2014 Convention



Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ringling Bros. "Fully Charged" - Can the Pies Stand Up to the Houston Heat?

Peru, Indiana
July 20, 2012
I attended the Friday, 7-20-12, performance of the 2012 CIRCUS HALL OF FAME BIG TOP SHOW in Peru, Ind.  On Sat, there was "standing ovation for the Wallenda family", after their performance.

Alex, Tino, Trever, Aurelia Wallenda

Olinda Wallenda climbing ladder to assist with props

John Fugate, Ringmaster

Dieter Galambos on chairs
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Olinka and Tino Wallenda

Alex, Aurelia, Tino & Trever Wallenda

July 20, 2012
All Photos by Bill Prickett

P.J. Turan

Billy Morris and Vickie

Alex, Qurelia and Trever Wallenda

Vicky and Betty, Billy Morris
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Alex, Aurelia, Tino and Trever Wallenda

Chincoteague Ponies make annual swim
Jul 26, 2012

CHINCOTEAGUE ISLAND - After reading Marguerite Henry's "Misty of Chincoteague" in May, Domenica George of Cleveland had to visit the island.
The next month, the 9-year-old horse lover came to town with family members to see Chincoteague ponies for the first time.
"We fell in love with the horses in just a few days," George said.
On Wednesday morning, she joined her 7-year-old sister, Alayna, and father, Tony, to watch the ponies once more at the 87th annual Pony Swim.
A steady breeze and mild temperatures greeted tens of thousands of spectators as they gathered at Pony Swim Lane and Memorial Park to watch the world-famous herd swim across Assateague Channel. About 140 ponies were led into the water by the Saltwater Cowboys, honorary members of the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, which owns and maintains the ponies.
The trek to Chincoteague began at 9 a.m. and lasted a little more than six minutes, one of the longest swim times in recent years.
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Writing was on the wall

During a remodel of a building on State Street in Madison, several planks were found covered with an 1886 Barnum and London Circus poster from when the group performed in Madison.
By Ed Zagorski
July 28, 2012
For Ralph Pierce, it was as if he was walking into King Tut’s tomb.
“When the lights came up, it was amazing,” Pierce said. “This fills a hole in our collection.”
Pierce helps organize Circus World Museum’s collection. What he was looking at earlier this month was a wall made of old barn boards covered in a poster for the P.T. Barnum Greatest Show on Earth and the Great London Circus that dates back to August 1886, when the show came to Madison. The posters were discovered during the renovation of a building on State Street.

Although the pieces were nailed to the wall and ceiling in a haphazard fashion and didn’t reveal the look of the entire poster, it was still a valuable find, Pierce said. “I had no inkling this stuff existed about 100 yards from the Capitol,” Pierce said.
Jack Sosnowski, who owns the building, said he and work crews were expanding his business — The Ivory Piano Bar — when got down to the studs and the wall boards.
“I didn’t know what was on the boards,” Sosnowski said. “I thought we could drywall over them.”
Once they placed additional lights on the wall, there were able to make out some of the words on the poster, such as “Barnum and London Show” and “Lion House.”
One of Sosnowski’s employees called Circus World Museum and reached Pierce. He and Circus World archivist Pete Shrake went to visit the site July 20.
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“It didn’t take Ralph very long to notice the significance of the poster,” Sosnowski said. “We were all very excited about it.”
Sosnowski said his crews took two days out of their schedule to remove any boards that could be salvaged. He said it took quite a bit of work because some of the boards were connected to the building’s structural support.
“We tried to be as careful as possible when we took the boards out of the building because of their significance,” Sosnowski said. “We know they are really important for research and display purposes at Circus World Museum. We’re excited to see what they do with them.”
Pierce said Circus World Museum Inc. compensated Sosnowski and his crew for their work those two days they suspended their own project to retrieve the boards. He and Shrake packaged the 24 boards, which came in four, eight and 12-foot sections, in tissue paper to transport them to Baraboo.
Pierce said finding the boards was like uncovering an artifact. “By looking at them we can see what colors and what words they used to advertise their shows when they came to town,” he said.
Shrake said the poster provides documentation of the printing process used 126 years ago. “It gives us the opportunity to see how the posters were used at the time to advertise the circus and its shows,” Shrake said. “The fact we were able to get these pieces was extremely wonderful.”
Shrake said Circus World staff will determine how the pieces that comprise their latest find will best be displayed and protected.
“We’re just happy to have them,” Shrake said. “And really grateful.”
Home is a circus train for family

