2014 Convention



Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hudson, Michigan
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From Jim Elliott

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Hamid Circus family: it's in their blood
May 17, 2012
James Hamid Jr. and his wife, Shirley, are fourth and ninth generation circus people respectively, and their children represent the fifth and tenth generations--all taking active roles in Hamid Circus, Inc., one of the premier producers of Shrine circuses in America.
Thanks for your continuing help in getting my videos out to circus fans, producers, performers and other circus goers who visit your sites.

Published on May 17, 2012 by LaneInConn
Typical of many American circuses, the New Jersey-based Hamid Circus is packed with family members, as Lane Talburt discovered at the Melha Shrine Circus in West Springfield, Mass.
Cole Bros. Circus In Vineland, New Jersey

Circus relocating to Albuquerque

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from: KOAT.COM
ALBUQUERQUE,N.M. - The elephants and acrobats with the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus aren't coming to Rio Rancho anymore. Instead, they're taking their tricks to Tingley Coliseum.

Action 7 News was the first to tell you about the circus conundrum.

The "Greatest Show On Earth" was slated for shows at Rio Rancho's Santa Ana Star Center this June. But Rio Rancho Mayor Tom Swisstack said lawyers realized the circus has USDA violations within the past five years, so the show was off.

"Unless you deal with the ordinance every day, you're not going to know what's in there," Swisstack said.

Swisstack said an emergency conference call Friday morning resulted in the decision not to cancel the show entirely, but to move it to the Tingley Coliseum in Albuquerque. The dates and times will remain the same, and all tickets purchased will be honored.

Those who purchased tickets can get a refund from the Santa Ana Star Center.

Circus-goers may be happy the show is still on, but it's safe to say those involved with the event in Rio Rancho are not.

The city estimated tens of thousands of dollars were going to pour into the area from this event. Now that money will go to Albuquerque.

"Providers will probably lose some money, but the other side of the coin is that we'll have other shows and they'll make that up," Swisstack said.

Officials hope Big Apple Circus will pave way for other events in Lake George

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Photo courtesy of Don Covington/Big Apple Circus
Big Apple Circus' white "Big Top" as seen in Cunningham Park, Queens, for Memorial Day circus in 2007. The circus is coming to Lake George in July. 

from: Lake George Post Star
May 17, 2012
LAKE GEORGE -- Construction to turn part of the former Gaslight Village into festival grounds won’t begin until fall, but that doesn’t bother the Big Apple Circus.

The circus will perform 25 shows over two weeks in July and is the first event scheduled for the site, which has been cleared of old structures from its days as an amusement park.

Looking around at the gravel and grass that remain, Big Apple Artistic Director Guillaume Dufresnoy was optimistic.

“It already looks great,” Dufresnoy said Thursday. “We’ve played much worse in our years.”

Big Apple, Warren County and Lake George officials gathered at the future festival grounds to talk about the circus and plans to further improve the 2.5-acre site, which has been renamed the Charles R. Wood Park.

In the short term, some work will be done to prepare for the circus, such as hauling in more crushed stone. But the majority of the construction is scheduled for the fall, when crews will begin installing grass pavers and porous pavement on nearby Westbrook Road.

The project also includes manmade wetlands to collect and treat stormwater before it enters West Brook and Lake George.

Warren County and the village of Lake George, which own the park, won’t make money off the circus’ first appearance — in fact, they have picked up the tab for some of its expenses and site fees — but they do hope that putting the space to use will lead to a multi-year Big Apple contract and make it easier to recruit other events.

“It helps to be able to tell people we can do more than just park cars here,” said Michael Consuelo, executive director of the Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce, which has a contract with Warren County to recruit special events and conferences to such venues.

Lake George Mayor Robert Blais said there are talks of a three- to five-year deal with the circus if the July appearance is successful.

The Big Apple tent will be positioned at the south end of the park; a “village” for the traveling crew of performers and stage hands will also be located on-site. Set-up will take four to five days.

