2014 Convention



Saturday, February 16, 2013

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Baraboo will get circus parade July 27
By Ben Bromley, Capital Newspapers
Feb 15, 2013
A circus parade soon will march back into Baraboo.
Plans are in the works for a Big Top Parade to be staged July 27 during downtown Baraboo’s Circus Celebration. Business leaders are promoting a parade that, while not delivered on as grand a scale as the Great Circus Parade of old, will anchor a day of circus-themed activities.
“I think it’ll just be great and bring a lot of people to town,” said Deb Bauer, executive director of the Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce. “We think people will want to come to spend the day, if not the weekend.”
The Chamber of Commerce is a partner in the parade, along with city government, Circus World Museum and Downtown Baraboo, Inc. Organizers are quick to note the parade won’t be as large as the circus parades last seen in Baraboo in 2005. It will still feature circus wagons and animals, but will also include community groups and will follow the route of the downtown business district’s popular holiday season light parade. Organizers, who held their latest planning meeting Thursday, decided a smaller parade would be easier to fund and coordinate.
Circus World executive director Steve Freese said it makes sense for Baraboo to embrace its circus heritage with an annual parade. The Ringling brothers were local boys-turned-circus impresarios, as were their cousins the Gollmars. Meanwhile, the Moellers, cousins to both the Ringlings and Gollmars, built wagons for circuses across the country.
“We’re excited about this,” Freese said. “It just makes perfect sense.”
Circus World is hosting a wild west re-enactment that weekend, and those performers will appear in the parade. Area marching bands have been approached, and businesses and community groups will be invited to enter floats in the parade.
“We’re still in the planning stages, but we’re moving forward,” Bauer said.

Titan to send foster families to Royal Hanneford Circus
February 15, 2013
Ad agency Titan is sending 104 foster parents and their children to the Royal Hanneford Circus.
 WHITE PLAINS - More than 100 foster families will get to clown around this weekend, thanks to a generous donation.
Ad agency Titan is sending 104 foster parents and their children to the Royal Hanneford Circus at the Westchester County Center.
The Royal Hanneford Circus, which will celebrate its 38th year in Westchester, says this makes the event all the more spectacular.
Sideshow takes center stage at Florida State Fair

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Shelley Rossetter, Times Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 12
TAMPA — It took Tommy Breen three years to learn how to swallow a sword.
 In the decade since, he has had few injuries, none serious.
 It's mostly just uncomfortable, he said. A feeling made slightly worse when the sword sinks a little too deep — like the time an audience member accidentally pushed rather than pulled the blade out.
Still, it's hard not to cringe at the sight of a man sliding a solid blade of steel down his throat. But that's exactly the reaction Breen looks for.
Breen is manager of the World of Wonders Sideshow, a traveling carnival attraction performing at the Florida State Fair through Monday. The act based in Gibsonton has performed across the country for more than 60 years. Now, it's one of the last of its kind.
And, Breen, 32, is part of a new generation working to keep it alive.
The show hasn't changed much over the years. There's still the fire eater, four-legged woman and half man.
"We have magical illusions, oddities, giant snakes and weird animals," said Breen, who is from New Jersey. "It's kind of the essence of what sideshows used to be."
But the audience is different.
"When these shows first started, everybody believed what they saw was real," said fire eater Sunshine English, 26. "Now, the audience is a bit jaded."
The cast's young age — almost all of the performers are under 35 — could help combat that.
 "We're trying to breathe new life into it," English said. "The veterans teach us as much as they can, but there are certain things they don't understand that younger people want to see."
 Many of the performers in the show had never even seen a sideshow before joining. Breen read about the art of sword swallowing in high school and decided to teach himself. After graduating from college with a degree in film and biology, he answered an ad for the sideshow, much to his parents' chagrin.
 "I was running away from being comfortable," he said.
 Since then, he has helped shape the show.
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Florida State Fair

