2014 Convention



Saturday, March 23, 2013

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Zembo Shrine Circus to offer acrobatics, animals and more
By Sean Adams
March 13, 2013
Harrisburg, PA--The 66th annual Zembo Shrine Circus is coming to town for five days of performances.
 The fun begins March 20, with the One Ring Circus offering a total of 11 performances at the Circus Spectacular's One Ring Circus. Events include the high-altitude Flying Rages on the trapeze, a comedy canine routine with Lloyds Old English Sheep Dogs, the Chicago Boyz' acrobatics and more.

And if miniature ponies, death-defying stunts and giant pendulums aren't your thing, there's always the Zembo Shrine Clowns. For more information on the show, visit the Zembo Shrine website.

7 p.m. March 20-23; 11 a.m. March 21 and 22, 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. March 23, 1 and 5 p.m. March 24 at the Zembo Shrine, 2801 N. Third St., Harrisburg. Tickets are $12; one adult purchase gives free admission for one child 12 or under. Information at 717-236-7241 or


George Jones - Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes?

Uploaded on Jan 2, 2010
There's just something about this video that almost makes me want to cry every time I watch it. So many of the country greats are gone and, like George, I wonder, "Who's gonna fill their shoes?



Juggler with Royal Hanneford

Shgang Acrobats
(not with the circus)

Racing Pigs
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Children of the "Camel People" on life in the circus

(Gallery by Ted Jackson, | The Times-Picayune)
By Ted Jackson, | The Times-Picayune
March 22, 2013
By nature, kids love the circus. It's also by design. The vibrantly colored tents, exotic people, animals and music seem carefully crafted to entice young hearts into the mysteries and wonders hidden beneath the big top.
But for some kids, the circus is mundane - it's all they know. Fibi and Arianna were born into a circus family, as was their mother before them. "I'm sixth-generation circus," their mother, Lletsira Landkas boasts. "The kids will be seventh."
Landkas and her husband, Surgie, are circus performers. She wrangles animals; he rides a motorcycle inside a metal cage; and Fibi, 4 and Arianna, 6 are along for the ride. It all seems normal to them. For the moment, they're traveling with the Universoul Circus. A 35-foot, 5th-wheel travel trailer is their home, and for three days in March, home is parked in the shadow of downtown New Orleans.
The girls are bright, curious, and naturally adaptable. Upon arrival, they quickly lay claim to the small piece of real estate that encircles them. For them, home is where you lay your head down. They travel with two vehicles. A big rig pulls a large trailer for the animals and a heavy-duty pickup pulls the rest. Once they arrive on location, they "circle the wagons" to create a sense of place and a bit of privacy.

For 20 years, Landkas made her living as a trapeze artist. But flying through the air isn't as easy as it used to be, so she reinvented herself and her act. In the center of their family compound is a portable corral protected by a small tent, sheltering the family's most valued treasures -- two camels, two llamas and a delicate but spirited young horse named Raven. The camels, Fizel and Autrey, are the stars of the show. The family is known as "The Camel People."
4-year-old Fibi Landkas peers through the screen door of the family's travel trailer, parked in the back lot in New Orleans, Tuesday March 5, 2013. Fibi and her sister Arianna are home schooled, living on the road with their parents as they travel the country with the circus. (Photo by Ted Jackson, / The Times-Picayune) 
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In the center of the family compound is a portable corral sheltering the family's most valued treasures -- their animals. One afternoon before the first show in New Orleans, Fibi and Arianna clown and prance around trying to get the attention of Fizel, Tuesday March 5, 2013. (Photo by Ted Jackson, / The Times-Picayune)
A few hundred feet away, a small army of workers scurries about with seemingly little supervision, transforming a barren, empty lot at North Claiborne and St. Louis Street into a wonderland anchored by a towering tent with arena-style seating and a single ring. By sundown, the scraggly field will be a circus.
The afternoon matinee starts at 4:30. The camels are the last act of the show, but Landkas isn't concerned with the clock. "We start brushing and dressing when we hear the music," she said. For now, she's holding court outside the door of the trailer. While sitting on a diamond plate performance platform, she settles an argument over who ate the last of the cookies. Daily minutiae takes over; the quotidian details of life are not so different here than in any American household.
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Gallery: Nothing like a circus
by By Brandi Hagen
Friday, March 22, 2013
See scenes from Thursday’s Jose Cole Circus at Glenville-Emmons High School.

