
from: inside
Published: May 11, 2012
Roustabouts drove the first stake in an empty field about 8 a.m. Friday, after The Cole Bros. Circus rolled into the Prince William County Fair Grounds late Thursday.

Pretty soon after that, men swarmed the field while yellow Caterpillar equipment placed six giant steel columns exactly where they had to be to eventually support the big top.

Men ran around attaching cables to all manner of things. Others placed American flags and lights at the top of the columns while they were still propped up and waiting to be hoisted aloft.

When it was time, the cables were winched tight to pull the columns erect.
Again, men swarmed the field, this time spreading the red and yellow tent on the ground and attaching more cables, which were in turn pulled tight to raise the tent on the columns.

The roustabouts used steel poles to prop up the perimeter of the tent. The sectional floor went in, along with the seating. The sound guys got to work and the big top was ready to go by noon, in plenty of time for the first show at 4:30 p.m.

Ron West, Cole Bros. senior marketing director, said training to work for the circus comes through tradition.

“It goes from generation to generation. Right now we’re looking at some young folks on the show with their moms and dads,” West said of all who work for the circus.

“They just learn by watching it happen and the idea is that they’re dedicated to the show,” he said. “All these people are totally dedicated to this. This is their job. For eight months of the year they’re on the road.”

This year the circus has acts that include a 7-year-old girl and a 5-year-old elephant, 12 tigers, the Thunder Dome with three motorcycles in a cage, the Human Cannonball, Cartoon Poodles and clowns among others.

“We start off with a roar and we end up with a bang,” West said.

West said Cole Bros. hopes to attract 6,000 spectators for its three shows on Saturday at 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. and 4,000 for its shows at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

West said that every year Cole Bros. invites people living in area homeless shelters to attend the circus for free.

He said the circus has something for young and old alike, and the best part of working for the circus is seeing happy people.

“We’ve got something for everybody. We’ve got something for the children. We’ve got something for the adults,” he said. “The idea is, when you come to the circus, you’re coming to see the real circus.”
Myron Duffield and Calliope

Published on May 4, 2012 by ringlingbros
Dreams will be realized next week at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Fully Charged in Columbus when Myron Duffield, an Ohio native, will participate in the All-Access Pre-Show with his vintage calliope. Myron and his calliope have been in over 1,000 parades and traveled 250,000 miles together over the past forty years. For decades, he has dreamt of joining The Greatest Show On Earth; on May 10th at Value City Arena, his dream will come true.
Soaring acts to star at Big Apple Circus

Ysabella Wallenda-Cortes, 10 (r.), flies into the arms of father Robinson Cortes in the Flying Cortes trapeze act. The family performance is a highlight of the Big Apple Circus' 34th season show "Dream Big," hitting Cunningham Park from May 22 through June 17. Photo courtesy Bertrand Guay/Big Apple Circus
By Phil Corso
May 11, 2012
It’s time to “Dream Big” in Queens as the Big Apple Circus launches its annual event later this month fully equipped with jugglers, horses, dogs, acrobats, magic and more. The new 34th season show will feature the Flying Cortes trapeze act, a staple of the event.

Brothers Alex and Robinson Cortes will soar under the Big Apple Circus Big Top, at Cunningham Park, alongside 10-year-old Ysabella Wallenda-Cortes, who comes from eight generations of circus performers on her mother’s side and five generations on her father’s.

As one of the act’s flyers, Alex Cortes spun his way through three-ring circuses such as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey and the Tarzan Zerbini Circus before landing at the Big Apple Circus with his family.

His biggest thrill, he said, was interacting with the crowd inside the tent.

“They can see your facial expressions, so you can really show the audience how you feel,” he said.

To make this year’s performance special, Alex Cortes said he would introduce a new move and potentially become the ninth man in the world to ever complete a “triple and a half” flying stunt.

The Cortes family comes from Colombia and has a generations-long history in circus performance. Alex Cortes first started flying into his father Edmundo’s arms at age 6. Years later, brother Robinson Cortes took over his father’s role as main catcher.

“It’s who we are, not a career choice, it’s what we were meant for,” Alex Cortes said. “Above all, you have to love it.”

