#1 CIRQUE DREAMS
My 2007 Circus Tour started off on Thursday evening February 8th at the Portsmouth Music Hall in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This was a great circus performance of Neil Goldberg production of Jungle Fantasy Cirque Dreams that played to a straw house. This show had been sold out days before the actual performance began. I would call this production a mini-Cirque Du Soleil. The quality of the performance, the sound and lighting was excellant. The talent of the performers were far superior to most shows that I see in a year. The performers had great costumes, and they all seemed to enjoy them selfs in style. They were all top of their class in skills. Through out the show there was a female singer and male violin player playing in different parts of the stage area. The show started off with jumping frogs, an austrich hatching from an egg, than a few minutes later he layed an egg to start the show off. Through out the show there was Jungle Bugs and animal creatures crawling and walking through out the stage. At the end the audiance gave the performers a standing ovation. If this show comes to your area and you would like to see a class performance, than you do not want to miss this CIRQUE DREAMS presentation.
#2 GARDEN BROTHERS CIRCUS
The day began with 4 members of Maine's CFA Tent #30 traveling over 200 miles to attend the Ian Garden's presentation of the Garden Brothers Circus that was playing at the Paul E. Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Mass. Pictured far left is Crash Moreau along with Hans Winn (who was selling ride tickets) these two performers have been in the traveling amusement business for more than 8 combined decades. Picture to the left is Ken Duncan, Ernie Tarbox, Norm Waycott before purchasing tickets for the show.. Absent from the picture is photographer Crash Moreau. The Garden Brothers Circus..The Entertainment Giant show consisted off 3 acts of the Winn's Troupe. The first was the ASTRO'S motorcycle incline wire, second was the Giant Wheel of Destiny performed by Hans Peter Winn and later The Skymasters of Nickolas and Hans Peter. Earlier I saw Hans Winn selling tickets for the rides. Andre Markov performed his two acts of juggling and his uncaged lion act. Raul Castano performed his clown routines through out the show. There was also Delilah's Un-rideable Mule along with one of the best slack wire acts that I have seen. From China it was Fan Zhang who even did a head stand on the wire without the use of a skull cap and rode a hand peddle unicycle (He was upside down). The ringmaster job was done by Ian Garden and his son, the world's youngest ringmaster, Chase. 3 Elephants from the Miller Organization performed prior to the featured act. The featured act of the show was the 3 GBC FMX RIDERS who performed numerous jumps on their motorcycles. It seen like the jumpers who were from Oregon was up in the air at times over 30 feet high. The ramp was designed and owned by my long time friend, thrill show producer and stunt performer Walter Williams from Ontario. The biggest applause of the night was for the FMX Riders. This performance was well received by all who attended.
One of the many concessioneirs on the show. Most butchers are from Patti Cook's crew who does the American performances as Canadains can not come into the United States to do this kind of work.
Seated in the arena prior to the show is Father Jerry Hogan, Ken Duncan, Ernie Tarbox, Norm Waycott.
#3 WALKER BROTHERS CIRCUS
I drove over 300 miles to catch the indoor performance of the Walker Brothers Circus in the Ice Arena at the Vermont State Fairgrounds in Rutland. The picture to the left is sound man and drummer Dennis Sherman along time employee of the circus and arrow-man.
John John pictured to the left is a well rounded artist who is now the Ringmaster for this one ring family show. John-John keeps the show running smoothly.
Some of the acts were John-John's sister Sasha with 2 equestion acts, Carlos and Marleen MacIntire performed on the high-wire for the featured act of the show. Other acts were 10 year old Paolo who has perfected the art of juggling. Luchio the clown made several apperances. Francie, Carla. Cusin Grumpy's Pork Chop Review was on the show as in Vermont traveling shows are not aloud to have elephants. Prop personnel seen on the show were Jim, George and Nixon.
During the intermission, picture taking and the inflatable bounce was booming with business. The concession stands were swamped as this was a straw house with people packed in every wheres. The show started late as the crowd was lined up outside the door to get into the 5 PM performance. It was so crowded the prop personnel had to roll out carpets so people could sit on the floor.
The local CFA members that I saw at the performance told me the only advertising they saw was posters and free tickets out around the area. This must be a great Circus Town.
Ernie Tarbox of Maine CFA Tent #30 was scene around the building.
Norm Waycott Secretaary of Maine CFA Tent #30 was helping out where ever he could. Here he is sweeping up the dust and insulation from hanging the roman rings earlier in the day.
#4 MOSCOW INTERNATIONAL CIRCUS
Concord, New Hampshire
Today I dove 200 miles to meet up with Norm Waycott to drive another 2 hours over roads that the shoulders had been washed out, over flowing streams and closed roads to get to Tuffy Nicholas Moscow Circus that was playing at the Everett Arena in the Capitol City of New Hampshire (Concord). This show has some of the same acts that has been touring the past two years. Ticket prices varied with free adult, kids free tickets, cash and internet sales. The price can be high to a family friendly reasonable cost. Heading the door was circus performer and all round circus worker Tammy Wallenda. During the 5PM performance, Tuffy was performing as Ringmaster and sure knows how to get the audience involved. Prior to the show as the crowds were long lining up outside of the building at show time. Tuffy grabbed tickets to get the line moving so everyone could get in. Under a wet and rainy day with local flooding in the area both shows had respectful attendances.Ringmaster for the second show was Borsh who I saw last year with Nikolas Winn at Skowhegan, Maine. Later in the show Borsh performed his Tommy Trampoline Act with the help of Andre from the Crazy Russians Troupe. The best part of the show was the performances of the Crazy Russians headed by Andre.
