2014 Convention



Saturday, April 5, 2014

Big Apple Circus - New Year's Eve

Published on Jan 18, 2014
This video shows the New Year's Eve performance of the Big Apple Circus that took place on December 31, 2013 at Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park. It was a great experience to ring in the New Year with the cast of the circus' 36th Season Production called "LUMINOCITY" as Ringmaster John Kennedy Kane counted down to 2014.

The videos were taken on December 31, 2013 - January 1, 2014
Ty Tojo Big Apple Circus 5 ball, 7 ball 29 backcross throws IN SHOW

Published on Mar 22, 2014
Big Apple Circus 5 ball, 7 ball 29 backcross throws IN SHOW ! 2014
Circus Vargas performers bring smiles to children at Childhelp 

circus vargas
Jeremy Garcia tosses batons into the air during a performance at Childhelp in Beaumont.
by Julie Farren
Apr 4, 2014
ex Acero and Jeremy Garcia love to make people smile.
They do that as performers with Circus Vargas, which traveled to Beaumont on Friday afternoon, March 28, to put on a special show for about 50 to 75 of the children at Childhelp Merv Griffin Village.
Circus Vargas is currently performing at Ontario Mills through Monday, April 7, and will be at the Chino Fairgrounds April 10-14.
Acero, 30, and Garcia, 31, are both third-generation circus performers but are in their first year with Circus Vargas.
The two men came out to Childhelp to give a 20-minute performance for children and staff in the gymnasium.
Acero, wearing clown makeup, and Garcia practiced a little bit while waiting for their guests.
Garcia said he was about 8 years old when he began performing in the circus – juggling and doing magic.
Acero’s parents and grandparents also traveled with a circus.

circus vargas
Circus Vargas clown Alex Acero performs for children at the Childhelp Merv Griffin Village in Beaumont on Friday, March 28.
Garcia and Acero had a show to do on Friday night at Ontario Mills, so it was an abbreviated performance in Beaumont, but gave the children and staff an idea of what Circus Vargas is all about.
The traveling circus presents one show Monday through Friday and three shows on Saturday and Sundays.
They travel 10 months out of the year and there are approximately 100 performers in Circus Vargas.
Acero and Garcia said that being circus performers has given them the opportunity to experience different cultures and countries.
One thing they have found is that kids like clowns, which is Acero’s forte.
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Circus coming to area

Provided by Kelly Miller Circus
Kids of all ages will enjoy the animals, acrobats and other entertainers when the Kelly Miller Circus comes to the region next week.
April 04, 2014 
The Kelly Miller Circus, founded during the Depression, is marking another milestone this year as it celebrates its 76th anniversary.

Founded in 1938 by Obert Miller and his sons Kelly and Dores, this traditional tented circus has seen the passing of over half of this century and still offers the same great family entertainment it presented in its humble beginnings.

Thanks to the sponsorship of the St. Francois Rotary Club, the all new 2014 edition of the Kelly Miller Circus will be in the area April 10 and 11 with performances at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. both days at the St. Francois County Fairgrounds.

This year's shows will feature elephants, horses, and a cast of international circus stars under a beautiful circus big top. The tent raising itself is a great free show that will take place at 9:00 a.m. on April 10 and the public is invited.

This season the Kelly Miller circus will travel nearly 10,000 miles and give performances in over 200 cities and towns as it winds across North America from February through October. The new edition promises a more exciting and extravagant exhibition than ever. 

The event is a fundraiser for the St. Francois County Rotary Club. Buying tickets in advance means the public can save money as well as support the year-round projects of the local organization.

The charitable projects stay within the county, including an annual scholarship fund. Examples of past projects include building a shed for the SEMO Family Violence Council, remodeling the restroom at Parkland Pregnancy Resource Center, and erecting a handicap-accesible swing set in a city park in Park Hills.

Tickets for the circus are $10 in advance for adults and $6 for children and can be purchased at First State Community Bank (all St. Francois County locations), Belgrade State Bank in Desloge and Farmington, Complete Vision Care in Leadington, Mike's Market in Bismarck, the Coffee Grill in Leadington, Hastings Unlimited in Farmington, or online at
Tickets purchased on show day at the box office will be $15 for adults and $7 for children.

