2014 Convention



Saturday, August 3, 2013


The Dykes Sisters
(The Arlise Troupe)
Culpepper & Merriweather Circus
August 2, 2013
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from facebook

McLarens Circus--From Denzil McLaren

McLaren International Circus opened in Richards Bay last night.

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From Denzil McLaren
August 3, 2013
In the way of breaking news for McLaren Circus and supporters is that all animal rights activists have been refused to protest in the town due to conflict of interest. As the circus is leasing property from the municipality they cannot then in turn allow the antis to go protest on their premises. This is most welcome news and hopefully the other municipalities will be just alert and follow suit,
Fairs, festivals abound this weekend
Aug 02, 2013

BLUEFIELD (WVVA) - From lemonade to livestock and talent shows to tractor pulls, there's plenty to do in Mercer and Tazewell counties this weekend.

The annual Mercer County Fair began Friday at PikeView High School. The two-day event features food, crafts, games, rides and more. On Saturday, the fair will feature an Antique Tractor Pull, Car Show, Fun Dog Show and an Open Rodeo. For the full list of events, visit

The 25th annual Tazewell County Fair also began on Friday and will continue through Aug. 10. The event will feature amusements from Casey's Rides, tractor and ATV pulls, a pet show, concerts and more. To see the full list of events visit

In Bluefield, Va., lemonade flows on Friday for the annual Lemonade Day event at Jack Asbury Square. Events include a Lemon Drop Count Contest, charity-sponsored lemonade stands and Music at the Gazebo.

In neighboring Bluefield, W.Va., the 15th annual Downtown Merchants Association Street Fair takes place at Chicory Square. Festivities begin Friday with a performance by Bluefield Dance Theatre and continue through Saturday with the annual pageant, car show, downhill derby an auction and much more.


Avon’s Saturday Circus Brings Objections from PETA
The Kelly Miller Circus will be in Avon this weekend.

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Posted by Lori E. Switaj (Editor)
August 02, 2013
Avon,Ohio--The annual presentation of the Kelly Miller Circus in Avon, sponsored by the Avon Knights of Columbus, has brought out the annual objection by PETA, the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals.
The circus will be in town at Avon Village School for two shows Saturday, Aug. 3 and 2 p.m and 5:30 p.m. with part of the proceeds benefiting the Knights of Columbus. This is the third year the Avon Knights of Columbus have brought the show, which features tigers, elephants and performers.

 "The Kelly Miller and Carson & Barnes circuses have been abusing elephants and other animals for decades, but thanks to Ohio law, officials have the power to stop the use of cruel bullhooks, and we hope they use it," PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders said in an e-mail to Avon-Avon Lake Patch. "Avon-area officials have both the opportunity and an obligation to stop these circuses from abusing elephants with bullhooks and to make them pay the price if they don't."
The group has asked Mayor Jim Smith and Avon Police officials to specifically ensure the elephants are not mistreated. In letter to Smith and Police Chief Richard Bosley, the group said “Carson & Barnes' bullhook abuse of elephants is well documented.”
PETA said the elephant trainer has also been documented instructing his protégés to strike the elephants forcefully with bullhooks.
John Wesner of the Avon Knights of Columbus said PETA objects annually.
“We see no mistreatment of the animals,” Wesner said. “If we knew of any abuse, we wouldn’t have the circus here.”
Wesner said a local PETA leader has been offered a chance to see how the animals are treated in person and has declined to go.
Avon Police Capt. Larry Fischbach said his department has never had any problems with the circus.
The public is welcome to view the raising of the tent tomorrow at 9 a.m. at the Village School.


Circus coming to The Hawth this weekend

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Friday, August 02, 2013
IT IS said that if you play with fire you will get burnt... but if you practice enough you can join the circus.

This weekend brings the opportunity to watch some of those daredevils who ignored such warnings when growing up, as Crawley Circus Festival comes to town.
A highlight of the weekend will be a performance by the Kettle of Fish International Circus Cabaret, which features weird and wonderful acts from around the world.

The show starts at 7.30pm on Saturday.