This is the first time Big Apple has played in Lake George; the stop has been added to the end of its national tour.

According to Dufresnoy, Big Apple has been a pioneer for 35 years in delivering an intimate, artistic one-ring circus experience. The tent accommodates 1,500, with seats no more than 50 feet from the performance area.

He said the show is authentic and entertaining, and it should appeal to the whole family. Details like original music played by a band and beautiful costumes keep true to the original circus spirit.

The two-hour-and-15-minute performance includes jugglers, magicians, aerialists, an animal trainer, a contortionist and trapeze artists.

Big Apple Circus will offer daily shows from July 14 to 29. Tickets start at $10.

Circus pulls disappearing act

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.A small circus which was slated to put on a pair of shows Friday night instead left town after not being able to secure the necessary permits. 
Hannibal Courier-Post
Posted May 18, 2012
Hannibal, MO — A small circus, scheduled to entertain young and old alike in Hannibal during a pair of Friday performances, instead pulled a disappearing act, leaving town only hours after arriving.
 The circus was to have staged shows at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in an open field just west of Clemens Field.
“We thought it would be a cool deal and the town really wanted it,” said John Civitate, general manager of the Hannibal Cavemen, noting that the baseball team’s offices were flooded throughout the day Friday by calls from those wondering what was going on. Calls were also received at the Courier-Post and Hannibal Parks & Recreation Department.
 The circus rolled into town early Friday morning, according to Civitate.
“I looked out at 6:45 a.m. and there were horses and semis in the field,” he said.
 Circus personnel wanted to begin setting up immediately, but Civitate would not allow them to until he got confirmation that their insurance was valid.
 The circus also rolled into town Friday without having secured city and county licenses, and approval from the county Health Department. Before a show could occur an inspector from the Fire Department would have had to do a walkthrough. The city also needed to see proof of liability insurance.
“All that takes time,” said Becky Graves, deputy city clerk.
 According to Graves, a representative from the circus showed up at City Hall Friday morning.
“We told them what they needed,” she said. “They went upstairs to start the process. Later, John (Civitate) called and said they had pulled out.”
 “I just stepped out the door and they were gone,” said Civitate. “I guess there was too much footwork, I don’t know.”

The Baronton Sisters on The Ed Sullivan Show
Uploaded by TheEdSullivanShow on Nov 2, 2009

Former circus barns get historic designation

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A sign points the way to the International Circus Hall of Fame in Peru.
CARSON GERBER, Kokomo Tribune
17 May 2012
PERU, Ind. (AP) - Miami County historian Kreig Adkins remembers the days when there was a chance you'd be driving down U.S. 31 and see elephants.

That's right. Elephants. On U.S. 31.

And if Adkins has his way, people will once again see the titanic mammals while cruising on the highway between Kokomo and Peru.

Last month, his dream moved closer to reality when the Terrell Jacobs Wild Animal Circus Winter Quarters that used to house the elephants — as well as tigers, hippos and monkeys — was placed on the National Park Service's Register of Historic Places.

"This is a big step in the right direction," Adkins said.

In 1939, "Captain" Terrell Jacobs, who was once known as "the youngest, most fearless animal trainer in the world," purchased several acres along Pipe Creek in Miami County to construct two large barns to accommodate a menagerie of animals. The barns are located across from what's now the Grissom Aeroplex.

In one barn, Jacobs trained elephants for his independent act before starting his own short-lived circus in Peru, which now dubs itself the Circus Capital of the World.
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Circus Vargas in Industry features human rocket, death sphere acts 

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Acrobat Celeste Fernandez, right, warms up as Victor Kim and Soraya Ortiz, left, rehearse Thursday in the Circus Vargas tent at Puente Hills Mall in Industry. The circus's local run began Thursday and continues through Monday. (Keith Durflinger / Staff Photographer)

By Maritza Velazquez,
Posted:   05/18/2012
INDUSTRY - Getti Garcia has been a circus performer all her life.
When she was young, she traveled and performed all over Europe with her parents, who had an acrobatic act. She met her husband in the circus and now they travel with their two young sons from city to city, entertaining large crowds as part of Circus Vargas.

