2014 Convention



Saturday, January 26, 2013


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The Best Of Times is a memorable look back at the 1950's and 1960's and should be entertaining to watch for anyone that grew up in that era. Since I was born in the 1960's it was a little before my time but I still enjoy the music and looking at the muscle cars as I’ve always had a thing for the oldies since I was a kid.
1940's Coney Island Wild Animal Act

Circus stars visit youngsters at Memorial Health
Jan 24, 2013

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circus sarasota


Pedro Reis and Dolly Jacobs
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Full House Opening Night

paul binder

Circus returns to Sarasota for shows headlined by Wallenda

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Paul Binder
by Max Wintiz
Fri Jan 25, 2013.
SARASOTA - The Suncoast's favorite hometown circus is back in town for a spectacular headlined by Sarasota's own Nik Wallenda.

Circus Sarasota's winter spectacular kicked off Friday night across from Ed Smith Stadium on 12th Street. Performances run until February 15th.

"Every year we look forward to doing this and presenting acts of the highest quality to Sarasota and the tourists who visit our great community," said Pedro Reis of Circus Sarasota.

This year, the shows are headlined by Nik Wallenda. Wallenda, a Sarasota native, recently crossed over Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

"This is just an amazing opportunity for me to perform for a hometown crowd. It is always an honor to perform in Sarasota," Wallenda said.

It's one of the hottest tickets in town because Wallenda is performing.

"One of the reasons we asked Nik to be here this year is precisely because of the fame he got doing the Niagara walk. Millions upon millions saw it," said Reis.

Help! Too many crocodiles, S.Africa police say
By JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press
Jan 25, 2013
JOHANNESBURG (AP) - Calling all crocodile experts - South African police say you're needed to help capture thousands of crocs out on the lam.

Thousands of crocodiles escaped a breeding farm along a river on the South Africa-Botswana border when the farms' gates were opened earlier this week to alleviate pressure caused by rising flood waters.

Efforts are now being made to wrangle the reptiles and get them back to the Rakwena Crocodile Farm, from where the vast majority escaped. Hangwani Mulaudzi, a spokesman for the police in Limpopo Province, said Friday that experts are needed right away to help sort out the crocodile crisis.

"Due to the number of crocodiles that have been washed away there is a need for expertise, people who have expertise to come and assist," Mulaudzi said. "So we are just making appeals to anyone ... who has knowledge of catching crocodiles to come and assist."

News reports from the scene show people hunting down smaller crocodiles at night, tying them up and taking them back to the Rakwena Crocodile Farm in northern South Africa. The crocodiles are easier to hunt at night because their eyes glow when hit with a beam of light. The farm's website shows crocs up to 5 meters (16 feet) long, though crocs of all sizes escaped, Mulaudzi said.
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Mizpah Shrine Circus a hit with area students

Acrobats soar through the air Thursday morning at Memorial Coliseum during a performance by the Mizpah Shrines Circus for elementary students from around the area. This is the 67th year for the circus. Shows are at 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m., and 2:30 and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 1 and 5:45 p.m. Sunday.
(Photo by Ellie Bogue of The News-Sentinel).
By Ellie Bogue of The News-Sentinel
Friday, January 25, 2013
Fort Wayne, IN--It was a full house Thursday morning at the Memorial Coliseum as the Mizpah Shrine Circus entertained area school children for the 67th year.
Acrobats soared through the air to the gasps and applause of elementary students from around the area. Last year bad weather had canceled the student performance, but Thursday morning the Coliseum looked nearly full to capacity. There will be another school performance Friday morning as well. Students were treated to motocross, high wire, clowns, and tigers , just to mention a few of the many acts. There will be performances for the public as well through Sunday.

The Poema family performed during the Mizpah Shrine Circus Thursday morning at Memorial Coliseum. This is the 67th year for circus.
(Photo by Ellie Bogue of The News-Sentinel).

A cyclist flies through the air Thursday morning at Memorial Coliseum during a motocross act at the Mizpah Shrine Circus performance for area elementary school students.
(Photo by Ellie Bogue of The News-Sentinel).
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The Mizpah Shrine Circus is in town and Thursday morning elementary students from around the area got a chance to go to the show. During intermission children were entertained by clowns making balloon animals. The kids all wanted one, and a lucky few were granted their wish by Fuzzy the Clown.
 (Photo by Ellie Bogue of The News-Sentinel).