Alida Wallenda-Cortes coordinates much of the group’s choreography and said her family’s rich history of performing makes the show a bonding experience. After growing up watching her family perform on the high wire, Wallenda-Cortes said she was more than happy to pass the tradition down to her daughter Ysabella Wallenda-Cortes.

“We enjoy working together as a family,” she said. “But more importantly, we feel that we provide the audience with something that everyone can enjoy.”

Ysabella Cortes said she was most excited to be traveling and performing with family. In the circus act, she flies through the air and showcases her three signature tricks.

“I’ve learned a lot while performing with my family,” Ysabella Cortes said. “My favorite part is getting to fly in front of so many people.”

The Flying Corteses practice together throughout the year with long rehearsals three days a week while performing.

Her father Robinson Cortes is the group’s catcher, comes from 35 years of circus experience and said the Flying Cortes act was only one of the many featured attractions available at the Big Apple Circus. He said he felt lucky to be traveling the country with his family to amaze crowds with their airborne act.

“Being together as a family is the best part of performing,” Robinson Cortes said. “It’s a tradition we all want to keep alive.”

“Dream Big” by the Big Apple Circus begins May 22 and runs for 43 performances through June 17 under the Big Top at Cunningham Park, at 196-22 Union Tnpk. in Fresh Meadows. Tickets start at $15 and are available by calling 1-888-541-3750 or at

Myron Duffield and Calliope 

Uploaded by thecalliopeking on Aug 22, 2011
Coshocton Canal Festival 2011, Calliope King of the World, Myron Duffield
Do back flips: The circus is coming to Camelback

Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars had Petya and Wendy performing a split spin.
For the Pocono Record
May 11, 2012
Along with the new shoots of grass, singing of birds and warm sun come the roar of tigers, booming of cannons and the screams of laughter.

The circus is coming to town to kick start the summer fun early with a world of fun and wonder for children of all ages.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars will be arriving at the Camelback Mountain Resort in Tannersville for shows at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. each day.

This is the 128th edition and a tradition, said Mario Vitali, marketing director with Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars.

Cole Bros. Circus remains the only circus to have survived a century and still appears much as it did more than 100 years ago under the big top. Since 1884, three generations of Americans have been thrilled by the sights, sounds, smells and feats of skill that typify the Cole Bros. Circus.

"The circus is one of the very few things families can do together and is very reasonable, too," Vitale said.
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In Irvine, ‘PSY' puts circus performers right in your lap
Quebec group combines comedy, story and circus skills in daring, amusing show.

Familiar and traditional routines such as the wheel are part of "PSY," a show produced by and featuring members of Quebec's Les 7 doigts de la main. It plays at the Irvince Barclay Theatre through Sunday.
May 11, 2012
Think of the Quebec-based performance group Les 7 Doigts de la Main as a pocket-size, stripped-down version of Cirque du Soleil meant for a small venue – Cirque unplugged.

And think of "PSY," which opened Thursday at the Irvine Barclay Theatre for a short run, as a condensed Cirque du Soleil show with a brain. The clowning, acrobats, acting and dancing are all performed by the same people – no single-skill stars here – and unlike Cirque du Soleil's meandering, disappearing show plots, the story imbues every aspect of this show.
Ironically, for all its physicality and daring, "PSY" is about human weaknesses – the mental and emotional kind. Its 11 performers (eight men and three women) each play a character with an issue: fear of heights, insomnia, hypochondria, and so on. In a series of sometimes astoundingly athletic routines, they conquer their weaknesses.

But like a Cirque du Soleil show, the story ultimately doesn't matter that much. It provides set-ups for certain absurd situations and motivations for characters, but it's soon clear this is a demonstration of various circus tricks, expertly executed by the young performers.

Still, those characters are endearing, and their problems get them into some daunting situations.

Tiny Catherine Girard plays a woman with a serious sleep disorder. She carries a pillow around with her and naps in the craziest places. Her routine culminates on a pole, where she manages to nod off, pillow tucked under her head, in precarious and gravity-defying poses high in the air.
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Oklahoma's longest-running festival, Rooster Days kicks off Friday

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Broken Arrow's Rooster Days
By Michael Purdy
May 11, 2012
TULSA — Oklahoma's longest running festival returns to Broken Arrow Friday.  The Rooster Days Festival is a weekend-long event offering everything from carnival rides to live music.

