2014 Convention



Saturday, June 29, 2013

June 21, 2013
FREE CHILD ADMISSION (AGES 2-12) WITH AN ADULT PURCHASE! Coupons are in the community at local businesses! Tickets START AT $20-$40 FOR ADULTS!!!!



Posted by Picasa

Activists to protest at circus

Posted by Picasa
Brian Boswell during a protest against at his circuses in Centurion.
File photo: Etienne Creux
June 28 2013
Durban - Animal activists are expected to gather at the old Durban drive-in on Saturday to protest against the Brian Boswell Circus’s continued use of wild animals in its show.
One of the organisers of the protests, Michael Almendro, who is embroiled in a R1-million high court character defamation case brought against him by Brian Boswell Circus, said the lawsuit had not deterred him from protesting.
Almendro said about 100 bikers from around the city and various animal and welfare groups would join tomorrow’s protest.
The protesters also planned to hand out roses to motorists at the intersection, urging them not to support the circus.
“We will not stop protesting until Boswell stops using live animals in their show,” Almendro said.
“People don’t even cage their dogs and cats and yet Boswell continues to do it to such big animals,” he said.
Georgina Boswell, spokeswoman for the circus, said she could not understand why the protest was taking place because there were no animals participating in the Durban leg of the show.
“We don’t have live animals in Durban at all, so what is the point of this?” she asked on Thursday.
Referring to the pictures on the protesters’ placards, she said: “Those are pictures they download from the internet so it is very misleading for the public. Their main purpose is to get some emotional reaction from the public.”
Boswell said the protests were being led by a small group of people.
“They stand outside and yell ‘shame on you’ to the children who visit. This does affect our business, as people wanting to come to the circus are put off by the protests,” she said.
Almendro acknowledged that there were no animals at the Durban show, but said the circus continued to use animals at their other shows.
The Brian Boswell Circus brought the defamation suit against Almendro over an 11-minute YouTube documentary titled Tigers in Tutus that was against Brian Boswell Circus’s use of wild animals.
The suit, which is two years from going to court, was lodged in the Pietermaritzburg High Court in December.
Brian Boswell’s Circus has come under public scrutiny in recent months after a Carte Blanche exposé showed elephants at the circus being beaten by employees.
The circus has confirmed that it fired two of its animal handlers after a cellphone video showing the beatings surfaced in December.

On The Rhode: Big Apple Circus
LEGENDARIUM: A Journey into Circus Past

by Courtney Caligiuri
Friday, 28 Jun 2013


Shrine Circus coming to town
The circus returns to Brampton thrill children of all ages at the Powerade Centre, at 7575 Kennedy Rd South, from July 5 to 14.
ByTerry Long
June 28, 2013
BRAMPTON,ONTARIO— The circus returns to Brampton thrill children of all ages at the Powerade Centre, at 7575 Kennedy Rd South, from July 5 to 14.
The Shrine Circus is coming to Brampton for two weeks in July, for the first time since 2003.
“It’s pretty exciting that we’re bringing the Big Top back to Brampton,” said Cathy Sproule, a representative of Festival Express.
At the heart of the circus is the Zerbini family. The Zerbinins can trace their circus roots back more than ten generations and have been performing publicly since 1763.
Sproule explained that Festival Express decided that it was time for the circus to return to Brampton.
“Brampton is the place to be,” she said.
Tarzan Zerbini, operator of TZ Productions— the company that puts on the circus— has planned a show like no other in celebration of 250 years of family history as circus performers. To celebrate this historic milestone, Zerbini has pulled out all the stops. The show will feature performances by some of the best circus acts in the world, all of whom, like the Zerbinis can trace their circus roots back over many generations.

Along with the traditional clowns and acrobats, one of the circus’s star attractions is Tarzan’s daughter Erika Zerbini, who will be performing in the centre ring with live Bengal tigers, along with show horses and elephants.
Sproule explained that this show marks the largest number of tigers ever brought into Canada at one time.
A portion of the proceeds from the Shrine Circus will be donated to Kids Up Front, a charity that provides needy children and their families with access to cultural and sporting events.
The Shrine Circus will be performing at various locations in the Greater Toronto Area until August 5.
Visit for ticket information and performance schedules.

