2014 Convention



Saturday, April 27, 2013


Circus gifts in jeopardy

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By Ben Bromley
April 27, 2013
Baraboo---Dismayed donors say they’ll suspend support for Circus World Museum if the site becomes part of the Wisconsin Historical Society.
Such a pullout would not only cost Circus World money, but could result in the loss of large collections now on loan. Earlier this month, donor Fred Pfening informed Circus World executive director Steve Freese he’ll discontinue support if the Historical Society absorbs Circus World as proposed in the governor’s budget. This would represent a significant loss, as the Ohio manufacturing executive is not only a financial donor, but the owner of a large collection of circus photographs and Ringling business records on loan to the museum.
Pfening’s April 2 letter states “it was a foregone conclusion” his collection would be given to Circus World upon his death, but if the Historical Society takes over, he’ll request the return of materials now on loan.
Freese said Pfening’s contributions fill gaps in Circus World’s collection, and his lead might be followed. “It’s going to send a clear message to the circus community: Don’t send your stuff to Baraboo,” Freese said. “They will collectively choose to send them elsewhere.”
Pfening said he fears Circus World, if rolled into the Historical Society, would falter and his collection no longer would be cared for — and made available to researchers — by circus experts. “I think it’ll enter into a long, slow decline and they’ll put it all in a warehouse,” Pfening said. “Nobody will be an expert in it. I want my collection to be used when I don’t need it anymore.”
Ellsworth Brown, executive director of the Historical Society, declined comment.
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Country Singer George Jones Dead at 81

Published on Apr 26, 2013
Millions of fans remember Nashville legend.

Circus sues filmmaker for R1m
Michael Almendro, an animal rights activist and amateur documentary maker is being sued for R1m by Brian Boswell s Circus over a documentary posted on YouTube highlighting the plight of circus animals.
April 26 2013
Durban - A Durban animal rights activist has vowed to defend a R1 million defamation suit brought against him by Brian Boswell’s Circus over an 11-minute video feature - posted on YouTube - that alleges animal abuse at the circus.
Michael Almendro of Glenwood, an amateur documentary maker whose video clip also advocates for animals to roam the wild, said he was flabbergasted by the Boswell suit. He described it as a bullying tactic by the entertainment company aimed at silencing its critics.
“They initially sent me a letter asking me to take the documentary down but we felt that there was nothing offensive in the documentary,” he said. “A while later a lawyer sent me a summons. I was shocked to see it was for R1 million. My lawyers think it’s laughable that they are suing me for that amount of money.”
The suit, which is two years from going to court, was lodged in the Pietermaritzburg High Court in December and is a result of the 11-minute documentary titled, Tigers in Tutus.
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Circus makes presence felt

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A Moscow circus clown at Jayco on Yass Rd, Queanbyean.
Photo: Rohan Thomson
Megan Doherty
Date April 26, 2013
Here’s one way to get around the ACT’s anti-billboard laws – put a ruddy great inflatable clown in someone’s backyard or business. Or put it up in Queanbeyan.
 The Great Moscow Circus certainly made its presence felt in the national capital.
The circus’ general manager Greg Hall said they put up the clowns in around eight locations including people’s backyards and businesses in return for complimentary tickets to the circus.
“It’s part of the circus coming to town,” he said.
And it seems some homeowners don’t want to see them go after the circus leaves town after its last show on Sunday.

“People have little clown parties and the kids want to have photos with them. It’s been quite a little social event. We’ve had people as us if they can buy them,” Hall said.
Hall remembers one of the clowns was stolen when the circus was in Alice Springs. The theft was reported to police but to no avail and the circus had to move on without it. Two weeks later, the clown was located fully inflated on the Alice Springs golf course, complete with a note complaining about its working conditions.

“So someone had a sense of humour but then we had to pay to get it from Alice Springs to Broome,” he said.
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Billy Smart's Circus to pitch up in Hook Road Arena Epsom

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Big top circus to pitch up in Epsom
.By Alice Foster, Reporter
27th April 2013
A big top circus will be pitching up in Epsom for five days in May.
Billy Smart's Circus is bringing a flying trapeze act, a fireman on a flaming ladder, acrobats and jugglers to Hook Road Arena.