This week the Garcias are in Industry for Circus Vargas' latest show, which kicked off its stay at the Puente Hills mall Thursday during its opening night.

"We travel 11 months out of the year," 34-year-old Garcia said. "To some people it might seem like so much, but to us, it's what we do."

The Bulgaria-born Garcia performs the "globe of death," in which she and her husband Leo Garcia ride motorcycles simultaneously inside of a large metal sphere.

"It looks extremely dangerous, but it's more safe to do in there than to ride on the streets," she said Thursday as she sat in the large circus tent that accommodates up to 1,500 people on any given night.

The act is one of many during the two-hour-long shows at Circus Vargas, which also features Broadway-style singing, flying trapeze acts, a comedic clown, juggler and more.

"It's for all ages," said Kevin Venardos, the Circus Vargas creative director and ringmaster. "That's in fact one of the coolest parts of the circus. Three different generations can experience the same thing and they do enjoy it."
Circus Vargas is an animal-free show, Venardos said, adding that it features about 30 performers and a staff and crew of about 30.

"There's a lot of amazing things that humans can do," Venardos said.

One of those things is being shot out of a rocket-like contraption, and that is exactly what Garcia's husband Leo does at the end of the circus show during his human rocket act.

The Garcias first met while they were both in the circus with their parents, at just 16 years old, Getti Garcia said.

They kept in touch and dated long-distance while working for different circuses all over the world. They got married when they were 20 years old, Getti said.

Now they travel across the globe with their sons, ages 10 and 2, spending the last three years with Circus Vargas.

Getti said the company is more like a family.

She and her husband plan to stay in the circus business for a long time.

"We definitely don't have plans to do anything but this," she said.

York to mark its circus history May 19

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Enquirer-Herald file photo - When the Barnett Brothers Circus wintered in York in the 1940s elephants on the city's streets were not an uncommon sight. 
The history of the two circuses will be commemorated with a new state historical marker, to be dedicated Saturday at the corner of Roosevelt and East Jefferson streets. The Yorkville Historical Society and Culture & Heritage Museums teamed up to get the marker approved by the state.

By Jennifer Becknell -
May. 17, 2012
YORK, SC -- For more than 15 years, a lot in York served as the winter base for one of the largest motorized circuses of its kind — the Barnett Brothers Circus. Some York residents remember watching the elephants walk along East Jefferson Street to get their exercise.

The Barnett Brothers Circus inspired the five sons of police officer C.P. Bennett and his wife, Olive — who lived not far from where the Barnett Brothers Circus spent the winter — to start their own children’s circus in 1929.

The eldest son, Joe, organized it when he was about 12, and local children auditioned to be part of the circus, which grew to about 30 performers by 1938, its last season. It performed in York and other area communities in the region, always opening with a street parade.
Enquirer-Herald file photo - When the Barnett Brothers Circus wintered in York in the 1940s elephants on the city's streets were not an uncommon sight.
The history of the two circuses will be commemorated with a new state historical marker, to be dedicated Saturday at the corner of Roosevelt and East Jefferson streets. The Yorkville Historical Society and Culture & Heritage Museums teamed up to get the marker approved by the state.

Nancy Sambets, director of collections and archives with McCelvey Center, said the marker dedication will be accompanied by an exhibit of historical circus memorabilia at McCelvey.

She said the Barnett Brothers Circus was significant because “it was one of the largest motorized circuses to travel from Canada into the United States. There were very few motorized circuses at the time, because most of the circuses were all on railroads.”

York Mayor Eddie Lee, who plans to speak at the dedication, said the original Lone Ranger, Lee Powell, was part of the circus. Powell performed as part of a Wild West show, Sambets said.