Andre has one of the best caracture presentation that I have seen. He is a European style man dressed in a female dress outfit. Andre does numerous routine with his crew of artist and seen through out the show. The Crazy Russians performs magic, acrobatic moves, and one of the best jump routines that I have seen. Prior to the show and during the 20 minute intermission there was 3 inflatables set up for the children to in joy at a reasonable cost of $3 a piece or a wristband for $10. During intermission pictures could be taken of you with Sponge Bob Square Pants and Dora the Explora. My only complaint was the music was not up to the previous years standards. As in past years there was more Russian Music that started when the doors opened. This year this was not. One of the opening songs was so ear piercing at its volumn that it disturbed a few of the customers. As a performer who can withstand loud noises of dragstrip funny cars and explosions by my head, this one song even bothered my ears.. My next 3 shows will be coming up this weekend.
Pictured to the left is CFA Norm Waycott with Tammy Wallenda at the front door on ticket duty.
#5 KORA TEMPLE SHRINE CIRCUS
Saturday April 21
Wayne McCary's produced Kora Temple Shrine Circus at the Augusta Civic Center was an average one ring circus production. At the 2 performances I saw attendance was about 80 percent for the afternoon show and around 60 percent for the evening performance. Prior to the show coming to Maine one of the State Government Agencey tried to stop Bill Morris from bring in the elephants into the state. The Federal Government requires a TB test done on each elephant once a year. In Maine this agency by regulatory means wants this test done every 6 months. Because the test was done earlier than the past 6 month they said it was not good in Maine. To get a test done requires time as they only wanted to start the date from when the results is issued not when the test was administered. This would have stopped the elephant performance. This agency did back off this year.
This year performance has no stand out acts. The flying act is your basic high school act, so weak it looked back in the 50's. The act is the Flying Red Path which has 3 girl fliers and Michael the catcher. Lee Morris presented Cora and Shannon the two elephants. In about a month Lee will be joining Ringlings Blue Unit. All music is recorded this year on the show.
The two Maine Shrine Temples need to update their equipment as they are the ones that furnish's the ring curbs, lighting, etc. Their lighting is so out dated that no matter wear you sit, the white lights are in your eyes. Another thing this show needs is flashing up the floor, along with making your entrance circusy. In today's world spectators look for class not what they saw 20 years ago as the case with the Maine Shrine Dates.
#6 BIG APPLE CIRCUS
On a summer time feeling afternoon with temps in the 70's. I went to the Big Apple Circus in the heart of Boston. This was not the best performance that I have ever seen on the Big Apple. But it was also not the worse. It has to be in the top 10. My only complaint is the price, as cash price of tickets (walk-up) is twice as much as if you purchased online. Not everyone has computers. Not everyone can make plans weeks or days before to go to a certain show. Grand Ma's impersanator tries to hurry (his) or (hers) caractor routine to fast. This is sure not Barry. Johnny Peers and the Muttville Comix has a few new routines for his family of dogs since the last time I saw them in 2006. On the show their was 3 excellant acts. The first is Svetlana & Gennady who performs with bouncing balls and jump ropes. The stand out part of the act was when Svetlana was bouncing a ball on her head while jumping rope at the same time standing on her partners head. The other two acts were done by the Chinese Zhengzhou Troupe who performs on various Germain Wheels and a display of swinging and jumping on swinging aerial poles. The Big Apple has a real live band with original music. Before and during the intermission, the concession area was lined up at all the stands. Because the lot is set up in the heart of the Government Center of Boston. No stakes were driven into the Plaza. Everything is tied off to concrete blocks. What an engineering idea that someone developed for lots like this. This noon time attendance was about 85 percent.
#7 Aleppo Shrine Circus
A very nice 3 ring presentation by Stuppi Hanneford and professionally ran by performance director and Singing Ringmaster Billy Martin. This years performance was full of animal acts which brought together the Kelly-Miller Elephants, Rodrigeuz Sheep Dogs, James and Tepa Hall with their Castle's Performing Sybrian Bears, Carlos Svenson with Jasper the horse along with his new uniquic goat act and the Rainbow Pony Review.
Other outstanding acts were Miss Angela (Martin) one of America's top areial trapeze performers, and the Mongolian Archer who shot an arrow through an apple that was placed on his partners head.
Additional acts were foot juggling, juggling, hulla-hoops, 3 rings of aerial lyars, the Fusco Family Gauchos, Aleppo Shrine Clowns. This was the last performance of 12 in Wilmington and as usual the attendance for this show was low, the afternoon show had a full house.
During the intermission the Rainbow Pony Cart Rides was givin along with KM elephant rides. The pony cart go round is an unusual pony ride. The elephant ride line was so long at intermission time of the 2PM show that they had to set up the ride after the show to finish the rides that was already paid for. My only complaint is that I saw the over use of the angus on the elephants during the performance and rides by the two handlers. With the animal rights crew working so hard in New England to ban elephants this old style practice must stop. I can see using the blunt end of the angus but not the point or hook as I observed on this day.
