2014 Convention



Saturday, September 7, 2013

~~~From Denzil McLaren~~~

New Posters
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Garland Parnell. a great showman and good friend.
Lived in Gibsonton and was a fixture for years on
the Canadian A Circuit of Fairs and on The Royal American Shows.
Also at The Florida State Fair.
He was more than just an Organ Grinder--his monkeys
did an act on the midway.
In later years Bea Fee was his partner.
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Bob and Doris Earl.
Later owned Roberts Bros Circus


September 5, 2013
Hi Dick:  Joe had a great surprise birthday party, partly because of your help..  Could you do one more thing. Put out a message from Joe thanking the almost 55 people, all across the USA, that sent him a birthday card. He will try to answer all of them. Thanks....Joe Sr. and Bill
The Circus Arts Thrive In St. Louis

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Circus Flora in Powell Hall with the St. Louis Symphony
By Nancy Kranzberg
September 6, 2013
The modern definition of a circus is based on the ancient word referring to the actual performance area, a circle of sorts, in which gladiatorial events, chariot races, etc. took place.

Today the performers are quite different. We think of acrobats, clowns, and trained animals. We also tend to think of Ringling, Barnum and Bailey and the frenzied three ring circus, but in reality as one of America's oldest theatrical traditions, the circus started as a European transplant in the late 1700's and was perfected in the United States by the likes of John Bill Rickets, who established the first American Circus in 1798.
Our own Mid-America Arts Alliance recently sponsored a traveling exhibition entitled "Step Right Up" curated by Timothy Tegge, a long time circus historian, collector, and performer. Tegge, a second generation circus performer, was immersed in circus culture from the day he was born.

According to Jessica Hentoff, "The Circus Lady" who now performs with St. Louis's Circus Flora, and one time performed with New York's Big Apple Circus, both artistic one ring circuses, one doesn't have to grow up in the circus and be from a circus family to be a good circus performer. She is the artistic/executive director of Circus Harmony, St. Louis's only year -round circus school and social circus program based in the City Museum.

Hentoff says she has worked with people from 5 to 82 years of age. She says, "I've taught children of all labels-autistic, ADD, LDD, deaf, Down syndrome, physically handicapped, etc. Circus arts doesn't require one skill set. Maybe you can't juggle, but you can flip, or you can't flip but you have great balance and can walk the wire."
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‘Phenomenal’ theatrical circus Sunday in Germantown

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Erica Saben, who is bringing her show, “Cultivate,” to Germantown for two shows this Sunday, is such a die-hard circus performer that she even wants to get her dog in on the act.
By Rita Charleston
September 6, 2013
She was still quite young when she decided to follow her dreams. And today, living out those dreams, Erica Saben, who has been a student of movement her whole life and is the founder and director of Charm City Movement Arts (CCMA, the circus school of Baltimore), brings her group to the Funicular Station, 416 W. Coulter St. in Germantown on Sept. 8 for two shows at 3 and 7 p.m. as part of the annual Fringe Arts Festival.

The show, called “Cultivate,” tells the story of a small circus group who have been given permission to explore the abstract. “Cultivate” by Cirque Du Charme uses theatrical circus to follow the adventure of a little man who, after getting bored under his apple tree, goes on a journey that takes him far beyond anything he has ever experienced.

“In the show we’re concentrating on a group of European travelers who have found their way to Philadelphia, the land of freedom,” said Saben. “The show has a 1930s look and feel, and will be using the talents of aerialists, jugglers, tightrope walkers and puppeteers, all of whom are professional in their field, with a lot of them based right here in Philadelphia.”
According to 30-year-old Saben, the show’s title refers to cultivating new ideas. Originally performed last month in Baltimore, Saben is proud to help advance circus as an art form through this production. The 60-minute performance showcases the entertaining and contemporary style of circus developed in Paris, France. In the past, the cast has performed with such groups as Cirque Du Soleil, Bread and Puppet Theatre, The Give and Take Juggler and others.

Saben’s stage career began at the age of 12 performing as a trombone player with the Sugar and Jazz orchestra in Buffalo, NY. She later went on to acquire a BS in Dance and Political Science from SUNY Brockport as well as a graduate degree in Caribbean Dance and Culture from Edna Manley College in Kingston Jamaica.