Tickets for the whole weekend, including camping, cost £25 for adults and £15 for those aged between 6 and 12, if booked in advance. On the gate they cost £30 or £18, while day tickets cost £10 or £6.50. Children under 6 can enjoy it all for free.
 For more information visit
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Fairs Help Local Economy

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By Jon Theuer
August 2, 2013
ALBERT LEA, MN — For some, county fairs mean entertainment and trying some of that food.
But, they bring much more to the table than just that.
They can also be very beneficial to the towns they are located in.
Fairs, like this one in Albert Lea, provide businesses and other establishments a chance to bring in more revenue.
With the additional entertainment, it also provides a big boost with more people in town.
 “It’s not unusual to see people from Mason City, to see people from Owatonna, Austin, Rochester coming for particular entertainers,” Randy Kehr of the Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce said. “And, when they come, they stop in our convenience stores and they run into our grocery stores.”
 He adds fairs provide non-profits in the communities a great chance to raise money during the week
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Circus time

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By SARAH BROWN CNA staff reporter
Friday, August 2, 2013
Creston,IA--Carson and Barnes Circus is back by popular demand Aug. 9!
Carson and Barnes Circus, touted as “the world’s biggest big-top show,” will perform two shows at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 9.
The event, sponsored by KSIB radio, will take place in the field south of Creston Middle School and west of Creston High School....
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Inspectors Ensure Safety Of Amusement Rides At State Fair (VIDEO)
By Emma Koch
August 1, 2013

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Friday, August 2, 2013


A two-circus salute: Ringling Bros. and UniverSoul are coming to town
August 1, 2013

Artists perform during a show of the UniverSoul Circus at National Harbor, Maryland on June 16, 2013. UniverSoul is the only African-American owned circus founded in Atlanta by concert and theater promoter, Cedric Walker. The show includes artists from the United States, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, France, Vietnam, South Africa, Russia, Brazil and West Africa.

Feld Entertainment
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus? Dragons comes to American Airlines Center, July 31-Aug. 11.

UniverSoul Circus
Lil’ City Temptations is a part of UniverSoul Circus, which runs runs Aug. 7-11 at Southwest Center Mall.
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Feld Entertainment
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus? Dragons comes to American Airlines Center, July 31-Aug. 11.
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Circus is ‘Short on Menagerie,’ says 1891 review
 By Julie Domel
 August 1, 2013
The entertainment options in San Antonio in 1891 were limited, as was exposure to the exotic, so the arrival of a circus in town was exciting.

San Pedro Park had a small zoo in the late 1800s, but the San Antonio Zoo didn’t open until 1914, and the offerings were limited.

Costing “one dollar at the entrance and fifty cents more for something more comfortable than hard and narrow plank seats,” Forepaugh’s show made a stop in San Antonio on October 19, 1891, on its journey through the U.S.

The reviewer recounting his experience in the Express on Oct. 20, 1891, seemed disappointed, but resigned: “the paraphenalia of the show is as good a condition as can be expected at this late season.” Also: “the menagerie is scarcely as extensive as befits a first class show, but the specimens shown were good ones.”
Forepaugh’s circus gets its name from its founder, Adam Forepaugh, a competitor of Barnum. He died in 1890, and the circus was purchased by James A. Bailey (of Barnum & Bailey fame) upon his death. Perhaps that is why the reviewer thought the show was “not considered up to the Forepaugh show that struck this city over ten years ago.”

According to the Circus Fans Association of America website, Forepaugh was the first to incorporate the wild west show into the circus. The San Antonio visit included “wild and woolly cowboy scenes,” plus, contortionists, “truly astonishing” trapeze artists, “good Japanese jugglers,” equestrians and more.

The menagerie was “well supplied with elephants” and had a hippopotamus, zebra, polar bear and “a number of fine and well trained lions.”

Despite his disappointment, the reviewer still thought “[a]ltogether the show was one of the very best ones that has visited Texas in years.”


State Fair hopes for better attendance despite early school start
by Aishah Hasnie, Reporter
August 1, 2013
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Gates at the Indiana State Fair are set to open Friday and officials are hoping for better attendance this year, even though many Hoosier students are already back in school.
Last year, around 854,000 people attended the State Fair. According to spokesman Andy Klotz, it was a fairly good turnout but still the worst attendance in seven years.
The intense heat coupled with a few days of downpours played a big factor in the drop in attendance. This year, the fair faces a new challenge: the balanced calendar that’s created a shorter summer for students and given organizers another factor to consider.
“It’s been something that we keep close monitoring of,” said Klotz.
Klotz said the Fair Board would consider moving the dates of the State Fair up to avoid the school year, but it’s a complicated matter.
“We really don’t have a whole lot of flexibility,” said Klotz. “The county fairs all feed into the State Fair, so if we were to move our fair back then that would be… tough on some of the county fairs.”
For now, it will stick to its 17 days of fun in August.
The Fair Board is hoping its kid-friendly promotions, a brand new Kiddie Land Midway and great weather will be enough to lure in families.
“If the weather is good, people are going to come out. Even if it’s after school,” said Klotz.
You can find promotions and discounts at the Indiana State Fair website.
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The circus comes to Ilfracombe
by Tony Gussin
August 1, 2013

The Academy of Circus Arts is coming to Ilfracombe on Wednesday, August 21.