#8 ANAH TEMPLE SHRINE CIRCUS
Same performance as Kora Temple had in Augusta the previous week.
#9 MELHA SHRINE CIRCUS
West Springfield, MA
On Saturday afternoon I attended the James Hamid produced 53rd Annual Melha Shrine Circus at the Big E's Arena in West Springfield Mass home of the New England's Fair. My day started off driving over 300 miles from Bangor, Maine to attend the noon time luncheon of the local (Conn.) Father Toner and (Mass.)Wayne McCary CFA Tents.
The buzz around the meeting and later at the circus was the passing of the elephant bill in Conn. which outlaws the use and possession of the angus (bull-hook) in the state of Conn. If a person is caught they can receice a 5 year jail sentence and a $2,000 fine as I was told. Most believe this is the end of circuses in Conn. But I have a question, "What did the circus do before the bull-hook came along?" Circus fan Ed Motta gave me a great history lesson that I forgot. Look at old pictures of elephants and you will see a CANE. If my memories is correct years ago Fred Logan always had a CANE.
Now with the show. This was the best 3 ring circus that I have seen this year. A nice mix of live and canned music, lighted curb rings and hanging and flashed lighting that really dresses up the floor. Ringmaster Peter Sturgis was right on cue as there was no lolls in the program and he did an extremely good job that made the Melha Clowns routines stand out. These Shrine Clown routines were 2 of the best that I have seen at any Shrine Circus in the country. The show started off with Adam Burke and the Hawthorne Tigers, clowning done by Greg and Karen Desantos who will be in the Dels this summer, The Pony Fantasy of 9 year olf Mercedes (Page) who later joined the family in one of the best American Flying Trapeze Acts touring the US. During the trapeze act Merceded brother Anothony executed a triple sumersault. This day was Anthony's birthday as he just turned 17.
Other acts included The Anastasini Family Diablos, The Alverez Family Juggling, Cloud Swings, Lyiars, Plate Spinning, luciano's Pound Puppy Revue. Than came the 4 Jorge Berrata's Elephants and the end of the show with the Thunder Dome (Globe) of the Urias Family. Shane Hanson was every place setting the riggings. Earlier his wife was one of the girls on the cloud swing.
The performance ran about 3 hours which included the intermission and about a 20 minute pre-show Melha Shriner's Parade with many, many units along with a large clown presentation.
I stopped into Trenton to see if Ringling Brothers Train had come in but unfortunatly it had not arrived. The train was suppose to be in by noon but it was delayed in Washington and arrived after 2 in the afternoon. After unloading the animals they had a 5 mile walk to the arena arriving after 3:30. I stayed to watch the arrival and the shower that had been set-up by the Trenton Fire Department's hook and ladder truck and than I headed to Vineland, NJ for that night.
Crash Moreau's road car parked by Ringlings Wagons.
#10 COLE BROTHERS CIRCUS
I by chance caught the 5PM show after driving 90 minutes from the RBBB Elephant Walk in Trenton. The show was about 40 minutes late starting as the crowds were lined up at every ticket windows and the show wanted to get as many as they could into the tent before starting. This has to be the best presentation they have had in years. Elvin Bale has bought a new globe that splits in half as two riders are riding inside of the globe. The new flying act is a standard act but their dismount is more spectacular than their flying routine. At this performance the George Hanneford elephants were performing. This has to be the best routine that I have seen in years. Fast pace and doing things others has forgot about. These 3 ladies know their stuff. I also have to give credit to the Vineland Vol. Fire Dept. the sponsor of the show for a great job at getting locals to come out to the show as even the last show of the stay was lined up even past the starting time to get to see the show. More sponsors should do this for their circus adventures.
Crowds line up for tickets.
Pictured here is Charlie the mechanic and welder for the show. He is kept busy repairing the new Splitting Globe (Thunder Dome)
#11 RINGLING RED SHOW
After back tracking, I came back to see the best Ringling Show I have seen in 4 or 5 years.
I watched the arrival of the circus train in Hershey along with many CFA members and locals. I was by the location of spotting the flat cars. Than I found out the location of the animal unloading down the line so I jumped into my car and headed there. I got a few neet pictures of the unloading and walk from the train.I headed back to the CFA Convention a few miles away at the Holiday Inn in Grantsville, PA
Crash Moreau stands by the tracks as the Ringling Train rolls by.
One of the 4 Animal Cars on the Ringling Show.
One of the shows personnel waves as the train rolls past.
The wagon section of the Ringling Show starts to move past the train watchers by the tracks at Hershey, PA
The first animal car to unload was the horses.
The next two cars to unload was the elephants.
After unloading the animals, the short walk from the train to the arena had started with the elephants in the lead, followed by the horses.
Pictured to the right is CFA's District #1 Director Harry Gordon who takes time out to meet the arrival of the Ringling Train
After driving all night from Chesapeake, VA I stopped into the CFA Convention in Grantscville, PA to check out what was happening. I saw many CFAers that I knew and chatted with many including the famous legend Ward Hall along with Father jerry Hogan, Gene Mascolli and the many members of the Father Jack Tonner Tent of Conn. Also present was 2 members of Maine's Tent #30 Barbara Moore and Harry Gordon.