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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Dmitry Dolgikh and Nadia Tarasova are parents of a son, Sasha, as well as aerialists in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Tarasova says their life is not that different than the lives of other working families.
Nicole Villalpando, Raising Austin
Friday, July 27, 2012
For mother Nadia Tarasova, life is a circus.
She and her husband, Dmitry Dolgikh, are performers in Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's show "Fully Charged," which is coming to Austin Aug. 22-26. Their son, 6-year-old Sasha, has been calling the circus train home almost since he was born.
Tarasova is an aerialist and an elephant rider. Dolgikh is a fellow aerialist, and every night they hang on to one another and a strap that supports them.
They practiced their act for a year and a half before it was ready for the big top. She says she trusts him to hold her, not because he's her husband, but because he's a great gymnast and partner.
"He keeps me up in the air," she says. "I have to trust that I'm not going to fall down."
Tarasova has been living the circus life since 1999, when she left Russia, where she was a gymnast. Her husband, also a Russian gymnast, joined the circus four years earlier, and they met at work.
For Tarasova, life in the circus and as a mom feels normal. "I've never been a mom off-road," she says. "You get used to the environment you live in."
Their only home is the train. The size of a circus employee's compartment depends on what they do. Clowns, she says, as well as some of the younger performers have small compartments. Because Dolgikh also works as the stage manager for rigging and Tarasova works behind the scenes as well as performs, they have a larger train compartment in a household train car. They have a bathroom with a shower, a sleeping area and a kitchen, where she does a lot of the cooking, even though they have "pie cars," or dining cars, on the train.
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Cirque du Soleil's 'Kooza' has tricks, treats

Kooza, touring circus production by Cirque du Soleil which premiered in Montr al, Canada, in 2007. In this image the Quiros Brothers, Spanish circus acrobat family, perform in the Highwire.
Photo: Cirque Du Soleil / HC 
By Everett Evans
Friday, July 27, 2012
Houston, TX--Special delivery! A large package arrives at the start of "Kooza" - and as it comes from Cirque du Soleil, it's no surprise that it brings a host of surprises and wonders.

A tall, take-charge figure known as the Trickster springs from the giant jack-in-the-box, startling the Innocent, meek recipient of the gift and leading him on a voyage of discovery.

Creator-director David Shiner and his gifted collaborators have given "Kooza" consistent style, joyous mood and a sense of magic, with the right balance of variety and continuity.

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Cirque du Soleil Kooza Charivari Picture credit : OSA Images Costume credit : Marie-Chantale Vaillancourt 2007 Cirque du Soleil 
Photo: OSA Images / handout 
Agile dancer/acrobat Jason Berrent's Trickster conjures up the show with commanding presence, while Cedric Belisle enacts the wide-eyed Innocent with wistful charm. They supply the situational frame, along with the clowns they encounter.
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Friday, July 27, 2012


Richard Hertzler
Joe Camel, right, drinks from a water bottle, as Jara guzzle looks on while they wait for the next show at the Piccadilly Circus in the Park City Mall parking lot in Lancaster, Pa., Thursday, July 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Lancaster Newspapers, Richard Hertzler)

David Duprey
Corky Corey sets up lawn ornaments he makes and sells in front of his home during the hot summer weather in Darien, N.Y., Wednesday, July 18, 2012. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

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Rodrigo Abd
"Leoncito", an 8-year-old clown, waits for customers at a fair celebrating St. James the Apostle in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala, Wednesday, July 25, 2012. The tradition of honoring St. James or Santiago in Spanish, goes back to when the conquistadors arrived in the Americas, renaming many communities after their patron saint, which is the patron saint of Spain today. His feast day is July 25. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

