2014 Convention



Saturday, April 12, 2014

A circus full of heroic feats

Ivan Vargas, left, and other clowns are waiting to share the circus experience with their guests.Ivan Vargas, left, and other clowns are waiting to share the circus experience with their guests.
By Mary Therese Biebel 
April 10. 2014
When Ivan Vargas was growing up, he didn’t have to look far to find his heroes.

He wanted to be like his parents, Alejandro and Lolis Vargas, who were both acrobats.

“They did flying trapeze, literally flying through the air,” he said. “They were superheroes to me.”

Trained as an acrobat, gymnast and tumbler himself, today 23-year-old Ivan Vargas is one of the personable clowns you’ll meet if you attend the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from Thursday through April 19 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre Township.

This show is billed as “Super Circus Heroes,” Vargas said, and audiences will find four-legged as well as two-legged heroes to admire.

“There’s a dog in the show that we call Buster,” he said, offering an example. “In the story, Buster actually becomes a super dog. Every time a circus performer becomes a superhero, we bring a cape to them.”

“There’s a dog in the show that we call Buster,” he said, offering an example. “In the story, Buster actually becomes a super dog. Every time a circus performer becomes a superhero, we bring a cape to them.”

So Buster will get a cape. Does he get to fly?

“We haven’t mastered that,” Vargas said with a laugh.
But the circus performers have mastered other remarkable feats. Look for the Shaolin Warriors to “shatter solid steel bars with their foreheads,” one of the Cuban Comets to launch from a teeterboard into “a quadruple back flip, caught by a chair held in mid-air,” and for the Lopez family to conduct “a daring high-wire swordfight packed with accelerated footwork and inconceivable balance upon a pencil-thin wire high above the arena floor.”

In addition to Buster, various other dogs, ponies, Asian elephants and camels are part ofthe circus, and ticket-holders can watch some of them get ready for the performance if they come to the pre-show.
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Circus set for April 19

April 10, 2014
MT. VERNON — Founded during the Depression, a well-known circus is coming to Mt. Vernon on Easter weekend.

Kelly Miller Brothers Circus will be presenting shows at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 19 at the Mt. Vernon Airport.

“We’ll be in Southern Illinois on that weekend, with shows in Mascoutah on

Friday, Mt. Vernon on Saturday and Carmi on Sunday,” said Jim Royal, circus spokesman. “We’ll be spending the night in Mt. Vernon and we always go out to a restaurant and celebrate on Easter.”

The Southern Illinois swing is part of a 212 city tour that goes all the way from New Mexico to the south to New Hampshire in the east. In September, the circus will make a swing through northern Illinois. The season ends in October as the circus will travel nearly 10,000 miles during the North America tour.

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

“There are not many circuses left that still do it in tents,” Royal pointed out. “We invite people to come out and watch on Saturday morning as we raise the big top.” The circus elephants are part of the raising of the tent and knowledgeable circus veterans will be on hand to explain the action and answer questions about circus life.

In addition to elephants Lisa and Traci, the circus will feature zebras, an aerial carousel, tigers, a juggling genius, trapeze thriller, and Fridman Torales, who stacks chairs until he reaches the top of the big top. This show will also feature Aminaa and Chandmanizaya, making their American debut, with a hand-balancing act combined with contortion.

Ringmaster John Moss III has been with Kelly Miller Circus since 2007. Royal says his experience is crucial.

Circus Arts Easter show provides affordable family fun

Mark McLauchlan, Professional Circus Performer, at Circus Arts in Byron Bay.
By Mireille Merlet-Shaw
11th Apr 2014
CIRCUS Arts will be delivering another night of affordable family fun at 7pm today when it presents the Circus Arts Easter Showcase at its HQ in the Arts and Industry Estate in Byron Bay.

The showcase is in its sixth year and organiser Kate Priddle said it was all about the community.