#12 ROYAL HANNEFORD CIRCUS (Adventureland)
On my way out to perform this coming week-end in Minn and Iowa I stopped into see a great presentation of the Hanneford Circus at Adventureland under the direction of Bill Martin. This is a 25 minute show 2 to 3 times a day. The show runs right to the minute. Acts were the same as the previous year. Stand out performers were Angela with her areial display and Leo Garcia who does the best dismount of any performer on the Wheel Of Destiny. Also Leo now has his 5 year old son riding in the Globe. Fantastic.
#13 CIRCUS WORLD MUSEUM
What great little show by some excellant performers that Meing has brought over from China. I mist the first Chinese group that was at the CWM for a couple of weeks at the beginning of the year but everyone of the young set loved them. They were of the martial arts type of show. The older crowd just could not get into the modern time. This group was the kind the older generation could except. Ming was right on the ball as he would watch the performers peaking thru the door and would point right to them. Also at the CWM was organist Larry Stout and "Eggy" Kane alais Egg-roll.
Louie Delmorea who left the Miller Elephants was handling Doug Tenovas elephants. What a great job of handling these elephants as I watched him give rides and not use the ankus once even when he had them possing for pictures. During the elephant encounter he does a great job of educating the public on elephants.
#14 TOMMY BARTLET'S WATER SHOW
Wisconsin Dels, WI
This was a great water show extravagansa with even a hang glider who did a show in the darkness of the sky who was launched by a speeding boat. The evenings finished with a nice fireworks and lazer show on the water. In between the first half and ending was the circus acts which included T.J. Howell coming in on a Mono Cycle than juggling and than bring his two boys out who steal the show from him they ended up on unicycles. Than came a couple of aerial acts, hula-hoops and the Nock's Globe. Riding the globe was I can't remember his name as he was not a Nock but a Rodreqis I think. Spotted in attendance was John "Eggy" Kennedy Kane, Eric McConnel, Karen and Greg DeSantis, and clown "Pat" Pat Chasin of New Jersey.
#15 LEIBLING BROTHERS CIRCUS
One of the best small mud shows touring the country is the Leibling Brothers Circus which I caught up to in Oshkosh. I mist seeing Tommy as he was still in Europe with his family and was expected back in a few days but the operation was runned by Chewy Davenport who I met for my first time. This was a fine show with Caroline and Mike Rice performing with their dogs, ponies, horses and of coarse the camels. At this show the ponies were not shown as of the rocky ground the tent was layed out on. Caroline new who I was just because of my website which made my day. Watching the tent go up to my amazement I was surprised to see Chewy's young son driving the Bob Cat and also swing a sledgehammer better than the two grown up adult men who worked on the show. Handling the promotion on this date was Mr. Maury Mead, who happens to be TJ Howell's father in law. At the night performance John "Eggy" Kennedy Kane came over from Baraboo to see the show
#16 GEORGE CARDIN CIRCUS
This was one of the best indoor circus shows I have seen all with quality acts. Bret Cardin Elephants, Hawthorne Tigers, Domin 5 Cycle Globe from Texas and the list goes on. Presented out side was the best Wheel of Destiny walker I have seen in years. The last was Crazy Wilson. The walker was Agostino Maltese and he defies gravity as pictured below. This was only his second month performing since he fell a couple of years ago. Agostino has to be the best performer in this country performing on the Wheel Of Destiny. I would also like to Thank George for inviting me to the cook-out in the afternoon before the performance that was being held for his crew and the local shriners that was sponsoring this great show.
GARCIA FAMILY CIRCUS
The Garcia Family Circus was laying down between dates at the Expo grounds in Waukesha after playing there the past week-end. Scene was their equipment parked including the globe and what might be seen as a Hampton Umbrella ride which must be the stage / ring and tent trailer.
#17 WALKER BROTHERS CIRCUS
My first visit to the Walker Circus this summer in their outdoor season. Since this spring new on the show is a mixed animal revue presented by John John. The basic personnel and performers were the same as when I saw the show in Rutland. The lot was set up in a small town north of Toledo just over the border in Michigan.
#18 FEARLESS FLORES
Seen at the New Jersey State Fair at the Meadowlands was Victor Flores presenting his sidewall Circus and Thrill Show. New this year was a breakaway sway pole which I havn't seen one since one was on the Hurricane Hell Drivers auto thrill shows of the 70's. Also on this show was Ricardo who I meet in Maine a few years ago.
Pictured to the left is Sheriff Jack Cook. Jack is famous for his Cook's Comedy Car which has been seen for decades on many circuses and thrill shows in North America. This day he was working on a wild west show at the Meadowlands Fair in New Jersey. This lot was on the opposite side of the fair from the Fearless Flores Show.
#19 KELLY MILLER CIRCUS
After the KM Circus was sold this winter you would expect many changes but to my surprise that their was none to be seen by the public as most of the same employees were still on the show. Some of the changes were on the trailers as the pictures of the elephants has now lost their hats. On the day I was their missing was Laura Harriot who was back in Florida having an operation, as I have been told it was succesful and she is now back home in Texas recuperating. We wish her a fast recovery. In the mean time her daughter was replacing her in her acts on the show plus performing all of her acts. We call that double duty. The show was another excellant presentation with a new Ringmaster who came over from the Big Apple. Jim Royal was everywheres on this day. This show was presented by the local volunteer fire department.