The festival began back in the Spring of 1931.  Its original purpose was to give farmers a place to get rid of their excess roosters.  Now it's a place where families come to have fun and eat good
Friday, people can enjoy food and rides starting at 5 p.m. There will also be seven acts performing live music; including the Broken Arrow High School Jazz Band.

On Saturday, families can get up and enjoy a parade at 10 a.m. The carnival rides and live music will begin at noon.  Rooster Days offers 13 different acts throughout the day. Starting at 6 p.m., festival goers can catch the Miss Chick pageant.

On Sunday, events start at noon, with the last live act ending at 6 p.m.

Carnival mega ride passes are $25 Friday and $30 throughout the weekend.

Friday, May 11, 2012

MAY 8, 2012

PICCADILLY CIRCUS......On Tuesday, May 08, 2012, four members of the Byrd-Bellatti Tent, CFA, visited the indoor show in Springfiled, Il. We had a nice visit with Zack Garden and Brian Franzen. The only time you heard a Ringmaster was for several announcements and intermission for photo opportunities. Everything else is computerized: 

Jordan, Aila, Hunter, Zack Garden  
Running order:  #1. Globe - two motorcycles and girl in the globe   #2. Comedy Car-Shane Johnson   #3. Magic - girl in cage turns into Cat   #4. Ponies - Rual Rodriques    #5. Two clowns-safari routine with dog    #6. Rope spinning     #7. Intermission - photo opp withTransformers, ponies, globe riders   #8. Roller skating on platform     #9. Clowns - three musicians    #10. Pole balancing    #11. Sheep dogs -  Rual Rodriques    #12. Juggler - cube, triangle    #13. Three elephants - Brian Franzen

Rick Purdeu (Pres), Dave William (V. Pres), Charlie Bellatti (Sec), Brian Franzen (Elephants)  

Aila (4) Garden 

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 Rual Rodriques performing ponies

MAY 8, 2012

Rope tricks 

 Shane Johnson's comedy car

 Sheep dogs Rual Rodriques   

OKHA on ball 

Zack Garden at control panel
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 Zack Garden, Rick Purdue (Pres),Dave Williams (V. Pres), Charlie Bellatti(Sec) - Byrd-Bellatti Tent, CFA
 Elliott's Amusements Carnival visits Jackson, brings friends and families
Sara Winkler | Jan Gay of Hillsdale, left, rides the ferris wheel with her great-granddaughter Gracie Yager, 3, Wednesday evening at Elliott's Amusements Carnival in the parking lot of Westwood Mall. Gay said they passed the carnival on their way to visit Gracie's grandmother who lives in Jackson. "We went to see grandma and I promised her we would come," Gay said. "She is really happy about it." Elliott's Amusements Carnival is a family-owned company who is making it's first visit to Jackson and will be open at the Westwood Mall until Sunday.
By Sara Winkler
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Grab an elephant ear, take a ride on the ferris wheel and win some prizes because the carnival is in town.

Elliott's Amusements Carnival, to be exact, a family-owned carnival from Mason who set up shop in the Westwood Mall parking lot on W. Michigan Ave last Thursday.

Jan Gay of Hillsdale said the carnival was a pleasant surprise she and her great-granddaughter Gracie Yager, 3, noticed while driving into Jackson to visit Yager's grandmother.
"We come to Jackson quite a bit," Gay said. "We went to see grandma and I promised her (Gracie) we would come. She's really happy about it."

Nick Elliott, 25 of Mason, said the family business is making their first visit to Jackson. The carnival travels city-to-city within the state of Michigan.

According to Elliott, the business was started many years ago by his grandfather. After giving it a run, he took a long break, but the carnival was reignited with the help of Nick's father and other family members and re-launched using the Elliott's name in 2000.

Currently, Elliott, his grandfather, father, mother, uncle and fiance all play parts within this business. With a baby on its way, he had no hesitation when deciding if he wanted to keep the carnival in the family.

"Oh yeah," Elliott said of teaching his future child about the carnival. "It's been through generations."

Elliott's Amusements Carnival will be open from 4 p.m until 10 p.m. each night through Sunday in the Westwood Mall parking lot, 1850 W. Michigan Ave

PHOTO GALLERY: Elliott's Amusements Carnival visits Jackson, brings friends and families
Jim Elliott, a contributor of many great photos for this blog, 
and his family operated Elliott's Amusements.