"This showcase will feature a breathtaking lyra act by new coach and ex-Cirque du Soleil performer Mark McLauchlan, a duo juggling act and new work from the Performance Troupe, directed by advanced coach Simon Adams," she said.

"We are also welcoming special guests Inspire Dance Studio from Billinudgel, and the advanced flying trapeze class will provide a finale worth talking about."

Circus Arts runs the three showcases a year, one in each term, in conjunction with its not-for-profit arm Friends of the Circus.

All proceeds from the event will go towards supporting performers and creating more opportunities for those wanting to gain experience in event production.

The cafe, bar and sausage sizzle will be available from 6.30pm, with raffle prizes to be won and $5 trapeze swings available after the show.

Tickets sell at the door at $5 for adults, $3 for kids and under-threes are free. Circus Arts is at 17 Centennial Circuit, Arts and Industry Park, Byron Bay.

ISU's Gamma Phi Circus set to fly higher than ever in its 85th year

Illinois State University's Gamma Phi Circus will feature such favorites as the Wall Trampoline at this weekend's performances in Redbird Arena.
By Dan Craft
April 10, 2014
NORMAL,IL— Past and present are set to cross paths in high-flying style at the 85th edition of Illinois State University's Gamma Phi Circus this weekend.

A couple distinguished guests, an improved edition of an old favorite and a brand new thematic element are just part of the fun scheduled for the performances in Redbird Arena, at 7 p.m. Friday, and 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday.

Gamma Phi's director, Marcus Alouan, says he is especially excited about those special guests: Barbara Theriault, daughter of late circus founder Clifford Horton, who hasn't attended a circus performance for several decades.

Also in attendance will be Gamma Phi's longest-lived alumnus, Bob Walsh, who turned 100 this year and will make the trek from his home in Farmer City.

“It's very exciting to have Barbara coming to town since one of our traditions for each year's performance weekend is to visit the grave of Clifford Horton, where we leave flowers and tell stories about him that we've gathered over the years,” says Alouan, whose association with the circus began as undergraduate student at ISU in 1998 and climaxed with his becoming director in 2010.
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SiouxCity Journal·
Published on Apr 9, 2014
David Smith closes Abu Bekr Shrine Circus in Sioux City by flying 130 feet after being shot from cannon at Tyson Events Center April 9, 2014.
Circus stunt rider recovers after crash
from: siouxcityjournal
April 09, 2014

Tim Gallagher, Sioux City Journal
David Smith has been shot out of a cannon nearly 6,000 times over the past 17 years. His was the final act of the Abu Bekr Shrine Circus on Wednesday at the Tyson Events Center. The circus continues through 
SIOUX CITY | A circus performer is recovering after a cycle crash at the Abu Bekr Shrine Circus in Sioux City on Tuesday.

Ben Veyna, 31, of Las Vegas, Nev., suffered a bruised shoulder when he slammed his cycle through a metal door at the east side of the Tyson Events Center. Veyna was going 35 mph at the end of a 75-foot jump when he struck the metal door.
"I hit my head and this is what happened to my shoulder," said Veyna, who pulled at the neck of his T-shirt to reveal a bruise on his right shoulder. "I went to the hospital (Mercy Medical Center) and they ran all the tests to make sure I didn't have any head or internal injuries. They told me to take the day off."

There was no damage to the cycle, he said. No spectators were hurt.
srael Alvarado, floor manager for the George Carden Circus, the act booked for the Abu Bekr Shrine's Sioux City performances , said his company was touched by the outpouring of concern fans showed in the hours following the mishap on a stunt that helps close the performance.

"The response in Sioux City makes us feel good, there is so much concern for Ben and our performers," Alvarado said. "There is risk involved in stunts like this, and people like Ben train and train for it. If it was easy, anyone could do it."

Alvarado, a former performer himself, said he understands Veyna's eagerness to get back in the show ring.