An overveiw of the fair from the original Batcopter of the old 1960"s Batman, TV Series. It also appeared in the original Batman movie. The owner Eugene Nock, A.T.P. of Longboat Key acquired it some years ago and restored it back to airworthy condition. You too can ride the Batcopter at the fair for nominal fee. The Florida State Fair has over a 100 free events this year along with a giant midway boosting more than a 100 rides. The fair continues through February 18, 2103. Food and lots of free entertainment top the list of things to do. (February 8, 2013 Herald-Tribune Staff Photo by Thomas Bender)


The Florida State Fair has over a 100 free events this year along with a giant midway boosting more than a 100 rides. The fair continues through February 18, 2103. Food and lots of free entertainment top the list of things to do. (February 8, 2013 Herald-Tribune Staff Photo by Thomas Bender)


April Dykes and Tommy Breen part of the World of Wonders amazement show. The Florida State Fair has over a 100 free events this year along with a giant midway boosting more than a 100 rides. The fair continues through February 18, 2103
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The Florida State Fair has over a 100 free events this year along with a giant midway boosting more than a 100 rides. The fair continues through February 18, 2103. Food and lots of free entertainment top the list of things to do. (February 8, 2013 Herald-Tribune Staff Photo by Thomas Bender)
Khulan Circus

Essam Abdoo
JAN 28, 2013


Universoul Circus lets you get close to the action in Tampa

Colorful Caribbean dancers are part of the UniverSoul Circus at Raymond James Stadium.
From: The Tampa Tribune
February 15, 2013
The blue-and-yellow big top of UniverSoul Circus has taken over the parking lot of Raymond James Stadium.
 Beneath it, you'll find about 75 performers including acrobats, contortionists, dancers and animal tamers from Africa, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil and the United States with an urban aesthetic and a hip-hop beat.
 "We do our own thing," said Hank Ernest, UniverSoul Circus Media Relations. "We are a single-ring big-top with intimate seating where you will probably be touched, literally, by a performer.
 UniverSoul Circus has touched audiences for 19 years, since Cedric Walker, a former entertainment mogul who worked for such groups as the Commodores and The Jackson 5, created the circus to bring together black families, much the same way the gospel comedies he produced in the '80s did.
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Shaolin acrobats from China are among the acts featured in the UniverSoul Circus..

Walker travels the world looking for thrilling, high-adrenaline, and, often, nerve-wracking acts, that will keep families entertained.
 This year's theme, the "Mash It Up Tour," encompasses Walker's intense search for talent around the world, which this year resulted in two UniverSoul traveling shows, Ernest said. Tampa is the first stop for the "Mash It Up Tour."
 The 15-city tour includes Vincent Clark a Capella singers and the Human Beat Box from the United States; seven female contortionists from Africa; A Cuban/Russian high-bar act, a Vietnamese head balancing act, and China's Shaolin Warrior king-fu acrobats.
 And there also are performing animals, such as the Magic Cat Comedy act featuring live tigers from Africa, horse tricks from Russia and Africa, elephants, zebras and a French dog act.
 And back for his 19th year is ringmaster sidekick Zanda Charles, known as "Zeke," with a brand new bag of tricks.
The circus tries to introduce new acts, music and choreography each year to keep it fresh, Ernest said.
 Unlike arena-style events packed with nosebleed seats, no audience member is farther than 50 feet away under this tent, so they may find themselves right beneath the high-wire act.
 "This circus wants to continue to evolve and diversify and find the best acts from around the world, regardless of their background," Ernest said. "Talent is a terrible thing to waste. You never grow too old for UniverSoul Circus."


Video: Sideshow at Florida State Fair
by Carolina Hidalgo
Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The show hasn't changed much over the years. There's still the fire eater, four-legged woman and half man. But the audience is different. And Tommy Breen is part of a new generation working to keep the World of Wonders Sideshow alive.



