2014 Convention



Friday, January 17, 2014

Cedar Park Center hosts the Ben Hur Shrine Circus for nine performances from Jan. 17–20.
by Stephen Burnett
January 16, 2014
PrevNextBen Hur Shrine Circus (2013)
The Ben Hur Shrine Circus will start entertaining on Jan. 17 before its first of nine performances during the weekend.
Guests who arrive at noon Friday will be able to watch elephants have an apple and banana brunch outside the Cedar Park Center, said Ginny Van Doren, marketing coordinator for the Cedar Park Center.
“People are allowed to visit [and] take pictures of the elephants eating their brunch,” she said.
Parking is free in the side lots, she said. Guests can then walk to the arena’s east side, which faces Toll 183A, and stand within blocked-off sections near the valet parking section. After the elephants leave, clowns and other performers will meet with fans to take photos, Van Doren said.

The evening the circus starts at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17 with eight more shows scheduled through Jan. 20.

Already the circus is setting up colorful stands around Cedar Park Center. Guests can find cotton candy and other circus merchandise outside and a full three-ring arrangement inside, she said.

“It would look like a regular circus under a tent, only this has air-conditioning with nice comfy chairs,” Van Doren said.

Cedar Park Center’s ticket office will open two hours before the first performance, she said.

Attendees who arrive at 6:30 p.m. can interact with circus performers on the arena floor and even ride some of the animals such as camels and elephants, Van Doren said.

“If you are early, you’ll still be entertained prior to the actual start of the show,” she said.

Tickets are listed at $23.82–$42.10 and can also be found on the arena’s website. Parking costs an additional $10. After Friday, circus performances are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Monday, Jan. 20 at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.


Circus Starr to put on performance for vulnerable children at Hellesdon school

Circus Starr
Dominic Bareham
Friday, January 17, 2014
Vulnerable, disabled and disadvantaged children will have the opportunity to see jugglers and illusionists at the weekend when the Circus Starr rolls into town.
Tomorrow the circus will be welcoming hundreds of local children and their families to see the show at Hellesdon High School for free.

With the support of local businesses, the circus will be able to take even more children from the communities of Norwich to see the children’s variety show.

The performance will see the comeback of Peanuts the Clown by popular demand along with some classic circus favourites including hula hoopers, jugglers and illusionists, while there will also be a human slinky.

Over the past few months, local businesses have been buying tickets to the show as part of Circus Starr’s unique donated ticket programme.

The tickets have been donated to a wide range of local children’s services, schools and community groups.
As well as the children who will be enjoying this year’s performance, any extra funds raised will be donated to The Norfolk Hospice Tapping House, which provides care and comfort to those nearing the end of their lives.
Neville Wilson, director of Circus Starr, said: “We are always stunned by the fantastic support we receive from the Norwich businesses and the warm welcome we are given from the entire community each year.

“We are very much looking forward to hosting our variety show here in the new year.”

Tickets cost £15 and the money will enable a vulnerable, sick or disabled child to enjoy the circus.

Any new business wishing to make a donation should call Circus Starr directly on 01260 288690.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Shrine Circus to bring animals, 'America's Got Talent' alumni and more to Flint

Flint resident Skip Taber, 62, carries a "Sno Cones" sign as he helps set up for Shrine Circus on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 at Perani Arena. Jake May

By William E. Ketchum III The Flint Journal

on January 15, 2014

FLINT, MI — Flint's Perani Arena & Event Center will host the first of a multiple shows of one of the longest-running live productions in the United States starting Thursday, Jan. 16.

The venue will host 11 presentations of the Shrine Circus through Monday, Jan. 20.

Tito Valencia, the circus co-manager, said the shows will have tigers, dogs, pony rides, elephant rides, camel rides, snakes, camels and the only male performing elephant in the world, which weighs 14,000 pounds.

The circus will also showcase tumbling troupe The Chicago Boys (of "America's Got Talent" fame), aerial acts, clowns, juggling acts and hula hoop acts.

But first, they have to set everything up. Many of the animals have already arrived to the Perani Arena and Event Center, and on Wednesday morning, Valencia was giving orders to workers who were carting chests of supplies into the arena floor.

Valencia said the show's longevity — "well over 200 years," he said — comes from appealing to families. He cites auto racing and mixed martial arts fighting as live competition.

