2014 Convention



Saturday, July 13, 2013


Circus cats to jump into Salem next week

Nue plays the keyboard for The Rock Cats.
A herd of trained cats is coming to Salem.

By Will Broaddus
July 12, 2013
If you have trouble believing this could be true, you will fit in with half the audience that usually goes to see them.
“There’s two types of people at our show,” said Samantha Martin, founder and trainer of The Amazing Acro-Cats, a feline troupe that will perform at The Griffen Theatre from July 17 through 20. “There’s cat lovers, because there’s no entertainment for them out there. And there’s the people that are, ‘No way, I’ve got to see this for myself.’”
What visitors will see is one of four companies in the country that features trained cats, Martin said.

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 Tuna, one of the Amazing Acro-Cats, jumps over a hurdle.
There are 13 Acro-Cats — with a supporting cast that includes a groundhog and two chickens — that play musical instruments, jump through hoops, ride skateboards and hoist flags.
Perhaps even more amazing is the fact that, before the Acro-Cats, Martin trained the Amazing Acro-Rats.
“They’re a misunderstood animal,” she said. “I wanted to change people’s minds about rats. Rats are really smart and sweet and fun to train.”\
Samantha Martin has been training the Amazing Acro-Cats for 10 years and will be at The Griffen Theatre in Salem from July 17 through 20.
They are also agile, said Martin, who persuaded rats to do somersaults on a high wire, climb ladders, walk through hoops, bowl and play basketball.
Where some people shudder at the mere thought of rats, Martin’s only misgivings about them were economic.
“It was very popular, but I couldn’t make a living with rats,” she said.


Courtesy photo Next week's performances will feature an all-feline band, The Rock Cats.
So Martin turned to educational zoo keeping and for the last 25 years has exhibited small exotic animals, although she never lost the desire to train creatures to perform.
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Courtesy photo
 Next week's performances will feature an all-feline band, The Rock Cats.
So Martin turned to educational zoo keeping and for the last 25 years has exhibited small exotic animals, although she never lost the desire to train creatures to perform.
She started with dogs at age 10 and turned to cats 10 years ago because they are the second-most-requested type of animal act for videos and film, Martin said.
But they do live up to their reputation for independence.
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Big Apple Circus move

Published on Jul 12, 2013
by: GeorgeandWendyShow
Wendy takes a minute to talk to Roy (a rigger and props guy) and Chris Price (Transportation Supervisor) while we were waiting for our trailer to be loaded. We moved some of their equipment from Charlestown Rhode Island to Lake George New York.


NEW: Animal-rights activists picket circus executive

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Members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals protest Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus outside the Bradenton Area Convention Center on Friday.

By Katy Bergen
July 12, 2013
PALMETTO - Donna Grace, 64, slipped the bottom of the elephant suit on first, holding on to a friend as she pulled silvery-gray fur over her knees. But she struggled with the detachable feet with the big padded toes before she plopped on a pachyderm-inspired mask with a blood-stained ACE bandage wrapped around its head.
“Can you zip me up?” Michelle Hughes, 20, asked nearby. She was already wearing a tiger costume and sipping water intently from a pink bottle before donning the thick, heavy head in the middle of a humid Florida afternoon.
As Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus owner Kenneth Feld spoke at the Florida Neighborhoods Conference in Palmetto on Friday, local members from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals staked out a spot on U.S. 41 to protest the alleged abuse of circus animals that they say are often beaten, tied up and forced to perform.
It is an accusation they say is supported by photos and video obtained by whistleblowers, and one that circus representatives have consistently sought to refute.
“They are a prized symbol,” Feld Entertainment spokesman Stephen Payne said Thursday. “We want to make sure the stars of the show are taken care of. Regardless of species, all animals are a top priority.”
Protestors said baby elephants are often wrestled to the ground by men trying to teach the animals complicated positions. They also allege that animals are broken in by being tied to concrete floors for long hours and separated from their mothers.
According to U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection reports, Feld Entertainment has not been cited for non-compliance since 2011, when the company was fined $270,000 for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
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Peru circus this weekend despite tornado damage
by Associated Press
July 12, 2013
PERU, Ind. — The show will go on this weekend for 200 young people who are members of Peru’s youth circus despite a tornado that damaged parts of the community Wednesday.
 Performers ages 13 to 21 will take to the rings starting Saturday in a culmination of four months of intense practice.
 Peru is known as “Circus City” and has a rich three-ring tradition dating to the 1890s. Participants in the youth circus become jugglers, unicyclists, clowns, aerialists and tight-rope walkers.
 The Indianapolis Star reports most of the youth circus performers are girls because the four-hour daily practice conflicts with summer football workouts.
 Performances will run through July 20.