"Even though Ben said he was fine, we wanted to make sure a doctor told us so," Alvarado said. "His is a dangerous act. We want to make sure he's 100 percent."
Veyna showed up on Wednesday to support his fellow performers. He took great comfort in the fact Sioux City and area circus fans kept asking about the condition of a performer they'd never met.

"To have all this concern, it's really a homey feeling," said Veyna.

The rider said he was thankful to be wearing his safety gear and his helmet, which cushioned his body against the force of the impact. Mishaps like this don't happen often, he said.

"When I realized I was going long on the jump, I held the bike and leaned left," Veyna said. "I kind of let the bike take the impact."

The 64th edition of the Abu Bekr Shrine Circus at the Tyson Events Center continues through Sunday.

Staff writer Molly Montag contributed to this report.
Cole Bros. Circus comes to town

An Azalea Fest favorite, the Cole Bros. Circus comes to town tonight through Sunday.
 Photos courtesy N.C. Azalea Festival.
By Port City Daily staff
April 10, 2014 
The Big Top is up.

As part of the annual N.C. Azalea Festival, the Cole Bros. Circus has come to town Thursday through Sunday on the grounds of the Wilmington International Airport.

Performances are set for 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. tonight and Friday. Saturday shows get underway at 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday’s schedule is 1:30 and 4:30 p.m.
Clowns, acrobats and even a human cannonball are among the zany performers housed under the 1-acre big top.
Fans of tween star and Azalea Fest celebrity Callum Worthy take note–the Disney Channel actor will be guest ringmaster during the 4:30 p.m. performance Sunday.

Covering more than 1 acre of ground, the big top tent houses a variety of costumed characters, acrobats, clowns and exotic animals during a thrilling, entertaining and comedic two-hour performance for all ages.

Notable acts include a trio of talented elephants, fearless flyers, camels, clowns, motorcycle maniacs in the globe of death, clever canines, teeterboard acrobats, trapeze artists, aerial gymnasts, the world’s funniest horse, a white tiger act, a fast-paced dog act, a high wire troupe, and of course, The Human Cannonball.

Anniversary events through October

The Unisphere was the central hub of the 1964-65 World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows. Behind it is the U.S. Pavilion and Shea Stadium. To the right rear is the Singer Bowl, now the USTA’s Louis Armstrong Stadium.
April 10, 2014
With the grandiose Unisphere and the hulking New York State Pavilion remaining as testaments to the fair, it’s hard not to imagine what it looked like when the area was covered with 150 pavilions, swarming with millions of visitors.
Robert Moses, president and creator of the fair, said that the Unisphere would remind future generations that “a pageant of surpassing interest and significance” once took place there. He was right, and to honor the memory of that massive undertaking, the city and other institutions are holding special events through October [when the fair closed for the season].
It is also the 75th anniversary of the 1939-40 World’s Fair at the fairgrounds.

Listed below is the most comprehensive schedule of programs available at this time. Additional events will be posted as they become available at
Exhibit: “The 1939 and 1964 New York World’s Fair,” Greater Astoria Historical Society, Quinn Building, 35-20 Broadway, 4th Floor, Long Island City, now through June 30, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Suggested donation: $5; free for GAHS members.

see and read more at:

Ringling Bros. circus hits Norfolk, Hampton

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is wrapping up its run in Norfolk and preparing to head across the river to Hampton.
 (Courtesy of Ringling Bros. / April 10, 2014)
By Nicole Paitsel
April 10, 2014
It's a week of circus tricks, as high-flying acts stun audiences at the Norfolk Scope and the Hampton Coliseum. Look for performances at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m., 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday in Norfolk. The all-new "Legends" show will open in Hampton on Wednesday, featuring mystical creatures like unicorns, a Pegasus and a woolly mammoth. Watch the elephants march up Armistead Avenue from Rip Rap Road to the Hampton Coliseum around 7:30 p.m. on Monday. Watch for updated information on the walk at Hampton shows are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday. There will be additional shows at the Hampton Coliseum Friday, April 18 through Sunday, April 20. Go behind the scenes for an "Animal Open House" before most shows see how the animals live, eat and play. The pre-show is open to all ticket holders. Tickets cost $15 to $59.75, plus facility fees. Find more information at for Norfolk shows and for Hampton shows.