Lawrence Anthony, a legend in South Africa and author of 3 books including the bestseller The Elephant Whisperer bravely rescued wildlife and rehabilitated elephants all over the globe from human atrocities, including the courageous rescue of Baghdad Zoo animals during the US invasion in 2003.
On March 7, 2012 Lawrence Anthony died.
He is remembered and missed by his wife, 2 sons, 2 grandsons and numerous elephants. Two days after his passing, the wild elephants showed up at his home led by two large matriarchs.
Separate wild herds arrived in droves to say goodbye to their beloved man-friend.
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A total of 31 elephants had patiently walked over 12 miles to get to his South African House.
Witnessing this spectacle, humans were obviously in awe not only because of the supreme intelligence and precise timing that these elephants sensed about Lawrence 's passing, but also because of the profound memory and emotion the beloved animals evoked in such an organized way:

Walking slowly - for days - Making their way in a solemn one-by-one queue from their habitat to his house. So, how after Anthony’s death, did the reserve’s elephants — grazing miles away in distant parts of the park — know? “A good man died suddenly,” says Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, Ph.D., “and from miles and miles away, two herds of elephants, sensing that they had lost a beloved human friend, moved in a solemn, almost ‘funereal’ procession to make a call on the bereaved family at the deceased man’s home.”

“If there ever were a time, when we can truly sense the wondrous ‘interconnectedness of all beings,’ it is when we reflect on the elephants of Thula Thula. A man’s heart stops, and hundreds of elephants’ hearts are grieving. This man’s oh-so-abundantly loving heart offered healing to these elephants, and now, they came to pay loving homage to their friend.”

Lawrence's wife, Francoise, was especially touched, knowing that the elephants had not been to his house prior to that day for well over 3 years!
But yet they knew where they were going. The elephants obviously wanted to pay their deep respects, honoring their friend who'd saved their lives - so much respect that they stayed for 2 days 2 nights without eating anything.
Then one morning, they left, making their long journey back


Discoveries bring Montana circus history to life

by Robin O'Day - KPAX News
Feb 15, 2013
PHILIPSBURG - It's not the obvious romanticism of a dozen roses or a box of chocolates, but one woman stumbled across a sort of childhood memory that she'd been pining over her whole life. She may be the brains behind successful businesses like Philipsburg's Sweet Palace and Sapphire Gallery, but Shirley Beck can now add the Circus Gym to her list after finding rare 1923 Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus Posters after a building renovation. Shirley dusted off the decades and introduces us to the greatest show on earth - Montana style. "The deeper I went the older it was. And the very last thing that I took out was a roll of paper. It was in the very bottom corner," she recalled. Shirley knew there could be some surprises in store for her after she bought the historic building on Main Street, but she had no idea an iconic symbol from her childhood would be waiting for her to discover, buried deep down in the corner of the building. "I unrolled it just a little bit. It only took me two inches in and I knew exactly what I had," Shirley told us. Baraboo, Wisconsin was Shirley's home in the 1950's and as it turns out, it was also the summer home for one of the most celebrated performing groups in American history. "Immediately, the hair on my arms stands up because they are Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus posters," said Shirley. She was instantly flooded with flashbacks from her childhood. As a young girl, she'd sneak out and watch the circus, every chance she got. So it only seems fitting *she would discover seven posters promoting the circus coming to Missoula on August 17th. The year was 1923. "That means they were waiting under there for 24 years before I was born, waiting, and I often say they were waiting for me, waiting all these year, waiting through everything, waiting for me to find them," Shirley explained. The story doesn't end on the streets of Philipsburg. A young man working in Missoula was cutting lawns to make some extra cash, came across some photos of the very same circus parading down the streets of downtown Missoula. read more at:!prettyPhoto[gallery]/0/
Circus coming to Magnolia
March 24