Sara Winkler | An elephant ear stand sits as part of Elliott's Amusements Carnival Wednesday evening in the parking lot of Westwood Mall. Elliott's is a family owned carnival company out of Mason that came to Jackson for the first time, starting their fair last Thursday. Nick Elliott, part owner, said his grandfather started the business and now he, his father, mother, fiance, and uncle all work within. Elliott's travels city-to-city within Michigan and will be open from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. until Sunday.

Sara Winkler | Jessica Jayne of Jackson and her two daughters Addyson, 2, left, and Bailey, 3, ride the carousel Wednesday evening at Elliott's Amusements Carnival in the parking lot of Westwood Mall. Jayne said the girls were having a lot of fun. "It's great," Jayne said. "It gives us something to do during the day." 

Sara Winkler | Gracie Yager of Hillsdale, 3, rides the 'Croc 'N Roll' roller coaster as her great-grandmother Jan Gay stands below and watches Wednesday evening at Elliott's Amusements Carnival in the parking lot of Westwood Mall. Gay said they passed the carnival on their way to visit Gracie's grandmother who lives in Jackson. "We went to see grandma and I promised her we would come," Gay said. "She is really happy about it." Elliott's Amusements Carnival is a family-owned company who is making it's first visit to Jackson and will be open at the Westwood Mall until Sunday.

Sara Winkler | A carnival employee serves visitors some snacks Wednesday evening at Elliott's Amusements Carnival in the parking lot of Westwood Mall. All of the classic and favored carnival food including french fries, sausage, elephant ears, cotton candy and more can be found at Elliott's, a family-owned carnival from Mason who is making their first visit to Jackson until Sunday. 
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Sara Winkler | The sun sets over the scene of Elliott's Amusements Carnival Wednesday evening in the parking lot of Westwood Mall. Elliott's, a family-owned carnival company out of Mason, made it's first visit to Jackson last Thursday and will be set-up every evening until Sunday.

Banker brings big-top experiences to big bank
Ellis Smith
Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn.
May 10, 2012
Running off to join the circus is considered more of a figure of speech these days than something people actually do.

Mike Butler actually did it.

The current president of SunTrust Bank's East Tennessee region juggled axes, walked a tightrope and catapulted from a teeterboard during the 1970s -- a time when most kids his age rebelled by growing their hair out and listening to the Rolling Stones.
"It was the most significant event in my life," he said.

If he's exaggerating, it's hard to tell. Butler has found a way through the years to connect those heady days in his late teens to the three-ring spectacle of balancing the needs of clients, shareholders and regulators at the helm of a bank.

In fact, Butler never really left the big top behind.

He even has a juggling routine worked out for when he gives speeches.

"That way, they're sure to remember it," he said.

As SunTrust celebrates the bank's 100th anniversary in Chattanooga, Butler hopes that his management of the bank, informed by his unorthodox background, will keep the consumers coming back for another century.
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The circus is in town from May 10 through 13

By Press Release

May. 10, 2012
Hartford, CT--Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey "Presents Dragons" is a once-in-a-millennium event that honors The Year of the Dragon. Circus performers from the farthest reaches of the earth have assembled to showcase their astounding acts of bravery and astonishing athleticism. Ringling Bros. Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson, a University of Hartford Hartt School graduate in vocal performance, presides over this fantastical celebratory tournament of circus champions that brings together mystic dragon lore with authentic circus feats. "Dragons" is a never-before-seen blend of renowned spiritual and real-life legends and is coming to the XL Center in Hartford from May 10 to 13. Tickets are on sale now.
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from: Bob Cox
May 5, 2012
Desfile del 5 de mayo: 150 aniversario de la Batalla de Puebla

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

City Councilors rethink circus appearance in city

Mike Orazzi | Staff 
Bristol City Fire Chief Jon Pose talks about the permitting process in order for the Cole Bros. Circus to approved during Tuesday night's city council meeting in Bristol.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
BRISTOL — City councilors said Tuesday they may not let a circus come to town this summer.

After expressing concern about alleged mistreatment of circus animals, city Councilor Henri Martin said he is not sure “we really want to promote that type of entertainment in the community.”

Representatives of PETA contacted city leaders in recent days to urge them to reject the circus’ plan to come to Bristol or at least require that it perform an animal-free version of its show.