Animal circus in Chepstow under attack

AT THE RACES: Circus Mondao has come to Chepstow Racecourse
9th April 2014
A CIRCUS in Chepstow is under fire for having performing animals, with people and a charity slamming the practice.

Circus Mondao is one of just two travelling circuses in Britain still using wild animals in its shows.

After setting up yesterday (April 7), the Big Top will be pitched at Chepstow Race Course running two shows a day except Sunday.

But as the circus counts animals including zebras, camels, reindeer, llamas and horses among its roster of acts, it is under fire from animal charities that want to see wild animals in circuses, including zebras and camels, banned.

Emma Kyne, 48, from Lower Chepstow, who was recognised for her work with animals with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said: “I don’t believe there should be any animals at all in circuses. It’s all equally cruel, from temporary living conditions to transporting them, to making them do things which are not part of their natural behaviour. I would urge people not to go to this circus.”

Rhys Williams, 18, from Bulwark, said: “One reason a lot of people don’t like circuses is it causes animals to exhibit quite a lot of stereotypical behaviours because of the way they’re kept. I suppose I would support a ban on wild animals - wild animals should be in the wild, essentially.”
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mickey Rooney, Legendary Actor, Dead at 93

By Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter 
April 07, 2014 
Mickey Rooney, the pint-sized ball of energy who starred as Andy Hardy, America’s boy next door, in 16 films for MGM — merely one highlight in an irrepressible and unimaginable nine-decade career in show business — has died. He was 93.

Rooney's wife, Jan, told The Hollywood Reporter late Sunday night that she had not seen her husband since last April and that she was informed by TMZ of the actor's death.

She said Rooney was living in the Studio City home of her son Mark Aber and his wife. The family has been torn apart in recent years over Rooney's allegations that Jan's son Christopher Aber had withheld food and medication from the actor.

Judy Garland & Mickey Rooney "I Wish I Were in Love Again" 1948

Mickey and Judy's last movie together, Words and Music, features a song that was eliminated from one of their earlier movies. "I Wish I Were in Love Again" was originally written for the stage version of Babes in Arms but was not included in the 1939 film.

Tips from the Ringmaster

Kenneth Feld spoke at the Speakers Assembliy of Southwest Florida on April 4.
Apr 7, 2014
You knew this was no ordinary Speakers Assembly of Southwest Florida luncheon last Friday when you could pick up a box of popcorn shortly after arrival and found red clown noses in a receptacle at your table. Indeed, the ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point had many of the trappings of a circus—glitzy costumes and heroic posters also on display—and the man who stepped to the podium was Kenneth Feld, chief executive officer of Feld Entertainment.

He’s the current mastermind behind such entertainments as the Ringling  Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice and Monster Jam. And he shared some illuminating inside stories behind the success of his enterprise.

His dad founded the company and he told of two learning experiences that helped him move the operation forward.  One came after he introduced the ice show and found it not catching on with the public. He said he went to Disney and suggested adding a Disney segment to the show. The executives  there were unimpressed. As one of them ushered him out the door, Feld, in an inspired moment, said, “Let’s  make the whole show Disney on Ice.” “Let’s go back inside,” said the executive and soon the deal was struck for a Disney on Ice show that has become an iconic success for both organizations.

Feld said that he and his dad pretty much spent their careers in the family business and he looked at his three daughters, Nicole, Alana and Juliette, and wondered if they’d even be interested in becoming the third generation of leadership. In any event, he wanted them to get their college educations and then take jobs   outside the company.  That would bring fresh ideas above and beyond the Feld way of doing things. In the end, all three women   decided to join the company and, he said, have enriched operations with their diverse skills and experiences.

