2014 Convention



Saturday, February 23, 2013

Circus Gatti-Abilene

The little ones speak: Circus is fun but opinions differ on elephants

Photo by Nellie Doneva, Abilene Reporter-News
Kids ride ponies during intermission at Circus Gatti Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, at the Taylor County Expo Center Coliseum.

By Christopher Collins
February 22, 2013
Esai Lopez, 7, and Valian Lopez, 4, had their mother kidnapped briefly at Circus Gatti at the Taylor County Coliseum at the Expo Center on Friday afternoon.
Courtney Lopez, 25, was taken down from the audience to the floor of the coliseum as a volunteer, where a clown taught her how to throw and catch plastic rings like a pro.
This upset Valian, who doesn’t care for clowns.
“He’s scared of clowns,” big brother Esai said.
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Nellie Doneva/Reporter-News
The Family Valencia perform their high-wire motorcycle act during the early show Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, at the Taylor County Expo Center Coliseum.

But Esai didn’t want to face his own fears. He’s afraid of heights, his mom said, and that’s why he wasn’t riding an elephant at the circus intermission. He’s already had one unsavory experience with elephants.
“One time we were here — he pooped on the floor!” Esai said.
There were a lot of first-timers at the circus, including 3-year-old C.J. Henderson.
“I liked seeing the elephants,” C.J. said.
C.J. was having a hard time focusing on just one thing — his eyes kept flitting from the pony rides to the cotton candy vendors to all the other wee ones running around at the circus.
During intermission, C.J. could be found riding an elephant, beaming with excitement.
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Memphis Shrine Circus

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Circus coming to town

Knoxville Civic Coliseum Opens on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22 at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m., 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. For more information visit
Zip Zap Circus at Atlas Intersections Festival Saturday, Feb. 23

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By Sadie Dingfelder •
February 22, 2013
For once, you don’t have to trek to National Harbor or deep into northern Virginia to see world-class circus performers: The Intersections Festival is bringing an afternoon of big-tent entertainment to the Atlas Performing Arts Center on H Street NE. The theater isn’t big enough for a flying trapeze, so the center ring event, “Magic in the Air,” will showcase local acrobats twisting in silks and spinning in suspended hoops, plus clowning by two Maryland-based performers with a penchant for drag, Kolleen and Bobby Kintz. Thinking of joining the circus yourself? Try performing on a tightrope with coaching from the teenage graduates of Zip Zap Circus, a troupe that teaches circus skills to low-income children from South Africa to Anacostia. Or sign up for an afternoon workshop with Cirque du Soleil alum Michael Rossman, who will teach the basics of juggling, clowning, and partner balance. And because this is the upscale kind of circus, you’ll probably escape without a pie to the face.

The performance takes place at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. with other demonstrations running throughout the day at Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NW. $15–$25. (202) 399-7993. The Intersections Festival runs Feb. 22 to March 10 at Atlas Performing Arts Center.
From Ryan Easley's Facebook page
February 22, 2013

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irish circus

"The BIG ONE is Back"

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Circus rouses controversy over treatment of animals
Eleanor Beck
Feb 22, 2013

Feb 21, 2013
Here is a video of the new light package on our Century Wheel in Ft. Myers at the Lee County Fair!! Enjoy!!!!!! :)



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 Starr CountyYouth Fair returns in RGC

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Saturday's lineup for the 2013 Starr County Youth Fair
by Gail Burkhardt
February 22, 2013
RIO GRANDE CITY – For the 48th year, students and visitors have poured into the Starr County Fairgrounds this week to show their animals, compete in baking contests, watch performances, play games, ride rides and learn.
The Starr County Youth Fair began Wednesday and goes through Saturday. The accompanying carnival continues through Sunday, said Tissa Peterson, a board member for the Starr County Fair Association, which organizes the event.
“We’re off to a great start,” Peterson said Thursday. “We have had school groups come in; probably about 1,000 school kids came in from various schools around the county.”
Students who are showing animals are excused from school, she said.
“We seem to get more and more entries each year,” she said of the competitions.
Along with the professional entertainment including a magic show and music, fair attendees can watch the duck, rabbit and pig scrambles, Peterson said.
Children in different age groups race around to catch animals in the ring. Those who catch the animals first, win. The younger children, who catch ducks and rabbits, can keep the animals.
“We have a huge crowd watching this and cheering for the kiddos,” she said.
Peterson said she expects Saturday to be the busiest day because families can go to the fair together.
“Saturday will be the biggest day there will be thousands through the gate especially because the weather is so perfect.”