The Guy in the Clown Nose? He’s an Olympian

When their bodies no longer permit competition, growing ranks of Olympians are choosing to run off with the circus, specifically Cirque du Soleil.
By Geoffrey A. Fowler
July 26, 2012
Terry Bartlett is a world-class gymnast who leapt, tumbled and swung for the glory of Great Britain in three Olympic Games.
Today, he is also a world-class clown. Ten times a week, he dons a red nose and floppy shoes to elicit chuckles at “O,” a Las Vegas water-themed circus run by Cirque du Soleil.
“It’s better than having a real job,” says the 48-year-old Bartlett.
When their bodies no longer permit competition, growing ranks of Olympians are choosing to run off with the circus. Over the past decade, Cirque du Soleil has established one of the sporting world’s most successful employment channels for elite athletes with few post-competition career options. Beyond coaching and modeling, there are few jobs that require the skills of gymnasts, divers and synchronized swimmers.
Some 50 current and former Cirque performers have competed at the Olympics, including stars from the 2008 Games like American gymnastics silver medalist Raj Bhavsar and 24-year-old American synchronized swimmer Christina Jones. The “O” show where Bartlett performs has hired nine Olympians.
Cirque, of course, is no ordinary elephants-and-carnies circus. Over 28 years, the Montreal-based company has built a business out of blending traditional acrobatic acts with Vegas-style theater—and has annual revenue of close to $1 billion.
Olympians provide a level of skill and work ethic that have become central to Cirque’s high-gloss productions. “To create an Olympian takes at least 12 years of training and preparation. Cirque is using that to our advantage,” says casting director Fabrice Becker, a French freestyle skier who won gold in the 1992 Games in a demonstration event for ski ballet.
Circus work appeals to Olympians because they often have difficulty transitioning from sports back to normal life. “Even some of the people who medal in a sport can’t necessarily make a living out of it,” Becker says.
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Circus Scott in Karlskrona
A family that attended Cirkus Scott made this video. There is a little bit in the middle of their daughter participating in the interactive area.
Please notice that the pony ride is done without the traditional "sweep" and the riders are wearing helmets. I bet the animal rights fanatics have something to do with the absence of the sweep and the insurance company had something to do with the helmets. I am surprised that the kids are allowed to participate in the interactive area, maybe the insurance company didn't see that.
The Bronnett Brothers started Circus Scotts; they were clowns. I am fascinated that so many circuses were started by clowns (wink wink wink), including Yankee Doodle along with John RIngling and Dan Rice. Mike

Published on May 25, 2012 by summer0704
Our first time watching a circus performance, it made Angel an excited and happy little girl. The best way to spend a Mother's Day.
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Box office located at performance site:
1270 Montreal Ave, St Paul, 55116
Summer Shows
 The Summer show is reserved for the most advanced performers in the most advanced acts. Students appearing in these themed productions are seasoned, well-rounded performers who train year-round.
 SHOWDOWN is a lighthearted romp into the Wild West, exploring the thrills of the era with outlaws, saloon girls, and a mail-order-bride amongst the cast of characters. While the show includes a bank heist and show down, the guns have only recorded sound effects, and no one dies from the antics of those involved. The story holds more laughs for the audience than moments of danger, but the spirit of the west shines through
Box office located at performance site:
1270 Montreal Ave, St Paul, 55116

Galilee Circus Comes to Town

Greg Salisbury, Arts/Culture Editor
July 25, 2012
As anyone who has ever attended summer camp can tell you, there are times when it can get to be like a circus.
 That was never more true than on July 19, when 250 campers and counselors at the Kaiserman JCC Day Camp in Wynnewood were treated to a performance by the Galilee Circus, a youth circus made up of both Jews and Arabs from the Galilee region of Israel. The circus came to the camp as part of its United States tour organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. The troupe played to numerous Delaware Valley audiences before leaving for a residency in St. Louis.