Friday, February 15, 2013
Magnolia, Texas---
World celebrated Kelly Miller Circus brings thrills, chills and fabulous, affordable family fun to Magnolia! TIGERS, ELEPHANTS, CLOWNS, AERIALISTS, ACROBATS AND MUCH MORE make marvelous magic in America’s one-ring wonder! Owned and produced by John Ringling North II, the energetic, two hour spectacle headlines world-class circus stars from across the globe including: America’s own Titan of the Tigers, the courageous Ryan Holder in the giant steel arena; direct from her appearance in the hit motion picture “Water for Elephants”, the lovely and intrepid aerial star, Rebecca Ostrof; and from Argentina, the astonishingly astute Fusco Gauchos.
The circus will roll into town on Sunday, Marcy 24th with performances at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. held at the Celeste Graves Education Support Center on Nichols Sawmill Rd. On the morning of circus day, the fun and excitement begins long before show time. Beginning at 9 a.m., the public is cordially invited to join the circus family as the Big Top rises to the skies aided by men, machinery and ponderous pachyderms. Everyone is invited to come out and watch the animals being unloaded and fed, and the elephants raising the big top. Activities will begin at 7:30 a.m. and the tent will be raised at 9 am. Guides will be furnished for school groups and anyone attending.
The local appearance of Kelly Miller Circus is sponsored by the Magnolia/Tomball YMCA and proceeds will benefit the YMCA Partners of Youth Scholarship Program. Advance Tickets are now on sale at: Chick-fil-A of Magnolia and Amegy Bank (FM 2978 & Hwy 249). Tickets bought in advance are $10 for Adults and $6 for Children. Tickets purchased on show day at the Circus are $15 for Adults and $7 for Children…so purchase your tickets now!!
Get ready for a big, fun-packed circus holiday for kids of all ages- the best day of the year. Circus day!

Friday, February 15, 2013


Uploaded on Sep 8, 2011
The New York area gets a return performance of Barry Lubin, ‘Grandma the Clown’ 
Will appear with Royal Hanneford Circus of Sweden in a Westchester performance

Grandma the Clown, played by Barry Lubin, in a performance with the Big Apple Circus at Lincoln Center
By Jacob E. Osterhout / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, February 13, 2013,
Grandma’s back in town.
Just over a year after retiring from the Big Apple Circus, the beloved Grandma the Clown (aka Barry Lubin) is returning to the tristate area with the Royal Hanneford Circus.
 A lovable old lady in white makeup, a red dress and black sneakers, Grandma will make her post-retirement American debut with the traditional three-ring circus at the Westchester County Center Saturday.
 And she’s excited.
 “Performing in New York means everything to me,” Lubin tells The News. “I have missed it mightily.”
 Since retiring from the Big Apple Circus in January 2012 after 25 years with the company, Lubin moved to Sweden, taught physical comedy through the University of Virginia’s Semester at Sea program and starred in a winter circus festival in Aachen, Germany.
 But the lure of New York was too much for the 60-year-old comedian, who returns to the area for three days only.
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Barry Lubin will return to the New York area with a Westchester performance of the Royal Hanneford Circus.
“It is good to remind the fans that I am still alive.” he says. “I miss the fans more than anything else about my 25 seasons playing in New York.”
 As every performer knows, fans here can be demanding. But in Europe, Lubin was able to slow down his act.
 “The audiences in Europe are different in some ways, especially their patience with clowns developing comedy moments,” he says. “In other words, I can take my time more than with American audiences.”
 But according to Lubin, “laughter and comedy, at least in the case of Grandma, is universal.”
 So has the clown changed after a year away?
 “Same Grandma,” says Lubin, “different venue.”
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Very sad news this morning. Long-time friend and fellow showman, PeeWee Pinson, passed away during the night; apparently from a massive heart attack.
He was working with Joanne Wilson on Mike Naughton's Yankee Doodle Circus tour in New Jersey.
Our hearts and prayers are with Joanne, Kim, Dennie and the entire family.
The Carlos McIntyre Family were parked on the grounds overnight, too.
YDC was traveling to Whitinsville, Massachusetts, about 160 miles, the biggest jump of the tour.
Pee Wee, Joanne and the McIntyres decided to leave in the morning with their travel homes because it would be easier to drive in daylight and they had overnight power at the high school in Rhinebeck.
Kim Sue Valla, Joanne's daughter, was in White Plains, New York for the upcoming weekend date for Hanneford. Kim Sue traveled about 90 miles to bring her mother to the Hanneford lot.
Joanne will return to Yankee Doodle on Saturday, February 16 in Holbrook, Massachusetts.
The above is the only facts that I know as of this moment.
Death of 80-year-old circus member on Rhinebeck High School property not considered suspicious
By Freeman staff
February 13, 2013
RHINEBECK, N.Y. — An 80-year-old man who was a member of the Yankee Doodle Circus that performed in a fundraising event for the Rhinebeck High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions died in his trailer on school grounds Wednesday morning, according to school and law enforcement officials.
Capt. John Watterson of the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office said the death was not considered to be suspicious, but they were awaiting a cause of death from the county Medical Examiner’s Office.
Watterson said the man, whom he would not identify pending family notification, was from Sun City, Fla.
School Superintendent Joseph Phelan said the circus had two performances on Tuesday evening at the middle school gym, and after the show, circus organizers packed up their vehicles, equipment, and animals and left.
The 80-year-old man remained in his trailer with his wife on school grounds overnight, and the couple was planning to leave in the morning, according to school and police officials.
Phelan said at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday, the performer’s wife came into the school looking for help because her husband “was in distress.”
Some teachers who had arrived early went outside with an automated external defibrillator but were unable to revive the man, Phelan said.
The superintendent described the incident as “a sad thing.”
Phelan said emergency responders arrived at the campus at the same time as traffic was arriving to drop children off for school, and school officials sent emergency notifications out to families to let them know there were no threats to school safety. 
Festival International du cirque de Monte Carlo 2010 Les éléphants