She began her own circus career by accident when she was spotted on stage at the Academy of Music by Give and Take Jugglers. Invited to join their touring show, she later was introduced to Shana Kennedy, director of the five-year-old Philadelphia School of Circus Arts in Germantown, where Saben has taught and where several performers in the show still live and train.
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He does handstands and Hollywood stunts
Jean-Luc Martin has a circus school that teaches fearlessness and flexibility

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Jean-Luc Martin of the San Diego Circus Center in Miramar.
 — Nelvin C. Cepeda
By Nina Garin
Sept. 6, 2013
If you’ve ever dreamed about running away to join the circus, Jean-Luc Martin can help with that.
Martin, 48, is the founder and executive director of the new San Diego Circus Center, a Miramar-based school that teaches everything from tightrope walking to aerial arts.
Before opening the nonprofit, Martin had plenty of experience under a big top. He did three tours as a Cirque du Soleil acrobats with roles like “The Ugly Old Bird” for the “Alegria” tour. He also used his fearlessness and flexibility working for many years as a Hollywood stuntman.
Martin, who lives in La Jolla with his family, explains why circus arts are important.

Q: What is the San Diego Circus Center?
A: A nonprofit devoted to advancing circus training on the West Coast, and enriching the lives of our community by teaching circus disciplines, art and culture. Our curriculum is built for students who want to have fun yet challenge themselves. We have recreational programs as well as professional programs for those individuals who desire to reach a higher level.
Q: Why did you decide to open a circus school?
A: I was trained by the very best in the circus industry, and there is no school in Southern California that offers the discipline and training that I experienced back in the day, so it just made sense. Being physically active has always been a fundamental part of my life, and after retiring from circus I was asked surprisingly frequently, “will you please teach me how to do a handstand?” I think with the recent popularity of all yoga practices, people realized how important it is to just be strong with control and that’s what I encourage.
Q: Why should people care about circus arts?
A: Like many of the arts, circus arts gives us an opportunity to express our creativity. While not a mainstream sport or activity, circus skills can enhance the students’ ability in other mainstream sports.
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Local residents turn out for Shriners circus in Amsterdam

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Orlandito the Clown paints the face of Elianna Tirado on Friday at the Oriental Shrine Circus in Amsterdam.
The Leader-Herald/Arthur Cleveland

By ARTHUR CLEVELAND , The Leader Herald
September 7, 2013
AMSTERDAM,NY - Jugglers, trained dogs, clowns and other performers captured the attention of local residents at the Oriental Shrine Circus on Friday night.
The circus took place in a large tent in a lot off Route 30.
The circus, put on by the Oriental Shrine Temple of Troy and Walker International Events, is a yearly event, said John Garhartt, potentate for the shrine.
"We're geared toward kids. It is something we do every year," Garhartt said.
Barry Trasacco of Glens Falls, chairman of the event, said they were expecting a lot of guests Friday night.
"Last year, it was a full house," Trasacco said.
Tim Grogan, chief rabban for the Shriners, said this was the second year in a row the circus has been in Amsterdam.
In the center ring, the Aristov Duo opened the night with a juggling act. Dallas Rosaire, the ringmistress for the circus, brought out her trained dogs to hop through hoops and dance for the crowd.
Camel and pony rides were offered outside the tent.
In addition, there was a bounce house for children. Popcorn and cotton candy were offered for sale.
Terumi Tan of Johnstown brought her daughters Vivian and Shiloh to the circus.
"We love it," Tan said. "We never really had been to a circus."
Shiloh participated in Orlandito the Clown's performance, drumming on a skillet during the event.
The circus is scheduled to perform in Glens Falls today.
York Fair: America's Oldest Fair? Maybe not.

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By MIKE ARGENTO, Daily Record/Sunday News
York, PA - For years, the York Fair has billed itself as "America's Oldest Fair" and "America's First Fair."
 In fact, the fair has trademarked both expressions -- they are exclusive to the York Fair.
 But is it "America's First Fair" or "America's Oldest Fair"?