Circus Vargas: Authenticity Under Tent
from: (Archives)
July 23, 1992
There is no air conditioning, the restrooms have wheels and the clowns do double duty hawking souvenirs. In fact, compared to its flashier kin--Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey--Circus Vargas is a pretty modest setup indeed.
Pitching their massive tent in parking lots and ballparks across the country since 1969, Circus Vargas, which runs Friday through Monday in San Juan Capistrano and Tuesday through Aug. 30 in La Habra, puts on a performance that is probably closer to America's original "mud shows" than the extravaganza hosted by Ringling Bros.
For one thing, from their perches on bleachers and folding chairs under Vargas' signature red-and-blue-striped big top, audience members are brought in closer contact with entertainers than they are in an arena setting. Elephants rumble by a few feet from your nose (which, depending on you nasal sensitivity, isn't necessarily a plus), and aerialists whiz by literally overhead.
On the downside, audience amenities are relatively few: Refreshments are limited to the popcorn-and-peanuts variety and, especially in the summer months, it can get pretty darned stuffy inside that tent. But hey, authenticity has its price.
According to marketing director Jody Oyafuso, highlights of the 23rd anniversary tour include the Russian swing act, which features a six-person Bulgarian troupe performing acrobatic stunts on an apparatus she describes as "a variation on a teeterboard and a swing," and aerial Hula-Hoop artist Louisa Valencia, who will balance 20-plus hoops while perched on a trapeze. The Motorcycle Globe of Death adds to the thrills and chills with a pair of bikers careening at high speeds inside a small circular cage.
Wayne Ragen and his big cats, the Vargas clowns, a Brazilian dog act, and a six-elephant chorus line are also featured in the two-hour show, which kids can preface with a visit to a mini-midway stocked with pony and elephant rides and carnival games.
Locals are also invited to watch the raising of the big top beginning at about 11:30 a.m. on opening day in each city.
What: Circus Vargas.
When: Friday, July 24, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, July 25, at 12:30, 3 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, July 26, at 12:30, 3 and 5:30 p.m.; Monday, July 27, at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.; Tuesday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m.; and Wednesday, July 29, and July 30 at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Where: July 24 through 27 at corner of Junipero Serra Road and Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. July 28 through 30 at the La Habra Marketplace, Imperial Highway at Beach Boulevard, La Habra.
Whereabouts: To the San Juan location: exit the San Diego (5) Freeway at Junipero Serra Road and drive west to Camino Capistrano. To the La Habra shows: exit the Riverside (91) Freeway at Beach Boulevard and travel north to Imperial Highway.
Wherewithal: $8.50 to $18.50 all shows. (Discount coupons for children are available at Alpha Beta stores.)
Kelly Miller Circus

Published on Feb 15, 2013

Squirm Burpee Circus

PAS Presents The Squirm Burpee Circus Free March 5
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The Squirm Burpee Circus will perform free March 25 at Western Illinois University.
February 22, 2013
MACOMB, IL – The Performing Arts Society (PAS) will present The Squirm Burpee Circus, free as a 'thank-you' to the community, on Tuesday, March 5 at Western Illinois University.
The show begins at 7 p.m. in the University Union Grand Ballroom.
The Squirm Burpee Circus is a Vaudevillian show with a variety of acts, including The Human Cannon and chainsaw juggling, mixed with comedy routines and swing dancing. The show is described as an "exhilarating, fantastical adventure featuring classic Vaudeville comedy, high-skill circus acts and a plot rooted in American Melodrama."

The show will be hosted by the Baron Vegan von Hamburger, the sworn enemy of the Squirm Burpee Circus, who takes the audience on a journey back through time with his monkey-powered circus wagon.
The performance will also feature Mike the Handsome and Dashing Dave, two dapper Vaudevillians and world-class jugglers, trying to put on a show, despite their unique girl problems.
In addition to the free community show, a free performance of The Squirm Burpee Circus will be presented by the Youth Performing Arts Series (YPAS) at 10 a.m. on March 5. YPAS is funded by the PAS. To become a member and support the arts, visit
For more information on the performance, visit
Goings On About Town: Art

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Jill Freedman
Even if you wouldn’t be caught dead under the big top, these circus photographs are not to be missed. Taken in 1971, when Freedman went on the road for two months with the Clyde Beatty–Cole Brothers Circus, her pictures go behind the scenes, where the clowns are off duty. The mood is hushed and a little melancholy, but the work never feels sappy; Freedman (who later photographed New York cops on the job) is sympathetic but clear-eyed. Some of the toughest yet most tender focus on elephants—chained at the foot, crammed into trucks barely large enough for their enormous bulk. Here, they’re unsung heroes. Through March 9.
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Friday, February 22, 2013


I just got off the phone with Albert Bucanan at
the show's office.
Albert tells me that the new owners of the show are
Vandeir & Olena Dos Reis.
Some of you may remember them from the Cole Show.
Also Armend,Jr. and Danny Alaya family will be on the show.
They will open in Seneca, SC on April 2.
Albert is busy now booking the show.



