HANNEFORD CIRCUS White Plains, NY Feb 19
This production of the Royal Hanneford Circus was a very nice performance under the direction of Ringmaster Billy Martin. A good contengency of CFAer's was present. Frank Robie of New Jersey drove up for the day. The animal actvist were picketing outside in full force. In White Plains each protester must pay the city $10 for the right to picket and than they are limited to where they can walk. Some of the performers on the show was Angela Martin, Brian Franzen, Leo Garcia and Family, Svensons.
MOSCOW CIRCUS Portland, ME Feb 27
Tuffie Nicholas Stars of The Moscow Circus played in Portland Maine at the portland Expo Center on Sunday Feb 27th with 2 shows. A capacity crowd was on hand with seats going for $23 on the day of the show. There was a lot of different discount tickets out so if you lived in the area this show could be reasonable if not than it was expensive. A few inflables were going before the show and at intermission and was doing great business along with photos.
RINGLING BROTHERS New York, NY March 25
I saw the new Ringling show at Madison Square garden on Good Friday for the only show of the day. I drove all night to get to the show from Maine and boy was I tired. This performance was not even 15% full of what the Garden could hold. The show was so boring that I almost fell to sleep in it. The best part of the show was the high fall of Brian Miser and than his double cannon shot with his wife Tina. Bello in this production was real weak compared to previous years that he worked on the big show.
BIG APPLE CIRCUS Bridgewater, NJ March 26
The next day it was off to see the Big Apple Circus in Bridgewater New Jersey. This was one of the best BA shows they have put on. This show had the best teetorboard act that I have seen since the 70's when the real Moscow Circus toured the US. Meing was a sencation with his vase head balancing act. He brought the house down. The funniest thing was seeing the security guards in their building at each gate. The buildings were made out of Port-a-Johns with windows in them so the guards can sit inside and look out. What an inexpensive and creative idea.
UNIVERSOILE CIRCUS Phillie, PA March 26
After the BA show I had just watched I drove a little over an hour to Phillie to watch one of the best traveling circuses in the country. It was the Universoile Circus this year with Shucky Ducky as Ringmaster. I sure didn't fall to sleep at this performance as anyone who ever went to this circus you would know why. To my surprise I had ringside seats. It was something else to sit in the front row and have to look up to the acts that was on an elevated ring. It got really dark when 3 of Carson Barnes Elephants peformed in the ring. This show had probally the best flying act that I have seen in a decade. It is not a trapeze act but more of a casting act as everyone is thrown or leaps to the catcher in the center. The performers were Chinese. The highwire act was another spectacular, as one person walks across the highwire on stilts.
COLE BROTHERS SC March 27 (show cancelled)
COLE BROTHERS Murril Inlet, SC March 28
On Easter Sundat this show was cancelled so I had to back track about 100 miles north to Murrill Inlet, SC. While watching the set up I talked to one CFAer from up state NY who was headed back to his home from spending time in Florida. I talked to Elvin Bale and Ringmaster Chris Connors (Chris worked on Roberts Brothers Show for years). To my surprise there were very few people watching this spectaculat tent rising. The lot was in a shopping mall. Everyone is complaing of no animals in this show this year except the house cat. The down sizing of the tent to me didn't make a big difference as if you are not filling the tent at each performance then it is a good business dicission. So with no animals and a smaller tent which to me doesn't make any difference if you have quality acts, this show had no quality acts or animals and to make matters even worse the new fling act was below even an average act of this caliber. It sure was a far cry from the Russian Air Force from previous years. So after all is said this was a way over priced show for what I saw.
HANNEFORD CIRCUS Miami, FL March 30
The Hanneford Royal Circus Tent was up at the Miami-Dade Expo. This was a regular no spectacular act fair show that Tommy puts together. John Wilson was the Ringmaster. In attendance on the performance that I saw was Big-E's President and circus producer Wayne McCary. I watched this show and walked a few times around the fairgrounds in great pain as I was sunburned from being on the beach for 2 days and even got a little sun poisoning in my legs. To make things worse was being on the plane the next day flying back to Maine.