THE big top is pitching up at Ilfracombe Rugby Club this August and some local youngsters will be off to join the circus too.
The Academy of Circus Arts has been brought to town by North Devon Theatres and the renowned circus training company will delight audiences on Wednesday, August 21 with a traditional human circus show packed with laughter, thrills and spills.
From 7.30pm juggling, dazzling aerial routines, whip cracking, knife throwing and clownish antics will be the order of the day, with tickets priced at £5.
Before that, from Saturday, August 16, the academy will be hosting three days of workshops with young people from the theatres’ Make the Move and Movez Maniax programmes
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The Academy of Circus Arts is coming to Ilfracombe on Wednesday, August 21.
They will be able to train alongside professional artists, in skills such as tumbling, the trapeze, juggling, the unicycle, acrobatics, rola-rola and hula-hooping.
The students will be showing off their newly honed skills at 3pm on Wednesday 21, with free tickets to the demonstration available on purchasing an evening show ticket.
Former Make the Move student Chani Turner from Ilfracombe is currently training with the circus and looking forward to returning to her hometown with fellow artistes.
For ticket information call the box office on 01271 324242 or visit


Kelly Miller Circus returns to Northfield Village
July 31, 2013
The Kelly Miller Circus was in town July 26 at the Northfield Village Retirement Community for two shows to benefit the Nordonia Hills Kiwanis Club. The circus set up early in the morning and that afternoon welcomed the community into the big top, where elephants, zebras, tigers and other acts wowed the crowd, as can be seen in these photos taken by RPC staff photographer Robert J. Lucas.






The Red Ring of Facebook

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Russian circus performers in Las Vegas. Source: Vladik Miagkostoupov / Facebook
By Kim Palchikoff, special to RBTH
August 1, 2013
In the world of circus these days, it’s all about Facebook. And why not? In a profession that is based on travel, on lives built in different countries, like classmates from grade school, performers and circus professionals keep in touch through modern technology, rather than through the grapevine, as previously done.

They are in Vegas, Berlin, traveling with the Big Apple Circus and many others, chatting and emailing, Skyping and friending, through massive amounts of photos they keep in touch, comment and show off everything from their costumes to their children, posting videos of their acts and gossip about their lives.

Many I’ve met myself, once upon a time, somewhere, somehow, like Malvina Abakarova who I met in 1990, while she was traveling through my hometown of Reno, NV. Some 23 years later I came across her page on the web

Malvina Abakarova. Desire of Flight. Source: YouTube
She’s into Skype, she told me, when I saw her in New York City on the road with her husband and daughter, performing a new strap act. She used to be a highwire walker. 
Anatoli Miagkostoupov based in Vegas, a former master juggler, now runs a company of his own, “Aces of Acts,” selling circus acts.
Check him out on Facebook too.  And don’t forget his son, Vladik Miagkostoupov – superstar of Cirque du Soleil with his own juggling act, continuing the tradition of throwing balls in the air.
Then there’s the famed Pavel Brun, the former longtime artistic director of Cirque du Soleil and Celine Dion, is now as famous online as he was in person. In the past, circus performers on the road kept up with each other through gossip, through long conversations with their colleagues about was working where, who had married who.
Tragedies and traumas, all were talked about for hours on end. Now all it takes is a click of a mouse.
From: Russia Beyond The Headlines (blog)


Kelly Miller Circus returns to Northfield Village
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July 31, 2013
Northfield, Ohio--The Kelly Miller Circus was in town July 26 at the Northfield Village Retirement Community for two shows to benefit the Nordonia Hills Kiwanis Club. The circus set up early in the morning and that afternoon welcomed the community into the big top, where elephants, zebras, tigers and other acts wowed the crowd, as can be seen in these photos taken by RPC staff photographer Robert J. Lucas.
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America’s Favorite Old-Fashioned Big Top Circus is coming to Mapleton