 Not according to the people who run the Fredericksburg Fair in northern Virginia, just off Interstate 95 about halfway between Washington and Richmond. That fair bills itself as "America's Oldest Agricultural Fair."
 "We gotta get it straight," said C. Travis Bullock, the Fredericksburg fair's general manager, in a southern accent just dripping with gravy and grits. "Only one of us can be the oldest."
 Truth be told, neither fair could credibly lay claim to the title of being the oldest fair in America. Fairs in what were then the untamed colonies were held in just about every village and township, usually around harvest time, giving farmers a chance to trade and sell their wares, according to the International Association of Fairs and Exhibitions.
The notion was imported from Europe. And it didn't originate there. The first recorded mention of fairs dates to 500 B.C., chronicled in the Biblical book of Ezekiel: "Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of the kinds of riches with silver, iron, tin and lead, they traded in thy fairs."
 The association, in a history of fairs published on its website, says, "Ezekiel's account of the destruction of Tyre, supposedly written about 588 BC, describes Tyre as an important market and fair center."
Neither York Fair nor Fredericksburg can claim Biblical documentation of their respective fairs' origins. But both do have documentation.
 The York Fair points to the charter granted the fair in 1765 by Thomas Penn, William Penn's son.
 "We actually have the document that was signed by an actual guy," said fair president Gene Schenck. "We have papers."
 Fredericksburg also makes that claim. It was established in 1738, according to its website, "when the Virginia House of Burgess authorized, and directed, that 'fairs should be held in Fredericksburg twice a year for the sale of cattle, provisions, goods, wares, and all kinds of merchandise.'"
 If there is a distinction, it is this: "We claim to be America's oldest agricultural fair," Bullock said.
 York claims to be "America's Oldest Fair." Which is capitalized and framed in quote marks because it is a trademark of the York Fair.
 And when the York Fair trademarked the phrase -- along with "America's First Fair" -- the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office did not find any other entities that had laid claim to those phrases, Schenck said.
 The fair association is staying out of the dispute. Jim Tucker, president and CEO of the Missouri-based trade organization, said it's a hard thing to pin down. There may be even older fairs that lack documentation or whose histories have gone unrecorded.
 On thing is certain, he said, "they've both been around a long time."
Petting zoos out at some N.C. agricultural fairs

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Diedra Laird -
Ryan Rearick of Charlotte and son Lincoln, then 1, check out goats at the zoo at the August 2011 Weddstock in Weddington.
By Joe DePriest
Sep. 06, 2013
SHELBY Petting zoos will be missing this year from several North Carolina agricultural fairs, including the Cleveland County and N.C. State fairs, which have been hit with E. coli outbreaks.
Animal exhibits will continue as usual, but officials say the future of petting zoos is up in the air because of liability concerns.
Last year’s outbreak at the Cleveland County Fair resulted in 106 E. coli cases and a toddler’s death. Shelby lawyer O. Max Gardner III, who represents the fair association, said seven civil suits filed by families of the victims have been consolidated in Gaston County and are under review by a Superior Court judge. No trial date has been set.
Read more here:


Circus is coming to town

The Culpepper and Merriweather Circus will be coming to Cleveland,TX on Oct. 17. Advance tickets are available at the Cleveland Civic Center, the Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, Anderson Ford and Fish Tales.

By Stephanie Buckner
September 5, 2013
The Culpepper and Merriweather Circus will be riding into Cleveland,TX on Thursday, Oct. 17. It is being sponsored by the Cleveland Civic Center and Dairy Day Association.
The event will cater to spectators of all ages. A variety of performers, including acrobats and a lion tamer, will be present to entertain under the big top.
There also will also be pony rides and a number of activities that are specifically for children.
The traveling circus makes it their mission to “bring a fun-filled and affordable day of family entertainment to small-town America.”
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Advance tickets for the circus are being sold at the Cleveland Civic Center, the Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, Anderson Ford and Fish Tales restaurant.
Adult tickets are $10, and children ages 2 to 12, are $6. Tickets may also be purchased at the gate, but will be higher in price.
The Culpepper and Merriweather Circus will be held on the Stancil Expo Center grounds on Peach Ave. in Cleveland. Show times will be 5 and 7:30 p.m.