TAIWAIN ACROBATS Orono, ME April 24
I caught the Taiwain Acrobats at the Maine Center for the Arts in Orono, Maine on April 24th. An excellant show with the best chair balancing stack act I have seen in years. The male performer brought the house down when he was on top of at least 10 chairs. Later again this year I saw the show in Hamburg, NY at the Erie County Fair.
ANNAH TEMPLE SHRINE CIRCUS Bangor, ME April 29
On the 29th it was my hometown annual spring Anna Temple Shrine Circus produced by Wayne McCary at the Bangor Auditoruim.
MELHA SHRINE CIRCUS W. Springfield, MA April 30
The next day it was off to see the James Hammid produced Melha Shrine Circus at the Big-E's Coliseum in West Springfield, Mass. Ringmaster Tim Teggs was handling the duties. Also on the bill was "Nino" Giovanni Zoppe, Lou Ann Jacobs and Jorge Berratta Elephants, Hawthorne Cats to name a few of the acts.
ALLEPO SHRINE CIRCUS Wilmington, MA May 7
I drove 200 miles to see another production of the Royal Hanneford Circus. this time it was Wilmington, Mass for the Aleppo Shrine. This year the circus was under the direction of Ringmaster Billy Martin. This was a much better production than the previous year.
CIRCUS HOLLYWOOD Fishkill, NY June 17
I dropped off my trailer at the Leanon Valley Speedway and headed south to Fishkill,NY to see the newest New York Fair and also one unit of Serge Coronnas Circus Hollywood who was playing a sidewall show. A very small crowd of maybe 100 was at one of the two shows they performed daily. At this show they did not perform the Globe as it had rainned out and the globe was wet. Also while I was at the fair I stopped in to see Ward Hall and Chris Christ as they had their new sideshow set-up at this small spot. Learning Srge had another show set up I headed north to Foxboro, Mass for the next day after stopping in for an afternoon airshow in Kinston, Rhode Island.
CIRCUS HOLLYWOOD Foxborough, MA June 18
This unit of Circus Hollywood was a much better show than I saw the night before at Fishkill. To my surprise there was less spectators than the night before. I talked to Serge for awhile, while he was selling food for his petting zoo that was set up. Loius Munoz was performing the cannon act on this unit along with a high wire act.
CIRQUE ZOPPE Biddeford, ME
On Friday, after being home for a few days I headed to Biddeford to see Cirque Zoppe set up at the Frog Festival. The show was set up next to a frog jumping attraction. nino was not on the show as he was on Circus Flora in St Louis. Alberto and his daughter were running the show. Alberto was still recupertaing from surgery. This has to be one of the finest small shows that I see in my travels. the show is themed and for this performance they had 3 first of May's performing for their very first time to a live circus audience. All 3 were from a college in Illinois. To my surprise they were good performers who really improved in the next few weeks when I saw the show again in Hamburg, NY. Jim Hammids wife was handling the concessions for this date and of coarse she was running into Maine's beaurcratic goverment officials with their hands out.
KELLY MILLER CIRCUS NY July 6On July 6, I caught the last performance of the stay of the Kelly Miller Circus in New York State. This is one of the best one ring tented shows in the country. Painted trucks and everyone on the show knows what they are doing. I talked to Laura, Cindy , Roy, Harlan and his wife before I left the lot as all knows who I am.
WALKER BROTHERS CIRCUS Clinton, ME July13
On the 13th I saw Walker Brothers Circus once again at the Fairgrounds in Clinton, Maine. I brought muffins and pastries for the next morning breakfast. This was a much stronger show than the year before with the all new wardrobes that sparkled. This year they had different elephants from the Miler organization. The handler was Louie. Local CFAer Norm Waycott was helping him out in the northeast. Norm once had his own traveling petting zoo from southern Maine .
CIRCUS SMIRKUS Mass July17
On the 17th it was the Circus Smirkus performance at a private school lot in Mass. This was the first time I have ben to the show without seeing Ozzie not around. Boy do these kids do a spectacular show.