County fairs bring Hoosiers together across the state

Posted by Picasa
by John Sittler
June 28, 2013
County fairs get underway in Indiana from on Vimeo. By John Sittler GREENFIELD, Ind. – The smell of elephant ears, freshly popped kettle corn, and deep-fried everything fills the air. Old men shoot the breeze, kids play, and everything is right in the world. It’s county fair season. The annual county fair holds [...]

read more:
On The Rhode: Big Apple Circus
LEGENDARIUM: A Journey into Circus Past
by Courtney Caligiuri
Friday, 28 Jun 2013,
Lions bringing Carson & Barnes circus to town
The circus many people will remember from their childhood is coming to Montevideo Saturday, June 29.

Posted by Picasa
the Carson & Barnes Circus is currently touring in Minnesota and will give two shows at the Heritage Hill threshing show site 4 miles east of Montevideo Saturday. (Submitted photo)
By Bruce Olson, sports editor
Jun. 27, 2013
Montevideo, MN  —  
The circus many people will remember from their childhood is coming to Montevideo Saturday, June 29.
The Carson & Barnes Circus is billed as the world's largest big-top show, with two elephants, as well as camels, horses, ponies and dogs performing tricks in the center ring. Each two-hour show features clowns, aerialists, acrobats, jugglers, a flying trapeze and many other performers from around the world who will thrill the audience with their amazing feats and artistry.
Show times are 2 and 5 p.m. at the Heritage Hill threshing show site 4 miles east of Montevideo on Highway 7. Spectators are encouraged to arrive at least 45 minutes prior to each show to enjoy the midway and zoo.
For more on this story and others subscribe or pick up a copy of the Montevideo American-News.
Read more:
Fair food a family affair for traveling Texans

Posted by Picasa
Journal-Courier/GREG OLSON
Linda and Bill McKinney, longtime food vendors from Hughes Springs, Texas, have been coming to the Western Illinois Fair in Griggsville since 1962

By GREG OLSON, Journal-Courier
June 29, 2013
For a few days in June, Griggsville is home for a traveling Texas family, and it’s been that way for generations.
This weekend, Bill and Linda McKinney of Hughes Springs, Texas, are marking their 52nd consecutive year of bringing their food service business to the Western Illinois Fair.
The fifth generation of McKinneys is now involved with the family business — McKinney Food Services — selling funnel cakes, lemonade and a variety of other fair fare at an estimated 200 events a year around the Midwest and South. But they say the Western Illinois Fair is one of their favorite stops.
“This was the first fair we worked in Illinois, and in that first year of 1962, we brought our cook house, which was a 30-foot by 50-foot canvas tent,” Bill McKinney said. “We sold a hamburger basket with fries and cole slaw for 65 cents and corn dogs for 25 cents.” Today, the McKinneys get $4 for a regular corn dog and $5 for a jumbo dog.
Linda McKinney recalled the family’s first visit to the fairgrounds. “It was on the Fourth of July, and we waded in water over our ankles, but the people in Griggsville were super and we fell in love with the community,” she said. “I have made lifelong friends from the Griggsville area, and we try to meet three times a year.”
Bill and Linda McKinney are the backbone of the food service operation, which includes their four sons, Adam, Tim, Shawn and Ron, as well as a nephew and a grandson. For their attendance at Illinois fairs, Bill and Linda McKinney received a Friends of Illinois Fairs Award from state fair officials in January.
Besides the Western Illinois Fair, McKinney Food Services attends fairs in Morgan, Sangamon, Schuyler and Macoupin counties and the Illinois State Fair.
“We have always enjoyed coming to Griggsville because they put on the best demo derby in the Midwest,” Shawn McKinney said. “They also put on a school bus demo derby that is just as exciting.”
Another mainstay at the Western Illinois Fair since the late 1980s has been Freddy Miller of Greenbriar, Ark., owner and operator of Miller Spectacular Shows, which offers rides, food and games.
“We mostly go to larger fairs, such as the Heart of Illinois Fair in Peoria and the DuQuoin State Fair, but the Western Illinois Fair is one of my favorites,” Miller said. “The people here in Griggsville are very familiar with me and the fair board is like family to us.”
read more:
Madison Circus Space open, to hold open house