The circus is on a comeback UK tour with performer Desiree balancing on her hands to fire a bow and arrow with her feet.
The travelling show, which has not toured for several years, is billed as being back to ‘its amazing best, the cream of circus’.

Billy Smart's New World Circus began in 1946 when the showman bought a big top and added circus performances to his funfair.

The circus toured under a big top until 1971 but televised performances continued with viewers peaking at more than 20 million.

The final circus broadcast was in 1983 but the touring circus was revived a decade later.

Billy Smart's Circus; Hook Road Arena, Epsom; Wednesday, May 8, to Friday, May 10, at 4.45pm and 7.30pm; Saturday, May 10, at 2.00pm, 4.45pm and 7.30pm; Sunday, May 12, at 12.30pm and 3.30pm; From £10; Call 0844 415 5228 or visit
Kent Family Circus on the News Prior to World Circus Day 4 (2013)

Published on Apr 21, 2013
World Circus Day w/the Kent Family Circus

“Edith Clifford (1886-1942) began swallowing swords at the age of 13. Clifford was said to be “generously endowed” and “possessed of more than ordinary personal charms, a refined taste for dressing both herself and her stage, and an unswerving devotion to her art”, and she “perfected an act that found favor in the Royal Courts of Europe”.
Clifford was said to have swallowed 18 to 20 inch blades without a problem, and a longer blade up to 26 inches long, as well as 10, 16, and up to 24 swords at one time. At around the age of 15, Clifford married 33-year old Thomas Holmes who worked for Barnum and Bailey Circus under the stage name the “Elastic Stretch Man”"
 - Sword Swallower’s Hall of Fame
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This is a reproduction of the original 1843 circus poster that inspired John Lennon to write the song Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!, which appeared on The Beatles’ 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Lennon bought the poster in an antiques shop and hung it in his music room. While writing for Sgt. Pepper one day, he drew inspiration from the quirky, old-fashioned language and set the words to music.


Pippin on Broadway: It takes a circus to upstage Bob Fosse

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The original Pippin was about a theatre troupe; now, with the help of Montreal’s Les 7 doigts de la main, it’s about a travelling circus.
(Joan Marcus)

J. Kelly Nestruck
The Globe and Mail
Apr. 26 2013
Now, there’s something you really don’t see every day: Andrea Martin in a leotard, singing full-throatedly, while being held upside-down from her ankles by a moustachioed man on a trapeze.
This surprising, show-stopping routine by the 66-year-old SCTV star is the best reason to see Pippin in its joyous new revival on Broadway, a highly entertaining marriage of classic American musical theatre with contemporary Québécois circus.
Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz’s original breakout hit – slightly creaky and stinking of the early 1970s – is aired out and given fresh life in director Diane Paulus’s new production. This allegorical meta-musical concerns a travelling troupe of Players putting on a play about the son of Charlemagne, Pippin, and the perils of his pursuit of happiness. He wages war, plots revolutions and tries out domestic life before finally being led toward an “extraordinary” ending crafted by the demonic Leading Player – a part originated for Ben Vereen, but here played by rising female Broadway star Patina Miller with bulging eyes and biceps and jazz hands that shoot out like shivs.
The gender of the Leading Player isn’t the only thing flipped around in this revival by Paulus, however. Now the Players are a circus troupe with a heavily Canadian flavour. Gypsy Snyder of Montreal’s Les 7 doigts de la main, pioneers of circus on a human scale, is in charge of the creative contortions and breathtaking tricks that substitute for or complement the choreography, created in the style of Bob Fosse by Chet Walker.
The chorus is stocked with beefy graduates of Canada’s National Circus School, while the costumes – a mix of scary and sensual – are by frequent Cirque du Soleil collaborator Dominique Lemieux.
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Man's shot at stardom: Circus' Human Cannonball says he has a great job