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Skeeter the clown, center, will be visiting Mapleton on Tuesday, Aug. 13, to get residents about the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus coming to the community on Sunday, Aug. 18. Above, Skeeter entertains students at an elementary school.
July 31, 2013
Mapleton, Iowa---The Culpepper & Merriweather (C&M) Circus, America’s Favorite Big Top Circus, is coming to Mapleton on Sunday, Aug. 18, at the Mapleton Soccer Fields (on the west edge of town) with two scheduled performances at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
In its 28th season, C&M Circus has become internationally known for quality family entertainment. This authentic one-ring, big top circus has been featured on National Geographic’s Explorer TV series, Entertainment Tonight, The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune.
This year the circus is proud to present Skeeter as the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus Advance Clown. Skeeter will be in Mapleton on Tuesday, Aug. 13, from 8-11 a.m. She will be walking down Main Street, visiting the day cares, and will also be performing a program at the Fisher-Whiting Library at 10:15 a.m. that day.
During her time in town, Skeeter will be handing out the official Culpepper & Merriweather Circus Coloring Contest sheets.
Skeeter got her clown start at the early age of 9-years-old in Columbus, Ohio. She is a graduate of the Ringling Clown College and has spent much of the last 20 plus years traveling around the country – clowning around.
Skeeter’s clown program educates students and community members about what a day in the life of a clown is really all about. She spends time talking about the different types of clowns and the history of the circus. Skeeter will delight audiences with her unique style of clowning, comedy and true love for the circus.
From now until Aug. 13, children ages 2-12 have the chance to win a free (children’s) ticket to the circus. Children can guess how many peanuts are in the jars located at the Mapleton Pool, Fisher-Whiting Library, and Hometown Variety. The closest guess in each jar will win a ticket. If there is a tie, a winner will be chosen at random.
Advance tickets for the circus can be purchased at Valley Bank and Trust, First State Bank, Security National Bank, The Mapleton Press, InControl, Grab and Go, Mapleton BP, Hometown Variety and Kraft Clothing.

Wayne County Fair starts today
It's a never-ending effort that lasts all year long.

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By Greg Little, editor
Aug. 2, 2013
DYBERRY TOWNSHIP,PA-- It's a never-ending effort that lasts all year long.
And today, the show begins.
"We're in good shape this year," said Roger Dirlam, president of the Wayne County Fair Board.
The 151st edition of the fair kicks off today at the fairgrounds just north of Honesdale and runs through Saturday, Aug. 10.
A major change for the fair this year is having the major musical act on the first night of the festivities.
Justin Moore will be having a live show starting at 8 p.m. in the grandstands.
Diane Mott, fair secretary, said ticket sales have been strong for the show. Fair officials added 800 seats for the concert and Mott is hopeful there will be a large crowd on hand.
More than 3,000 tickets have already been sold for the Moore show and more are available at the fair office up to the time of the show.
Reserved seats are $30 and grandstand seats are $20.
The Moore show and the two monster truck shows are the only events which require more than the general admission price to the fairgrounds.
The monster truck shows will be Thursday, Aug. 8 and Saturday, Aug. 10. Both shows start at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under.
All other entertainment at the fair comes with the general admission price of $8 per person.
That includes unlimited rides on the midway.
Dirlam said final preparations at the midway took place on Thursday, including a walk-through inspection by local officials.
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Thursday, August 1, 2013


Ward Hall's first carnival sideshow-Part 1

Ward Hall takes us back to 1948 and a small, six-ride, six-show carnival in Kansas in this first of a three-part YouTube series. This was the first carnival sideshow operated by Ward and his late partner, Harry Leonard, but owned by Ma and Pa Freer of Freer's United Shows. The series is based on a Lane Talburt interview with the King of the American sideshow on July 20 at the conclusion of the Circus Historical Society in Peru, Indiana. Ward recently turned 83. But his descriptions of the attractions and personnel on this little carnival make it seem like his first set-up in Leavenworth happened only yesterday.
Lane Talburt


World's biggest big top circus celebrates 76 years

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Carson and Barnes Circus will celebrate 76 years of entertaining with back-to-back stops in Spencer and Storm Lake next week.
(Photo submitted)

From: Spencer, Iowa Daily Reporter
Thursday, August 1, 2013
As part of their 77th consecutive year of touring the USA, Carson and Barnes Circus, the largest traveling big top tent circus in America will visit Spencer for shows at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5 on the Clay County Fairgrounds, and then head to Storm Lake on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at Fitzpatrick Auto Center with performances at the same time.