Fair preparation: Tulelake-Butte Valley Fair opens today

H&N photo by Andrew Creasey
Rick Hill looks on as his son Derrick stabilizes their amusement park ride in preparation for the Tulelake-Butte Valley Fair.

By ANDREW CREASEY H&N Staff Reporter
September 4, 2013
Klamath Falls,OR---Not too long after last year’s Tulelake-Butte Valley Fair, event organizers were busy planning the next one.
When it comes to the fair, a regional event anticipated Basin-wide that can attract almost 50,000 people, it pays to start early.
“It’s not something you can start planning a week before it starts,” said Dave Dillabo, fair manager.
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H&N photo by Andrew Creasey
Rick Hill sets up his amusement park ride on Wednesday morning in preparation of the Tulelake-Butte Valley Fair.So, on Wednesday morning,
the fairgrounds in Tulelake was teeming with workers and volunteers assembling rides, preparing food carts, tugging livestock into stockades and cleaning the facilities for the big event.
In total, about 30 volunteers, 40 paid employees and the eight members of the Tulelake-Butte Valley Fair Board aligned all of their efforts into preparing the fairgrounds for the crowds of Basin residents that will flood into the area this morning.
“This is a one-year family reunion,” said Venancio Hernandez, vice president of the board. “All the kids that grew up here and had to leave to find better lives or get jobs get to come back home.”
Hernandez said four of his five children have left the area, and they all return home to attend the fair.
There will be 20 rides — five for children — hauled in from teams and companies from Oregon, Washington and California.
The event attracts 33 food vendors, who will sell a wide range of cuisine, from traditional American, to Mexican and Chinese. One vendor sells deep-fried Twinkies.
Events include livestock auctions, arts and crafts, rodeo, destruction derbies and mud bogs, as well as live music.
In addition to the entertainment and delicious fried goods, there will be 90 commercial vendors, some of whom represent Basin businesses.
There is no admission fee to attend the fair, but organizers have encouraged a pay-what-you-can system in hopes that the public will donate money to keep the fair alive, Dillabo said.


 State inspections cause problems for two big attractions at York Fair
A new roller coaster didn't open with other rides, and another company's 30-foot free fall attraction ran into a separate problem.

By ED MAHON, Daily Record/Sunday News
Blake Storm, 7, walked up to a sign next to a roller coaster on Friday. He needed to check if he was tall enough to ride.
 He was. But it wasn't clear early in the afternoon if the ride would be cleared by state inspectors for the first day of the York Fair.
 "I hope it's approved," said Blake's mother, Alisha Sipe, 30, of the Thomasville area.
 Several hours later, after other rides had opened, crew members were still working on the 54-foot-tall "Mine Bender," and an empty car was doing test laps.
Barbara Lindstrom of West Manchester Township sat with her 13-year-old grandson, Jack Noone, at a bench near the ride shortly before 5 p.m. They had arrived several hours earlier and bought $20 worth of amusement park ride tickets. The roller coaster was the ride he was most interested in.
 "That's what he really wanted to ride," said Lindstrom. "... Maybe they'll get it operating."
 The Mine Bender was one of about 50 rides that Florida-based Deggeller Attractions brought to the York Fair, according to Gene Schenck, president of the fair. It was assembled several weeks before the fair.
 Schenck said the roller coaster is a model new to Pennsylvania, which he said makes the approval process take longer.
 Another new attraction, a 30-foot free fall onto a 50-foot-by-50-foot air bag, opened at the fair but closed later on Friday. That attraction is run by US AIRBAG. It cost $10 per jump or $20 for three jumps. Participants had to sign a waiver.
 Scott Stephenson, events and marketing coordinator for the company, said he expects the attraction to be open Saturday.
"We just need to get some fencing on the top platform," he said shortly after 6 p.m.
 He said the company's free fall attraction has been inspected in Minnesota, New York, Colorado and other states.
 But Pennsylvania is new territory for it.
 "So we just didn't know all their rules and restrictions," he said.
 Schenck said the state had approved the US AIRBAG attraction in advance, before a problem was brought up Friday.
Schenck said the air bag and the roller coaster were both major attractions.