From November through March or April, she said, the Barnett Brothers Circus would end its traveling season and settle down in York, where it would house its animals and refurbish its equipment. Sometimes, small shows were given, too.

The show, owned by Ray Rogers, a Vermont native living in Canada, first occupied a large stone livery stable at 6 E. Jefferson St. Rogers later acquired two lots across from the livery stable, between Roosevelt and Trinity streets, where he built several buildings.

The Barnett Brothers Circus was on the road for 17 seasons, surviving the Great Depression and World War II. It was later renamed the Wallace Brothers Circus, due to the financial backing of George and Minter Wallace.

Rogers sold the circus and all its animals in 1944 to Clyde Beatty for $50,000. It became the Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus, and made new winter quarters in Florida.

Want to go?

The state historical marker dedication for the history of the Barnett Brothers and Bennett Brothers Circuses will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at Roosevelt and East Jefferson streets, York, with refreshments and circus exhibits to be open after the dedication at the McCelvey Center, 212 E. Jefferson St., York. Circus exhibits will also be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 21-25 at McCelvey. Call 803-684-3948, ext. 33, for more information.

Trapeze artist founded South Africa's leading circus 

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Born to fly … Madame Suzanne Wilkie performed as an aerialist as well as with animals. 
May 18, 2012
Madame Suzanne Wilkie was a French-born flying trapeze artiste and, with her British husband, founded South Africa's largest and most successful travelling circus.

She arrived in Britain in 1951 as Suzanne Gendarme, having been booked to appear in the circus at the amusement arcade at New Brighton, Merseyside, run by the showman Whilma Howe Wilkie. They married and in 1954 emigrated to South Africa.

Suzanne Gendarme was born in France on January 3, 1931. Circus was in the Gendarme blood - Suzanne's sister, Micheline, was a human boulet de canon and her brother Raymond, recently returned from the war in Algeria, joined her with another partner, to form the Flying Renols. The group soon became a leading trapeze act appearing in big tops all over Europe.
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Thursday, May 17, 2012

May 24 Circus Vidbel tickets now on sale
CUMBERLAND, NJ - Tickets are now on sale for Circus Vidbel, the one-ring show under the big top that comes to the field behind St. John Vianney Church, Diamond Hill Road, each year.

The show, which was in town last fall, will now make appearances in the spring in our area. There will be no autumn show. Circus Vidbel will host two performances, at 5 and 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, and the shows will have more acts than last fall.

Advance tickets are $9 and are on sale at Dave's Marketplace at Chapel Four Corners, AJ Seabra Supermarket on Mendon Road, and the Li'l General store near Diamond Hill Park. Tickets will also be on sale at the new Valley Breeze office in Lincoln, at 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite 204, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Tickets will also be sold by participating Cumberland elementary school PTOs, with a large portion of the purchase price going directly to those PTOs. Participating this year will be parents from Community, Garvin, McLaughlin Cumberland Hill, and Ashton schools. The Valley Breeze does not profit from its sponsorship of the circus.

New in the May 24 show are acts with The Amazing Sladek, with comedy skills on trampoline, the "Tower of Chairs" hand balancing, trick riding, and aerial work; a black dressage horse, aerial silks, jump rope, balancing perch poles, dogs, and The Chicago Boys, an acrobatic group from the Windy City that were with Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus a few years ago.

Returning are Slinky and Susan Vidbel on the cloud swing.

Other groups who might want to sell tickets within their group and keep a generous portion of the proceeds should call Valley Breeze Publisher Tom Ward for more information at 334-9555, ext. 123. The line has 24-hour voice mail where those interested may leave a message.


Uploaded by globalvideopro1 on Jan 24, 2010
ELEPHANTS GOT TALENT and this video clip proves that! Watch them ride a bike, paint a picture, step carefully over a visitor lying on the ground, dance, hula hoop, play soccer, basketball or bowling, etc.
See to believe how smart these creatures are.....
Please note that there are plenty of elephant blankets in Thailand...Mike
At Crufts 2012 A Dog's Gotta Do What A Dog's Gotta Do - HILARIOUS

Shrine Circus bringing clowns, aerialists, acrobats

Thursday, May 17th, 2012
KEARNEY — The Shrine Circus returns to Kearney’s Viaero Event Center for a pair of performances at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. May 24.