The last question Feld was asked by the audience was, “What’s your favorite act of all time?” Though he professed his love of the elephants and cited the company’s renowned Center for Elephant Conservation—his answer was simple: “The next one.” That’s surely knowing the way forward.


Tyson prepares for Shrine Circus parking
April 06, 2014 
SIOUX CITY | Parking for the Abu-Bekr Shrine Circus at the Tyson Events Center will be impacted by road construction surrounding the arena.

The circus starts Tuesday and runs through April 13 at the Events Center, 401 Gordon Drive.

Access to the closest parking lots is available by traveling south on Pierce Street. The west lot, across the street from the Events Center, can be accessed from Tri-View Avenue.

Visitors also can use off-street parking around the Events Center or the River’s Landing parking ramp, which will be free after 6 p.m. and all weekend. Stroller parking will be available at the arena.

Ticket holders are encouraged to arrive early; doors open one hour prior to each show time.

Tickets start at $10 and are available at the Tyson Events Center Box Office, or online at

Last Day for the Shrine Circus in Springfield
from  KOLR10 News 
April 6, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.--The curtain closes as the final night of the Shine Circus wraps up in Springfield. 

A kaleidoscope of color kicks off a star-studded line up as Shrine Circus rolls into Springfield at the JQH Arena. 

This year the Shrine Circus has a new theme including new costumes, and thrilling feats.

“Every year, we scour the world to find the best performances. We’re bringing a big show, the biggest we’ve ever put together. The spirit of the circus is to top anything and everything, each year.” Said George Carden, the founder of America’s Original Three Ring Circus.

Tonight Sunday, April 6 the last performances for the season will be at 2:30 and 6:30 pm

Tickets available at the JQH Arena box office, charge by phone at 417-836-7678, or online at

Kirby Family Farm's World's Largest Annual 
Easter Egg Hunt
Saturday, Apr 12 10:00a to 2:00p
Kirby Family Farm
Williston, FL
World's Largest Annual Easter Egg Hunt! That's what you get when you save an abandoned railroad and combine it with over 100,000 eggs at Easter! The whole family can Experience Florida's Largest Private Railroad! Kids 10 and Under can "Hop" down our Bunny Trail collecting Goodies and be entered to win Dozens of BIG Prizes including Theme park tickets, Swing sets, Bicycles, Basketball goal, Giant Teddy Bears, Toys-R-Us Shopping Sprees and MORE! One family could even Win a Car! Space Is Limited!
Circus trailer is pushed into Lichfield's new skatepark

The advertising trailer was pushed into one of Lichfield Skatepark's bowls.
By Alex Keller
FROM: lichirldmercury. com
April 07, 2014
VANDALS have shoved an advertising trailer belonging to a circus into Lichfield’s brand new skatepark – on the same day the facility was officially opened by civic dignitaries.

The trailer – from Uncle Sam’s American Circus – was pushed into one of the skatepark’s bowls, causing damage to the concrete and the vehicle.

“Following such a wonderful launch on Saturday, we are really disappointed that someone mindlessly pushed an advertising trailer into one of the skatepark’s bowls,” Councillor Andy Smith, cabinet member for leisure and parks.

“This caused minor damage and put the bowl out of action for a short time.

“The trailer has now been removed and we’ve reported the incident to the police, who are investigating it.

“We’re arranging for the small holes in the concrete to be repaired, and hope to reclaim any costs from Uncle Sam’s American Circus, as the advertising trailer should have been better secured.

“We will continue to work with the police to make sure the skatepark is monitored during the evenings and night, and hope that people take more pride and care of this fantastic new resource.”

The facility in Beacon Park has been in use since last month and is available from dawn to dusk.

But every morning since it opened council workers have had to tidy up the litter-strewn area; last week bushes from the new landscaping were ripped out.

It is estimated damage to the circus trailer will cost £500 to fix.