Posted by Picasa
Finn Altschuler, 12, of Madison, left, gets help from instructor Carly Schuna, with Ceci Williamson, 13, center, during an intermediate German Wheel class at Madison Circus Space on Winnebago Street.
Photo by AMBER ARNOLD — State Journal

by ANDREA ANDERSON | Wisconsin State Journal
June 29, 2013
Local circus professionals and hobbyists balance inside German wheels, juggle clubs and could soon be twirling and shifting in the air from silks hanging from the ceiling.

The Madison Circus Space is open after years of conversation within the Madison circus community about the need for a facility that brings together each individual club of athletes .

“It was always a dream to go practice and rehearse and to be able to be around other people who are doing similar things,” said Josh Casey, a member of the MCS board of directors and a professional juggler.

The creative, communal space, located at 2100 Winnebago St., will serve as a place for current circus performers and clubs to practice and gather, as well as a means for professionals to teach classes and for local residents to explore the circus arts.

MCS will offer its first glimpse into that world at an open house Saturday.

At the open house, the public will be able to see what classes and clubs are available, watch circus arts demonstrations and even take a stab at German wheeling, hooping and juggling.

“We want this to be a community center for circus arts, with affordable prices and places for clubs and individuals to meet and practice,” said Luke Emery, president of the board of directors and an amateur juggler.

The space, formerly an old car dealership, was found by Emery and Carly Schuna, board of directors secretary and a German wheel instructor.
Read more:

Friday, June 28, 2013

Recently in Stevens, PA

Show is now under new ownership ,Fred reports.
They are Vandier and Lenis Reis.

Here's show agent and midway operator
Albert Bucannon.

Shows "new Big Top"

Albert's Pony Ride

This unit hauls the seats poles and big top canvas.
With show generator mounted over fifth-wheel.

Posted by Picasa
Stevens is in the heart of PA Amish territory.
Thanks Fred!
Wallenda to watch and discuss walk on Discovery

Posted by Picasa
Nik Wallenda nears the completion of his Grand Canyon wirewalk on Sunday in Arizona. (Tiffany Brown / AP Images for Discovery Communications)
June 26, 2013
Discovery Channel is not done yet with Nik Wallenda — or the relatively huge ratings his walk across the Grand Canyon drew Sunday night.

The cable channel plans to air another program at 8 p.m. on Sunday where Wallenda will watch his 1,500-foot-high walk across the chasm and discuss it.
Discovery is billing it as the “first time” that Wallenda has watched the crossing from start to finish.
“What was going through his mind? And were there ever moments of doubt?” the network asked breathlessly in a statement about this latest program.
Discovery said Wallenda will “provide a step-by-step account of what he was thinking and experiencing physically with each movement. This special presentation will give viewers insight into one of the most talked about events of the year.”
The network has appeared ecstatic about the results of Wallenda's walk, announcing this week that its broadcast of “Skywire Live with Nik Wallenda” was the top program in all of television during the weekend.
The two-hour program attracted more viewers than CBS' “60 Minutes,” Game 5 of the Stanley Cup playoffs and the premiere of “Crossing Lines,” both on NBC, HBO's “True Blood” and the season finale of “Mad Men” on AMC.
The network previously reported that nearly 13 million people tuned in by the end of Wallenda's 23-minute walk across the canyon, and that an average of more than 10 million watched the entire broadcast.
The special event also became the “most social Sunday non-sports/non-award show telecast ever,” Discovery reported, citing Bluefin Signals, which tracks social media.
The show generated 1.3 million Tweets.
Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa
"World's Smallest Horse" on the Midway at State Fair Meadowlands!  State Fair opens weekdays at 6PM, Friday at 4PM and Sat and Sun at 2PM.
Under the big top in Thompson Falls