big apple

Big Apple returns, bringing regards from Broadway, circuses of yore

From France and the Netherlands: Emily and Menno van Dyke combine the dramatic passion of tango with rhythmic juggling for a dance of flawless coordination at the Big Apple Circus show “Legendarium.” Photo credit: Bertrand Guay / Big Apple Circus
By Howard Pousner
Jan 25, 2013
Hurry, hurry, hurry, step right up …
After a two-year absence, Big Apple Circus returns to Atlanta starting Feb. 1, and, in two weeks, it will be joined in the metro area by worthy competitors Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey and UniverSoul.
Though it has hardly felt balmy ‘round these parts lately, the trio of very distinct circuses likes to route national tours though the sunny South in winter.
News of the return of New York-based Big Apple, which is setting up its big top outside Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park for the first time, was greeted warmly by metro Atlanta fans who appreciate the intimate, one-ring experience. Big Apple emphasizes human scale and feats and feels a bit old world, especially in contrast to Ringling’s super-sized, sparkly spectacle.
“Between transportation costs and overall tickets sales during the recession, we were forced to stay away,” Big Apple spokesman Joel Dein explained, adding, “Atlanta is one of our favorite destinations.”

From Argentina: Elayne Kramer, performing with Big Apple Circus, astounds with a backbone as flexible as an archer’s bow. Photo credit: Bertrand Guay / Big Apple Circus
“Legendarium,” its all-new show that will be presented 27 times though Feb. 18, is a valentine to the roots of circusing in America, and specifically to New York, where the production received glowing reviews from the city’s typically tough critics during its recent stop outside Lincoln Center.
The New York Times called Big Apple, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary, “consistently inspired” and said “Legendarium” “isn’t about to break that long, superb streak.”
In his first tour with the troupe, John Kennedy Kane, who’s making something of a comeback himself as “Legendarium’s” barrel-chested, mutton-chopped, large-and-in-charge ringmaster, says you don’t have to have ever worn an “I (Heart) New York” T-shirt to enjoy this Gotham-centric edition of Big Apple. But it doesn’t hurt either.
The 51-year-old joined the circus at 18 and was quickly transformed into the fire-eating Kanen the Human Volcano — the start of a colorful three-decade career in which he’s played a variety of roles in 15 eternally touring American and Canadian shows, many now defunct. With a nickname of “Circ,” he thought he’d seen and done everything involving greasepaint, but asserted in an interview from his home in Buffalo, N.Y., that Big Apple is a circus apart.
“My family and friends, who are not circus (people), all said the same thing after seeing Big Apple in New York: They’ve never experienced a circus like that. Because it is a Broadway show, it is very theatrical. And the big thing is, it’s so intimate. Literally the people sit around the ring. No seat is more than 50 feet away. You cannot help but be part of the show … because it’s happening all around you.”

From the U.S.: John Kennedy Kane is a debonair ringmaster who will guide the audience through the world of the circus. Big Apple Circus brings “Legendarium” to Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park in Alpharetta, Feb. 1-18. Photo credit: Bertrand Guay / Big Apple Circus
In fact, “Legendarium’s” director, West Hyler, himself a Big Apple newcomer, is a Broadway veteran, having served as associate director for “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Jersey Boys.”
For this circus about circusing, he was seeking a ringmaster who could announce a history-laden script without sounding like, well, an announcer.
He cast Kane after watching a DVD of a one-man show about his crazy life in small circuses that the ringmaster wrote while holed up in Buffalo due to health issues — his own and the slowly drying up “mud shows,” as he calls them.
Kane’s “My Life in the Basement,” which he performed in Buffalo a handful of times, is filled with Catskills-worthy lines in need of a final rimshot.
For instance: “I come from a family of politicians and car salesmen. Me joining the circus actually helped our image in the neighborhood.”
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From China: The all-female Dalian Acrobatic Troupe performs perilous poses of superior synchronization on bicycles as part of the Big Apple Circus “Legendarium” show. Big Apple is one of three circuses coming to metro Atlanta in February.
Photo credit: Bertrand Guay / Big Apple Circus
Even without rimshots, Kane is glad to be working a prestige gig at this late date in his career. “So this play I wrote because I had no circus work got me back into the circus, performing in New York,” he said, savoring the irony.
And though he doesn’t look down his nose at any gig, he shed no tears that he was unavailable over the holidays to play Kandy Kane at the Hamburg (N.Y.) Fairgrounds’ Festival of Lights, a role he performed for seven years and that the Buffalo News dubbed in a headline “Elf with an Attitude.”
“It’s spelled with K’s,” Kane said with a chuckle. “I think a lot of people thought they were going to see a stripper.”
That’s the kind of humor “Legendarium” director Hyler was looking for. “Always during rehearsals, he’d say, ‘Act like you’re doing your one-man show, just talk to us, don’t announce,’” Kane recounted. “I’m welcoming you into our living room, and this is all part of the intimacy. People who know me, performers from other circuses, kid me: ‘You’re getting away with murder, you’re not announcing!’”
But the non-announcer said “Legendarium’s” acts are all the real deal — from the Dalian Acrobatic Troupe, an all-female Chinese ensemble that performs perilous synchronization on bicycles, to the Russian act Desire of Flight, which risks life and limb on aerial straps without wires or a net.
“There’s no theme being shoved down your throat — you know, ‘The Circus From Outer Space!’” he said. “It’s just pure circus.”
Kane’s job is to knit the artistry with the circus history without it sounding like a school lecture. He’s got a script, but Big Apple allows him to ad-lib and only occasionally has reined him in so far.
“I got in trouble for this line: ‘What’s the difference between the three-ring and the one-ring? With the one-ring circus, I can see everyone texting,’” Kane recounted.
“And (Big Apple show runners) were like, ‘Don’t let it bother you, John, that’s the way it is today.’”
Has he busted any of the audience members whose faces are distractingly lit up by their mobile devices when the tent is in a blackout and he’s in the spotlight?
“I choose my battles,” Kane said. “But there are many entrances and exits though the audience, and I’ll just tap someone on the shoulder (and say), ‘It’s showtime!’”
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A few more days to watch the circus in Savannah!
Reported by: Kevin Solomon
Jan 25, 2012