Daredevil Circus Clown Bello Returns to Delight New Victory Audiences

by Ellis Nassour
April 4, 2014 
Circus favorite and daredevil clown Bello, famous for hair raising, gravity-defying antics, manic comedy, madcap athleticism, and his signature skyscraper red hair (towering a foot high), returns to Times Square with an all-new edition of Bello Mania at the New Victory Theater now through April 20th, one of the best family entertainment bargains in town.

Bello says, "My goal is to entertain and amaze children of all ages with a unique blend of comedy and thrills." He's achieved his goal! Boy, has he!

Last season, to the delight of squealing fans' oohs and aahs, giggles, and gasps, Below risky trampoline mayhem, trained invisible dogs, rode the world's smallest bike, did edge-of-the-seat (his and audience’s) high-wire hijinks; then, for the grand finale, climbed a 44-foot sway pole to the very top of the New Victory to precariously dangle over audiences.

The Bello Mania premiere was nominated for a Drama Desk Award as Unique Theatrical Experience. But accolades have been heaped on this irresistible and indefatigable entertainer for years. He's been celebrated by Time magazine as America's Best Clown, and awarded the Gold Clown, the circus world's highest honor, at the Monte Carlo International Circus Festival.

Lauded for his physical and comedic agility, Bello redefines what it means to be a modern-day clown. "I've never been one to follow the norm," he explains. "I don't expect up-and-coming performers to do the crazy sort of stunts I do, but my hope is to inspire new generations to find what makes them unique and push the boundaries of what they can offer to the circus art form.

"I'm thrilled to bring this all-new show back to the New Victory," he adds. "It's such an honor to perform in this historical theatrical and intimate gem. Last year, we had amazing times. Audiences were so great. With this new edition which mixes some of my signature stunts, there'll be a slew of surprises!"

One of them will be the Cowboy Chaos sequence, featuring a true legend of the Southwest and West: Bronx-born buckaroo AJ Silver.

New Yorkers have come to love Bello as a headliner of the Big Apple and Ringling Bros. circuses; and from daredevil events such as his (literally) flying through the air on a trapeze, hanging by his gigantic clown shoes, hung under a helicopter across New York Bay and the Statue of Liberty; his daring repel off Madison Square Garden, amid stunned passersby and which created a gigantic traffic snarl; and his wire walk over Lincoln Center Plaza and its fountain from the Koch Theatre to Avery Fisher Hall.
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Cirque du Soleil's Amaluna Unleashes a Tempest Force of Female Power

by Ellis Nassour
April 2, 2014 
Cirque du Soleil’s iconic blue-and-yellow chapeau (big top tent) has risen adjacent to Citi Field in Queens, and the curtain has come up on Tony and Drama Desk-winning director Diane Paulus’ Amaluna, which is set to run through May 18.

Cirque had a huge success last year with Totem, its dazzlingly colorful show that offered a bit of a twist on the shows of the cirque that’s not a circus. So why not bring in Paulus, with her opera background, her theatrical work as artistic director of Cambridge’s American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.), and red-hot success on Broadway with her award-winning revivals of Hair, Porgy and Bess, and Pippin?

This all-new (in theme, anyway) production, deeply rooted in theater, breaks new ground for CduS in that the cast is 70% female (including a most-accomplished female rock band under the direction of Janine de Lorenzo), and Paulus has created a show with creative director Fernand Rainville that draws force from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and Greek and Norse mythology. You can depend on dazzling costumes (by Mérédith Caron), interesting but often-weird character incarnations (such as Amaluna’s half human/half peacocks), whimsy, and always loads of enchantment from cirque-themed productions.

Amaluna goes a step further, with characters such as Queen Prospera (instead of the Bard’s Duke; Julie McInnes), who possesses magical powers; daughter Miranda (Juliia Mykhailova); lovelorn Romeo (a stand-in, no doubt for Ferdinand; Edouard Doye or Evgeny Kurkin), whose quest it is to marry Miranda; and Cali(ban) (Victor Kee), now half lizard/half human.

There’s plenty of intrigue and thunder and lightning on Amaluna, a mysterious island governed by goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon, where Prospera “directs her daughter’s coming-of-age ceremony in a rite that honors femininity, renewal, rebirth and balance – and the passing on of these insights and values from one generation to the next.” Okay, but…isn’t there always a “but”? In a production as big as this, sometimes the story loses focus – especially for those not familiar with The Tempest, one of Shakespeare’s most fascinating, wildly adventurous, and romantic tragicomedies, or the imagery of The Magic Flute.
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Circus comes to town

Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars has set up at Jacksonville fairgrounds this morning for a weekend full of shows
John Althouse/The Daily News
April 4, 2014
Cole Bros. Circus has set up at Jacksonville fairgrounds this morning for a weekend full of shows.