Sponsored by the Tehama Fort Kearney Shrine Club, the shows are presented by James Cristy Cole Circus and feature many longtime circus performers and legendary acts.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students in sixth grade through college. Children in fifth grade or younger are admitted free. All seats are general admission.

Tickets can be purchased from area Shriners or at the Event Center’s box office.

This year’s event includes an entirely new show featuring funny clowns, daring acrobats, happy animals and beautiful aerialists performing high above the circus ring.

Other acts include the popular dancing elephant, Anna Louise, and Jeffery’s Jalopy comedy car routine featuring a 1927 Model-T.

Animal rides will be available before each performance and at intermission.
Circus performer has been training animals her whole life 
Georgia Temple
from: my
Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Training animals has been a passion of Cathy Carden's for as long as she can remember.

"I've been training animals since I was a little kid," said Carden, who along with husband Brett is part of the 2012 Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus coming to Ector County Coliseum Thursday. "Every pet under the sun -- cats, dogs, hamsters, snakes, birds, rats. I trained rats. They are very smart.

"I had all kinds of animals. Drove my mother crazy. My family's act was horseback riding. I was riding before I was walking. My dad bought me a pony when I was 12, Silver. He was the right size, and he was beautiful. And I started training him, and that's where I got my start with horses, and that's what I've done ever since."

A seventh-generation animal trainer and performer, Carden began performing as a ballerina on horseback in her parents' Cossack act at the age of 5. By the time she was 7, she began working with her parents to care for animals, including her family's three young elephants. At age 12, Carden was training elephants and Liberty horses. At age 18, she received six Liberty horses as her high school graduation gift from her parents so she could perform in the family's circus, the Hanneford Family Circus.

Although training animals was her passion, Carden knew it was important to be skilled in other areas of performance. So she learned how to be an acrobat, aerialist, trampolinist, dancer and later a vocalist and announcer.

Currently the featured animal presenters in Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents BARNUM BASHSM, the Cardens perform three different presentations: one featuring three Asian elephants; a second with mixed hoof stocks including two camels, two Arabian horses, two Shetland ponies and a miniature horse; and a dog presentation highlighting terriers, poodles and mixed breeds.

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KDKA - Pittsburgh Today Live!

Zany Umbrella Circus unfolds at Father Ryan Arts Center in McKees Rocks

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May 17, 2012
By Linda Wilson Fuoco / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
May 17, 2012
When the Zany Umbrella Circus comes to town, the audience in McKees Rocks will see a show its creator describes as "physical theater ... set up like an old vaudeville show" that includes "folk art stories."

And it's all done by one man.

Benjamin Sota, who grew up in Millvale, will perform "My Grandfather's Circus" on Sunday at the Father Ryan Arts Center in McKees Rocks. As he checked out the center's stage last week, he juggled five red leather balls.

"I have to figure out how to put a trapeze in here," he said to the staff at the 130-seat theater. Although at least one person chuckled, it became apparent Mr. Sota wasn't kidding. In the 50-minute, one-man show, he will perform on a trapeze, walk on a high wire, ride a unicycle and juggle.

And that's not all.

Mr. Sota will share stories he wrote about the circus experiences of his maternal grandfather, John Hamilton, during the Dust Bowl era in Woonsocket, S.D.

Mr. Sota, 31, performed "My Grandfather's Circus" at the White House in 2006. He has written, directed and produced more than 30 shows in the past nine years, many of which include other performers.

The Zany Umbrella Circus has performed at hundreds of venues in the United States and abroad, including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Al Hussein Amphitheater in Amman, Jordan, and at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Arts Festival.