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Kellan Bermudez does a clown act and performs as the Human Cannonball in the Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars.
(Submitted photo / April 25, 2013)
April 25, 2013
Hagerstown, MD---Kellan Bermudez has something in common with Superman: He also can fly.
As a member of the Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars, Bermudez is known as the Human Cannonball, whose death-defying feat is to be shot out of a cannon.
Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars will be at Review & Herald in Hagerstown Monday, April 29, and Tuesday, April 30.
Bermudez was in North Carolina getting ready for two shows when he took a moment to chat about making a career out of being a cannonball and life in the circus.
For Bermudez, 38, the circus is almost a part of his DNA.
"My grandfather, my dad and myself were in circus for many years," he said, his speech heavily peppered with his Eucadorian accent.
His father was a clown and acrobat for 45 years and would perform around South America and Mexico.
Bermudez followed in his family's footsteps and in 1997 he joined Cole Bros., where he's been ever since.
Like his father, Bermudez still does the clown act, but that's the first part of the show, he said. The second part is when he becomes the Human Cannonball.
He said he started doing the cannonball about seven years ago. The person before him had decided to retire and Bermudez said he was asked if he wanted to give it a try.
Once Bermudez was catapulted into the air, he knew it was the job for him.
"It was great," he said. "It's fun flying in the air."

( Submitted photo / April 25, 2013 )
 Kellan Bermudez is shot out of a cannon as part of his act with Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars. The show comes to the Review & Herald in Hagerstown for two shows Monday, April 29, and Tuesday, April 30.

He said he gets excited when he's in the barrel and can hear the countdown of  five, four, three, two, one.
Last year, Bermudez said he flew 74 feet through the air.
"Now I fly 91 feet from back, at 65 miles an hour," he said.
Although the name implies gunpowder is involved, Bermudez said it's actual mechanical hydraulics that push him through the barrel and into the sky.
"We always prepare," he said. "We look at everything to make sure it's perfect before I go inside (the barrel)."
But even with the best preparations, sometimes things can go wrong. In 2010, Bermudez had what he calls "a little accident."
He said he flew through the air and hit the net, but slipped. He hit the concrete floor.
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Tinderbox Circus Sideshow revels in members' unusual skills, audience response

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During a recent show in Louisville, Aaron Phelps of Richmond, who performs as Bearly Legal Ben, the Circus Bear, bent a half-inch rebar over his neck. Offstage, he has a fear of public speaking.
By Photos and story by Briana Scroggins — Contributing Photographer
April 26, 2013
It was mid-March, and the show at Natasha's Bistro & Bar was sold out. Waitresses wove in and out of the tables. A fog of ambient noise, quiet chatter and laughs settled in. All lights shined toward the stage. Then an eerie song began to play: staccato chimes, heavy bass, a melodic accordion. A performer made his way to center stage holding four small, shiny things.
It wasn't until he held one up to the light and then slowly — gracefully even — pushed it through his skin, all the way in and back out that people realized what it was: a 10-inch, 16-gauge metal skewer.
While the first one lingered above his biceps, he inserted another through the skin of his chest. Then, one pierced the stretchy, tender flesh of his cheek. The last skewer started in his mouth below his tongue, traveled through the void of his jawbone and exited under his chin. There was a little blood.
Eyes widened. Mouths gaped. Some in the audience twisted away. Some hid their eyes and peeked through their fingers. Some could not — and would not — turn away. Others stared, possibly trying to unravel the "illusion."
Read more here:

Friday, April 26, 2013

Carson & Barnes Circus Trampoline Act!!