Performances in Jacksonville take place at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. today; and at 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Onslow County Fairgrounds located at 146 Broadhurst Road. 

Performances at Havelock City Park take place at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. April 7, 8 and 9. Advance tickets for these performances can be purchased through April 6 at Kittrell Auto Sales on Main Street in Havelock, Tops Cigars on Main Street in Havelock, the Painted Pelican on Highway 70 in Morehead City, Coastal Mini Storage on Highway 70 in Havelock, or at

For information or free ticket for a child age 12 and under attending with a paying adult, visit

Tico circus, climatic film festival, and other happenings around Costa Rica

An acrobat wields two torches during a La Carpa circus performance. Courtesy the International Arts Festival
April 4, 2014
Mamma FIA!
Where do you start with the International Arts Festival? It can seem pretty overwhelming, with its hundreds of events in various venues throughout the capital, but FIA’s online schedule is comprehensive and well organized. If you don’t want to deal with Spanish, see our recommendations here. And definitely don’t miss the La Carpa Circus today. Costa Rica’s own circus troupe kicks off its first of many performances with a variety show – including acrobats, clowns, and fire-throwers.
“Varieté de Circo” takes place April 4 in La Sabana Park. 2 p.m. Free. Info: RedCultura website.
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Circus spectacular comes to Uttoxeter Racecourse

02/04/14 Turbo Top CircusTurbo circus, Uttoxeter....T J Roberts
April 4, 2014
A HIGH-ENERGY circus show has arrived in Uttoxeter, promising 50 acts in just 100 minutes.
Gerry Cottle’s Turbo Top Circus is at Uttoxeter Racecourse until Sunday, with shows held tonight at 5pm and 7.30pm, tomorrow at 2pm and 5pm and on Sunday at 3pm.
Acts included in the circus line up number sky high daredevils, rock ‘n’ roll skaters, illusionists, amazing acrobats, jugglers and crazy comedy.
The event promises ‘21st century circus’ created by a ‘circus legend’ Gerry Cottle, who has ‘loved, lived and breathed circus for the last 50 years.
He said: “Turbo Circus represents a new direction for modern circus.
“This is a fast-paced non-stop show appealing to all ages.”
Director Willie Ramsay has been actively involved in the circus from a very young age.
An ‘accomplished showman’, he brings his ‘wealth of experience’ in directing this ‘revitalised show for the modern generation’.
A spokesman for the circus said: “Turbo Circus is an innovative and totally unique live entertainment experience.
“It’s a fast, fun and fabulous show for all the family.
“Gerry Cottle, the last of the great showmen has assembled a top class, multi-talented troupe from around the world to create their high speed, high-energy show of 50 amazing acts in 100 minutes.”
More information on the circus is available online at
Those wishing to book tickets should call 0845 835 50 50, visit the on-site box office open from 9am until 9pm or head to:
Prices start from £12 for an adult ticket and £8 for children.
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"Step Right Up" to Circus Americana

Luke Mauldin/The News The "Step Right Up" exhibit opens Saturday at the Museum of the Gulf Coast.
By: Erinn Callahan
From:The Port Arthur News
April 4, 2014
PORT ARTHUR — The latest temporary exhibit at the Museum of the Gulf Coast in Port Arthur  harkens back to a vibrant American tradition that brought color to a particularly dark time and continued to thrive as the nation’s future grew brighter.

“Step Right Up!: Behind the Scenes of the Circus Big Top, 1890-1965,” takes museum-goers behind the scenes of circus life in the late 19th and early 20th century with memorabilia from the Tegge Circus Archives, such as full-color posters, photographs and costume regalia — including a full-scale elephant harness.

“Seeing it down at people level makes it clear how big of an animal we’re talking about,” curator Sarah Bellian said.