Two of the Kelly Miller elephants in their compound. You can tell it must be chow time.
Pictured to the left is Harlan handing out balloons that is won from the peanuts you buy during the peanut pitch in the show.
#20 HANSONS SPECTACULAR / GREAT CAT ENCOUNTER
This presentation of the Hanson's Spectacular was not a spectacular performance as without The Flying Redpaths who is in New York state for the summer this is a very weak show. The acts was the Rolling Diamonds, Cloud Swing and than Juggling and Trampoline act with both children being presented at the end. Just before the Hanson's Spectacular was the educational display of the tigers by Clayton Rosaire at the Big Cat Encounter. This was a very excellant show which I have seen 3 more times at different fairs this season. This act was set up to the left of the Hanson's and made this about an hour show in the area.
#21 CIRCUS SMIRKUS
Essex Jct. VT.
Another fine show presented by the kids of SMIRKUS on the lot of the Champlain Valley Fairgrounds in Vermont. These troupers perform better than alot of paid professionals that I see each year. Many shows now have former Smirkus performers touring with them.
#22 BINDLESTIFF FAMILY CIRCUS
This was quit a little show that plays small town venues. This date was a bar in downtown Morgantown on a Sunday evening. The show started after 10PM as their was a mix up on time and date. With over 70 people at $15 ahead which wasn't that bad of a crowd. As of 9PM there was less than 25 people in the building. Acts included juggling, fire eating, roping, trapeze, magic and more. The prop man who also handles souvigners knew who I was as he was on Circus Smirkus a few years ago. What a surprise. This is a surprising good show in some what of a different enviroment that shows usually plays in.
#23 CARSON & BARNES CIRCUS
Harrison Township, MI
This was far the best show that I have seen on CB in years. Jr. was a much better ringmaster than the one who was on the 2006 tour. The audience was the biggest crowd I have seen in years as the area Parks Dept. did their job in getting the word out that the circus was coming. I had a long talk with Gary during tear down. Talked with a couple other CFAer's from the area.
#24 CIRCUS HALL OF FAME
This years circus included Pat Kelley, Amando Cristiani and family along with Brian Franzen's cats and elephants and areial act of his wife.
Pictured here is local residents and circus performers Pat Kelley and John Fugate.
#25 CIRCUS CITY FESTIVAL CIRCUS
This is one of the great kids circus that I enjoy going to every chance that I get. My favorite performer of this show has to be Dr. Sprok and his grandson Sprokett. This year the show had a 7 high wirewalk that was performed by an all girl troupe.
This years feature act of the circus is an all-girl 7 person high wire walk. It is amazing that these girls are still all in school.
Doc Sproke and his grandson Sprokett leads the 50 plus musicians that plays in the band loft of the circus building. We will miss Doc in 2008 as he passed away this fall. Our condolences goes out to his family and friends as he was a fixture at the Circus City Festival Circus and to all CFA members who ever went to Peru for the festival.
My favorite person from all the times that I have been to this amazing kids circus is Dr Sproke. A retired doctor from the area, he is still involved with this year round operation along with his grandson who follows him all around. Doc will be sadly missed in 2008.
#26 BARRON VON UHLE CIRCUS
I hate to say this is the biggest set back to the circus industry that I have witnessed in years and years of going to a circus. Anyone in this day and age does not beat his animals and call it trainning. I am not an animal activist as I beleive animals should be in the circus, but after seeing how Juliuos Von Uhle treats his animals his license should be pulled. This all started with his tiger act on Main Street of the festival. All day long they were in small cages with no water, no tent covering the metal cages from getting hot in the sun. When they was put in the cage for there show the cowered together and stayed walking around the wall of the cage not taking their eyes of the Barron. Julious claims he has had them for only 10 days. To me this looks like they were beattin for 10 days as they were so scared of him. Next he presented his African Elephant who is really large and looks so old. He has her in an old trailer that is so narrow and pulled by an old school bus. This elephant has all he can do to get our of the trailer by backing out let alone hooking her to move faster. After this presentation that I could not stand to watch more than a few minutes as all he could do was use the ankus time and time again, I walked off until this act was over. A few minutes after another act was done he took the elephant back out of the trailer, hooking all the time to have a photo shute. Why even put the elephant back into this small trailer in the first place? This time as he walked the elephant out, he told her "Trunk UP" as she didn't do it right of he hit her on the up side by her eyes so hard as it CLUNKED when the angus hit. This was completely unnecessary and abusive. I mentioned this to a couple of the Festival Officials and they just seemed to let it go past their ears and wanted to know if I was an expert on animals. To make matters worse just down the sreet at the Hall of Fame sits Brian Franzen who does a clean act without beating his animals. The Circus Festival Officials need to get their act together and do the right thing not just have some one local and cheap to perform. Also the KOKOMO paper did not have a good write-up on Juliuos when he was in the parade with the elephant.
#27 FLYING PAGES
The Flying Pages performed on the carnival side of the State Fair. The show opened with the Flying Pages who flew in style with a giant gondola wheel in the back ground. At this performance they did not have the upstair catcher. At the conclusion of the act, dropping to the net, one of the fliers had to be carried off from the net. I did not find out about her condition or what happened as I had to go to work in the grandstand soon after this show.On the Young Mercedes did the duties of being the Ring Mistress and what a job she did and than performed her Hoola Hoop act in a style that would compete with any older Hoola Hooper in the country.