“I’m alarmed. I’m disturbed,” said Martin, who was ready to send the circus packing.

But other councilors agreed to send the proposed Cole Brothers circus visit to downtown’s Depot Square back to committee for a more thorough review of the issues surrounding the circus.

Gary Payne, eastern vice president of the Circus Fans Association of America, said that allegations raised by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are totally false.

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Where Does He Keep All The Birds?

Imlay City fair now called
Eastern Michigan State Fair
Changing demographics
spurred name change

Observer Managing Editor
      The demographic footprint for the annual fair in Imlay City has grown significantly over the past 15 years and will now have a new name to better reflect that reality.
       The Eastern Michigan Fair, as it has been named since the 1960s, will now be known as the Eastern Michigan State Fair (EMSF). Along with the name change, the fair board also decided to adopt a new, permanent logo.
       It's not the first time the fair has changed its name to reflect changing demographics, said Ian Kempf, EMSF manager. This marks the fifth time the fair has changed its name over its 129-year history.
       The fair was called the Imlay City Driving Park and the Imlay City Fair in the late 1800s; the Lapeer County Fair in the 1930s and the Eastern Michigan Fair in the 1960s.
       "As the footprint of the fair continued to grow and the geographic area broadened, we changed our name to reflect the increase in area the fair was drawing from," said Kempf.
       The new focus placed by the EMSF on its demographics has to do with a growing trend toward more regional fairs - as opposed to one state fair - and the demise of the Michigan State Fair in 2009.
       Imlay City has seen an increase in people attending the fair from 9,000 in 1997 to 45,000 last year. Fair-goers are coming from a much larger geographic area that takes in Detroit and its suburbs, over to the central part of the state and from Canada.
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Circus Vargas Introduces Ringmaster KevinVenardos, Now thru 5/14

by BWW News Desk
Thursday, May 10, 2012 
This year, Circus Vargas is bringing a touch of Broadway to the Big Top, introducing Ringmaster Kevin Venardos. Venardos melds melody with movement and adds a bit of Broadway to the Big Top. The blue and gold big top will be set up off the 101 Freeway at Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood from tonight, May 10 through May 14.

“We’ve created something really special here. It’s like an original circus musical! Amazingly, and in a way different than I had once imagined, it represents another dream fulfilled. You never know how the pieces will fit together as the road bends over time. I am thrilled to be a contributor to this wonderful family tradition, and grateful for the chance to touch so many hearts.” - Kevin Venardos

Circus Vargas has a history raising money and helping those in need and is excited to partner with Harmony Project to raise money and awareness for their wonderful program. A benefit gala will be held on Friday May 11 at 7:30 p.m. to help Harmony Project to provide music lessons for at-risk youth in the Los Angeles area. Harmony Project has received nation-wide acclaim for its work with youth in the community. Harmony Project’s founder received the 2011 Presidential Freedom Medal from President Obama for the non-profit’s musical educational outreach.
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Here comes the circus!
May 10, 2012
Winfield, KS--Piccadilly Circus will be in Wichita at the Sam E. Fulco Arena, 1229 E. 85th St., N., on May 25 with show times at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Piccadilly Circus has everything you’d expect to see at a circus. The circus is celebrating 25 years of entertaining families throughout North America, and they have pulled out all the stops. You will see the Elephant Extravaganza; Motorcycle Madness that has daredevils somersaulting and spinning in a big Globe of Doom; Katunga the giant jungle monster; the fabulous Mongolian Angels outstanding contortionists; the White Tiger Spectacular; crazy comedy with circus clowns; even a 1923 Model T with a mind of its down, daring aerialists; cirque artists and much more. It is one and a half hours of excitement and fun!

Free children’s tickets have been distributed at schools, preschools, day care centers and churches in the Wichita area. The free tickets are also available at sponsoring businesses.
Special buy one get one free adult tickets are available online at in a limited time offer. Tickets will also be available at the box office on show day.

Piccadilly Circus is a production of Ice Capades producers and plays mostly one or two days in each city and ravels throughout North America.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Big cats trainer among circus stars of "Dragons" at XL Center

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Scott Gargan
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Lots of people keep cats as pets. But the felines Alexander Lacey's family own are of a larger and more ferocious breed.