Peru, Ind., is known as the "Circus City," and with good reason.
Peru honors its Big Tent roots with youth circus performances beginning Saturday

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Youth from Peru, Ind., and the surrounding area demonstrate their skills on the high-wire as they practice for the annual Peru Circus in July.(Photo: Rob Goebel, The Indianapolis Star)
by Will Higgins, The Indianapolis Star
July 12, 2013
PERU, Ind. — Megan Brehmer actually does this, has been doing it almost daily since March, and here in this town that calls itself "Circus City" it's considered normal behavior: She's 40 feet in the air, standing on the tiniest little platform. Then she jumps. "That's my favorite part," she says.
As she plummets, Jimmy Sunday, a teenager, catches her by her ankles, swings her pendulum-like, then releases her to another teen, Adam Kirk, who's hanging upside down on another swing. Adam grabs Megan by the wrists, swings her back and forth, then releases her so that she's careening freely through the air.
At this point, Megan harbors strong hope that another swing is in the proper position so that she can grab onto it. Almost always the swing is properly positioned, but when it's not, even working with a net, such a fall is painful, involving scrapes and burns. Megan's toes are still somewhat sliced up from the last miscue.
But it's not a big deal, certainly not a deal breaker, says Megan, who at 13 is Peru's youngest flying trapeze artist. Though not by much: Lexi Singletary is 14; Tiffany Rush is 17; Victoria Brooks is 18 but was just 11 when she first did the stunt.
The girls are part of a 200-member youth circus whose four months of practice culminates with full-on three-ring performances Saturday through July 20. The show - an annual rallying point for the residents - goes on despite a tornado that tore through Peru on Wednesday, ripping up trees, destroying a grocery store, tossing cars around and knocking out power to the town's west end. Clean up is underway.
Many Indiana towns have a distinguishing feature: Columbus has its architecture, Shipshewanna its Amish. But for cultural identity and tradition, Peru's long-standing embrace of the old-time Big Tent circus performance is unmatched. It goes back to the 1890s, when huge circuses lumbered across the country and needed a place to stay in the winter. The place needed to be centrally located with easy access to rail roads. A half dozen circuses chose Peru.
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Craig Lions Club to bring circus to town
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By Andy Bockelman
July 11, 2013
There’s nothing like the sight of exotic animals, the thrill of people flying through the air and the overall enjoyment of a show that will delight the kid in all of us. Craig residents will have the opportunity to experience all that and more when the big top sets up at the Moffat County Fairgrounds this weekend.
Sponsored by the Craig Lions Club, the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus will give two performances at 2 and 4:30 p.m. Sunday. The Oklahoma-based show, which last came to town three years ago, offers all the features one could hope for from a traveling extravaganza, including acrobats, clowns and a large menagerie just to name a few.
Appropriately enough for a show backed by the Lions Club, one of Culpepper & Merriweather’s greatest draws is their big cats.
Lions Club President Kristi Shepherd said the last time she saw the show, her experiences with C&M’s lions and tigers left her literally wanting to run away and join the circus.
Lions Club President Kristi Shepherd said the last time she saw the show, her experiences with C&M’s lions and tigers left her literally wanting to run away and join the circus.
“I actually got to get up close and personal with them and feed them when they were in Hayden after they came to Craig,” she said. “I got to touch them and feel their paws, I just had so much fun. I’m really glad to be having them back again.”
For those looking for the full circus experience, the show’s personnel will be putting up the tent Sunday morning, on hand to answer questions about the process of circus life.
“They talk about the care of the animals and everything that goes with that,” Shepherd said.
Shepherd added that last year’s controversy involving the elephants of the Carson & Barnes show is not a concern here. The Culpepper & Merriweather circus program is known for taking top care of its animals, which also includes dogs, birds, horses, camels and more.
“They’re put in a great sanctuary when they’re not on the road, and they just get to be regular animals,” she said.
Shepherd said another element of C&M is that it’s a family enterprise offering something for all ages, as well as being an important fundraiser for the efforts of the Lions Club to provide eye care and glasses to children and seniors in the area.
“I really hope people come out and enjoy the circus as much as I have,” she said.