#28 PAGES FAMILY CIRCUS
A well rounded circus with lots of animals presented in an open air arena. Seperate from their show was their globe of death that was set up at the opposite end of the fair grounds. My only opion was the elephants that was on display was chained by having a back and a front leg chained in the public view.
#29 STAR FAMILY CIRCUS
Oscar and Kathy Garcia presented their circus presentation. Basicly it the same show as been performed by them for years. Acts included the Wheel of Destiny, dogs, Globe of Death.
#30 TORRES 1 RING CIRCUS
This has to be the weakest fair show that I have seen in years. The only standout act was the apparatus that Spiderman worked on. Other acts was Lucky the Clown with plate spinning, Jose juggling, Miss Carmen doggie revue.
#31 WINN'S GALAXY OF THRILLS
A great fair circus presentation featuring Tina Winn the Galaxy Girl performing in the rain on the show that I was present at. John Winn on his Sky Cycle was riding over the midway that was in back of the grandstand. The high side of the incline wire was tied to the grandstand and when he made the ride to the top of the wire he even shook hands with some of the people watching the show from there perch on the grandstand railing. Miss Asley rode the Skycycle and also performed her Hoola Hoop routine in the show.
#32 ANASTASINI CIRCUS
North Andover, MA
This was a well rounded performance produced by Giovanie Anastasini and family under their Yellow and Purple Tent that really stood out from the busy highway. This was the first year to play for the North Andover Rotary Club and Father Hogan. Earlier in the day a luncheon was held for CFA members and the cast and crew of the circus at Saint Michael's Parish Hall just down the street from the lot. A wonderful time was had by all who attended.
CFA members came from as far away as Maine, Rhode Island, New Jersey for this event. Pictured here is White Tops Advertising Manager Barbara Moore from Maine on the left and CFA Director Maxine House from New Jersey.
#33 ZOPPE CIRQUE
Giovani must be one of the most talented performers in show business. This is one of the best family shows touring the country. They play fairs and still dates. Nino as he is called performes at numerous circuses in the world. On this night I attended the 8 PM performance at the Altamont Fair in New York. About 50 minutes into the show the winds came up, the tent started to shake, the side walls started to flap wildly from the winds. As you looked out the entrance way you could see the dust blowing and people from the midway running. It felt like a tornado was headed our way. The spectators started leaving and finally it was empty and at the same time the circus personnel started to go into gear to save the tent from having a blow down. By all miracle they did. With only minor blow down of the fence and flags that surrounded the front. The fence was put up after the winds had let up and at this time it had started to rain heavly. This was an experience and my hand goes out to the crew of the Zoppe Cirque and Nino for a job well done in this very serious weather condition.
#34 Winn's Galaxy Of Thrills
This performance was a little different than a week earlier in Skowhegan. This performance started off with Tina and her Galaxy Girl routine high on her 127 foot sway pole than it was onto Miss Ashley and her hoola-hoop. Next came the Cyber Cycle of John and Tina on their motorcycle raceway in the air. Finaly came the new CYBER DOME which has only been performed 4 times since the training of Justin and John started less than 2 months before. This was an excellant globe presentation by two fine cyclist who are better than some riders that I have seen in many years of traveling to different performances. Also the act lasted twice as long as most globe acts on the road today. The globe stands out as it was mounted on a trailer which gives it hight and a completely different looks than if it was set up on the ground.
Prior to the afternoon performance a group of CFA Tent Members from Tent #30 of Maine had a pot-luck luncheon for the Winn's. Along with free hot blueberry pies that were given out by the fair to everyone coming to the fair that day.
#35 ROYAL HANNEFORD CIRCUS
This performace was shown to another straw house. Kay Parker and Stuppi was working the door making sure the tent was up to capacity. Each show they have had to close the doors. On the bill was 3 Miller Elephants presented by Billy Morris and many other great acts. The Ringmaster announcements were done by Billy Martin who was in Iowa He had everything down on tape and if you did not know he was in Iowa you would swear that he was in the back of the tent. The music was taped. The one person that I miss, was Neil who died this past winter while setting the show up.
BRUNO BLAZIK TIGERS
This picture of Bruno was taken at Adrain, Michigan earlier in the year. I did not get any picture at Stoneboro but I was their performing in front of the Grandstand while Bruno had his cage set up in the infield area of the fair. After this date he was headed to Ohio than to Washington State and than off to Winterland in Arizona for the winter.
#36 VICTORIA'S CIRCUS
Juniata County Fair
Port Royal, PA
This was not the circus presentation that I saw last year and the next day I found out it was a second unit of Victoria. My problem was the sound was so loud that you had to plug your ears as no one checked out this before the show. They had all three acts set up on their red canvas ground covering but the first show consisted only of a trampoline act with son Eric dressed as a clown, than another clown act and the final with the Globe of Death. Set up and not used was a high wire act. This should not be aloud as most would think they are being jipped to see it set up and not used. When you do come back you see the same two small acts and this time not the Globe but the high wire. I did not stay to see the second act but this is seems to me what they were doing. (This is done by another big name circus operator who works the carnival scene.)