"Masai lived in our house until he was a year old, and then he started ripping the place to pieces," Lacey said of his 11th generation pure-bred lion. "He's definitely not a house cat."

Still, Masai, along with the 14 lions and tigers Lacey raises, are part of his extended family. He breeds them, trains them and takes care of them. He even snuggles with them.

Lacey and his pride are among the daredevil stars of "Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Dragons," roaring into the XL Center in Hartford from Thursday, May 10, through Sunday, May 13.

"It's really excellent, really exciting," Lacey said of the show. "There's traditional acts, but all presented in a modern style."

A celebration of the Chinese Year of the Dragon, the event brings together circus champions -- Shaolin kung fu warriors, charging Cossack riders, majestic Asian elephants -- from all over the globe. There is a fire-breathing dragon as well, but his peek-a-boo appearances make him something of a mystery.

Lacey, who is making his American debut with Ringling Bros., is part of an English family that has raised 11 generations of lions and nine generations of tigers.

The cats' tricks range from simple commands, such as sit, stay and roll over, to complicated feats such as soaring leaps, wild flips and a reverse-pyramid in which two tigers stand on a lion's shoulders.

Being in the midst of so many blood-thirsty predators might have the average person running for the hills. But Lacey, who has been around lions and tigers all his life, isn't afraid.

"I spend so much time with the animals. I know them really well," Lacey, who hails from Nottingham, England, said. "They're just like people -- they are left- and right-handed, they have good and bad days, they can be under the weather -- just like us."

Alongside the real-life animals will be a 4,000-pound animatronic dragon. With the help of audience members, circus stars will use their high-flying and death-defying skills to lure the mythical beast out of its lair.

If Lacey and his lions and tigers don't impress the dragon -- or fans, for that matter -- than nothing will. After all, there are few people who can perform with these ferocious felines, and call them family.

"It's very important that people walk away very content," Lacey said. "I want them to see that it's the animals performing with me, that's it's not me dominating the animals. It's a case of us working together."

XL Center, 1 Civic Center St., Hartford. Saturday, May 12, 3 and 7 p.m.; Sunday, May 13, 1 and 5 p.m. $95-$22. 860-249-6333,,
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Russian Defector (and Circus Performer) Opens New Restaurant in Northborough 

Yuri Krasnov has been in the United States for 25 years, and this is his first foray into the restaurant business.

By Charlene Arsenault
May 8, 2012 
Born in Russia, Yuri Krasnov has now been in the United States for 25 years, and will be taking his first jump into the restaurant business this year in Northborough.

He does have a history on the tightrope, however. As a hand-balancer in the Moscow Circus, Krasnov was a longtime circus performer, and defected to the U.S. in 1986. According to an AP story in the New York Times, Krasnov and his wife Luba Pisarenkova, in 1987, "gave their first circus performances at the Memorial Coliseum here this weekend since they defected from the Soviet Union last Sept. 22. The married couple walked away from the Leningrad Music Hall performing troupe and into the United States Embassy while the group was on tour in the Seychelles."
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Circus wows crowds in Moses Lake
Event supports Shriners

Pam Robel/Columbia Basin Herald
Shrine Circus
An elephant and handler entertain kids with rides during an intermission at the Shriner's Circus in Moses Lake Saturday.
By Pam Robel,
Herald staff writer
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
MOSES LAKE WA - The colors of the big top beckoned circus-goers in Moses Lake during the weekend.

The 58th annual Shriners Circus entertained crowds during its first trip to Moses Lake.

"I tried last year to get the circus here," said Glenn Edgemon, El Katif Shrine circus chairman. "This year I just demanded we have it here."

Edgemon waded through the crowds during the weekend's six performances to welcome first-time circus attendees and pass on the goal of the Shriners.

According to the Shriners' website, the organization is, "a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, truth and relief" that is "serving mankind through the resources of its philanthropy, Shriners Hospitals for Children."

Edgemon said funds raised through the circus go to the Shriners' temple and then the temple uses those funds to support the hospital.

"We are known for the circus and it goes back years and years and years," Edgemon said. "I went to the Shriners Circus when I was younger."

Edgemon said organizers expected between 10,000 and 12,000 people to attend the show.

Brandee Guzman, of Moses Lake, along with her children, Amora, Breanna and Angelina, were at the circus to spend time together.