Carson and Barnes is "The Real Circus," with everything patrons expect to see under the big top: clowns, acrobats, aerial daredevils, spectacular pageantry, and a cast of amazing performing animals led by the biggest stars of the show -- the Carson and Barnes Asian elephants. Starring in this season's show is "Alex the Clown." Like many of those appearing in the Circus, Alex Acero has spent his life performing. As a headliner in Las Vegas and with several of the largest Latin American circuses, Alex keeps the children laughing while keeping the adults on the edge of their seats with his daring gymnastics.

Carson and Barnes owner Barbara Miller-Byrd is the third generation of her family to run the circus. Her daughters, Traci and Kristin, who also travel with the show, will be the fourth generation to run the nation's largest touring tent circus. Even after more than 60 years on the road as a performer and owner, Barbara is still in awe at the thrill of it all and is still the number one fan of the traditional American circus.
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The Circus Experience
by Matthew McGevna (Editor)
July 31, 2013
Over the past weekend the Cole Bros. Circus rolled into town at the Pennysaver Amphitheater in Farmingville.
From high wire acts to motor biking daredevils, the action packed show was a full experience for all.
Sachem Patch was there to capture the show. Watch this brief video of the event and if you missed it, make sure to be there next time it comes around.

Circus takes Peru man to China as human cannonball
By CARSON GERBER, Kokomo Tribune
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
PERU, Ind. (AP) — It's a unique gig, getting shot out of a cannon. Want to make it even more unique? Do it in China. At the world's largest permanent circus.
That's exactly what 28-year-old Jon Cole did for two years. In June 2011, he left with his wife, Jenny, and their two young kids to become the first human cannonball to ever perform the act in China's history.
At the same time, he be-came one of fewer than 10 human cannonball acts in the world.
How did the Peru native end up on the far side of the world? It's a winding road that led him to China and into the history books, and it begins in Peru — the self-proclaimed "Circus Capital of the World."
When he was 5 years old, his parents decided against signing Jon up for baseball. Instead, they enrolled him in the Peru youth circus as a kiddie clown.
At the age of 7, Jon started performing actual circus acts and eventually worked his way up to the flying trapeze.
"I loved it. My older sister kind of fell out of it, but I was the kid who was totally into it," he told the Kokomo Tribune ( ).
Jon was a first-generation performer, and he meshed with the circus scene. After high school, he went to Indiana Wesleyan University, where he received a degree in physical and health education.
Right after graduating from college, The Flying Pages offered him a spot in their flying trapeze act. Jon jumped at the chance and hit the road for the next year traveling with the group.
Then it was back to Peru. Jon landed a job at Carroll High School teaching P.E. and gym. He also started dating Jenny while they were both working as coaches at the Peru amateur circus. They married after he stopped performing with The Flying Pages.
Jenny said she's a third-generation trainer in the Peru circus, and both her parents were professional circus performers. She also received a teaching degree from Purdue University.
But Jon said teaching wasn't cutting it for him. He had an itch to do something else — something more exciting.
"After that, I kind of got bored with teaching," he said. "I thought life here was a same-kind-of-thing-everyday routine. It just seemed like I couldn't do this for 30 years and then retire."
Then he had an idea. Jon knew Brian Miser, the recently retired human cannonball for Ringling Brothers who lives in Peru. Miser builds and leases cannons to circuses. He has a shop on 2nd Street.
Jon approached Miser about doing a cannonball act, but there wasn't any work available. A few months later, though, Miser called him with a proposition.
He had just built a cannon for a circus in China. Would Jon want to travel over with it and perform as a human cannonball?
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Fun for (most) at circus!
Ripon, WI--The Carson & Barnes Circus arrived in town last week Thursday, bringing its big top to Ripon’s business park on the city’s northeast side.
   During two performances that evening, guests from around Ripon were treated to high-wire acts, animals, clowns and plenty of shenanigans to entertain them.

 Above. Did Rob Wittchow of Ripon realize what he was getting into when he volunteered last week Thursday at the circus? He was told knives would be thrown at him while he was chained to the board. But, while blindfolded, circus performers snuck up to him and slammed the knives into the plywood by hand — including one delicately placed between his legs, where a balloon waited to be popped.


Ripon 7-year-olds Grayson Karr, left, and Zachary Clark-Bongert watch as the elephants get drenched.