Published on Apr 20, 2013
Alex steals the show and pulls of some trampoline stunts!
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Araba Shrine Circus The circus returns with acrobats, jugglers, clowns, a petting zoo, pony rides and more. 11 a.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. $15-$25. Lee Civic Center, 11831 Bayshore Road, North Fort Myers. 941-741-0809

Circus elephants visit Yum! Center, wear Derby hats

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Apr 25, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The greatest show on Earth is getting into the Derby spirit.
 Three elephants from Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus paraded in front of the Yum! Center on Thursday afternoon.
 Asia is the matriarch of the herd and she modeled her Derby hat. The hat is one-of-a-kind and was made just for her.
 The elephants also got a special meal filled with some of their favorite treats.
 "They eat about 200 pounds of food a day each," said animal superintendent Ryan Henning. "Their favorite treat, believe it or not, is a loaf of freshly baked bread."
 Two protesters and another person wearing an elephant suit held signs near the event.
 Circus officials say they encourage everyone to come out and see how healthy and alert their animals are. They say that the animals receive attention and care every day.
Review: New 'Pippin' mixed with circus amazes .
April 25, 2013
Associated Press
NEW YORK — The last show to open this season on Broadway comes with plenty of bang, lots of flips and real value for money: A ticket buys you not just a musical but also a trip to the circus.
The American Repertory Theatre's thrilling revival of that cultishly cute "Pippin" opened Thursday at the Music Box Theatre as a hybrid that surely will keep everyone thoroughly entertained.
Director Diane Paulus hasn't just slapped some fresh paint on this beloved tale of self-discovery, she's rebuilt it, apparently inspired by the opening number's line "we've got magic to do."
The musical, with songs by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Roger O. Hirson, is framed by a group of traveling players who tell the story of a young man named Pippin, the ninth-century emperor Charlemagne's firstborn, who is looking for his place in the world. It wowed Broadway in the 1970s with Bob Fosse directing and Ben Vereen starring.
Paulus has transformed the players into a troupe of circus performers, and it's a stroke of genius. It allows for a Big Top theme — think fire jugglers, teeterboards, knife throwing and contortionists — but also teases out the wandering nature of the mysterious players and zooms up the physicality of the story.
The Montreal-based Les 7 Doigts de la Main, a group known for mixing high-risk acrobatics, music and dance with the thrill of street performance, has been handed the circus duties. In retrospect, it's as natural a collaboration as peanut butter and jelly.
Paulus, who has already thrilled with remakes of "Hair" and "Porgy and Bess," scores again, making two very different companies work coherently. She's also managed to tease out the connection between the intricate dance style of the late Fosse — Chet Walker choreographs this in the master's style — with the equally meticulous needs of acrobatics. Both require tiny, precise movement.
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Circus makes stop at Wilkes-Barre arena

By James Halpin (Staff Writer)
Published: April 26, 2013
WILKES-BARRE TWP. - The show must go on.
Just weeks after Carol, a 40-year-old Asian elephant, was shot in a drive-by in Tupelo, Miss., the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has brought its act to the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
The show, which opened Thursday, will feature just two pachyderms - Patty, 40, and Dutchess, 42 - because Carol is home with her trainer in Missouri recovering from the gunshot wound, said Jessica Clowers, a veterinary technician with the circus.
"Her and Patty, one of our biggest elephants, have been together their whole lives," Clowers said. "So they're kind of like sisters. But they know how to adapt and they're actually adapting really well. In the show there's key things that Carol did, but we can still do the whole routine, but you just have two elephants."
Carol was shot in the shoulder in the early morning of April 9 outside the Bancorp South Arena, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is investigating the shooting because the Asian elephant is an endangered species, with about 35,000 left in the world.
A reward for information on the shooting, bolstered by $10,000 from the circus and $5,000 from the Fish and Wildlife Service, has exceeded $26,000.
The circus has increased security as a result of the shooting, both for the protection of the animals and the people, Clowers said.
"But you know, the show must go on, and everybody's just thankful that Carol's doing well and she's recovering," she said. "She's recovering very well actually."
The elephant should be recovered enough to rejoin the circus in about six weeks, she said.
Other than Carol, the circus still features its full complement of spectacles and animals, including Sable, a 9-month-old camel, dogs, Arabian horses and ponies.
Performances are scheduled at 7 tonight, 1 and 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. An hour before each performance, the circus holds a pre-show allowing ticket holders to see the animals and meet the performers, Clowers said.
Out of Eden: Welsh circus company reinvigorated by Cornwall project