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Kevin Solomon having fun with Dean, a clown from the new Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus in Savannah
When the circus came to town; Seattle in 1912.
The Sells Floto circus was part of Seattle's second annual Golden Potlatch celebration
By Paul Dorpat, Special to The Seattle Times
January 25, 2013

THEN: Thanks to Seattle Public Library's Seattle Room librarian Jeannette Voiland for encouraging me to treat this Pioneer Square parade scene as part of the 1912 Golden Potlatch Parade. I'm convinced.
When the circus came to town; Seattle in 1912.
NOW: Both the elegant Maynard Building at the corner of Washington Street and First Avenue, and Hotel Northern, its neighbor, were built after the city's Great Fire of 1889. Both survive in Jean Sherrard's repeat.
THIS IS ONE OF three snapshots of a circus parade that Max Loudon, a sportsman-grocer with a knack for photography, recorded at this Pioneer Square corner and included in his photo album a century ago. The others are of a horse and a camel, both with costumed riders. For this recording at First Avenue and Washington Street, Loudon did not need to travel far. He worked in the neighborhood.
We are confident that more than one elephant is rounding the corner here because Loudon also photographed the parade closer to its origins in Seattle's freshly graded Denny Regrade neighborhood. The new streets there were hardly developed, and therefore free for the parade and temporary bleachers. One of the other parade photographs shows more pachyderms, six in a row — and there may have been more. All are crowned with tenders dressed like this one, and musically accompanied, we know from the news coverage, by a "steaming head-splitting calliope."
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NOW: Both the elegant Maynard Building at the corner of Washington Street and First Avenue, and Hotel Northern, its neighbor, were built after the city's Great Fire of 1889. Both survive in Jean Sherrard's repeat.

A century ago — and long after — the Sells Floto Circus was famous for its Big Top shows with scores of exotic animals and its primary means of promotion — these parades. In 1909, the Denver-based Sells Floto cut its ticket prices in half to a mere two bits (25 cents), a move that filled its tents with happy customers and its competitors with rage.
This year, 1912, the circus was part of Seattle's second annual Golden Potlatch celebration. The circus performed matinee and evening shows for two of the Potlatch's eight days, and in the mornings of both it paraded down First Avenue from Belltown and back on Second Avenue. Loudon took his circus shots on either July 15 or 16, 1912, or perhaps both.
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Friday, January 25, 2013


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by Steve Marshall
Published on Aug 13, 2012
Here's a song I wrote for al my circus friends who have shared these magical train runs.
Video footage of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus

Rescue Dogs Star at the Circus

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Credit Jennifer Sloat
Many of the performing dogs at the Yankee Doodle Circus, were rescued from shelters or pounds.

January 24, 2013
Joanne Wilson╩╝s Wonder Dogs, one of the featured attractions with the Yankee Doodle Circus, are making several appearances at Long Island schools this week.
Many of the 14 dogs were rescued from shelters or pounds. The circus visited Kings Park on Wednesday as part of a fundraiser for the high school's varsity club.
“These dogs are my life, they are just like my kids,” said Wilson. “When a new dog joins the act I find out what they like to do. Some are good jumpers, some like to do acrobatics. Each one has their own speciality that becomes part of the act. Performing is fun for me and them.”
The troupe of clever canines were featured in the Broadway touring companies of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Will Rogers Follies.
Yankee Doodle Circus performances included Kings Park, Valley Stream and Brookhaven this week as a fund raiser event for school groups.
Lion Whisperer

Uploaded on Mar 31, 2008
Walking with lions is a fast action pack show with 11 lions and featuring a White Lion, Lufuno. Trained by Brian McMillan with his affection training methods and positive reinforcement. He is the lion whisperer.