#37 VICTORIA's CIRCUS
This was a great little show with all the acts performed on the same show. Sound was excellant, everything looked new and painted compared to the day before. Victoria was the ringmistress and her youngest son was doing the tramp in the beginning. The wire walkers did an excellant performance and the show ended with a two cycle Globe Of Death. So if you go to the Victoria's Circus it maybe a hit or miss performance. On both show set-ups, is a sign that says they are owned and operated by the Murcia Family which really does not belong where it is located. It is the only thing I see wrong that takes away from a good looking operation.
After the performance the performers signed autographs and had pictures taken and sold colored pic of the troupe with the Globe.
#38 ALAIN ZERBINI CIRCUS
This is a nice family operated show that has roughly a 90 minute performance. Alain was not on the show as he was back in Florida with a sick family member. This year their was a few new acts along with their traditional acts. The hardest working person on the show was the midget for his size did more work than any other.
During the show you can see him performing and even handling the donkey. This picture you can see him leading the donkey from the tent after the intermission.
Once again after the show during the tear down he even handles the bleachers. Which he has to carry piece by piece to the truck. What a worker!
#39 HANSON'S SPECTACULAR
The same performance and set-up as I saw in July at the Big Butler Fair in PA
#40 WAMBOLT CIRCUS MENAGARIE
North Carolina Mountain StateFair
A free show and exhibit set up at the fair in NC by Bob Moyer. Tent was back in operation from the blow down in Michigan earlier this year. This year there was a cage full of Kangaroos, besides his Ligers and Tigers.
Washington County Fair
Bill and Cindi performed and early show in the overcast and damp weather at this small fair in VA. The second show of the evening was cancelled as it would have been performed after 10:30 in the evening as the stage show would not have let out until than. So the fair and the Morris's decided to put on a mini show inside of the display building before the band went on. What a treat to those in the building to see Cora the elephant up and personnel. The band was moved inside of the building because of the weather and came on later than scheduled. Only about 300 hundred if that was on hand at the start of the concert.
#41 ANASTASINI CIRCUS
Tennessee Valley Fair
A smaller version of there show that was in Mass. at Father Jerry's date. This was not a tented show but a sidewall performance set up high over looking the carnival and along the main highway of the town.
TIGERS OF INDIA
(Joesph Marcan Tigers)
Tennessee State Fair
This tiger presentation was scene daily at the Fair. It was at the opposite end of the fair from where the midway was located. Just down the street was a set-up of the Nock's Thrill Show featuring Extreme Cycle Jumpers, Globe of Death, and a Wheel Of Destiny. The Nock's performed only on week-ends.
#42 CIRCUS HOLLYWOOD
What a great fair show as Serge had a high wire act, wheel of destiny and many other acts during this fair show. I saw quit a few CFA members around the lot, some from Maine and others from NH and as far away as the Vermont state line. This year the lot for the tent was on the highest area on the fairgrounds compared to last year which they were set up in the lowest area. It again rainned the first of the run and what you would think that would not happened, it did. The tent got flooded once more even on high ground. Serge also had his large tent set up which the fair used for big exhibitors to set up in and also the fairs small stage. When you have all this set up it really makes the fair look much bigger than prior years. Serge also had Pig Racing, Petting Zoo, pony rides and his 3 other attractions set up at the fair. With all the extra he brings in the extra cash that pays for this big operation. He has some of the best looking over the road vehicle in the business. The one thing I would not want is his fuel bill!
This set up is Pom Pom and Vincent Von Duke and their Exotic Cat Encounter set-up just off the carnival midway in Rochester, NH. I never did get to see their show as know one knew their time for the show and I had to be setting up for my show in the night grandstand performance of the Imperial Stunt Drivers.
Once again this summer on a nice clear day in Ohio I came across Bill and Cindy with Cora and Shannon working by one of the Main Gates to the Ashland Fair. There was many rides given after the performance that I saw. Along with pictures sitting on Cora.
TIGERS OF INDIA
(Joesph Marcans Tigers)
#43 BIG E SUPER CIRCUS
Eastern States Expo
West Springfield, MA
What a tremedous performance. Some of the featured performers were the Flying Pages, Johnny Peers who did one quick spot in his Mutville part of the show which featured a Yankee Baseball Cap in Red Sox land. This went over big. My hat off to Johnny to think this up. Heidi Harriot was Ringmistress. Later I will put up the rest of the show.
Stuppi Hanneford the co-producer of the Big E Super Circus and Dan McGinnis President of the Wayne McCary CFA Tent talks to the Circus Fans Of America and quest and performers luncheon held prior to the 1 PM performance. Other speakers was President and CEO of The Big E. Over 60 was in attendace to this luncheon held annually at the Big E.
We also ran across Charlie Van Buskirk a former circus performer and ringmaster who handles the emcee job on one of the Comcast Stages for each act at the Big E prior to the performance of the Drums Of Thunder.
#44 WALLENDA'S FAMILY
What a nice small show. Tino this year as a clown. His father being there Alberto Zoppe, and sister Tosca performing two acts. The first show of the day was so windy but the show went off right on time to a straw house and for me the best act was the Human Comet high fall. The night show the winds died down and was performed to another straw house and this time you could feel the heat from the Comet.