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By Karen Price
26 Apr 2013
They may be renowned for touring in their Big Top but members of NoFit State Circus are about to perform on the big stage at the Wales Millennium Centre, inspired by the Eden Project
With striking bubble- shaped greenhouses and an indoor rainforest as its backdrop, the world famous Eden Project has provided plenty of inspiration for NoFit State Circus.
 Two years ago, the Cardiff-based company was commissioned to create a major outdoor aerial acrobatic show to celebrate the world famous Cornwall visitor attraction’s 10th birthday.
 And last year, it returned to the site for a second residency, where it developed a new show.
 That show, Bianco, is now touring and next week it will be staged on home turf.
 It’s three years since the company last toured with Taboo, which wowed audiences at the Edinburgh Festival.
 “We decided to take three years off touring that style of work and had two summer residencies at the Eden Project,” says NoFit State Circus co-founder Tom Rack.
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Kambarov Riders 2013 shrine circus

Moscow State Circus Review

The show began with a clown, I had been warned about clowns beforehand, by people talking of their nightmares, but this wasn't a scary clown at all. He was dressed in red with a white face and was duly silly and funny.
Thursday 25 April 2013
Written byJill Saward
Jill Saward from Hednesford in Cannock won a family ticket to see Moscow State Circus from our competition. Here she tells us what she thought of the performace.
I went with my husband and two teenage boys. I've never before been to a real circus, so entered with a sense of unknowing and excitement. The circus backdrop was that of Gorky Park, and the stage area was smaller than I had expected, but as I waited with anticipation growing, the start couldn't come quickly enough.
Next came an array of acrobatic skills and balance routines which my husband and I liked, I thought it was excellent. This was followed by juggling and a highlight for me was when they juggled in the dark, with illuminated skittles lighting up the big top.
 This was followed by a loud whip cracking sequence, where all manner of props flew off a couple as they whipped them away.
 The main highlight of the evening was “The Flying Doves”, the trapeze artists who soared through the air with white wings. They brought elegance and danger, and amazing talent.
 Their performance made the ring look much bigger, and whilst the safety net came in use, the graceful way they flew and their determination to continue showed the commitment to be outstanding.
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The juggling footballer, my sons particularly liked, added a different dimension as he juggled and balanced on a very large ball. As did the skaters who performed at speed on a very small stage.
 The strength, skill and determination showed by the performers was immense.
 The clowns made several appearances, one discussing whether they were drinking “Vodka or Coca Cola”. Either way the water they threw on me was quite refreshing.
 The circus finished with another acrobatics display and a short finale. It was a wonderful evening enjoyed by people of all ages.
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Boswell Circus sues for R1m over film

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by Shaheema Barodien
Durban – Circus owner Brian Boswell filed a R1m defamation lawsuit against Durban based documentary producer and animal rights activist Michael Almendro for an 11-minute documentary titled Tigers in Tutus.
The claim was lodged in the Pietermaritzburg High Court in December 2012 and was only recently publicised after the furore created by a 14 April episode of M-Net's investigative programme Carte Blanche, which featured undercover footage showing elephants, allegedly in the custody of Brian Boswell Circus, being severely beaten by trainers.
Tigers in Tutus, which can be viewed on YouTube, has had nearly 6 000 views to date since its release in August 2012. In his claim, Boswell states that the documentary suggests that the Brian Boswell Circus is cruel to its animals and is therefore defamatory.
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Carson & Barnes Circus Elephants

Published on Apr 20, 2013
These beautiful elephants are one of the main acts of the Carson and Barnes Big Top Circus!
Carson & Barnes Circus Tight Rope Act!