The news release from the Ryan center describes the show as a "whimsical tribute performance" that will bring "everyday objects to life" while "creating circus from unexpected situations."

"We are very excited to have an act as creative as this," said Geoffrey Stillson, interim director of Focus On Renewal, the social service agency that owns and operates the theater. Those at the agency have seen a video of the show and, Mr. Stillson said, "this fits into our new niche -- focusing on ... children's theater" that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
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UniverSoul Circus Co-Host: 'Soul Is Not A Color' 

 Courtesy of UniverSoul Circus
The Shaolin Warriors, from Shaolin Monastery in central China, put on a demonstration of traditional kung fu fighting techniques, with some crowd-pleasing stunts thrown in. They had never performed with a circus before this year.
by Andrea Hsu
May 16, 2012
For almost 20 years, the UniverSoul Circus has been pitching its tent in urban plazas across the country. The circus was founded by a Baltimore native as a showcase for black talent, one that he hoped would inspire black audiences.

In more recent times, the circus has evolved into an eclectic mix of acts from around the world. Now, it's pushing to diversify its audience, with a show called "Us."

Strength, Precision And Crowd-Pleasing Nerve

In the beginning, all of the talent was black. They came from Africa, the Caribbean and the U.S.

Today, UniverSoul still opens with black performers: a classically trained ballerina, followed by a trio of West African horsemen in shimmery blue spandex.

They gallop around the ring at top speeds, and then come the gymnastics. One flips himself completely around the horse's torso while it's still running. Another stands up on horseback and throws his hands in the air, all at full gallop.

Later there are stilt walkers from Trinidad and Tobago, Mongolian aerial acrobats and the Shaolin Kung Fu Warriors, from Shaolin Monastery in central China.

The warriors' heads are shaved, their bodies draped in yellow robes.

They bow to the audience. Then they leap into battle, swords flying. They thrill the audience with their strength, precision and crowd-pleasing nerve. They break a wooden dowel over one guy's head and a second dowel over another vulnerable spot. But don't worry — he's OK.

After their set, the warriors retire to the trailer they share with the acrobatic contortionists from Guinea.

Troupe leader Liu Xiaofeng says they had never performed with a circus before. They heard that UniverSoul was one of the best in America.

For most of the Shaolin Warriors, it's their first time in the U.S., and their first time seeing so many African-Americans in person. Li Dongwei, 20, says before coming here, his impressions of black people were based on violent movies.
There's a big difference, says Liu Xiaofeng. A black audience doesn't suppress its emotions. In China, he says, maybe because of Confucianism, people are more reserved.

Zanda "Zeke" Charles began as UniverSoul's ringmaster sidekick 18 years ago. Today, he co-hosts the show, and, when not in the ring, he roams the audience signing autographs and giving out hugs.

'Soul Is A Flavor'

"To me, soul is not a color. Soul is a flavor," says UniverSoul's co-host, Zanda "Zeke" Charles, who is 54 years old and 4 1/2 feet tall.

He has been with this circus since day one.

"Anybody from any country can come in and do what we do," Charles says. "We put our music to it, their culture to it, and it's like, voila, we give something to the community that they rarely or barely ever get a chance to see."

Today, UniverSoul's community remains predominantly black. But, as he roams the stands giving out hugs, Charles says he is seeing more and more families of other colors.
"When I walk around the audience and see their little kids, the Chinese little kids seeing someone in the ring of their culture, that puts pride to them," he says.

Back in the ring, Charles is running the "Soul Train Line" — an audience-participation dance-off.

Five men and five women run down the aisles from all corners of the tent — all African-Americans, as usual, except one. She's Yuling Han, a Chinese-American psychologist and mother of two young children, who watch from the stands.

"I kind of like to embarrass them," she says.

The crowd approves of her dance moves, and on her way out, Charles gives her a high-five. He hopes she'll be back.