The exhibit, which opens to the public at half price Saturday and remains on display in the Dunn Gallery through the end of May, is especially timely due to the current backlash against circuses, Bellian said. Documentaries about the treatment of animals at zoos and places like Sea World have created a perception of circuses as an exploitative experience, both for its animals and its “freak show” performers — people with rare biological deformities. 
Not so, Bellian said. Circuses often promote the conservation of animals that have been hunted to the verge of extinction, and the “freak show” performers found a sense of community that proved elusive elsewhere.

“People think, ‘Oh, that’s really distasteful to exploit people with developmental disabilities,” Bellian said. “But at the time, it was basically a sanctuary for them.”

The same can be said for most circus performers, Bellian said. Many sought out the “carnie” lifestyle not for the money — although they never went without — but simply for the love of performing.

“It wasn’t about the money — it was about the enjoyment of performing and being a part of something magical,” Bellian said. “Doing anything else would be unthinkable.”

With the concept of the “mobile city” all but obsolete in today’s society, “Step Right Up!” aims to preserve one of America’s most precious pastimes, as well as the spirit of the era in which it thrived.

“The ’40s and ’50s were a very good time for America as far as a sense of solidarity and hard work,” Bellian said. “People are very different today, and maybe we can take a lesson or two from our predecessors.”

Half-price tickets are available for the public opening of “Step Right Up” on Saturday. Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children.

The museum will also host its Family Fun Day, “Under the Big Top,” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 19. Admission is free.

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Circus elephant returns to venue where she was shot to perform

From:, today show
by Julianne Cassidy
Apr. 3, 2014
Carol the elephant from Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is returning to Tupelo, Miss., to perform at the place she was shot almost one year ago to the day. However, who shot her remains a mystery, and local police are still looking for leads.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
"Witnesses heard the gunshot around 2 a.m. on April 9, [2013], then saw a white SUV speed away from the parking lot," reports Today. No one has been able to identify the shooter despite a $33,750 reward.
Since the shooting, however, security has heightened around the animals during the night. Semi-trucks now encircle them so that they are not seen. "This week, Tupelo Police told NBC News they will increase patrols at the arena while the circus is in town," further reports Today.
Elephants are protected by the Federal Endangered Species Act, and Carol's trainers are still hoping for one tip that leads them to the arrest of the shooter. If you do know something about the drive-by, you're urged to call 1-800-773-TIPS to reach the Northeast Mississippi Crimestoppers.

Circus rolls up but not everyone is happy to see animals

Stardust Circus ringmaster Adam St James with 16-month-old African lion Zimbi breathing down his neck.
Alistair Brightman
By Tyson Yates  
4th Apr 2014
FRASER COAST,AUSTRALIA--STARDUST Circus has rolled into town however not everyone in Hervey Bay is roaring with excitement.

Deputy Mayor George Seymour has voiced his objections to exotic animal circuses being granted access to council land after first raising the concern shortly after being elected in 2012.

"I don't believe it is appropriate in this day and age to treat animals, particularly non-domestic animals, in such a fashion," he said.

"I believe we should do what some other councils have done, like Ipswich, and say we won't lease council land to circuses with exotic animals."

The Chronicle received several reader comments, with one person saying they had written to the council to object and another describing the decision to allow the circus as "backwards".

Ringmaster Adam St James said Stardust Circus was well received by audiences with the circus having come to Hervey Bay from successive sold out shows at the Gold Coast where a ban had been lifted to once again allow the event to run on council land
"We have a very strict code of practice we abide by which is set by the government as well as RSPCA and various other animal bodies," he said.

"We have never had a conviction of animal cruelty in our 100-plus years of operation."

RSPCA Wide Bay inspector Penny Flaherty said the RSPCA was against circuses using exotic animals.

"The official RSPCA policy is against the use of exotic animals in circuses mainly due to the stress of transportation," she said.

"However this stance in no way indicated that we feel circus staff are deliberately cruel to animals, because we really don't feel that they are."


Published on Mar 27, 2014
Film directed, shot and produced by Remy Archer:
Contact him at
 Circus Troupe Gives An Incredibly Mesmerising Performance Inside An Abandoned Warehouse

APR 4, 2014
Circulus, a brand-new British circus company based in London, brings together the most promising circus and theatrical production talent in the UK.

But there’s a catch — and it’s not a safety net. They perform in forgotten spaces, like abandoned warehouses. This is not your average circus.

According to their YouTube channel, Circulus aims “to transform a space, inviting our audiences to step from the mundane drudgery of the streets into a totally immersive, modern circus experience.”