State Fair's new thrill ride Vertigo lives up to its name

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The Vertigo swing ride is a newcomer to the State Fair midway.

By Kurt Chirbas
July 12, 2013
Those considering a ride on the California State Fair's newest attraction should take careful note of its name.
Referencing a particular classification of dizziness (or the classic Hitchcock thriller, for the more cinematically minded), Vertigo is truth in advertising, according to fair spokeswoman Michelle Prater, who was able to take a spin on the ride before its debut at Cal Expo today.
"I'm not going to lie – it makes your knuckles a little bit white," Prater said. "It was more than I had anticipated."
Standing 100 feet tall, Vertigo towers over most of the midway at this year's fair, even topping carnival mainstay the Giant Wheel, which measures 10 feet shorter than its new neighbor.
Still, the title of fair's tallest ride eludes Vertigo. That distinction belongs to Turbo Force, a whirling arm that takes passengers 140 feet into the air.
However, it's not just in stature that Vertigo finds itself placed in between those two returning attractions. Prater – who strapped herself in for a go-around at the Alameda County Fair in June – said Vertigo represents a nice mix between the thrills provided by Turbo Force and the aerial views offered by the Giant Wheel.
The new ride begins with patrons secured in a swing-style seat by an overhead bar and a lap restraint. After that, Vertigo lifts passengers off the ground and spins them at a relatively quick 11 revolutions per minute.
It's at this point that knuckles whiten.
Read more here:

Friday, July 12, 2013


Animal trainer injured in circus show at Reliant
By Mike Glenn 
July 11, 2013
An animal trainer with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was injured during Thursday night's show at Reliant Stadium.
In a short statement, a spokeswoman said Alexander Lacey sustained what they called a "minor non-animal related injury" during his performance.
Lacy continued with the show and was examined at the scene by paramedics, according to the statement from circus owners Feld Entertainment.
He is expected to perform during Friday night's performance, circus officials said.
According to their website, Lacey is part of a family of circus animal trainers.


Carson and Barnes Circus visits the Northwoods
July 11, 2013
Rhinelander, WI--


Carson and Barnes Circus visits the Northwoods

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Written By: Shardaa Gray
Submitted: 07/11/2013
Tomahawk - The circus doesn’t come to tour often in the Northwoods.
Rhinelander, WI--But there’s one here now and it’s in Tomahawk.
"I really think that this town has a chance to come out and be a part of such magic." said Carson and Barnes Promoter, Jacque Hollander.
Carson and Barnes Circus is the largest big top traveling circus on the road.
They’ve been traveling around the United States for 77 years. For the first time, they’ve made their way to the Northwoods in Tomahawk.
"We average about 18 different states a year and so we’re just happy to be in Wisconsin this year." Office Manager, Kristin Para said.
They show case elephants, clowns, trapeze, juggling acts and body weight lifting.
Promoter Jacque Hollanders says they’re still in business because of the magical effect from watching the show.
"That’s what we want to do. Make families happy, see children happy, reach out and touch people," said Hollander.
"Try to make a difference in the world by the preservation of elephants."
Elephants might be a big attraction when it comes to circus, but they’re no longer allowed in the united states.
"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife is the one that put the law into effect. And I honestly don’t know why the law was put into effect," Para said.
"What it’s doing is basically putting extension in North America that much quicker."
Right before the law stopped importing elephants in 1972, Kristin’s grandfather bought 25 elephants.
They now keep the retired elephants in a facility called the Endangered Arch.
"It’s a place where they, we know that they will be safe and can stay there the rest of their life without any worries." said Para.
They want to make people aware and the way they’re doing it is by a song.
A family fun event for all ages.