"I haven't been to the circus in Moses Lake but this isn't our first circus," Guzman said. "We saw (a circus) in Indiana."

Breanna Guzman, 9, said she was looking forward to seeing the circus' elephants.

"They're big and funny sometimes," she said.

Angelina Guzman, 6, was excited about the entire circus experience.

"I like all of them," she said.

Ringmaster Ted McRae did his best to pump up the crowd during the Saturday morning performance of the circus.

"This is a light crowd actually," McRae said. "We were packed last night and we expect a bigger crowd later today."

In addition to entertaining the crowd, McRae kept the show moving forward and announced performers as their acts began and concluded.

Among the acts McRae ushered in and out of the ring, were the horses and elephants trained and presented by Erika Zerbini.

McRae told the crowd Zerbini is a ninth-generation circus performer. According to information provided by the Shriners, Zerbini is also one of the youngest exotic animal trainers in the United States and one of a handful of female elephant trainers in the world.

Zerbini's performances stunned the audience with stark white Arabian horses turning on a dime to her verbal cues, an unusual partnership between a black and white draft and mini horse, and the prized elephants that closed out the show.

Kimberlee Smith, of Moses Lake, held her son, 2-year-old Eziekiel, for their first circus experience.

"I knew a little about the Shriners before we came," Kimberlee said. She called the event, "something to do" on a Saturday in Moses Lake.

"I want the elephants!" Eziekiel said.

Cole Bros Circus of the Stars Photo
from Monday's circus at in Hagerstown,MD

Cole Bros Circus of the Stars
( Joe Crocetta/Herald-Mail Staff Photographer / May 7, 2012 ) 

'The Greatest Show on Earth' at the Ontario Science Centre

TORONTO, May 8, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Circus! The Exhibition Explores Science Under the Big Top 

The circus has come to the Ontario Science Centre and YOU are the performers! Opening May 9th, Circus! The Exhibition immerses visitors in the illusion and reality, magic and science of the circus. 

"We are delighted to bring Circus home after ten years touring North America," said Lesley Lewis, CEO of the Ontario Science Centre. "At Circus you will have fun learning. The science is everywhere. When you try to juggle, you'll learn how the laws of physics work - or don't. When you're nine feet off the ground on the High Wire, you'll appreciate the psychology of balance and when your palms start sweating and your heart starts racing you will better understand human physiology." 

This interactive, educational extravaganza will appeal to everyone who has wondered what it would be like to run away and join the circus. Learn how math, physics and anatomy make circus feats possible. 

"This exhibition allows us to explore science from the perspective of that exciting and tantalizingly dangerous world of the circus," said Dr. Hooley McLaughlin, Chief Science Officer of the Ontario Science Centre. "Science is a lens through which we can understand the world around us, but the best science experiences take us to the edge of knowledge and excite our imagination." 

Get a behind-the-Big-Top view of the acts that have perplexed, mystified and entertained generations of circus-goers. More than 20 interactive exhibits show how science is at the heart of the excitement: 

Get strapped into a harness to test your focus and concentration on the High Wire. See if you can make it across a cable strung three metres above the ground. 

The Balance Bar is a unique experience that demonstrates how balance and centre of gravity are the keys to walking the tightrope. Experiment with different balancing tools to discover the secrets of rotational mechanics. 

Go ballistic with the Human Cannonball using pneumatics and a good aim. Shoot projectiles out of a cannon using a hand pump to hit a target. Explore physics and mathematics and have some fun with trajectories. 

Perform Feats of Strength by trying to bend an iron bar attached to a dynamometer that measures brute force. 

Younger children, along with family and friends, can role-play, dress up, and play make-believe in the Creative Costume and Play Area. 

Take to centre-ring and learn to juggle, spin plates, and dress up as a favourite circus performer or animal. Clown Alley tickles the imagination with facts on the science of giggling and laughter. 

Follow your nose to the Food Vendor Cart to identify many of the smells of the circus and learn the physiological reasons why smells trigger nostalgia. 