Posted by Picasa
Colin Murphey/Valley Press
Judy and Punchy the clowns sign a poster for Shiann Hall of Thompson Falls during intermission of the Culpepper and Merriweather Circus on Saturday. The company put on two shows before moving on to Libby on Sunday. The cast and crew produce two shows a day, seven days a week for 8 months straight.

by Colin Murphey/Valley Press
June 26, 2013
THOMPSON FALLS- Clowns, trapeze artists, performers on tall unicycles and big cats under the big top entertained a standing room only crowd on Saturday in Thompson Falls. Dazzling the crowd with acts varying from humorous to dangerous, the Culpepper and Merriweather Circus made the stop for the only two shows in Sanders County this year.
As the crowd made their way into the big top, they were greeted by Judy and Punchy the clowns. Judy and Punchy’s real names are Michelle Musser and Nathan Holguin but circus attendees would never know they were alter egos as they immersed themselves in character.
The show began with two tigers and a lion performing at the direction of Trey Key. The big cats performed a variety of acts all while safely enclosed in a steel cage. Solomon the lion and the two tigers, Francis and Delilah delighted the audience with their beauty and grace.
Next was an act featuring the over the top antics of Judy and Punchy. Providing comic relief from the other death defying acts, the two clowns traded vaudeville-style physical jabs at one another while inciting roars of laughter from the crowd.
After the clown act was the unicycle performance by the Dykes family known professionally as the Arlise Troupe of Ontario, Canada. Members of the Dykes family were featured in several acts during the performance. The finale of the routine included the eldest member of the family riding a 10 foot tall unicycle and juggling flaming torches.
Swinging in wide circles around the ring by trapeze rigging attached only to her hair, Elizabeth Ayala followed the unicycles in one of the more dramatic performances of the afternoon. Ayala was swung wildly around the ring without the benefit of a net to catch her in the event something went wrong.
The crack of a bullwhip startled some in the crowd as Mel Ray Silverlake followed the acrobatics of Ayala. With eye-popping accuracy, Silverlake whipped a flaming torch out of the mouth of ring announcer Simone Dykes.
read more:
Posted by Picasa


SIDE STREETS: The local woman on the flying trapeze

Herald News Photo | Dave Souza.
Fall River native Rebecca Ostroff, an aerialist with the Kelly Miller Circus, performs in Fall River with the circus on Wednesday.

By Marc Munroe Dion
Jun 26, 2013
In 1899, after being committed to what was then called an “asylum,” alcoholic French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec managed to obtain his early release by drawing scenes from the circus performances he’d attended over the years.
Toulouse-Lautrec, and his doctors, believed that a man who could draw those scenes from memory could not be insane.
In the bright sunshine that begs for Toulouse-Lautrec’s talents — behind Espirito Santo Church, just off Alden Street in Father Travassos Park — aerialist Rebecca Ostroff, in shorts and a T-shirt, watched the heat shimmer off the walls of the mill next door. Her husband, Marshall Eckelman, walked the couple's four dachshunds nearby.

Herald News Photo | Jack Foley.
Rebecca Ostroff pauses during her morning tour to smile for the camera. Ostroff, an aerialist with the Kelly Miller Circus and a Fall River native, performed with the circus in Fall River on Wednesday.

It’s simple, really, the reason why Ostroff swings from a trapeze and doesn’t sell real estate or own a coffee shop.
“In 1987, I ran away and joined the circus,” she said.
A graduate of B.M.C. Durfee High School, this local woman began by taking gymnastics as a child, eventually being lured into the complexity of dance. These days, Ostroff lives in Sarasota, Fla., in the off season. The other 38 weeks of the year, she lives on the road, 200 towns, 500 shows, most of them one-nighters. Her mother is Elaine Ostroff,  a well-known community activist in Westport who was at both of the circus’s shows in Fall River.
Posted by Picasa
Herald News Photo | Jack Foley.
Trapeze aerialist Rebecca Ostroff shows her mother, Elaine Ostroff, of Westport, around the grounds of the Kelly Miller Circus on Wednesday.