Uncle Sam’s American Circus has declined to comment.
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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Under the big top at Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars

Alexa Cobb, 2, Isaiah Sudlow, 9, and Alexander Moody, 20, ride the elephant at Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars at the Onslow County Fairgrounds Friday evening.
Maria Sestito/The Daily News
By Daily News staff
April 5, 2014
The 130th edition of Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars set up shop on Friday in Jacksonville.

The circus features two hours of family entertainment with favorite acts such as elephant and tiger performances and Dale Carlson the human cannonball. New this year is a hand balancing display which takes place 40 feet above the ring, a large aerial ballet and a trapeze act by the Ponce family, among other attractions.

The circus continues through Sunday the Onslow County Fairgrounds at 146 Broadhurst Road. Show times are 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. today and Sunday. 

Their next shows will be in Havelock Monday through Wednesday, then in Wilmington Thursday through Sunday.

RINGMASTER: Cope native who ran away to join circus in 1953 says thrill hasn’t worn off

Bill Brickle is pictured as the ringmaster for "Wonderland" circus.
By: Dale Linder-Altman. T & D staff Writer
April 6, 2014
The glitter of bright lights. The sounds of music, laughter and excited voices. The smell of grease paint and popcorn. The thrill of performing in front of large crowds — These experiences led a local boy to run away from more mundane career opportunities to join the circus back in 1953.

Sixty-one years later, Bill Brickle is still a circus man, and he says the thrill hasn’t worn off.

Brickle retired as ringmaster for Lewis and Clark Circus in 2012. Now at age 87, he produces his own circus, “Wonderland,” touring the state for several months each year. He recently took the Wonderland circus to Edisto High, Lockett Elementary and Hunter-Kinard-Tyler Elementary schools.

Brickle, who is already planning next year’s tour, says staying busy doing something you love keeps you alive.

“I’m the oldest, living and performing ringmaster in the country,” he said. “I won’t stop till I drop.”

Wonderland goes on tour between October and March, when the larger circuses have finished their annual tours, making it possible for Brickle to hire their performers. Each year, he uses different people, but the acts always include aerial acrobatics, jugglers, clowns and animals, he said.

Putting on the circus isn’t really like working, according to Brickle. It’s having fun, and he likes having fun.

“I like being with young people and doing things,” he said. “I just won’t give up. As long as the good Lord gives me, I’m going to enjoy it to the max. I won’t sit back in a rocking chair and dwindle away.”

Brickle never married or had a family, but he has no regrets, he said.

“I toured about 11 months of the year so my circus life didn’t permit a family,” he said.

However, his career with the circus opened up the whole country to him and gave him opportunities to work with some amazing people. He got to visit every state except Hawaii at someone else’s expense, Brickle said.

He also worked with actors like Ken Curtis, who played Festus on “Gunsmoke;” Jim Nabors, who played TV’s Gomer Pyle, and Frank Sutton, who played Pyle’s irascible Sergeant Carter.

Brickle grew up in Cope and graduated from Cope High School in 1945. He served in the military for several years before entering Alviene School of Drama and Ballet in New York City.

His greatest love is the theater and acting, and getting into the circus was an accident, said Brickle.
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Tripoli Shrine Circus Milwaukee 2014

Published on Mar 10, 2014
BY 414MrMilwaukee·
Circus’ 130th anniversary is a family affair

By Hunter Ingram
April 5, 2014
In the middle of the organized chaos that drives a circus, Chris Connors stands center stage – or center ring in this case – conducting all the action as the ringmaster of the Cole Bros. Circus. At this year’s N.C. Azalea Festival, where the circus has preformed for several decades, Connors and his merry band of entertainers will showcase their 130th anniversary show for festival-goers. And, from what this ringmaster has to say, it sounds like quite the show indeed.

Q: What can people heading out to the festival expect from your 130th anniversary big-top show this year?