In their launch video, released this week, the Circulus team performs in a forgotten warehouse in London’s east end, covered with dust, bricks, wood and metal scraps.

Hardly the definition of “safe,” so don’t try this at home.

The result is mesmerising.

Circulus makes sure to leave everything in the performance space as-is. They bring in trampolines and mats, but they don’t clear much out of the way:

The range of talent is unbelievable:

Circus 2
And there’s something going on with every turn the camera makes. Because of the way the videos of their performances are shot, you feel like you’re watching B-roll from Baz Luhrman’s “Moulin Rouge” or “Romeo and Juliet.”
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Weekend Watch: Shrine Circus flies high
FARGO - Pink’s circus-like concert in January set the bar high for artists who followed her at the Fargodome.

By: John Lamb, INFORUM
April 2, 2014
FARGO - Pink’s circus-like concert in January set the bar high for artists who followed her at the Fargodome.

So it makes sense the only show that could match that spectacle would be this weekend’s El Zagal Shrine Circus.

Cindy Migley’s Circus Spectacular rolls into town for a six-show run starting at 7 Friday night. Other shows are at 10 a.m., 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday and noon and 4 p.m. Sunday.

Of course, there will be lions and tigers and bears (oh my!), but recent shows have also included a parade of elephants, dog tricks and a pig fashion show.

It’s not all about the animals. What would a circus be without breath-taking high-wire acts, dazzling aerialists and trapeze artists?

And, of course, the clowns. Whether they come piling out of a painfully compact car or run up into the stands to get up close to the kids, it’s just not a circus without the clowns.

What else does the circus have in store? You’ll have to show up to find out.

Tigers allowed to return to UniverSoul Circus for Thursday’s Bronx performance 
The city Health Department had blocked the animals from the performance but a lawyer for the circus said they had worked out the issues and the tigers would be back for Thursday night.

The tigers will be allowed to return to the UniverSoul Circus Thursday for the performance in the Bronx.
April 3, 2014
The Tigers are back in the Bronx.
UniverSoul Circus said it will resume using the tigers Thursday — two weeks after the city barred the animals and the circus’ elephants until health officials were satisfied that the animals were healthy and well housed.
“We’re still working through the issues with the elephants and we’re making great progress. But the tigers are coming back today,” Alan Briskin, the circus’ attorney in Alpharetta, Georgia, said in a telephone interview.
Briskin said the animals will definitely be in the show Thursday evening.
Briskin said the three elephants will continue to be held on a farm outside the city until health officials say it’s okay.
He expected that to happen by the weekend.

A lawyer for the circus hopes its elephants can return by the weekend.

Briskin said the three elephants will continue to be held on a farm outside the city until health officials say it’s okay.
He expected that to happen by the weekend.
The Health Department ordered UniverSoul to remove its tigers and elephants on March 20 after it denied the circus a permit to use them in their shows which continued to run near Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
The animals’ absence disappointed fans, especially children.

The dispute between the circus and the city was disclosed Monday when UniverSoul filed papers in Manhattan Supreme Court suing the city over its decision to impose tough new rules on the use use of wild animals.
City vets complained that UniverSoul’s three tigers were housed in cages where they didn’t have enough room to stretch and the elephants had not cleared their annual test for tuberculosis.
The circus responded by creating an exercise pen for the tigers where they will run with trainers twice a day; they said a second, more reliable kind of TB test on the elephants produced negative results.
UniverSoul which has come to the city in every Spring for the last 18 years is due to finish its Bronx shows Sunday.
It opens in Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn on April 10 and then goes to the Roy Wilkins Park in Jamaica, Queens on May 1.
A health department spokesman said the department agreed to let the tigers return “after UniverSoul provided adequate housing and containment for the animals. The elephants will be allowed to return to New York City following negative TB tests.”
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Jay Millers Circus 2013

The circus is coming to Taunton town!

The circus is coming to Taunton town!
3rd April 2014 
‘SPIDERMAN’ performs as part of Jay Miller’s Circus in Taunton for a run of shows starting next week.

Under the watchful eye of ringmistress Katie Rogers, the circus presents Peppi the Clown, wizards on wheels, unicycling, contortionism and high-speed roller-skating.