Suzana Linhares
Uploaded on Jan 22, 2010
Last ditch effort to save Venice Circus Arena
by Josh Taylor
February 13, 2013
VENICE - Those working to save the old Venice circus arena are getting a shock.
The city of Venice's own building director says the more than 50 year old structure is unsafe and changes need to happen within 60 days.
It could mean the end for what was once the winter quarters of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.
It was certainly a shock to those with the Venice Circus Arts Foundation, who have been working for the past few years to raise money to rehab the site.
The main issue is the roof. Inspectors say it is getting worse, and without repair it is a liability to the city.
real video
It opened in 1963. It may not make it to 2014. On Tuesday, the city's building director said the historic circus arena is unsafe and a dangerous building. "We were surprised, because we were not even invited."
Tito Gaona performed here for 20 years. More recently, he's been helping the Venice Circus Arts Foundation get its act together to save it. "Supporters helping, volunteers, everyone working very, very hard. The land seems so nice. We cleaned the palm trees. We did a lot of work."
With two years left on a 5-year commitment, city leaders now giving the foundation 60-days to make it safe or it could be demolished.
"If that would have been private enterprise they would have been sited long ago. They would have had to of taken action long ago," says Venice Mayor John Holic.
Holic says it's not easy. "I am a financial supporter of the Circus Arts Foundation. I feel for them. I feel for all of us that contributed."
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A tale of two circus performers
Cathy Carden’s spent her whole life in the big show while David Shipman’s new to the ring

Ringmaster David Shipman welcomes a crowd to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's Fully Charged Gold Edition.
by TRACI BRIDGES, Morning News
Thu Feb 14, 2013
FLORENCE, S.C. – Circus life isn’t for everyone, but whether they join the big top in childhood or later in life, those who love it really love it.
Just ask Cathy Carden and David Shipman.
Carden, a seventh-generation animal trainer and performer, began performing as a ballerina on horseback in her parents’ 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, she was training elephants and liberty horses. Although training was her passion, Carden decided it was just as important to be skilled in other areas so she shifted her focus to performance, learning how to be an acrobat, aerialist, trampolinist, dancer and later a vocalist and announcer. She has been performing ever since.
Shipman’s journey to circus life was quite different. Shipman was working a regular 9 to 5 office job when he learned about ringmaster auditions through Facebook. He ended up completely missing the audition but determined not to let a golden opportunity pass him by, he called Ringling Bros. to see if he could still try out. That caught the attention of executives, and Shipman got the job.
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Cathy Carden jumps rope during a recent circus performance. Carden is a seventh-generation animal trainer and performer.
Today, he and Carden share life under the big top with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s Fully Charged Gold Edition. Though their duties and everyday lives are different, both say there is much to be learned from the past and the present.
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Albertville family starred in pre-Civil War tour of Great Southern Circus (Odd Travels)

This advertising packet from the 1858 season of Orton and Older’s Great Southern Circus., which featured James Thomas Madderra of Albertville as ringmaster and his children as bareback and stunt riders, was recently auctioned by for $1,050.
(Contributed by
By Kelly Kazek
February 14, 2013
ALBERTVILLE, Alabama – May 1, 1859, began like most other days in most other summers for 20-year old James Johnston, who led a sheltered life on a Sand Mountain farm and was yearning for something he couldn’t define and didn’t yet know existed.