Opening circus to calliope music

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Myron Duffield, known as the “Calliope King of the World”, will open tonight for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Columbus. Here the former Middleport resident entertains at the Sternwheel Festival in Pomeroy.
by Charlene Hoeflich
May 17, 2012
MIDDLEPORT — It took almost 40 years, but Middleport native and longtime resident Myron Duffield has finally made it to the top — the “big top” that is.

The “Calliope King of the World” will play the calliope he built so many years ago for 20 minutes in a warm-up session prior to the main performance of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus tonight when it opens in Columbus for a four-day run.

For about 40 years, Duffield has traveled around the country pulling a flatbed trailer on which was mounted his beautiful red and gold circus wagon housing the calliope. He built it many years ago from old calliope parts he picked up here and there.

Over the years, the jovial performer has driven thousands of miles, played at hundreds of fairs and festivals and participated in as many or more parades, including one down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D. C. Duffield was always accompanied by his wife, June, who drove the vehicle in parades as her husband played the calliope. They never seemed to tire of all the traveling.

Growing up in Middleport, Duffield remembers running down to the bank of the Ohio River when he heard calliope music coming from one of the big boats traveling through the Bend area. The music he heard so long ago made such an impression on him as a young lad that it inspired a lifetime hobby of not only playing and entertaining others with calliope music, but of restoring and building unique musical instruments including the calliope.

Duffield’s fascination with the river and the boats traveling up and down led the couple back to Middleport after he retired a number of years ago. Then a couple of years ago because of some health problems, the couple moved to Gahanna to be closer to family members.

Tonight as the melodic strains of calliope music float across the arena to open the show, Duffield, long known as the “Calliope King of the World,” will surely feel that he has reached a pinnacle of places to play — the circus

Elephants Doing Tricks San Diego Wild Animal Park 1983

Uploaded by sunofgrace on Sep 3, 2010
The wild animal park in San Diego Ca, put on a great show. Even in 1983. These elephants are so smart and talented. You'd never think they'd be able to do some of these tricks like walking on two legs. There's an elephant that plays the harmonica. One of the elephants tricks is he lays ontop of a woman. The elephant weighs over a ton, and could seriously crush her. The elephant trainers did a great job teaching them how to stand on one leg, balance on each other, and even walk an elephant conga line. This interesting video for animal lovers shows us just how smart elephants are, and just how many tricks elephants can do. A Great elephant show at the San Diego Wild Animal Park.
The circus is coming, the circus is coming!

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Tripoli Shrine Circus Spectacular tigers
May 15, 2012
YORKVILLE — Performances of the 2012 Tripoli Shrine Circus Spectacular will be held at 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at the Racine County Fairgrounds, 19805 Durand Ave. The show features international performers from more than 15 countries.

Elephants, tigers and acrobats prepare to dazzle and astound during this benefit series hosted by the Tripoli Shrine.

“In my 50 years in the circus, I’ve never had this much talent in one show,” said George Carden of this year’s Tripoli Shrine Circus Spectacular. Newly discovered acts by Carden include:

* Audrey Michelle, one of the only female ringmasters in the world.

* Daniel Raffo, world renowned tiger trainer from Argentina.

* Andrea, Arline, and Lluvia. This daring duo hangs high above the arena by their hair while spinning at dangerous speeds and juggling flaming batons.

* Broadway Bo, the world’s largest performing elephant trained by Larry Carden.

* Fabio’s Extreme Riders, It’s a Small World After All. This fearless foursome ride while encased in a steel globe.

* The Arias Family, Oodles of Poodles. Watch these canines leap and dance.

The Tripoli Shrine Circus Spectacular is the only interactive circus in the world. The audience is welcomed into all three rings of the circus floor one hour prior to show times to meet the performers, ride the elephants and “clown around.” People may bring cameras.

Tickets cost $16 for adults and $12 for children. There is no charge for children 2 and younger. Coupons are available at local businesses for buy one adult ticket, get one child ticket free.