FEARLESS FLORES Reading, PA
The next day I stopped into the Reading Fair in Reading, PA to see a new Trill Show to my surprise Victor Flores had one of his Fearless Flores Thrill Show / Circus set up. The show performed 3 acts up to 3 times daily. I heard a couple of days later one of the riders in the Globe of Death fell and had to be airlifted by helicopter to the hospital.
HANNEFORD CIRCUS DesMoines (Adventureland) Iowa
On my way to another show I once again had a chance to stop into Adventureland Park in DesMoines, Iowa to see the Royal Hanneford Circus. before the show Billy Martin, performance director and ringmaster told me the show would run 43 minutes and at the end of the performance he was with-in seconds of the actual running time. This show was the strongest Hanneford Production I have seen in years. Angela, Nellie and Adrien and a spectacular teetorboard act made for a great show.
CIRCUS HALL OF FAME Peru, IN Aug 1
On my way back East, from doing a few dates I stopped into the grounds of The Circus Hall of Fame in Peru, Indiana. This years circus production was produced by Willie Page and featured the Flying Pages and Brian Franzens Tigers and Elephants. This was a practice show for the up coming show scheduled at the Indiana State Fair. After the show the ringmaster told me about Carson & Barnes Circus was about 100 miles away in LaPorte, Indiana so I jumped into my car and headed north.
CARSON BARNES CIRCUS LaPorte, IN Aug 1
Carson & Barnes Circus had not been doing good business but as one person on the lot told me and I could see why as I drove thru town it was poor or lack of advertising. A few mornings ago, as I was told, the show found alot of unopened cases of posters and other material thrown in a dumpster. So I guess it pays not to advertise. The performance was weak compared to 2 years ago and really was in need of a god ringmaster.
WAMBAULT'S CIRCUS MENAGREE Little Valley, NY Aug 2
The next day I pulled into the Cattarrugus County Fair in Little Valley, NY and there was Bob Moyer's new Wambault's Circus Menagree. This show was free and only featured animals. Ligers, dogs and elephants in their presentation. The elephants was Tina and Jewel from the Clyde Beatty - Cole Brothers Circus under the care of Adam and Bonnie Hill. The next evening I performed my stunts with the Doug Danger Stunt Spectacular and when I blew myself up I startled the elephant. That wasn't bad until Tim Chitwood started up his Chitwood Thunder Jet Truck which now had the elephants real nervous and made for quite a time for Adam. Later we jack potted along with other performers and fair managers who attended the show including John Kennedy Kain (Egg-roll).
ROYAL AMERICAN CIRCUS Horseheads, NY Aug 4
The next day once again headed East I stopped into the Chemung County Fair in Horseheads, New York and Ray McMahon who had his pig races, petting zoo and the Royal American Circus (sidewall show) set-up. This circus performance was the weakest I have seen in along time.
CIRCUS HOLLYWOOD Keene, NH Aug 7
On Sunday the 7th still as I head home I stopped into the Cheshire Fair in keene, New Hampshire and caught Serge Coronna's Circus Hollywood which this time was under canvas. Serge also had his other stuff set-up encluding his petting zoo. This performance was the combination of the 2 units I saw earlier this year. What a nice looking top that he had set up. Serge also has some of the best looking semi-trucks on the road today.
CIRCUS SMIRKUS Freeport, ME Aug 11
After being home for 3 days I headed south. So I stopped into Freeport, Maine and found Circus Smirkus and finally saw Ozzie as he was back on the show. This was another sell-out date for the show.
ALAIN ZERBINI NJ
I stopped in New Jersey to see the alain Zerbini Circus and found the park where it was suppose to be. but after driving all the way around the park and not seing the show that I should look behind the schhol. and sure enought their it was set up. Hidden from view. Alain was not having a good day as the local fire marshall would not let the use their TiTanic slide at this spot, the bounce was broken. A decent crowd was on hand for the first show of the day as the sponsor was bringing in van loads of handi-capped patrons to the show. As Alain was telling me later the price of diesel and cost of tires was killing him. Just the last time he fulled up the equipment the cost was over $2,000.00 and everytime a truck would blow a tire it was $500.00. In a few weeks the show was headed back to Florida to take out their new tent which they purchased from Alaska's James Clement who once lived in Orland, Maine with an elephant no one knew was their.