A: Of course we have the elephants in the big-top circus. You can’t have a circus without the elephants, it is a must. We are very happy to have two of the youngest elephants in the circus with us this year: baby Hugo, who turns 3 in April, and he is joined in the ring with his big sister Val, who is 7. And their aunts and their mama are there, too. Since it is the 130th anniversary, we also have our trademark acts as well, including the world’s largest canon and a brand-new human cannonball, named Dale Thompson. We also have white tigers, a mother/son hand balancing act, an aerial production called Top Hat and Tails and a sister low-wire act at the same time as a teeterboard act from Romania called the Romanoffs. All kinds of action, which makes for a good, old-fashioned American circus.

Q: As ringmaster, what is your role in the circus?
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(From Denzil McLaren)

Published on Jul 24, 2013
Tigris Shrine Circus entertains Syracuse with elephants, trapeze artists and Globe of Death

The Tigris Shrine Circus performs at the Toyota Coliseum on the NYS Fairgrounds. One of Vincent Von Duke's tigers leaps through a flaming hoop. David Lassman |
By Kathleen Rubino | Contributing writer 
April 05, 2014
The lights dazzled and the rings lit up. Acrobats performed both blind-folded feats of death and elegant trapeze, rope and hoola-hooping routines. "America's Most Intelligent Elephant," the Might Bo, balanced on two feet on a rotating table. Motorcycles whizzed and whirred inside the Globe of Death - one of them ridden by 12-year-old Maximus Garcia.

"It's one of the cheapest circuses in the area," said Ralph Haney, the 2014 Tigris Shrine Circus potentate. "It's a good value for the money we charge."

The Tigris Shrine Circus is back in Syracuse, performing in the Toyota Coliseum. The circus kicked off Friday, April 5 at 7 p.m. with additional performances through Sunday, April 6.

There are currently 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children, and Haney said events like the circus help raise funds for operating capital so Tigris Shriners can transport children to these hospitals.

The Tigris Shrine Circus performs at the Toyota Coliseum on the NYS Fairgrounds. A crowd comes in for the show. David Lassman |
Tigris Shriners partners with the Jordan World Circus - owned and produced by Jordy Jordan of Las Vegas - to bring the circus to Syracuse each year.

Haney said it takes a lot of work to assemble the circus.

They began setting up the red, white and blue rings, lights, ropes and more for the circus at 7 a.m. on Thursday, April 3 and didn't finish until midnight.

Justin Loomis has been a ring master for 17 years - though he worked all his life in the circus, performing clown, pig and dog acts. This is his first year as the ring master of the Syracuse event.

"This show has everything you expect to see in a circus," Loomis said. "People should come to the circus and forget their problems for a while."

The Tigris Shrine Circus performs at the Toyota Coliseum on the NYS Fairgrounds. Showgirls are part of the overture as the ringmaster is introduced. David Lassman |
For $7 each the audience could indulge in pony rides, photos with animals (including Bo and the tigers) and characters (including Minnie and Mickey Mouse), a giant blow up slide and face painting during the pre-show and intermission.

People came to the circus for different reasons.

Beth Schneider, Cicero, brought her niece Ava, 4, to the New York State Fairgrounds on a mystery trip.

"I take her on mystery trips where I don't tell her where we're going," Schneider said. "Ava's favorite part was the horses."
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Human and Gorilla Reunite after 5 years 60 Minutes Australia

Published on Jun 3, 2012
Damien and his long lost gorilla companion reunite after 5 years!
Striking the right balance
April 2, 2014

BIG APPLE CIRCUS: LUMINOCITY Times Square comes to City Hall Plaza as the annual visitors in this hybrid newfangled/old-school circus bring their current show to town. It’s a bustling intersection of crane-your-neck marvels — “free ladder” stuntman, teeterboard acrobats — and comic diversions such as a flimflam man and a world-class clown in a Gilligan hat. Through May 11. At Boston City Hall Plaza. 888-541-3750,