Wednesday, August 19, 2009

....SKOWHEGAN STATE FAIR Circus performers enjoy the life....



SKOWHEGAN -- Sun pounded down on fairgoers in Skowhegan on Monday afternoon. A sea of makeshift fans cooled spectators under the sweltering tent as Circus Hollywood returned for the second summer in a row.
Circus Hollywood has talented men and woman from all over the globe putting on a show -- there is a trapeze act, high wire, well-trained stallions from Holland, a clown, acrobatics and a motorcycle globe. Part of the reason the performers have returned is because of positive feedback from the public last year.

Ed Quinn of Livermore said, "It's an excellent show; it's the first time we've come to this fair and this circus. We were very impressed -- some of the stunts they performed were very dangerous. The best part was hearing they were part of the Shriners. Now we know the money is going to help children."

Circus Hollywood performances are free with gate admission to the 191st Skowhegan State Fair, which closes Saturday after a 10-day run.

Serge Coronas Jr., co-owner of the circus, is from Florida. After performing in the motorcycle globe stunt ride, Coronas said, "We've got a very good response. It's a 45-minute show with a wide variety of acts. You're going to see a little something thrilling, something funny like the clown, and even the animals."

Serge Coronas Sr. is the master of ceremonies at the circus. Toward the middle of the show he called for all animal lovers to take notice at center stage. He is originally from the Czech Republic.

Serge Jr.'s mother, from London, England, leads the show stallions to do a performance with precision while keeping time with the music and the crack of her whip.

Meanwhile, Serge Jr. and his partners get ready to ride motorcycles in the globe, an act that is more than 100 years old, Ulises Ojeda said. Ojeda also plays Chinco the Clown during the show. The show opens with a trapeze act from Ojeda, of Mexico, and Carlos Sanchez of Colombia. They preform stunts on the swinging cage and high wire, using gravity to hold extended hang time while free-falling through the air. Both men, like most of the other performers, have grown up traveling the world with the circus from childhood. Even if they didn't have to "run away" to join, Coronas, Sanchez and Ojeda all grew up in circus families spanning four and five generations.

Sanchez said, "I started when I was 4, trained by my father; I started traveling when I was 13. Our parents did it. I'm fifth-generation; he's fourth," he said, pointing to Ojeda.

The performers said they have learned many different skills all while traveling the world, doing what they love.