The Shrine Circus is a fundraising event for the Tripoli Shrine, known for their participation in the community service projects and philanthropic pursuits.
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New Giraffe Calf at the Bronx Zoo

Published on Apr 16, 2012 by WCSMedia
Our baringo giraffe calf has made her debut on the African Plains, and she's one busy baby. See her nuzzle with mom, romp around her exhibit, and interact with a surprise visitor—an interloping butterfly.
Circus was in town

... but without any lions, tigers or elephants

Roust-a-bouts put up a circus tent Tuesday on the grounds of Butler Elementary School. The Culpepper & Merriweather Circus performed two shows later in the day. / Dave Polcyn/News Journal
Written by
Lou Whitmire/News Journal
May. 16, 2012
BUTLER -- A circus without lions, tigers or elephants came to town Tuesday.

The only animals they brought with them were a few horses and some dogs.

About 300 students watched the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus hoist the big top Tuesday morning outside Butler Elementary School. Students from Bellville and Butler elementaries cheered as a 10-man crew with the help of a Bobcat raised the tent. There was no elephant helping with the poles as is often the case.

Carney Anne Chester, an attorney with the PETA Foundation, said in December 2011 the U.S. Department of Agriculture brought formal charges against Culpepper & Merriweather for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act.

"In order to exhibit exotic animals, it requires a valid USDA exhibitors license and in December 2011 the Cullpepper and Merriweather exhibitors license was suspended," she said.

Horses exhibited in circuses are not protected by the animal welfare act, Chester said.

"Abuse and neglect of animals is the rule and not the exception when it comes to circuses which force animals to perform," Chester said.

Chester encouraged anyone interested to visit the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals website,, to discuss the issue further.

Simone Key, who serves as an announcer and performer of trapeze and unicycles for the Hugo, Okla.-based circus, said there are no wild animals in their shows in Ohio.

"Police in Ohio do not want us to have wild animals because of what happened in Zanesville," she said.

A Zanesville man released more than 50 exotic animals from his farm before killing himself in October. Most of the animals released were killed by deputies from the Muskingum County Sheriff's Office that night. To date, no law has been passed on the exotic animal issue. (Senate Bill 310 is in the House.) Even if SB 310 is passed, it has an exemption for circuses and zoos, according to the legislation being proposed in the Senate.

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A circus pony grazes near the Big Top Tuesday at the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus in Butler. The circus plans two shows Tuesday. Lou Whitmire/News Journal
Tuesday, no one answered the telephone at the circus company's main office.

D.J. Weiss, a clown in the circus, explained circus life to students who sat on bleachers and tarps for the impromptu outdoor experience.

Key said the circus goes to a new town every day for 32 weeks from March to October.

"We haven't been to Ohio for 11 years," she said.

Key promised acrobats, clowns, jugglers and a Russian swing among the circus acts for two shows last night.

Evan Moody, 8, and his brother Caiden, 8, said they hoped to come to the show.

Caiden said if he worked for a circus, he'd want to be a juggler. His brother said he would want to be a clown.

Outside on the school grounds, a horse, pony and a few miniature horses grazed quietly as students watched the tent rise.

Bellville mother Jamie Emerson brought her daughter Allie, 3, to see the circus set up the tent. Heather Richmond, also of Bellville, brought daughter Taylor, 3.

"I like to see the acrobats," Allie said.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


. Marker is near Florence, New Jersey, in Burlington County. Marker is at the intersection of U.S. 130 and Cedar Lane, on the right when traveling north on U.S. 130. Sign is between a fast food and a convenience store. It is possible to drive up to the sign. Nothing remains of the circus buildings or homes. Marker is in this post office area: Burlington NJ 08016, United States of America. 


Circus Band
PUBLISHER: Scott & Van Altena

Circus Parade Humbert.
by Zenner, J.P. (attributed)
not dated

Elephants in parade
by Zoller, Charles C
ca. 1910
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Achille Philion, circus performer, doing balancing act
by  Zoller, Charles C.
ca. 1900