Read more:
Circus disputes PETA allegations of animal cruelty
By Auditi Guha
June 28, 2013
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture alleging the Kelly Miller Circus — in Acushnet tonight and Saturday — has mistreated its animals.
In a news release, PETA said it has sworn affidavits from witnesses alleging animal abuse during the circus' recent stops in New Jersey and Weatherly, Pa. Those witnesses maintain that circus handlers whipped tigers and zebras, struck a dog, tiger and baby goat on the face and tethered animals so tightly they could barely walk, the release said.
General manager of the circus Jim Royal called the allegations "nonsense" and the group "extremist."
"We encourage the public to see the animals and the care-givers for themselves, to come out and ask questions," Royal said, pointing out that the circus is sponsored in almost all of the 215 cities and towns it performs in nationwide by reputable groups like the Rotary and the Lions that would not do so without checking it out.
The Kelly Miller website also notes that the animals are well cared for by an 11-member staff, are checked by a veterinarian every 30 days and get time for play, exercise, grooming and human interaction. The Web page also states that the circus "exceeds all federal animal welfare standards set" and is regulated and frequently inspected.
Specifically, PETA submitted its complaint to the USDA for alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
"Circuses use violence, fear, and pain to keep animals under control — and to punish them for not obeying," said Delcianna Winders, PETA Foundation director of captive animal law enforcement, in the release.

Health officials on watch for swine flu at fairs

Posted by Picasa
By The Associated Press
Posted June 27, 2013
Photo by Kyle Robertson
In this Aug. 1, 2012 photo, a sign warning people to wash their hands after being near farm animals hangs outside the Swine Barn at the Ohio State Fair, in Columbus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, there's been a five-fold increase of cases of a new strain of swine flu that spreads from pigs to people, thanks to a wave of new cases confirmed in Indiana and Ohio, many of them attributed to contact at fairs. The flu does not seem to be unusually dangerous, like the strain in 2009 that killed at least 12,000. Most or all of the cases appear to have spread from pigs to humans, meaning it's not very contagious. (AP Photo/Columbus Dispatch, Kyle Robertson)

INDIANAPOLIS — State health officials are keeping a watch out for signs of the swine flu at county and 4H fairs in Indiana after four people became sick with the H3N2v influenza A after visiting the Grant County Agricultural Fair.
The state health department says there were 138 cases of that strain reported in Indiana last year. Two of the people who became ill in Grant County had contact with swine. Health officials say human infections with H3N2v are rare but have most commonly occurred after being near live infected pigs.
The State Board of Animal Health says 13 pigs at the fair tested positive for H3N2.
State Health Commissioner William VanNess says people who attend fair should wash their hands frequently and avoid taking food near areas where animals are kept.


Circus Smirkus Puts New Spin on ‘Wizard of Oz’ in Return to Saratoga Race Course
Last year’s Circus Smirkus delighted audiences with its Topsy-Turvy Time Travel show.
Written by  Staff Report
Thursday, 27 June 2013
SARATOGA SPRINGS — More than two dozen teenaged stars, including one from Saratoga Springs, will be performing at this year’s Circus Smirkus as it returns to the Spa City this summer.
This year’s tour continues the tradition of theme-based shows as Smirkus goes “somewhere over the rainbow” with a new spin on the Wizard of Oz, titled “Oz Incorporated.”

The international circus features youths under 19 with polished skills from all around the country and the world. The performance is full of talent and spectacle, with aerials, acrobatics, highwire, juggling, trapeze, clowning and an array of brilliant costumes. In its 26th year, Circus Smirkus is the only American youth circus to put on a full-season tour under its own big top, a 24-meter, 750-seat, one-ring tent in the European style.

Joining Smirkus for his second summer on the tour is Saratoga Springs’ own Keenan Wright-Sanson. Wright-Sanson, who just completed his sophomore year at The Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs, specializes in balance acts and will also feature his clowning abilities on the tour. He is the younger brother of Taylor Wright-Sanson, a Waldorf School alum who toured with Smirkus from 2006 to 2010.