The heated big top rolls in at Taunton Racecourse from April 11-15, Friday to Tuesday, with shows at 6pm on the Friday, 2pm on the Tuesday, and 2pm and 5pm daily on the dates between.

The show is also at Yeovil Showground starting at 4pm on Sunday, then at 2pm and 5pm daily until Wednesday, and then at 2.30pm on Thursday, April 10.

Tickets cost £6.50 – book at or call 07976-655180.


The World’s Fair in 1964 drew thousands of people from around the globe to Flushing Meadows Corona Park. This poster is displayed in the Queens Museum in the park.
APRIL 3, 2014
Fifty years ago, the crowds kept coming.

Hailing from Queens to California and far-flung countries across the globe, more than 51 million people trekked to Flushing Meadows Corona Park to the 1964-65 World’s Fair that was a showcase of American culture and technology. Featuring futuristic exhibitions – with many corporations demonstrating such technology as computers and telephone modems – the fair was described as an optimistic promise of a future laden with gadgets that broke down communication barriers to pave the way for a more peaceful world.

Fifty years later, the borough is about to remember that vision of the past – as well as usher in what leaders called a new era of tourism for the borough.

Borough President Melinda Katz and Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Maspeth), the co-chairs of the World’s Fair Anniversary Committee, unveiled at the newly renovated Queens Museum Friday a six-month series of events to commemorate the anniversary of both the 1964 and the 1939 World’s Fairs, both of which were held in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

“Both the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs were seminal events that had wide impacts locally, nationally and internationally,” said Katz, who noted she attended the 1964 event “in utero.” “They also left favorable impressions upon, and generated positive memories for, their attendees, and those impressions and memories have lasted until this day.”

Held within sight of the Unisphere, the massive globe created for the 1964 fair that has since become a cultural icon known worldwide as a symbol of Queens, the press conference included details about the upcoming months’ festivities, which will kick off April 22 – the day that the 1964 fair opened. The 1939 fair opened April 30.

Katz and Markey were joined by a long list of other elected officials and representatives from the borough’s cultural institutions, including the Queens Museum, the Queens Theatre – which is also situated in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the Louis Armstrong House Museum, the Museum of the Moving Image, the New York Hall of Science, the Queens Botanical Garden, the Queens Chamber of Commerce, the Queens Historical Society, and more.
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Thursday, April 3, 2014


Of course it's Mike Naughton!

Circus elephants parade through town Wednesday
 walk culminates in Brunch with the Elephants in Baltimore

Apr 03, 2014
BALTIMORE —Several people in downtown Baltimore on Wednesday morning got to see an unusual sight -- elephants getting fed in the streets.
The pachyderm stars of the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus took part in their annual parade along Park Avenue, Fayette Street and Eutaw Street.

The elephants finished their march at Lexington Market, where they enjoyed the 31st annual Brunch with the Elephants. Visitors got to watch them eat apples, bananas, carrots and watermelons, which they crushed with their feet to be able to put in their mouths.

The Greatest Show on Earth is in town through Sunday.

The theme of this year's circus is Built to Amaze, and Ringling Brothers put that slogan to action Tuesday by donating a brand new playground.

Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith helped some children cut the ribbon on the new jungle gym at Dogwood Elementary School, which was a total surprise to students

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Sailor Circus Legacy Highlights 2014

Published on Mar 28, 2014
Thursday March 27 -- Saturday April 5, 2014
Sailor Circus Arena
2075 Bahia Vista Street, Sarasota 34239
We commemorate the landmark anniversary of The Greatest "Little" Show on Earth in partnership with the Legacy of Valor campaign. Our patriotic themed shows salute veterans and their families in a stunning youth circus production you won't forget!
FSU Circus flies to town
Spring showcase hits the big top
By  Courtney Wdman, Contributing Writer
Apr. 2, 2014  
Imagine drifting through the glorious open air with the wind sweeping your hair in and out of your face. You’re gliding fifty feet in the air and your troubles blow away with grace. Your thoughts are buoyant while you float and time escapes your conscious mind. You grasp the hands of another partner for support while being flung and flipped mid-air. It all has to be a dream, right?


The flying trapeze, among many other fear-defying acrobatics, is a reality for the distinguished and elite FSU Circus program. They perform what is believed to be impossible for the human body and manifest it into an artistic actuality.