A depiction of a bareback-riding act on an 1874 poster for an unknown circus. (Contributed by Library of Congress)
While on his way into Albertville on an errand for his mother that day, James heard a trill of musical laughter that would change his life. He entered a clearing to see a man with a whip, turning in a circle as he guided a pair of horses. Atop the horses was the most astounding sight James had ever seen: A girl standing with one foot on the back of each horse, balancing as she rode.
By the time the girl did a backflip to dismount from the horses, James was starry eyed. He was in love with 17-year-old Miranda “Randi” Madderra, who had recently moved to Albertville with her family, led by her father James Thomas “J.T”. Madderra, who was ringmaster of Orton & Older’s Great Southern Circus.
James had never been outside of North Alabama. He’d never seen a circus. But he was about to join one.
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So begins a tale of love and the circus in the months leading up to the Civil War. This true family saga, chronicled in the 2010 book “The Great Southern Circus” by Florida author Nick West, tells of the tour that lasted from spring of 1859 until its run was ended by the start of the Civil War.
Several Madderra descendants still live in North Alabama, said Rickey Wallace of Eva, who is J.T. Madderra’s great-great-great grandson.
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clowns-minigrands ALEX

Alexey Suslov
Published on Jan 25, 2008
Port Chester Foster Mom, Children Get a Special Trip to the Circus
Foster families get to see upcoming Royal Hanneford Circus performance at Westchester County Center with the help of Westchester County and advertising partnership.

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The Royal Hanneford Circus performs this President's Day Weekend in White Plains, transforming the Westchester County Center into an exciting three-ring extravaganza. Credit William Demarest
By William Demarest
Feb 14, 2013
Members of a special Port Chester family are getting a sneak preview of the upcoming performances of the Royal Hanneford Circus at the Westchester County Center.
On Friday, as the circus gets ready for its opening on Saturday, foster mother Margaret Adamson of Port Chester and her two adopted girls, Faith, 4, and Journey, 5, will step into the center ring and meet performers in the show. They'll be taking part in an announcement of a circus ticket giveaway that will benefit 100 foster parents and their children.
Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino said ticket giveaway has been made possible through a donation from Titan, a transit media company that is a longtime partner of Westchester County through advertising programs with the Bee-Line buses and the county airport. A ceremony Friday will include Ringmaster Billy Martin, Grandma the Clown and other circus performers who are in White Plains for this weekend for the 38th Annual Royal Hanneford Circus. 
“The circus and childhood go hand-in-hand, so we are thrilled to offer a great circus experience to our county’s foster kids,” Astorino said. “The circus is a longstanding tradition in Westchester, and it is thanks to our strong corporate partnerships that these families will be able to enjoy the festivities free of charge. I want to thank Titan and the Royal Hanneford Circus for this generous donation.”
Adamson is a single mom who has been a foster parent for more than five years.
“Titan is very pleased to donate these tickets so that Westchester’s foster families can enjoy a great day at the circus,” said Don Allman, president and CEO of Titan. “Titan has had a great history with this county, as well as a longtime partnership with the circus. Contributing to the community continues to be extremely important to us.”
The Royal Hanneford Circus will perform nine shows Feb. 16, 17 and 18. Show times are 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. each day. Tickets are available at the Westchester County Center Box Office, 198 Central Park Ave., White Plains, or via Ticketmaster. Call the County Center at 914-995-4050 to purchase tickets today.
2013 IISF Trade Show a success; many deals made at the show
Exhibitors are optimistic about 2013 season

The Deggeller Family:  Jamie, Evelyn, Cathy and Andy
By Ron Weber
Gibsonton, FL - As the 2013 IISF Trade Show and Extravaganza drew to a close on Saturday, February 8th, some were tearing down and rushing to catch flights, others were still catching up with old friends and still others were making last minute deals on rides and equipment.
In fact, from manufacturers and suppliers to trade show attendees and buyers, there seemed to be an almost universal sense of optimism at the show this year.  People were buying.  Some were buying in large amounts, others in not so large amounts but the good news was most were buying.