 "I'm disappointed," Schenck said

Piglets from Cedar Hill Pork Farm in Wellsville feed during the morning hours in the Utz Arena at the York Fair on Friday.
For the roller coaster, Deggeller crew members met in the morning with an inspector and supervisor with the Bureau of Ride and Measurement Standards, part of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
 "We're looking pretty good," Scott MacNeill, a manager with Deggeller said around 11 a.m., but he added that nothing was certain. "No high hopes yet."
 At about 5:30 p.m., the ride was near the end of about 100 test laps that an inspector requested, MacNeill said. MacNeill said he was hoping it would open later that evening. It was still closed at 8 P.M.
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The Mine Bender, a roller coaster at the York Fair continued to get worked on Friday morning in order so it could get inspected and approved to open up for this year's fair.
Earlier in the day, before the US AIRBAG attraction was closed, Mark Stuhl, 41, took a 30-foot-jump off.
 "You just fall, and then you hit that big pillow of air," said Stuhl, who traveled to the fair from New Jersey with his family. "... It's definitely fun."

Friday, September 6, 2013

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York Fair attractions could come at higher price this year
News 8 looks into some ways to help you save money

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Sep 04, 2013
YORK, Pa. —The York Fair opens Friday. There will be some new attractions and a new, higher price.
“Once we are ready to go, the easy part is making the steak,” said Assistant York Fire Chief Pat Rose.
Making the steak may be easy, but you’ll have to pay more for them at the professional firefighter’s stand at the York Fair.
Rose says the chop steak sandwiches will cost you an extra dollar. It has been 10 years since the price went up.
“This year, with the cost of beef and meat going up and everything else, we are going to be raising our prices,” said Rose.
The cost of sausage sandwiches at the stand are also going up 50 cents.
Other York Fair food vendors may also be raising their prices but you may have to wait until the fair opens to find out where.
While rising food prices may be unavoidable, the fair is offering a number of discounts to bring you in.
 Starting on opening day, scouts and seniors can get in for free and everyone else can come in for $1.
 You can also ride the Midway rides for $1 per ride.

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REVIEW: Circus Oz pulls death-defying stunts

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Leave any theatre expectations behind and let Circus Oz wow you with their circus acts.
By Amy Martin
Sept. 5, 2013
THE biggest tip anyone can be given before seeing Circus Oz's Cranked Up is to ignore the fact it’s in a theatre.
Despite the descriptive name, the performance’s location can be misleading to the performance.
By replacing the big top for a stage and curtains, comes the expectation of a story line.
With knowing only little about the actual performance prior to curtain call, audiences can be left spending the first half wondering when the story will kick in.
So ignore any expectations you may have when going to the theatre, and go in knowing you’re seeing a circus performance instead.
Once you take away the prior need of one moment linking to the next, it leaves talented performers and their death-defying acts.
Circus Oz presents all the traditional circus acts, everyone knows and marvels over but with a twist.
Set on a high-rise construction site, the show promotes the idea of a place where “nothing belongs” and the builders come circus performers swap the trapeze for scaffolding, the tightropes for girders and clowns for failed magicians.
The performers have the audience mesmerised with their stunts, and laughing at their jokes.
The stand out performance coming from the narcissistic, mullet-man Des (played by Dale Woodbridge), who replaces the role of ringmaster.
One of the only characters in the performance, he acts (whether intentionally or not) as an anchor point for the rest of the circus to revolve around.
He executes the ‘I love myself’ attitude successfully. 
Even when he informs the audience he’s like the sun, “beautiful to look at, but going to hurt you in the end”, it is not of off putting, proving that humour can really make or break a character’s profile.
His supermodel-like poses adds the humour needed during intense stunts, and coupled with his acrobat skills makes him entertaining to watch.
It’s characters such as Des which ads the Aussie larrikin into the mix, something to engage the average Australian male in the audience.
They have made the circus manly – well as manly as a circus can be anyway.
Circus Oz will perform two shows this Saturday at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre.
Hopes high for York Fair's new roller coaster
MOLLIE DURKIN / The York Dispatch
As of 8 p.m. the night before the York Fair, the fate of its new roller coaster, the Mine Bender, remained uncertain.