This is the seventh year that Saratoga Springs has had the honor of a “hometown boy” selected as a trouper in the prestigious circus.

“This is the second year that Keenan Wright Sanson was selected as a Smirkus trouper,” said Robert Sanson, Keenan’s father. “Keenan’s older brother, Taylor, specialized in extreme unicyclist and he earned a Smirko spot five years in a row.”

Sanson said that getting into Circus Smirkus is a very competitive process, with hundreds of teens auditioning for only 28 spots.
read more:

When circus meets drama
KATHMANDU: Unlike traditional circuses where there used to be clowns, trained animals and ropewalkers, contemporary circus is different in its presentation style and performances.
And on June 26, 13 young performers from Circus Kathmandu, showcased their skills to entertain people through contemporary circus.
They presented a piece of act Swagatam — directed by Paul Evans, a gymnast and a circus trainer — at Bulls Club, Nakkhu. Evans presented this piece in quite a different way with a merging of theatre and circus.
As such one could witness both the acting and circus performances.
The entire performance was more like a drama — there were conversations, action, fashion show and seemed to tell a story.
And within this drama-like-piece, these talented performers showcased various acts of circus — human pyramid formation, well-synchronised dance with hula-hoops, body contortions, and acrobatics with a silk cloth and a hoop hung from the roof. While there were juggling and aerial acts on silks and hoops, they displayed ground-based acts like hula-hoop, juggling of broom and acrobatics.
The audience seemed to be thrilled to watch this spellbinding performance of young talents “that was specially choreographed for Glastonbury Festival in the United Kingdom and was slated to be showcased on June 26”, as per Ali Williams Creative Director of Circus Kathmandu. “But due to problems in visas, the troop could not land there. So, we wanted to show that piece of work here,” he informed.
All the performers of this show have been rescued from Indian circuses. And when asked about the reason for making them work in a circus again even after rescuing them, Evans explained, “It’s their choice. Since they know circus well and it has become a part of their lives, they do not want to leave it. It’s better to perform in your own country rather than being a victim of violence in India.”
Kathmandu Circus in partnership with Sano Paila — a Birgunj based NGO working against anti- trafficking and anti drug and rehabilitation — had organised the show.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Circus helps preserve Somers history
by Dax VanFossen - KAJ News
Jun 26, 2013

SOMERS - The tiny Flathead Lake town of Somers was buzzing with activity Tuesday as the circus came to town, and as reporter Dax VanFossen found out, the proceeds from the event will go toward preserving the history of Somers.

It's not everyday that the circus comes to Somers Montana - in fact it's been 75 years since the last one. This event was a special one with some of the money from the Culpepper and Merriweather circus going to help the Somers Company Town Project.

It's quite the show, and professional clown Michelle Musser says it's a traditionally American show.

"It's a very traditional one ring show, so it's an honor and a privilege to be here with that, and it's gonna be a privilege and honor for you guys to see a very traditional one ring circus."
State Fair Meadowlands is up and running
June 26, 2013
EAST RUTHERFORD - State Fair Meadowlands is underway next to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.
The fair is billed as New Jersey's largest annual family friendly event. It runs through July 7.
This year's fair will feature entertainment acts, rides, fun games and food to delight fairgoers of all ages. The event will have over 150 rides, attractions and 50 food vendors from all over the country occupying over 35 acres of fairgrounds and parking.
Tickets, hours and discount opportunities are available on the fair's website.
Pig Races at the Meadowlands

Mitchell Bros Shows is based in the south and maily
plays dates in the mid-west and south.


Posted by Picasa
Brian LaPalme
June 26, 2013
We had a good opening night last night. The Igor Arestov family are the new performers on the show. Igor and Tatiana do a very good juggling act, Tatiana does a hula-hoop act, and the son George does a fine rola-bola act. I worked with Igor's brother Alex and his family back in 1995 on Garden Bros. in Canada. Tonight we head to the Brockton Fair in Mass. and open tomorrow night. Oh, I almost forgot, Orlandito the clown arrived yesterday with a DUCK!!!!


Posted by Picasa