Circus! The Exhibition was developed, designed and fabricated on-site by staff of the Ontario Science Centre. The exhibition has traveled to science centres, museums and institutions throughout North America. Covering 7,500 square feet (697 sq. metres) the exhibition immerses visitors in the illusion and reality of the circus. Circus: The Exhibition runs through September 3, 2012. For hours and prices visit 

About the Ontario Science Centre The Ontario Science Centre delights, informs and challenges the communities we serve, enriching people's lives and understanding through engagement with science of local, national and global relevance. Since 1969, the Ontario Science Centre has welcomed over 45 million visitors, with an interactive approach that was the model for Science Centres around the world. It is the public centre for innovative thinking and provocative dialogue in science and technology, aiming to inspire a lifelong journey of curiosity, discovery and action to create a better future for the planet. The Ontario Science Centre is an agency of the Government of Ontario. Please visit us at Twitter: @OntScienceCtr. YouTube: . 


Laura Herriott: talking to the (circus) animals
Laura Herriott is just as talkative with her animals as she is with the legion of admirers of her mixed act, as Lane Talburt recently discovered during an interview with the senior performing member of the well-known Herriott circus family.
Laura Herriott: talking to the (circus) animals
Best to you,

Published on May 9, 2012 by LaneInConn
A fourth generation circus performer, Laura Herriott describes personalities of animals in her center-ring act with Lane Talburt. Laura is the oldest of John and Mary Ruth Harriott's daughters.

Cole Bros. Circus: A caravan of clowns

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Bello Nock, named "America's Best Clown" by Time Magazine in 2001, was the main attraction during last weekend's Cole Bros. "Circus Of The Stars," which ran for three days at the conclusion of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester, Va. (And that's not a wig — Bello joked that he puts Viagra in his shampoo.)
Bello with part of the Cole Bros. Cast in 
Winchester, VA this past weekend.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Full Universal's Superstar Parade staring Despicable Me, SpongeBob

Published on May 5, 2012 by AttractionsMagazine
A complete version of Universal's Superstar Parade's first run through at Universal Studios Florida. The parade features characters from SpongeBob Squarepants, Hop, Dora and Diego and Despicable Me. The parade has two stops along its route where the characters leave the floats and perform a song. This video highlights the Sponge Bob Square pants dance
Published on May 6, 2012 by
Already an elephant trainer, Brian Franzen added tigers to his ring skills when his father was fatally mauled by a big cat in 1997. Lane Talburt reports.

Tigers and elephants and poop? oh my

Amazing, love them.
\by Victoria Longo
May 8, 2012  by Victoria Longo
Albany, NY--As most of you already know, I am obsessed with elephants. After seeing Ringling Brothers were coming to the Times Union Center my dad ordered tickets for the 5 p.m. Sunday show.
I was counting down the days, literally so excited to see the elephants. My parents, sister, brother and his girlfriend went to the show and let me just say, it was pretty cool. There were dancers, tight rope walkers, human flames, and extremely well trained animals. Anything you could think of at a circus and then some.

Eating her favorite snack, a loaf of bread
I have never been very fond of clowns and circus themed things, but I loved this. Obviously my favorite part was the elephants, I just wish I could have gotten close for a little photo shoot. Looks like I will just have to visit Africa next.
When the elephants were doing their little number, there was a group of poop scoopers following them with shovels. I’m not kidding. At one point the elephant was on its back spinning around and one of the scoopers was holding the shovel under its butt and moving with it to watch the excrements. It was too funny.

The whole show was amazing, next time ill plot out how to kidnap an elephant to keep as my pet. Seriously though.

Ant antics! Insects show off amazing strength, teamwork
Mish Whalen writes
Ladies and gentlemen! Children of all ages! Welcome to the greatest ant show on Earth!?!
from:animal tracks, msnbc, Today show

Eko Adiyanto / Caters News Agency
These photos of red ants, also knows as fire ants, make the little insects look like they are performing a circus act. They balance giant seed pods from a Mimosa tree above their heads and hold onto one other in a diamond formation on a tiny plant.  In an amazing show of strength, they also move into different gravity-defying shapes as they carry their food back to the nest for the rest of their hungry ant pals.

These ant antics were photographed for Caters News Agency by Eko Adiyanto, 40, who used a special macro technique to get up super close with the insects.

ko Adiyanto / Caters News Agency
Eko, from West Java, Indonesia, said: "The ants are so small and to see how much power they have in their tiny bodies is fascinating. There are a lot of insects roaming around near my house and I find it really interesting."
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