Inside the new (last season) and larger Big Top.

Armend Jr and Danny
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The new Big Top.
More Info to come later.
Visit the shows new web site at
Walker proposes changes at Circus World

By Ben Bromley, Baraboo News Republic
Circus World Museum would get a new ringmaster under a plan Gov. Scott Walker announced Wednesday.
Included in Walker’s biennial budget proposal is a plan to put the local historic circus site under the big tent of the State Historical Society. Unlike the state’s other historic sites, Circus World’s operations are funded privately through gate receipts, donations and other sources. Walker’s plan would make Circus World’s 10 staff members state employees and would sweep the site’s revenue into state coffers.
Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said the move is designed to put Circus World on equal footing with the state’s other historic sites, whose workers are paid by the state.
State Rep. Fred Clark, D-Sauk City, said he’s concerned canceling Circus World’s lease agreement with the state — the circus grounds, buildings and collections are state-owned — could stall the institution’s turnaround. Under Executive Director Steve Freese, he said Circus World has paid off debt and increased membership.
“It looks to me, on the face of it, that they’re trying to punish success, and I don’t know why,” Clark said. “I think that Circus World has really made a recovery in the last few years.”
The Republican governor’s proposed two-year budget would allocate $1.2 million to pay Circus World’s 10 employees. The budget requires approval from both the state Assembly and Senate.
Clark said he would prefer to see Circus World operate independently, as local decision-making has helped the site rebound. “I think it’s allowed them to be flexible and innovative,” he said.
“We’re certainly not sure where the impetus for this came from,” Clark said. “We’re going to be asking some questions, for sure.”
Representatives from Circus World Museum could not be reached for comment Thursday.


Review: UniverSoul Circus

The Bone Breakers are a troupe of contortionists from Guinea, Africa.
Photo credit: Scott Cunningham / UniverSoul Circus
By Arlinda Smith Broady
from:  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By Arlinda Smith Broady
Feb. 21, 2013
With so much “adult-themed” entertainment around, it’s not easy to find something to take the kids to that grown-ups will also enjoy. My family and I found a great mix at the Atlanta-based UniverSoul Circus.
As wholesome, family entertainment, it gets high marks. But it doesn’t have as much of the awe-inspiring acts that I’ve come to expect from a circus.
A troupe of contortionists from Guinea, Africa, called the Bone Breakers were perhaps the most unusual and adorable. They appeared to be 12 to 18 years old and were able to twist themselves in the most interesting shapes. Like every act in the circus, they performed to contemporary music and looked like they were having fun. I got a kick out of them urging the audience to applaud. They were as cute as they were entertaining.
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Rough Riders from Gabon and Russia perform at the UniverSoul Circus. Photo credit: Scott Cunningham / UniverSoul Circus
The Rough Riders, a horse act, was fast-paced and exciting. I found myself mesmerized by the feats and wowed by the performers’ prowess. The animals and the humans seemed to be in great shape and in control of their craft. While there was a bit of danger, there was also reassurance that they knew what they were doing.
I considered them the pinnacle of the show.
While the high wire act and the aerialists were engaging, they didn’t evoke the same rush of adrenaline or gasp of excitement during their ta-da moments.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment was the elephants. Outside of acts featuring lions, tigers or bears, I look forward to the thrill from these trained behemoths. They did a few tricks, but their big moment amounted to making sure one of the pachyderms didn’t squash a performer as she lay on the floor beneath them.
But a good time was generally had by all. Young and old alike hollered with laughter, and danced and sang along with those in the spotlight.
UniverSoul touts itself as heavy in audience participation, and attendees are included in probably a good third or fourth of the acts. The audience members in the show that I attended were so awesome I wondered if they weren’t ringers.
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Out of Evansville, Wisconsin

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Photographs from:
Eager Free Public Library--Hall's Pics
From digital collections, University of Wisconsin