STAR FAMILY CIRCUS Dover, PA
The next day it was a stop into the Carnival Model Builders and Historical societies convention in York, PA than onto the York Fair where Ward Hall had in Palace of wonders sideshow set-up. After leaving the lot it was onto the Dover, Pa's Community Fair to see the outdoor performance of Oscar and Kathy Garcia's Star Family Circus which was set up on the carnival lot. Earlier this year the show was set up at Honesdale, Pa (Fair) but I did not get to see the show. My only comment is the show performes 2 or 3 times a day but when they perform they only do one or the other of the 2 featured acts. Either the Globe or Wheel of Destiny which is both set up. The other acts are done at each performance.
ROYAL HANNEFORD CIRCUS Scatigcoke, NY
GESSNER MAGIC SHOW (Hanneford Tent) BIG E Sept 27
This was going to be an extra busy day for Karen and I as we had alot to do to get everything in in one day. The day started off for myself as I attended the first show of the day at the Gessner Magic Show under one of the Royal Hanneford Tent that was set up at the end of the Avenue Of States at the Big E. During the performance I was sitting next to Father Nottin of Toledo Ohio a Circus Fan. This was quit an amazing show as we were ring side up close and still could not see how the acts were done. Than it was off to the Wayne McCaryCFA Tent Meeting and luncheon.
PEKING ACROBATS BIG E Sept 27
This year the Peking Acrobats were performing on the Comcast Main Stage. Emcee for this performance was Charlie Van Buskirk who handles the chore each year on this stage for Wayne McCary CEO of the Big E.
BIG E SUPER CIRCUS BIG E Sept 27
After the Wayne McCary CFA Tent meeting I met up with Karen so we could go together to the Big E's Super Circus under the Royal Hanneford Big Top. This was one of the best overall shows that I saw this season. After the show I watched as Tino wallenda and his troup of wirewalkewrs were inducted into the Circus Walk of Fame which leads into the Big-E Big Top. After the daily parade we were off to Hartford, CT.
VAREIKI Hartford, CT Sept 27
We arrived at Hartford to see Vareiki set-up by the interstate near downtown. As you drive south on I-84 and I-93 you can see the Giant Blue and yellow tent. As you say What A Tent! What a Show! This is a real class operation that many shows should look up to. After a great performance the audience gave the performers not one but three standing ovations which should tell the non-belivers that they must be doing something right.
CAVALIER Boston, MA Sept 28
Spending the next day loafing on the coast of Conn. Karen and I left Southington, CT and headed to Sussex Downs just North of Bean Town (Boston) to see the horse show from Quebec, Cavalier. We got our tickets during a heavy rain storm and strong winds and headed for the motel. When we left the motel and headed back to the lot it had cleared up but areas of Boston was a mess from the storm. This show was going to be the most expenscive that I had paid for at ticket prices ranged from $70 up to $109 plus parking per show. On a Thursday night there was over 1,100 in the tent that seated around 2,000 and this eas after at least a five week stay. To my enjoyment this show had some real quality circus acts besides the horse acts.
STAR SPANGLED CIRCUS Deerfield, NH Sept 29
ROYAL PALACE CIRCUS Utica, NY Oct
FLYING WALLANDA's Topsfield, MA Oct
RINGLING Manchester, NH Oct
Each year scene at the Ringling Show in Manchester is Amos and Mary members of the Circus Fans of America Association with their display targeting prospected new members for the CFA. They hand out fliers telling of what the CFA does and to tell interested circus goers about how the animals are treated. (The opposite side from what Peta hands out.)
Bottom picture is a few of the members of the Maine CFA tent who drives down from Maine to attend the Comodore Nutt Tent Meeting and to take in this annual Ringling Circus performance at the Verizon Center.