The circus is the brainchild of Rabbi Marc J. Rosenstein, the former principal of Akiba Hebrew Academy (now the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy in Bryn Mawr.) In the aftermath of the 2000 intifada, Rosenstein, the director of the Israeli Rabbinic Program of Hebrew Union College at the Institute of Religion in Jerusalem, knew that he had to do something to bridge the ever-widening gap between Jews and Arabs.
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When asked why he chose the seemingly random vehicle of a circus, the 65-year-old Rosenstein says that he hit upon the idea because the circus is all about "overcoming fear, about trusting the other person implicitly. They don't have to speak the same language -- or any language. It's people from other cultures working together, it makes people smile, and it's a sport that's non-competitive -- there are no losers."
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Acro-Cats Bring Kitty Hijinks to San Francisco -- Fur Real
By Anisse Gross
Jul. 25 2012

If you are part of the 21st century, you've probably spent the last few years of your life lost in the world of Internet cat memes. Well it's high time you traded in your LOLcats for the real things -- the kind with fur, not pixels.
On Wednesday, July 25, through Sunday, July 29, at Boxcar Theatre Studios, the cat(s) are out of the bag, as Samantha Martin and the Acro-Cats come pawing their way through San Francisco.

Escape the summer heat at indoor theme park

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Ralph Fountain/Review-Journal
The spinning, rolling Disk'O ride is shown at the Adventuredome at Circus Circus.
Jul. 26, 2012
Escape the summer heat and head to the air-conditioned indoor Adventuredome at Circus Circus, 2880 Las Vegas Blvd. South., for a cool Vegas experience.
Adventuredome is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays. Rides cost from $5 to $8, but an all-day pass is $27.95 for adults and $16.95 for children 33 to 47 inches tall. Children under 33 inches are free with a paying adult.
Among the popular attractions are the Canyon Blaster, a roller coaster that takes visitors on a 55 mph ride on a double-loop and double-corkscrew track, and the Sling Shot, which shoots riders up like a rocket launcher at 4G force. The 4-D Special FX Theater features many special effects, including squirting water and bubbles. There's a merry-go-round and a variety of kiddie rides, too.

Heat is part of Boone County Fair tradition

Ryan Henriksen
Jerry Lewis, 42, of Columbia competes Wednesday in the first round of the demolition derby at the Boone County Fair. The grandstands were crowded despite high temperatures.

By Jodie Jackson Jr.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Columbia, MO-- By the time demolition derby drivers began spraying mud clumps into the packed grandstand last night at the Boone County Fair, the oppressive heat that delayed the start of carnival rides one hour had eased slightly.
Hundred-plus-degree heat seems to be a tradition of the annual fair, and a variety of events gave fair-goers a choice of staying in the air-conditioned multipurpose building or outdoors where the unmistakable aroma of deep-fried treats lured hungry visitors to stand in line to buy funnel cakes.
"This weather's tough," said fair co-manager Mike Teel as he finished off a pork steak sandwich and made his way to the small-animal tent where his grandson was getting ready to have a chicken judged in the poultry show.

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Ryan Henriksen
The Nemesis 360 at the Boone County Fair on Wednesday, July 25, 2012.