Published on Apr 20, 2013
Sweet tight rope act performed at the Carson and Barnes Big Top Circus


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Presque Isle Circus dates:
 Thursday, May 2nd- 7:00PM
Friday, May 3nd- 3:00PM and 7:00PM
Saturday, May 4th- 10:00AM, 2:00PM, and 7:00PM
2013 Anah Shrine Circus Acts:
(at both venues)
The One and Only Johnny Peers-Comedian
 The Oliveros - Jugglers extraordinaire of Argentina
 The Daring and Lovely Luisa - Beautiful Roman rings aerial star
 The Muttville Comix- Comedy canine stars of the circus
 The Amazing Jonathan-  Champion of balance on the roller cylinders
 Castle’s Performing Bears-  Brilliant bruins of the circus ring
 The Rinny Family- Amazing unicycle troupe
 The Marinof Duo-  Astounding aerial artistry
 Duo A&A-  Extraordinary strength and endurance
 The Urias Troupe- Terrific motorcycle globe act
 Luisa- The Lady in the Moon
 and as always…. The Anah Shrine Clowns!

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Clowning around

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Photo by Walter Mares/The Copper Era
April 24, 2013
Safford, AZ--The Culpepper & Merriweather Circus clown Punchy (Nathan Holguin) and a local youth, with tongue sticking out, engage in some hilarious interaction during an April 19 circus show at the Clifton School campus. The clown warmed up the audience for the dazzling performances that followed. The circus was sponsored by the Clifton School District.
Ringling Bros Presents Built To Amaze! in Louisville, KY!

Published on Apr 25, 2013
Ringling Bros. Presents Built To Amaze! visits WDRB-TV in Louisville this morning with Sterling Riggs and Candyce Clifft.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents the 143rd exhilarating edition of the Greatest Show On Earth. Surprise and wonder build such incredible anticipation it could only be Built To Amaze!℠

Elephants, tigers, acrobats and aerialists join together from across the globe, each a spectacular piece of the puzzle, forming one exquisite design of magnificence and precision. From the blueprints to the band, from the crates to the clowns, from the hammer to the high wire comes one breathtaking performance of non-stop thrills so astonishing you have to see it to believe it.

Join us as we measure out the perfect mix of marvel and majesty in an imagination equation where the impossible comes to life. Be a part of the brand-new spectacles from around the world immersed in the circus tradition you have come to know and love. Experience it live and feel the amazement! Children Of All Ages will be inspired for years to come at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Built To Amaze! For show information and tickets go to
Two Monkeys Were Paid Unequally:
Excerpt from Frans de Waal's TED Talk

Published on Apr 4, 2013
What happens when you pay two monkeys unequally? Watch what happens.
Culpepper & Merriweather Circus

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Skeeter the Clown is visiting Bakersfield, CA today. Let us know if you get to meet her! She is a lot of fun! Don't forget, we will be performing in Bakersfield May 2, 3 AND 4!

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Miss Sashi giving her camel lots of love before her mix animal act.


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MORNING NEWSMAKER: The Circus Is Coming To Town!

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By: Lynn Lawson & Alan Auglis
April 25, 2013
Hagerstown, Maryland---
WHAG - The Cole Brothers Circus is coming to the four state area and clowned around on WHAG Morning News on Thursday.

The show features several animal attractions, a human cannonball, high wire daredevils, a family of clowns, magic and so much more!

The circus will be in Hagerstown on April 29 & 30 and in Frederick on May 1 & 2.

The cast will also be performing in Gaithersburg on April 26 & 28.
to see video click here:
Tidying up Issa & Whimmpy

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Not content with keeping their communities safe, firefighters with the Bandera Volunteer Fire Department - Assistant Chief Jason Anderssen, Luther
Bandera,TX---Vanlandingham IV and Frank Fugle - took on another task the morning of Saturday, April 20. At the request of administrators of the Carson and Barnes Circus, they participated in an elephant wash and the community turned out for the fun event. The firefighters obligingly spiffed up the stars of the circus, Issa and Whimmpy. The elephants were refreshed for their 2 pm and 5 pm performances and local kids got to experience two of nature's marvels up close and personal.


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Thursday, April 25, 2013

1on1: Cole Bros. Circus Clowns

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Apr 24, 2013

The Cole Bros. circus will be at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds on Wednesday and Thursday at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

WHSV's Bob Corso had a chance to talk to some of the clowns at the event.

Click on the video above to see the full 1on1 interview.