2013 NEWS---
We are proud to present Judy & Punchy! They will be supplying the laughs for our 2013 season.They've performed with Ringling Brothers, Circus World Museum and now they'll be joining our circus family.
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Check out Solomon at GW Exotic animal park! He's got quite the bachelor pad!
from: the show's Facebook page


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By Eric Dutkiewicz
January 24, 2013
FORT WAYNE, Ind. ( - The Mizpah Shrine Circus kicked off to a roaring start Thursday.
The circus is in its 67th year in Fort Wayne, and provides fun for the whole family.The circus is full of exotic animals, entertaining clowns and exciting performances in the Three Rings of Fun.
The remaining 5 shows are: 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday and 5:45 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets for the circus are priced between $10 and $20.

Walking with Lions Act

Published on Jan 24, 2013
Brian McMillan's lion act featuring Lufuno the white lion

Al Amin Shrine Circus brings elephants, camels and human cannon ball to American Bank Center this weekend

By: Sarah Acosta
January 24th, 2013
The Al Amin Shrine Circus travels to 175 cities in the U.S. in one year.
 George Carden, the owner of the circus, said even though performers travel all over the country, one of their favorite cities to perform in is Corpus Christi.
 “We love Corpus Christi for multiple reasons: the water, the seafood and most importantly Whataburger,” Carden said.
 “Give me a breakfast on a bun any day ranchero style, and I’ll be happy.”
 The Shrine Circus has traveled more than 1,000 miles from their last show in Las Vegas to Texas, and will be stopping in Corpus Christi at the American Bank Center for shows Friday through Sunday.
 Carden said the circus life is a tough one, because you’re on the road your entire life.
 “You live in your R.V. 60 to 90 days out of the year,” Carden said.
 He said it’s hard to settle down, and once it’s in your blood there is no going back.
 “I wouldn’t trade my lifestyle for anything,” he said.
 You can also argue that it’s probably always an interesting traveling the country with talented performers from around the world.

 The Al Amin Shrine Circus will have shows at the American Bank Center arena Friday through Sunday.
The circus has performers from China, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Italy and the U.S.
 Even if you have seen the circus show before, Carden guarantees a good time with the all new show and acts.
 Audiences can see a tiger act with Daniel Raffo, the world renowned tiger trainer from Argentina, with three types of tigers: white, yellow and tabby (a mix of white and yellow) tigers.
 Carden said their human cannon ball, David Smith Jr., holds the world record for the longest human cannonball flight at a little more than 193 feet.

Watch as dare devil David Smith Jr., the human cannon ball, launches into the air and flies 193 feet during the Al Amin Shrine Circus. Performances will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the American Bank Center.
Another act that will get your adrenaline going is the motorcycle madness act where a duo act take motocross to new heights on a thin incline wire.
 Six newly trained camels also are a new addition to the show along with some trained ponies.

Qui Ming balances a heavy vase on his head during his pottery balancing act in the Al Amin Shrine Circus. Performances will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the American Bank Center.
And of course, a circus show is not complete without elephants. See the trained pachyderms dance and do tricks to classic Broadway tunes.
 Carden said they even have the smallest elephant in the world but don’t tell the children that it’s really a trained dog in a funny elephant costume.
 Make sure to arrive to the show one hour early to the show for a chance to join the performers in the ring. The Shrine Circus’ pre party show allows the audience to meet the performers, ride the elephants and take pictures.
 “This show is for everyone,” Carden said. “There is no one too young or too old who won’t find this show entertaining.”
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 What: Al Amin Shrine Circus
 When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. (The audience is invited to the pre-party show an hour before each show to meet the performers, ride the elephants, and clown around).
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'Apps for Apes,' Orangutans Use IPads

Published on Jan 24, 2013
Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington has started the 'Apps for Apes' program, allowing orangutans to play music, draw and even communicate with each other remotely via the iPad's video chat technology. (Jan. 24)


Circus Elephants Help Celebrate Bama’s BCS Title

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Posted By: John Pennington
January 24th, 2013
There isn’t a whole heckuva lot to say about this one.  The Alabama Crimson Tide — long ago known as the Red Elephants — won the BCS Championship Game on January 7th over Notre Dame.  It was Bama’s second title in a row and third in four years.

Yesterday, the Ringling Bros Barnum and Bailey Circus arrived in Birmingham for four days of performances.  Eight of the circus’ elephants were decked out in Alabama gear — including a massive houndstooth hat on one — and marched through the city’s streets as a salute to Tide football (and as one great big commercial for the circus).