The 54-foot-tall coaster awaits the state's approval to run, but all hope is not lost, said fair president Gene Schenck.
"It still might be (approved), but it hasn't," Schenck said. "Our optimism has faded, but our hope will never fade."
The ride was not refurbished till May, and discrepancies with paperwork have pushed its approval back, he said. Engineers have tested the ride over the last eight weeks and believe it to be safe, Schenck said.
But he said he's not applying any political pressure in order to get the ride approved.
"If the ride isn't safe, we don't want it to run," Schenck said. "But we're still hopeful."
Itchin' to ride: The coaster perated for only two seasons, 2001 and 2002, and clocked in only 200 rides in that time, said Derek Shaw, member of the American Coaster Enthusiasts organization.
What happened is that the original owner died, and his widow didn't want to operate it, he said. In effect, the ride is a hot commodity in the roller coaster world, and people from all over are planning on coming to the York Fair to ride, he said.
"There are a lot of roller coaster enthusiasts champing at the bit to get their credit on it," Shaw said.
Although the wild mouse-type ride's inaugural debut at the fair is in the balance, he said it should be up and running soon.
"The ride looks great, so I'm very optimistic that it should open," Shaw said.
Out of the 2,200 or so coasters in the world, he said he has his credit on about 1,350.
"So this will be 1,351," he said.
The York Fair runs from Friday through Sunday, Sept. 15.


From the Las Vegas Travel Guide, a special advertising feature
El Loco at Circus Circus Hotel and Casino

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The second of its kind in the country (the first is in Indiana), El Loco replaces the Rim Runner flume ride, one of the theme park's original attractions when it opened in 1993.
September 5, 2013
The Adventuredome, the all-indoor amusement park at Circus Circus, debuts El Loco this December. The compact roller coaster, which covers 1,300 feet of track in 75 seconds, delivers dives at negative 1.5 Gs and makes 45-degree turns and barrel rolls within a relatively small footprint. The second of its kind in the country (the first is in Indiana), the coaster replaces the Rim Runner flume ride, one of the theme park’s original attractions when it opened in 1993.
Circus Mondao entertains crowds in Tottington

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By Andrew Bardsley, Reporter
Friday 6th September 2013
A travelling circus featuring performers from around the world is being held in Bury until Sunday.

Circus Mondao has set up base at Walshaw Road in Tottington and among the death-defying stunts on show will be the Wheel of Death, performed by Vitalie Eremia from Moldova and Petrick Alberto from Persia who is making his first trip to the UK.

Other attractions include clowns, hula hooping, a cloud swing, juggling and trampolining.
Petra Jackson, circus ringmistress, said in the age of children being tied to computer games and smartphones, it aims to bring the whole family together.

She said: “Circus Mondao is a traditional family circus which believes in giving good quality family entertainment.
She said: “Circus Mondao is a traditional family circus which believes in giving good quality family entertainment.

“In today’s society so many families do not do things together and we believe our show is suitable for all ages, from two to 92.

“Every year we change our show to give people something new to see.”
The circus was founded by the Timmis family in 2007, and they have travelled the country including a recent month-long stint in Blackpool over the summer.
The circus was founded by the Timmis family in 2007, and they have travelled the country including a recent month-long stint in Blackpool over the summer.

Gracie Timmis and her sister Carol set up the circus after travelling the world as circus artistes, and after acquiring a menagerie of animals they decided to set up their own travelling circus. Gracie’s two daughters Madalane and Cinzia are also both involved in the circus.

Shows take place at 5pm and 7.30pm today and tomorrow, at 2pm and 5pm on Saturday and at 2pm on Sunday.

Billy Smart's Circus coming to Taunton's Vivary Park

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Billy Smart's Circus coming to Taunton's Vivary Park
EUROPE’S top circus will wow crowds in Taunton’s Vivary Park next week.
Billy Smart’s Circus has always been ahead of its time and now it has been making its first full tour of Great Britain for over 30 years.

It will be in town from Tuesday (September 10) until Sunday, September 15, and the performance will include a fantastic Australian flying trapeze act which has been the toast of the circus world.

It will also feature Desiree’s hand-balancing act in which she fires a bow and arrow with her feet, acrobats, jugglers, breath-taking aerialists and even a fireman who works his routine on a flaming ladder.