Larry Yaffe of Firestone Financial, a major industry lending institution, confirmed the mood of the show this year.  He reported that "demand was good" and business "steady".  Yaffe actually became a bit of a supplier this year when Firestone partnered in a new photo booth venture displayed at the show.  The Face Place booths are versatile and purchasers can use the logo of the carnival or fair for pictures.  It even has a social media option where the customer can tweet or put their picture on Facebook from the booth itself.  Yaffe said they had sold five units at the show where they offered no interest and no payments on new purchases until October.
Gary Otterbacher of Lifetime Products also had a good year at the show.  Formerly in the food trailer building business, Otterbacher now build bunkhouses and living quarters.  Kyle Brady, Brandon Petree, Eric Bates and Roger Swyear all had new units on display at the trade show.
Otterbacher commented that he was now selling to the grandchildren of some of his former customers.  "When I broke in I sold to a customer, then his sons and daughters and now in some cases to the grandchildren of that customer", said Otterbacher.

Bob Johnson (left) of the OABA poses with Chris Atkins, 2013 Showmens League President, and Joe Burum, SLA Secretary.
Zamperla had some rides on display at the trade show, recalling their large displays of former years.  Zamperla reported a sale on closing day to bring its totals to 3 Mini Tea Cups, 3 Happy Swings and 2 Lolli Swings.  The company declined to reveal the buyers but said both rental companies and carnivals had made purchases.
Next to Zamperla was Battech where a Zero Gravity ride going to PBJ Happee Days Shows was on display.
Not far from these two companies, Dalton had a Down on the Farm kiddie ride that was going to Roger Wadkins of Sherwood Amusements.  Kevin Dalton said the company "had a fantastic show."  "We are very, very happy", he added.
In addition to the ride on display, Strates Shows purchased two complete rides, All Around Amusements purchased a motorcycle ride, Blue Sky bought a trailer mounted Quad ride, Wagner's Carnival bought a tractor ride, Rosedale Attractions purchased a reconfiguration of ten trucks, Fiesta Shows reconfigured a trailer to a 10-sweep tractor ride, Swank's Steel City Shows also did a reconfiguration to a 10-sweep ride, Snyder Amusements did the same with one of their older rides and Schmidt Amusements bought four tractors for replacement vehicles. 
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Florida State Fair rides challenge gravity, mild-mannered

Reporter Ray Reyes risks life, limb and lunch to explore and explain the midway rides at the 2013 Florida State Fair. This is Wiggle Wurm, which Reyes describes as "like NASCAR — if the stock car races took place in school zones."
The Tampa Tribune
February 13, 2013
The Orbiter spins slowly at first, then hits a top speed that makes it seem to want to break free of Earth's gravity.
The Zipper not only spins but flips upside down countless times, without regard for the fried candy bar or giant smoked turkey leg you wolfed down a few minutes earlier.
The Stinger pulls off all those moves and provokes riders to squeal in delight or shriek in terror, often at the same time.
What was that? Sounds awesome, you say?
Sorry, I couldn't quite hear you over my screams, although my feet now are firmly planted on the midway because I'd rather watch braver souls tackle rides that give me vertigo just thinking about them.
Though these three twirling contraptions are some of the more popular thrills at this year's Florida State Fair, the midway is packed with a spectrum of attractions that appeals to all ages.
Children can ride cartoonish dinosaurs, lift off on multitcolored helicopters or find their favorite animals on merry-go-rounds.
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From Ferris wheels and merry-go-rounds to Sky Flyer and The Zipper, the midway provides an ocean of motion that ranges in motivation from ambling along to high-flying warp speed.

Couples can take a breezy spin on iconic Ferris wheels or smash into each other in bumper cars.
There are roller coasters, water rides, fun houses and one gyrating, sky-scraping thingamajig called The Dream Catcher that should have been dubbed The Nightmare Inducer.
Here's a closer look at a few of the rides at this year's fair.
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