A performer from the Jose Cole Circus does a juggling act Thursday at Glenville-Emmons High School. The circus was brought to town by the Glenville-Emmons National Honor Society. --Brandi Hagen/Albert Lea Tribune
A performer that goes by the name of Timmy balances 12 spinning plates Thursday in Glenville. –Brandi Hagen/Albert Lea Tribune

A woman and her canine companions perform during the Jose Cole Circus Thursday in Glenville. The dogs jumped through hoops, an agility course and climbed ladders. –Brandi Hagen/Albert Lea Tribune

An acrobat named Maria performs an act in the air with just two pieces of cloth hanging from the ceiling of the Glenville-Emmons gym. –Brandi Hagen/Albert Lea Tribune

In the only act with audience participation, a clown takes the chairs out from underneath the participants. He then teases them about not putting them back. The audience members were Nick Jepson, Robin Haines, Abbey Palacios and Kayla Gerber. –Brandi Hagen/Albert Lea Tribune

Perfomer Ms. Mercury does an act Thursday as part of the Jose Cole Circus. –Brandi Hagen/Albert Lea Tribune

A circus acrobat does a juggling act atop a stack of five chairs. –Brandi Hagen/Albert Lea Tribune
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A performer jump ropes with one of the many dogs she had in her act. –Brandi Hagen/Albert Lea Tribune
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Lions and Tigers and Dragons (Oh My!): The Circus Comes to Town
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey brings dragons to the Verizon Center this weekend.

Dragons! Comes to the Verizon Center.
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is bringing dragons to D.C. Credit Feld Entertainment

By Ben Gross
March 22, 2013
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is transforming the Verizon Center into the big top, and will meld myth, magic and mystery with the presentation of Dragons!, the latest innovation from the 106-year-old company.
Dragons! will feature “tribes from the far reaches of the earth” brought together to compete in a “circus tournament of champions," according to the Ringling website. "Each tribe must prove that they have virtues of Courage, Strength, Wisdom and Heart to arouse dragons which appear right before your very eyes!"
The show promises to have something for circus fans of all ages, with clowns, performing dogs and cats, acrobats, high-wire performers, Shaolin demonstrations, kung-fu presentations, lions, tigers and much more

The Dragon inside.
Dancers show off "the dragon within" during the circus.

 Credit Feld Entertainment
Johnathan Lee Iverson, Ringling’s youngest and first-ever African-American ringmaster, will once again preside over the action inside the big top.
Dragons! will opens Thursday with shows at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Additional show dates and times include:
•Friday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m.
•Saturday, March 23 at 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
•Sunday, March 24 at 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Ticket prices range from $15 to $110 for the “Circus Celebrity” package which includes an up-close view of the action from a premium seat, where clowns and dancers will pull you from the stands to include you in the performance.
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Circus clowns parody Shaolin.

Credit Feld Entertainment
You can also arrange a pre-show “All Access” tour, where you can learn to juggle, get autographs, meet clowns and much more.
The circus will head north to Baltimore’s 1st Mariner Arena for shows March 27-April 7, then travel south to Fairfax, VA’s Patriot Center on April 10-21.
For more information on the circus, or to purchase tickets, visit the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey website.
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There’s only a few more days to check out The Atlanta Fair at Turner Field’s grey lot, 655 Central Ave.. The fair closes March 30, so head over for for rides, games and activities. The nightly fair will feature the Double Sky Wheel, the new Flying Dutchman, a carousel, Ring of Fire Rollercoaster and midways games and food. Hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 to 11 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is free for children 2 and under; $5 for those 12 and up ($8 on Saturdays after 6 p.m.). Midway rides, games and food not included in ticket price. For more visit
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Spotlight shines on Shrine Circus
Za-Ga-Zig Shrine in Altoona helps bring back circus