In between the shows I had a great talk with the Comet, as I perform a different style of burn on the ground.
After the afternoon performance the performers signed autographs. From Left to right: Alex, Arillia, Tino, and Sasha.
With high winds during the performance, the Wallena troupe still performed on the wire. Standing on the platform is Tino. Walking the wire is Sasha lead, Alex rear and Arillia sitting on chair. Olinka waiting for the walkers to reach her platform.
#45 WINN'S GALAXY OF THRILL
Just got back from the Topsfield Fair where John & Tina Winn had their first 2 performance of their show on this extremly hot day in New England. The show 's personnel was Jupiter Jason (Globe Rider), Johnny Rocket(Globe Rider and Ringmaster) along with Miss Ashley (hoola hoops), The Galaxy Girl and Captain John. The show was started off by circus ringmaster and fair public address announcer Charlie Van Buskirk. First act of the night show was Tina AKA Galaxy Girl performing on her 127 foot high sway pole, followed by Miss Ashley than the CYBER CYCLE with Capt. John and the Galaxy Girl than into the CYBER DOME with Jupiter and the Rocket. This performance from the Winn's Galaxy Of Thrills was booked for 3 days by agent Gordan and Mary-Beth MacKay who was in attendace for both shows.
Jupiter Justin is setting up the space needle (sway pole portion) Jason is about 100 feet in the air at this location. See the airplane in the left hand side of him and on the right hand side is a banner the plane is pulling.
Watch the Cyber Cycle sin-a-round all the while going around the raceway in the sky with the Galaxy Girl on her trapeze rigging.
This is a night shot of the Cyber Cycle taken at the Topsfield Fair. After the show I left the fairgrounds and driving less than 10 miles north on the Interstate the rains came down in buckets. It rainned all the way from Mass to Bangor, Maine.
On the left is Justin and John setting up the Cyber Dome at the Topsfield Fair.
The afternoon crowd is leaving the arena after a great performance. This was a straw house and believe it or not, in the two performances on Saturday, the Winn's had more people watching their show Galaxy Of Thrills, than all the other shows combined in the arena for the run of the fair.
Scene earlier in the day, the Topsfield Fair public address announcer and famous Ringmaster: Charlie Van Buskirk walking thru the fair.
#46 RINGLING BARNUM & BAILEY CIRCUS
Members of the New England Circus Fans of America held a circus get together prior to the evening performance of the 136th Edition of Ringling Brother Circus (What has been dubbed the Ringless Circus). There was over 38 members and quest present for the meal of hot dogs and hamburgers in the lounge of the arena along with this years featured speakers. The featured speaker was 4th generation circus performer and now production manager of this circus presentation, Georgia Stevenson who told us a lot about her live on the road and the job she does on the big one. When it came time to answer questions from the fans at time she was stumped and tried to get thru the question instead of just saying she did not know or that it was not her area of expertise. Later I asked her if Lee Morris was with the show and she said no. Later their he was with the elephants. After her talk, Father Hogan did a brief sumary of what was going on with his travels and news in the business including the new Big Apple Circus.
The pre-show had lots of people on the floor watching up close the many activities that was going on with the different performers.
One of the many pre-show performers was this balancing routine on the main floor. This really gets the audience into the show that will be starting soon.
This year the show seemed to be a little bit better than last year. The new dog and cat acts got lost on the floor as the floor area was to large for this type of act. New from when I saw the show last year is the tiger act from the Pages Circus with George's daughter Vincentise performing the act. This has got to be one of the best indoor cat acts that I have seen this year. The act consisted of White Bengal Tigers.
To me the best act was the Torres Family's Globe Act with 7 riders in the Globe all at one time. After seeing 1 and 2 rider globes this is a spectacular Globe attraction. Also I just love the giant screen that shows the acts at the same time they are performing as you can see different views all the time. The story line is week which could have been better. The cossak riders are not up to my standards as I feel they are better in a ring format which makes them look like they are going faster. This is a far cry from the good old days of the Real Moscow Circus or Circus Bim Bom that played in the 70's. This show also needed color on the floor in the middle. Black mats does not do anything to make this performance a spectacular. Missing was the flash and glider of the circus, hi acts of wire walkers or trapeze. And blow-up and dangling lites. The ending was blah. This really needed ummmph at the end which was not there. Hopefully the new edition will have it. Overall not a bad show even better than when I saw it at Hartford last year, as I know a lot of fans hated this production, but I thought it was not bad. But sure not the GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH.
A deligation of CFA members of Maine's Tent #30 was present for the luncheon held prior to the 7 PM performance. Other tent members were at this luncheon but not in this picture.
This is most likely my last circus visit of the year. At present this was #46 on the Circus side on my Carnival side the tally was #94. What a season of visiting I had along with more than 35 performance of my shows thru out the country. Until next season I hope everyone sees many grassy lots and sunny sky's, as I will be here in Maine waiting for the dough-nut dipping temperatures and snow covered roads until the mud season arrives.
Thru out the next few weeks and the winter I will have more pics and write ups on this site. So check back to see what's new. Also check out my new site at: WWW.CARNIVALREVUE.COM This site already has over 100 pictures of the carnival lots and rides from this year and over 150 links to the carnival industries.
See you down the road in 2008