Family circus makes stop in Watsonville

Jul 10th, 2013
WATSONVILLE — Camels, trapeze artists and the “Cage of Death” in Watsonville?
The circus must be in town.
The Ramos Bros. Circus has currently set up shop on 290 Riverside Drive for the next leg of its Northern California tour. The circus opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. and will run through July 22.
“It is a fantastic show,” said Alex Ramos, who helps operate the circus.
Running a circus has been a tradition in the Ramos family that has extended for five generations. Beginning in the early 1900s, the Ramos family consisted of acrobats who performed in the circus, later forming their own business in Mexico City.
In the 1950s, the Ramos family reopened their show under the name Circus of the Dead, which folded in 1970.
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Alex Ramos and Abdula, an Arabian camel, review a poster for the Ramos Bros. Circus Tuesday. The show starts today on Riverside Drive between Walker Street and Harvest Drive. (Photos by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)
The third generation came to the United States in 1983 to work for the Carson and Barnes circus. They were the only Mexican act to include three catchers, the black light and the Russian swing, according to the Ramos’ website.
In 2005, the Ramos family opened their own circus on the west coast, where the Las Vegas-based act thrills audiences from up and down the coast with dare devil stunts, jugglers, clowns and more.
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Delavan's Heritage Fest will include circus performance

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Photo courtesy of Carson and Barnes Circus
The Carson & Barnes Circus will be in Delavan on Sunday, July 28, for a performance at the Lake Lawn Resort airport. The event will be the highlight of Delavan’s Heritage Fest, to be held July 25 through July 28.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
DELAVAN — The Friends of Phoenix Park Bandshell, Delavan Business Association, the historic society and La Rasa will sponsor Heritage Fest from July 25 through July 28 in Delavan.
Heritage Fest will be a celebration of the cultural and historical people and events that made the Delavan community unique. The event will include music, art, food and fun activities from around the world representing the various cultures that have settled here. There will be tours of some of the historic sites around town.
The grand finale will be a return of the circus after a 10-year absence. The Carson & Barnes Circus will perform Sunday at the Lake Lawn Resort airport.
Long known as a town with a rich circus history, Delavan was the place chosen as winter quarters by a number of circuses, including the Mabie Brothers' U.S. Olympic CIrcus--at the time in 1847, America's largest traveling show. Delavan was also the place where P.T. Barnum's "Greatest Show on Earth" got its start. More than 250 circus colony members are buried in Delavan.
There will be a circus camp for kids on Thursday and Friday at the library. On Saturday be sure to stop by Tower Park to see Clown Alley -- another great activity for the kids.
While the sponsoring groups have set up a lineup of performers, they are looking for others in the community who would like to share their own heritage by bringing in ethnic foods to sell and artifacts to display.


(Now known as The Delaware State Fair)

Most of the '50's Cetlin and Wilson Shows played here.
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The Human cannon ball Captain Munoz

May 13, 2013
Luis Munoz (born 1955) is the younger brother of the human cannon ball Cristobal Munoz (born 1954), who became known all over Denmark when he in the 1970's he toured Denmark with Ronald's Festival Tivoli. The Munoz-family is a well known Spanish artist family.
Some of the members went to America and Luis as well as Christobal are American citizens. The brothers gather was also cannon, in Spanish "El hombre del Canonb". Another brother, Henry, and an uncle works or has worked as human cannon balls

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Hodag Country Fest kicks off
from: wjfw
July 11, 2013
Rhinelander, WI--


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Circus is cat's meow
July 12, 2013
Cat Circus
So what if the Belieber Nation is taking over town?
Everybody knows there's nothing like a guitar-playing cat, a skateboarding cat and a cat acrobat to showcase true talent. Samantha Martin's talented feline troupe is, amazingly, just your run-of-the-mill tabbies and such. Still, they've wowed the world via YouTube and are playing to sellout crowds in Old City. Note: Yesterday's planned visit to Philly was cancelled because of tour bus troubles. They should never have let the Siamese drive.

Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine St., 4 and 7 p.m. tomorrow, 2 and 5 p.m. Sunday, $18, 215-925-9914,

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Local trapeze artist wows in Manassas appearance

The view from above: Aerial gymast Kaely Michels-Gaultieri performs with Cirque Italia in Manassas, VA.
By Julie Zauzmer
June 30,2013
Once upon a time, a little girl from Washington learned how to fly.
Of course, like all fairy tales, it wasn’t that simple to complete her quest. She had to practice 10 hours a day, six days a week, for five long years. She had to move halfway around the world as a teenager and learn two new languages in just a couple of months each. She had to face the constant risk of injury and one very real dislocated elbow.

(Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post) - Kaely Michels Gualtieri, 23, in her Avatar makeup before she performs her aerial act in the Cirque Italia on June, 30, 2013 in Manassas, Va.
But the hundreds of spectators who watch her in action nowadays know that she completed her quest. Kaely Michels-Gualtieri certainly can fly.
Michels-Gualtieri, 23, has been training as a trapeze artist since she graduated from the Field School in the District in 2007. Although she pursued her education in Italy, France and Canada, her first professional job, as an aerial performer in Cirque Italia, has brought her back home. She joined the show last week in Gaithersburg and is currently doing flips on a swinging bar about 20 feet in the air in Manassas. After that, the show will be in Owings Mills, Md.
(Cirque Italia is playing OwingsMills, MD this week)
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2013 Clown College® Auditions Announced

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This is a once-in-a–lifetime opportunity to audition to become part of
 The World Famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Clown Alley
more info at:


Moscow Journal
Step Right Up, Kids, the Tiger Will Look Good in Your
Russian Circuses Offer Animals as Props

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A family had its picture taken with a tiger during intermission at the Nikulin Circus in Moscow.
July 10, 2013
MOSCOW — The father knelt beside his hesitant daughter and gently encouraged her to set aside her fears and take a seat.
“Don’t worry,” he whispered in her ear during a family outing to the circus, “it’s just a little kitty.”
But in fact, lounging on a low pedestal in the foyer of the Nikulin Circus in Moscow, and lazily twitching a long, tawny tail, the tigress named Chanel was no kitty at all.
She was a fully grown Siberian tiger, whose trainers use her as a toothy prop in one of the more alarming rituals of the Russian circus: the practice of photographing small children with predators during breaks in the show.
At intermission, she pads out on paws the size of saucers and takes a seat. While children crowd around, the huge and iridescent pools of her yellow eyes gaze back, inscrutable and wild, and wholly mysterious on the pressing question one concerned youngster had for her mother: “Do you think she is full?”
When asked about the risk, Andrei Y. Logulov, a thin, clean-cut chemical engineer who was encouraging his daughter, 11-year-old Diana, to approach Chanel for a picture, shrugged like so many other Russians in so many other contexts.
“Of course this is risky,” Mr. Logulov said, “but risk is everywhere in life. A brick could fall on your head in the street, for example. And this is just a small risk.”
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Circus performance Friday in Neillsville
Written by For News-Herald Media
Jul. 10, 2013
NEILLSVILLE,WI — A very talented 17-year-old trapeze performer is proving to the world that just because you are in the circus doesn’t mean you cannot fulfill your other dreams.
Franchesca Cavallini dreamed of becoming a trapeze artist, and she became just that. She also had a hidden talent for singing and had always dreamed of becoming a famous singer. Last year, producer and songwriter Jacque Hollander wrote and produced a song “I Am The Circus” especially for Franchesca, and together they are turning her dream into reality.
Franchesca, from a young age, has always loved animals, especially elephants. She realized that she could use her dream to help these magnificent creatures she loves so much. One-hundred percent of the proceeds from this song will go to the Asian elephants at the Endangered Ark Foundation in Hugo, Okla. The Endangered Ark Foundation, a non-profit 501 C3 organization, was established in 1993 to help in the preservation of the endangered Asian elephant in North America. It is home to the second largest herd of Asian elephants in the United States.
Franchesca will perform her song live under the big top, when Carson & Barnes Circus performs comes to the Clark County Fairgrounds in Neillsville. Performances are at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Accompanying her in a 10-minute extravaganza are aerialists in a glittered pageantry of circus artists from around the world and her favorite elephant “Isa.” They combine to present a performance to be remembered, as she sings “I Am The Circus.” Do not miss this opportunity to see a rising star and to help the elephants.