The fair certainly doesn't have much down time between events, Teel said. Last week, he said the decision to move from an 11-day fair to a five-day fair was a "calculated gamble" intended to increase the number of fairground visitors by provide more activities and options for entertainment.
The price of admission went up from $5 to $10 per day, but the new price includes access to grandstand events and a full lineup of free musical entertainment each night of the fair. Other new events include a kickball tournament tomorrow and mud volleyball on Saturday.
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Circus Smirkus to pitch big top tent in Waltham this weekend
Performers from this year's Circus Smirkus tour include 29 kids, ages 11 to 18. The circus will hold eight shows in Waltham this weekend, starting today.
By Jaclyn Reiss, Town Correspondent
by Jaclyn Reiss 
July 26, 2012
Area residents can catch any of eight Circus Smirkus shows being performed this weekend, as the non-profit international traveling youth circus will pitch their tent once more in Waltham.
This year's show, entitled "Topsy Turvy Time Travel: A Blast from the Past and Fun from the Future," features 29 kids, ages 11 to 18, hailing all over the country and world. They star on aerials and highwire, as jugglers, acrobats, and clowns.
The circus troupe will perform at Gore Place, 52 Gore St., from today through Sunday. Show times are 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. on today and Friday, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Tickets cost $25 for adults ages 13 and up, $19 for kids ages 2 through 12, and free for kids under 2 years old.
Founded in 1987, Smirkus was the dream of internationally-renowned clown Rob Mermin, who began the program on a former dairy farm in the remote corner of Vermont known as the Northeast Kingdom.
The organization has grown to include a summer camp and a school residency program, and has welcomed coaches and performers from 26 states and 29 countries.
Two troupers on board call Massachusetts home, including returning performer Olivia Saunders, 18, of Acton, and first-timer Remi Sanchez, 16, of Amherst.
This year's troupe hails from nine other states – California, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont and Washington – as well as New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
The 2012 Big Top Tour took to the road July 1, with Massachusetts shows in Waltham (July 26 through July 29), Sandwich (July 29 through August 1), Newbury (August 3 and 4) and Revere (August 12 and 13).
In addition to Massachusetts, the Big Top Tour stops in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, and New York, offering nearly 70 shows in 15 cities and towns.
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The Circus Travels by Rail
Ballonman/file foto
July 25, 2012
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum along with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® present Circus Family Day Saturday, August 11th from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Be part of the over the top, high flying spectacular celebration. Clown around the museum and learn about Circus Trains, enjoy a circus train craft, get your face painted by Petals the Clown, or get a unique balloon character made just for you! You too can run away with the circus… or at least come enjoy the museum for a chance to win a Family four-pack to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® show Dragons opening August 23rd.
All of this clowning around can really get a person thirsty, so jump right in to our adventure dome and cool yourself off with some refreshments, fresh popped popcorn, and cotton candy. The Circus is in town and this is a family day not to be missed!
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum is open Tuesday-Friday 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM and 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday. Children 14 and under are free, adult admission is $8 all activities are included. Those who wish to enjoy Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® show Dragons can receive $1.00 off of regular adult admission to the Model Railroad Museum through Labor Day weekend by showing their Dragons Circus ticket at the admissions desk.

Local riders taste circus life

Animal trainer Jennie Vidbel praises her team of Arabians after a morning training routine at the Big Apple Circus in Lake George Thursday, July 19, 2012. Vidbel performed her training session and then sat down with riders from Riding Right Farm to explain training methods and answer questions.
July 26, 2012
LAKE GEORGE ♦ Horsing around at the circus has its perks.
Advanced students of the Riding Right Farm and Equestrian Center of South Cambridge recently were treated to a rare look at animal trainer Jennie Vidbel and her behind-the-scenes work with the horses that have been starring in the Big Apple Circus at the Charles R. Wood Park.
Riding Right owner Hollie McNeil surprised the riders in her summer camp program with a field trip that gave them a glimpse of a career in the horse world they might not have considered before.
One of my students was saying she wanted to do something with horses, but she’s thinking of horse nutrition. You see there are so many different places you could work in the industry. We might throw the word circus trainer out, and you might say it doesn’t exist. Well, it exists, and it’s a unique job — and you can see how cool it is,” McNeil said. 
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Horse trainer Jennie Vidbel runs her Arabians through drills while riders from the Riding Right Farm and Equestrian Center watch at the Big Apple Circus in Lake George Thursday, July 19, 2012. Riding Right owner Hollie McNeil brought her more experienced equestrians to the training session so they could see a different job description within the equestrian world.
The girls watched intently as the petite Vidbel held court in the air-conditioned arena, putting six Arabians and six ponies through a morning rehearsal, using nothing more than voice command and an occasional light flick of a whip she held in each hand.
The stunning animals didn’t fail to impress as they bowed, weaved in between each other, pranced in pairs and sixes and reared up on hind legs.
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Santa deemed 'disruptive' at Disney World
ROSWELL, Ga. - He's not a Disney character, but Thomas Tolbert plays the role of Santa so well, the park was concerned that on his recent visit, folks might think he were a cast member.

Thursday, July 26, 2012





B. P. Peru Parade #3

Some of BILL PRICKETT'S photos of wagons seen in the Circus City Festival Parade in Peru, Ind, July 21, 2012

Orange Cage Wagon

Girl on Trapeze

Steam Calliope

Modern Steam Calliope

Tino Wallenda family and Dieter Galambos

Billy Morris,with Vicky,and Betty
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White Carriage Wagon