"You can always bring your family and you don't have to expect any profanity that isn't appropriate for children. If you go to the motocross things, or the MMA things, unfortunately you see some accidents and people getting hurt," Valencia said. "We supply the thrills, but we also supply the family entertainment, so we keep you up and down."
Jeremy Torrey, general manager of Perani Arena, said circus attendance has also done well because of the variety of activities it has, and because of good coupons. One coupon package gets one adult in free with an adult ticket purchase, and another gets two kids in free with an adult ticket purchase.
"The coupon program has really helped during the down economy, it bolsters attendance," Torrey said. "That makes it affordable for everybody."
The circus will have an experienced cast on hand for this tour. Valencia has been a co-manager for about 15 years, and he represents the sixth generation of his family in the circus.
"I haven't experienced much of what we call 'town life' — going to school, and getting a job in town. This is really the only life I've ever known," he said. "It's hard, it's a lot of hours, it's a lot of work, but in end it's all worth it to see how much people enjoy what you're doing."
The clowns also have years under their belts. Byron Vowell, 66, has been a clown with the Shrine Circus since 1990. He said that the crew has a couple newbies in their first year or so, and veterans who have been in the team for 35 to 40 years.
But before earning seniority, they have to spend a year learning the ropes.
"Our clown unit has a one-year period where a guy comes in and he's an apprentice," said Vowell, who lives in Lennon. "We teach him how to put makeup on, the different types of clowns there are, costumes, walkabouts -- which are things you may use while going down a parade route -- how to tie balloons, and just the general stuff that a clown would do. After that year period, an apprentice becomes a regular clown, and works to help train some new ones."

The clowns have 60 to 90 outings per year, including the circus' 33 shows. The circus will use between 15 And 30 clowns per show, depending on the day of the week. They will perform two acts during the circus and greet people and sign autographs before and after the show and during intermission.
Between work and prep, they may be occupied from 7 a.m. to 9 or 10 p.m., Vowell said, "but we enjoy it. We have a good time."

Last Weekend To Get Extreme
Come see the show that everyone is buzzing about - Extreme Vegas. This weekend is your last chance to experience the highly energetic and entertaining production that is captivating audiences for its jaw-dropping illusions, mesmerizing cirque acts and beautiful showgirls. Only 5 show left! Take advantage of our BUY ONE GET ONE FREE offer by using promo code EV2014. Tickets can be purchased by visiting or calling our Box Office at 941-355-9805 or online at
Hurry, you do not want to miss this trip to Vegas!

Circus Sarasota | 501(c)3 Non-Profit Performing Arts Educational Organization | 2075 Bahia Vista Street | Sarasota | FL | 34239

Arizona State Fair Boosts Attendance with New Marketing Strategies

From: Matt's Carnival
By Timothy Herrick
Photo courtesy of AZ State Fair
Attendance increased by more than 20,000 for the 129th edition of the Arizona State Fair in 2013. While many factors contributed to this robust uptick in fairgoers, two new advertising methods stick out for both their effectiveness and the fact they were firsts for the fair's marketing.

One was ad placement on the news feeds appearing on the monitors at the baggage claim section of the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. "These were digital spots only appeared in this area of the airport, where people wait for their luggage," said Kristi Walsh, Assistant Executive Director. While there's no accurate measurement for the effectiveness of these ads, Walsh speculates by utilizing this unique medium with a captive audience, she reached two important consumer segments. "We got the tourists and people visiting, who may be looking for things to do. And, we got residents returning home who may not have otherwise known there was a fair going on."
read more at:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014



Lennon Bros Circus is the oldest touring circus in Australia. 115 years ago, it started as a Buckjump show and has evolved into the sophisticated circus production witnessed today.

The circus is currently run by 5th generation brothers Geoff & Warren with 5th and 6th generations of the family represented in the program.
Lennon Bros Circus is one of only two circuses left in Australia with big cats in the program. The three lions at Lennon’s are four years of age: two females and one male from different litters. They were born and bred in the circus, and are in fact 12th generation born and bred in Australia.

Other animals appearing in the show include:

•Beautiful Liberty Horses
The Lennon family employs a staff of 30 people, ranging in age from 3 to 65 years. To enable this large operation to move around Australia (by no means a small feat), we have 14 trucks, 2 semi trailers and 14 caravans.
The Lennon family is very proud of their Australian heritage and aim to utilize the best of Australia performers as well as overseas artists. Be captivated by the antics of the clowns, awed by the majesty of the lions, and enthralled by the jugglers, the daring of the aerialists, the wheel of death, and the awesome flying trapeze.
Do not miss the fast paced Lennon Bros Circus production when it comes to your town!