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Circus roars over proposed animal ban
Threatens city with legal challenge
 By: Kevin Rollason
July 11, 2013
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to the greatest show... in court?
If Winnipeg bans circuses from using exotic animals, the decision could be legally challenged, and such bylaws have been successfully overturned in other Canadian cities, says a circus promoter.
The warning was issued Wednesday by Larry Solheim, general manager of TZ Productions, which operates circuses under the name Royal Canadian Circus and Shrine Circuses.
The company's producer is Tarzan Zerbini, a longtime circus performer and owner whose family has been in the circus business since 1763.
Solheim, who said he is also representing other prominent circuses including the Ringling Brothers, said Winnipeg should set up regulations to prevent bad animal operators from operating, not penalize good operators such as his company.
"If passed here as is, without further study, I believe the bylaw will be challengeable," Solheim told councillors at the civic executive policy committee Wednesday.
"We are prepared to take that action."
But if so, Solheim will have to tame Bill McDonald, executive director of the Winnipeg Humane Society, who was so upset about the challenge he issued his own.
"Using the threat of legal challenges I consider sinking to a new low," McDonald said.
"Bring it on and I will go out and raise money for this council's defence."
After the meeting, McDonald said he was "delighted" that despite Solheim's plea, EPC decided Wednesday to support the ban on circuses using exotic animals, which now goes to city council.
"The confinement of wild animals just can't continue," McDonald said. "They spend months and months in cages on the road. It's no life for a wild animal."
The exotic-animal ban is part of the city's proposed responsible pet ownership bylaw that includes cat licensing.
The entire bylaw, which includes continuing a ban on the raising of chickens in the city except for areas zoned agriculture and tightening up what types and sizes of snakes and reptiles can be owned, was approved by EPC on Wednesday. The whole proposal goes to next week's city council meeting for final approval.
If approved, the bylaw would take effect immediately, except for cat licensing, which would begin on Jan. 1, 2015, with $15 annual fees for spayed and neutered cats and $50 for intact cats.
About $83,000 of the money raised would go to spay and neuter programs.
Solheim told councillors the circus industry had already mounted successful legal challenges in Toronto, Newmarket and Windsor in recent years.
Later, Solheim told reporters the charter decisions were based on the rights of performers to work with exotic animals being violated.
Coun. Brian Mayes (St. Vital) said the decisions of Ontario courts are not binding in Manitoba.
"I think this is a ban we should go through with," Mayes said.


Rodeo, circus new attractions at Warren County Fair

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Samantha Grier\
Colton Henderson, 5, of Clarksville, and Wynn Bourgraf, 4, of Maineville enjoy a ride during the 2012 Warren County Fair. This year’s fair begins July 16.

By Hannah Berns-Staff Writer
July 10, 2013
LEBANON,OH — The Warren County Fair begins its 162nd year of fun and educational festivities on Tuesday, July 16.
Along with traditional fair food, rides, animals and events, including the popular Tractor Pull and Demolition Derby, the Warren County Fair will offer a new twist on an old tradition.
“This year there will be a rodeo on Wednesday evening in front of the Grandstand,” said Tari Maddox, fair secretary. “There’s also going to be a circus preforming two or three times a day. They’ll have a big tent set out just like a regular circus.”
The fair runs July 16-20. In celebration of its history, this year’s theme, “Fair Runs Deep,” will be visible throughout parade floats and other activities, according to Maddox. Visitors will see farm animals, artwork and more in addition to shows and rides.
“The goal of the fair is to promote agriculture education,” Tari Maddox, fair secretary said. “Families and kids can learn things like the difference between a dairy and a beef cow. They’ll also see 4-H kids hard at work getting ready for shows.”
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