Dick Nisser visits with J.R. Rolow of Des Moines while he talks about the tricks his toy Scooby can do during intermission at one of the last Za-Ga-Zig Shrine Circus at Veteran's Memorial Auditorium. /
Mary Chind/Des Moines Register
Written by Adam Wilson
March 22, 2013
ALTOONA, IOWA---If there’s one thing you can say about members of the Za-Ga-Zig Shrine in Altoona, it’s that they have fun at their jobs.
And it’s safe to say that no one Shriner has more fun than Craig Matzke, who joined the Shrine’s clown unit when he started with the group 10 years ago.
Matzke, 54, of south Des Moines, has only missed performing at one Shrine Circus in Des Moines during his time as a Shriner, but has more than made up for it by performing regularly at the Moila Shrine Circus in St. Joseph, Mo.
The Za-Ga-Zig Shrine Circus returns to Des Moines this week for its 63rd year. After decades at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, the circus is now in its third year at the Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
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A talented pig pushes a stroller during the Pork Chop Review act during the Za-Ga-Zig Shrine's 58th Annual Circus at Veteran's Memorial Auditorium Sunday.
Shows are scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday; 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday; and 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday.
Admission is $14 for adults, $7 for kids ages 3-12 and free for children 2 and younger; tickets are available at all metro-area Dahls, Fareway and Hy-Vee stores.
New Jersey-based Hamid Circus Inc. will handle the high-flying acts, the death-defying tricks and all kinds of amazing animals. And a few dozen Za-Ga-Zig members, including Matzke, will handle the clowning.
“We make balloon animals. We have people in our unit who can juggle. We have face painters,” Matzke said. “We have one clown who’s a sketch artist. Most if not all of the guys do balloons — that’s kind of what we’re known for.”
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Friday, March 22, 2013


STEP RIGHT UP: Big Apple Circus ringmaster sings its praises

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Bertrand Guay/Big Apple Circus.
John Kennedy Kane is ringmaster of the Big Apple Circus.

By Jim Dorman, For The Patriot Ledger
Mar 21, 2013
After many years in the circus, John Kennedy Kane sounds like a man  who is exactly where he wants to be doing exactly what he wants to do. Kane is the Ringmaster for the Big Apple Circus, coming to Boston with their intimate, one-ring show under the big top at City Hall  Plaza, March 26 to May 12.

“This is a new job for me, but I’ve been a ringmaster for 12 years and been in the circus for 30 years. My family (he’s originally from Buffalo) were politicians and used  car salesmen, so my joining the circus has actually helped our image in the neighborhood,” said Kane with a laugh. And, although the Big Apple Circus is known for updating its show every year, he is proud to  report that hiscontract has been extended to three  years. “I don’t think they have had a ringmaster stay more  than two years for a long, long  time,” said Kane.

In the past Kane has worked in the more traditional three-ring circus format, but he seems to be enjoying this opportunity to get up close and personal with the audience.  “It’s very different than what  I’m used to. The people are right in front of me. No seat is more than 50 feet away. I don’t  have to bellow ‘Ladies and gentleman and children of all ages!’ It’s more of a conversational tone because it’s more  like you are in my living room and I’m taking you through the show,” said Kane.
Read more: After many years in the circus, John Kennedy Kane sounds like a man  who is exactly where he wants to be doing exactly what he wants to do. Kane is the Ringmaster for the Big Apple Circus, coming to Boston with their intimate, one-ring show under the big top at City Hall  Plaza, March 26 to May 12.
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1921 : Oil your teeth
Curated by Chris Wild


A circus for the mind and soul
Les 7 Doigts de la Main brings ‘PSY’ to Fairfax

Photo by Peggy Faye
Montreal-based circus and acrobatic troupe Les 7 Doigts de la Main brings “PSY” to George Mason University on March 29 and 30.

by Keith Loria,Special to the Times
March 21, 2013
For years, circus artists Isabelle Chassé, Shana Carroll, Patrick Léonard, Faon Shane, Gypsy Snider, Sébastien Soldevila and Samuel Tétreault performed in large circuses, including many of the popular Cirque du Soleil productions.
One day, these seven friends and colleagues got to talking, and decided they wanted to form their own company and do something a little different. In 2002, the seven went on retreat together in Montreal and came up with the idea for Les 7 Doigts de la Main, which translates literally as “the seven fingers of the hand.”
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Photo by Peggy Faye
There’s never a dull moment when Montreal-based circus and acrobatic troupe Les 7 Doigts de la Main takes the stage. The group brings its “PSY” show to George Mason University next weekend.

“We wanted to be creative and make the transition to being choreographers and directors and having our own ideas,” Carroll said. “We were working for very big companies and we wanted to do something more intimate and bring the circus to a human scale. We wanted to make it something very family based.”
It didn’t take long for the word to get out and soon the troupe was performing all over the world with their unique take on the circus, combining more of a theatrical element to it. Over the years, it has created several works, including “Loft,” “Traces,” “La Vie,” “Fibonacci Project,” “Patinoire,” “A Muse” and “Sequence 8.”
In its newest show, titled “PSY” (pronounced P-S-Y), the renowned acrobatic troupe delves into the surrealistic underworld of the human psyche with an edgy, pulse-raising theatrical experience.
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