There are two performances Tuesday to Friday at 4.45pm and 7.30pm; three on Saturday at 2.00pm, 4.45pm and 7.30pm; and two on Sunday when the performance times are 12.30pm and 3.30pm.

Tickets cost £10 - call 0844 415 5228 to book or check out for more details
 New exhibit at Bracken Library features circus through History
By Michael Smith, Staff Reporter
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Muncy,IN (Ball State Univ.)--A new exhibit in Bracken library, “Under the Big Top: The Circus in Muncie and Indiana,” features a variety of circus acts through history.

Through Sept. 27, anyone can come and see the circus collection in Archives and Special Collections on the second floor of Bracken Library.

The exhibit features different types of circuses and performers, including The De Long Sisters, who performed in 1937 for a crowd that included Adolf Hitler, Francesco Lentini, who had an extra leg growing out of his hip, and the Mills Bros Circus of 1953.

John Straw, assistant dean for digital initiatives and special collections, said 90 percent of “Under the Big Top” is based on a collection by Fred Graham, from the international Hall of Fame.

 There is a display dedicated to Graham, which has his book, “Wait for the Muncie Boys,” and his ledger where he documented  circuses and performers, said archives specialist Neal Coil.

 “I hope [students] would gain an appreciation of Muncie’s history,” Coil said. “A large a goal of ours is to present a side of Muncie that people do not know about.”

 Paisley Hansen, a sophomore animation major, was one of two students who worked with Coil over the summer to put up the exhibit as a research project.

“I think the exhibit is a great way to draw attention and realize that archives are here, wealth of information right at our disposal," Hansen said.

This summer Paisley said she learned that “a lot of performers actually care about animals.”

She said she hopes students walk away with an interest after seeing the exhibit as she did.

Magic continues for Circus World illusionist

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Circus World Museum illusionist Tristan Crist continues to perform daily in the fall
From: wisc
By Annie Getsinger News Republic
Sept.5, 2013
The summer performance season is over at Circus World Museum, but the magic continues. The museum’s illusionist, Tristan Crist, will continue to perform two shows daily.
Crist performed at the Houdini Club of Wisconsin’s 75th annual convention last weekend in Middleton. He entertained audiences with the likes of Keith Fields, The Reed Sisters, Trent James and a handful of other magic acts from around the country.
“This was the first time,” Crist said of his performance. “Every year they bring in different entertainers and put together a stage show.”
Crist said he has never had a chance to attend the summer event.
“It was awesome just meeting other magicians,” Crist said. “It was an honor to be asked to perform, and it’s always fun to get together with other members of your profession.”
The club’s membership ranges from hobbyists and magic enthusiasts to full-time magicians.
Crist said there were some young magicians in attendance, and after his performance at the convention, some people even made the trip to Circus World to see his show.
In his act, Crist passes through a mirror, crawls through a spinning industrial fan and performs a number of other small- and large-scale illusions.
Crist said he considers Harry Houdini, who lived for a period in Wisconsin, a source of inspiration.
“When I was growing up, I read books about Houdini,” he said, adding that the famed performer was his first exposure to magic.
Crist will continue to perform his act with 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. shows daily until Oct. 25 and then weekday shows through Nov. 15.
“It slows down a lot, but it’s kind of nice because I have more time to actually talk to my audiences and meet the people and spend time with them,” he said. “That’s been really nice.”
138th Rochester Fair
September 13th - 22nd

Ringling circus to hold St. Louis clown tryouts

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Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for FELD Entertainment.
The Associated Press
Friday, Sep. 6, 2013
ST. LOUIS -- Aspiring clowns can see if they have what it takes to make it under the big top when Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus holds a clown college tryout in St. Louis this weekend.
The clown auditions are scheduled from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday at City Museum's Circus Harmony. KSDK-TV reports ( ) that some basic clowning skills will be taught during the audition in an interactive workshop.
Would-be clowns will then give 3-5 minute routines. The tryout website encourages the use of "exaggerated facial expressions and body language" along with such skills as juggling or riding a unicycle.
Advance registration is required and can be done online.
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