The spring shows are set to take place tonight, April 3. Friday, April 4 and Sat., April 5 with other programs throughout the month showcasing a flashy revisit to an iconic musical past with “Platinum” performances featuring Earth, Wind & Fire, Prince and James Brown.
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Circus bandleader, Birmingham native Argott Wages on getting romantic with a clown 
and why it's time for a drum solo when the horses mess

By Matt Wake
April 02, 2014 
HUNSTVILLE, Alabama -- In addition to its elephants, tigers, clowns and daredevils, "The Greatest Show On Earth" also involves keyboards, guitars, keyboards, drums and a horn section. Birmingham native and trumpet player Argott Wages is the band leader for the nine-piece ensemble that scores every Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performance.

"For 145 years now we've had a live band with show," Wages, 34, says. "People just don't associate live music with the circus, I think, but once you come to a circus performance you can see us on the floor. We're pretty visible, right there where the action takes place.

"No one's going to respond well to someone sitting up there with an iPod just harshly moving through tracks. What we do is really make everything fluid and musical and really build energy.

Barnum & Bailey Circus bandleader, Birmingham native Argott Wages.
(Courtesy photo)
On a recent afternoon, Wages called in for this phone interview while driving a company car with his wife Kelli Karsten, who's a clown in the circus, from Birmingham to Huntsville. (Normally, they travel by train with the rest of the show, but they wanted to visit family before the Rocket City performances.)

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's Huntsville stand runs April 2 – 6 at the Von Braun Center Propst Arena, located at 7800 Monroe St. (Show times are 7 p.m., as well as 10:45 a.m. Thursday and Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.) Tickets are $15 - $52 plus applicable charges and available via VBC Box Office,, Ticketmaster outlets or by calling 800-745-3000.

Even though you've been doing this for years, are there still acts in the Ringling Bros. show still make you say, "Wow, that's pretty wild."

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 Shriners Circus comes to town

A performers shows her gift of hula-hooping by turning herself into a Slinky at the Araba Shrine Circus at the Lee Civic Center on Thursday. foto by CHUCK BALLARO

By CHUCK BALLARO ( , From: North Fort Myers Neighbor
April 2, 2014
"We, within our five-county area, have 500 kids who are patients in our Shriners hospital in Tampa, and we provide free transportation for those children for their treatments," said circus chairman Ken Wellborn.

Rita Morales' pre-K students at Morales Childcare in Fort Myers took a photo with Shriners clowns before the Araba Shrine Circus at the Lee Civic Center.CHUCK BALLARO

The kids were greeted by the Shiners clowns, and visited the petting zoo, where they got to feed an actual giraffe and show love to llamas and other exotics.

For the fourth straight year, Circus Hollywood was contracted by Shriners to produce the show, and they brought in the usual army of performers to entertain the fans.

Ringmaster John Wilson greets circus goers at the Araba Shrine Circus at the Lee Civic Center on Thursday. CHUCK BALLARO
They even had some audience participation.

Carlos Rubio of Fort Myers was brought into the ring by a superhero clown who shot long balloons into the crowd with a balloon bow; that is until ringmaster John Wilson told the clown to try using a real one blindfolded.

Rubio was unhurt, though he had to be carried out of the ring when the clown lost the key to the target to which he was chained.

"It was fun. These guys are professional," Rubio said while he carried his 2-year-old son with him. "They carried me backstage and showed me the way out."

The kids weren't the only ones who watched the thrills.

They bring out the elephants at the Araba Shrine Circus at the Lee Civic Center on Thursday. 
Special Populations of Cape Coral came for the trip and seemed to have a great time as they had a great side view of the action.
"It was an opportunity to see the circus and the individuals that we serve enjoy seeing the clowns and animals," said Vicki Illenberg of Special Pops. "They always look forward to this."

The circus also had shows at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. for the family crowd. The event was not only a thrill for the kids, but for the performers who work pretty much year round, as the applause and routines never grow old.
A clown superhero gets ready to shot a balloon at Fort Myers resident Carlos Rubio  at the Araba Shrine Circus at the Lee Civic Center on Thursday.
"This is the greatest feeling, when you see the kids just start cheering and screaming, it's wonderful feeling to entertain," Wilson said. "It's fun for people of all ages."

The Shriners hold circuses in roughly 120 cities per year (another 40 in Canada). They have 190 centers nationwide.
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Shrine Circus comes to town (Pittsburg,PA)

Paint camels look different than other camels: chocolate brown in color with white spots. Several will perform at this weekend’s Shrine Circus, and rides will be offered to audience members.
By Pohla Smith / Pittsburgh Post-Gazett
April 3, 2014 
The regular ringmaster quit and left the Shrine Circus the day before it was to begin a performance here in 1985, so the producer asked animal trainer Ian Garden Jr. to fill in. Mr. Garden had learned how to lead the ring from his experienced father but had never done it himself. Though nervous, Mr. Garden agreed.

“Since then I’ve done thousands of them,” he said.

He doesn’t expect to fill in for current Shrine Circus ringmaster Billy Martin during this weekend’s visit of the Shrine Circus to the Consol Energy Center, but he’ll still be plenty busy with his regular job. He’ll be leading six rare paint camels through a “waltz.” It ends with its lead paint camel giving his human trainer a touching thanks.

“It’s a pretty formation routine,” the animal trainer said, “and at the end my leader, Pasha, he gives me a kiss; gives me a hug; wraps his whole neck around my body.

“That’s something you don’t see too often.”

The appearance by the paint camels — there are only 40 in the United States — will be one of the highlights of the Shrine Circus, which celebrates its 65th anniversary this year. There also will be appearances by Spider-Man, Grandma the Clown, the Human Fuse, trapeze artists, elephants, tigers, bears, motorcycles, magic and other clowns.

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Circus opens tonight at JQH Arena

George Carden says moving the circus from the Shrine Mosque to JQH Arena has allowed the show to reach new heights.
(Photo: News-Leader file photo )
By Jan Peterson  
April 2, 2014

George Carden has been with the Shrine Circus one way or another since 1957, thanks to a chance encounter when he was a child.

Carden’s mother, a single mom who was a dancer on the “Ozark Jubilee” television show, took her son to the circus. “She went to take me to the boys room and all the sudden a gentleman popped up and gave me a snow cone and a cotton candy, and I got those because my mama was so pretty,” Carden recalls.

That man was the owner of the circus.

Carden says the next thing he knew, he was in the back seat of a car traveling with the circus. “I’ve been in the circus for 57 years. He adopted me and raised me and I had the greatest father in the world,” Carden says.

This year, however, marks Carden’s last with the circus, which opens tonight at JQH Arena.

Carden sold it to Bill Cunningham in December 2013 and plans to stay with the circus until December of this year to help with the transition.

“He’s doing a great job,” Carden says.

The circus will feature all of the acts and animals audiences have loved over the years — trained tigers, elephant rides, aerialists and clowns — plus exciting modern additions that include tumblers, motocross stunts and, of course, the human cannonball.

Carden says moving the circus from the Shrine Mosque to JQH Arena has allowed the show to reach new heights, literally.

“It makes a total difference because you can get so much more in there,” Carden says.

That’s especially true for the human cannonball. “David Smith Jr. is the world record holder for the longest and highest shot,” Carden says.

Carden says that while he’s loved living with the circus, he’s ready to let someone new take the reins. He points out the circus life is a hard one and at the age of 62, he’s ready to give up life on the road to spend time hunting and fishing.

“When that circus comes to Springfield, it comes from Dallas. Tuesday, it’s in Poplar Bluff. Thursday, it opens in Springfield. It closes Sunday in Springfield and goes 479 miles overnight to Sioux City because they’ve got a Tuesday evening performance. That’s what I don’t miss: the driving. It’s sure nice to get up in the morning and have your coffee and relax and go to your bed in the evening,” he says.
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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Yankee Doodle Circus wows Wareham

Photo by: Andrew Griffith
By Bill Whelan 
Apr 01, 2014
Acrobats, Jugglers, cute dogs and cute kids were all put on display on Saturday when the Yankee Doodle Circus rolled into town.
The world-renowned circus performed three shows on Saturday at Wareham High School as part of a fundraiser for the Class of 2015 and Class of 2016.

The highlight of the show was the circus' brand new act: The Wu Yangdong Acrobatic Troupe. Hailing all the way from China, these acrobats balanced each other while spinning plates, juggled on unicycles and contorted their bodies into barrels among many other feats of physical prowess.

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 The Vivid Gorgeousness of Communist-Era Polish Circus Posters

By Pat Kewley

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