Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

October 26, 2009

The circus is in town

VALDOSTA — Travelers passing the Five Points Shopping Center in Valdosta had to do a double take Monday morning. Circus ponies were grazing on the lawn beside Wendy’s, as elephants and camels looked on a short distance away. The huge Cole Bros. Circus red and yellow tent towered in the background.

The speed at which the Coles Bros. Circus family assembles its alternate universe is part of their magic. It rises like an exotic oasis of foreign glamour and immemorial mystery. It takes 40 workers four to five hours to set up the big top and get everything ready, said Cole Bros. Circus Marketing Director Mario Vitale.

The big top is supported by six hydraulic towers, which rise slowly into the air. The tent is laced together in three sections, then raised to the top of the towers, Vitale said.

Ringmaster Chris Connors said Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars is the oldest big top show in America. This year marks their 125th anniversary. The circus was founded in 1884 by W. W. “Chilly Willy” Cole, Connors said. There never were any Cole brothers.

“Cole had a partner. Those were the days when Barnum & Bailey started out and everybody had to be bigger than everybody else. Mr. Cole didn’t want to call it a circus, so he called it Cole’s Colossal Show. Years later a father and son from Canada ... bought it and wanted to keep the Cole’s name, but make it more of a traditional circus, so they called it Cole Bros. Circus,” Connors said.

Among the acts featured during the Cole Bros. Circus’ Valdosta sojourn are a three-tier, seven man pyramid on the high wire — only two troupes in the world do this, Connors said. A handstand by the 10-year-old son of troupe leader Felix Toscano tops the pyramid. The boy holds a Guinness Book world record for this performance, Connors said.

Text Only
Local News
  • election.jpg Black earns most votes in runoff

    State Rep. Ellis Black led the votes for state Senate District 8 Friday with seven of seven counties reporting certified results, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140724-LAT1.jpg Little Actors Theatre ready for summer show

    Since 2004, the Little Actors Theatre has provided a place for children ages 6 to 19 to express themselves through acting.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072414-MichelleNunn003.jpeg Michelle Nunn visits Valdosta

    The day after learning that her Republican challenger would be David Perdue, Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn kicked off her Common Sense and Collaboration Tour Wednesday by meeting with business owners in Atlanta, Athens and Macon and continued her tour Thursday morning by visiting the David S. Waller Unit facility of the Boys and Girls Club of Valdosta.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • lunch.jpg Valdosta One Lunch feeds summer-hungry kids

    Hunger is a concept that many people associate with third-world countries, not their hometown. However, in Valdosta, hunger is real. To combat this hunger, a group of Valdostans have created Valdosta One Lunch, a program that distributes bagged meals to children in need.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • thumbs up.jpeg Moody squadron commander reaches milestone

    The 75th Fighter Squadron commander hit a career milestone July 17, by surpassing 3,000 flight hours in an A-10C Thunderbolt II.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • water.jpg New equipment expected to deal with Lowndes water violations

    The Lowndes County Commission’s recent approval of $1.6 million for water-treatment equipment is expected to counter a past series of water-quality violations within the county.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 142314-Goodwill.jpg Goodwill hosts the Mexican Consulate

    Mexican citizens living in South Georgia have spent this week lining up at the Valdosta Goodwill to meet with the Mexican Consulate to obtain Mexican government issued identification.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140723-Tree001.jpg Chamber plants 100th centennial tree

    Founded in September 1912, the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest chambers in the state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140723 - Operation M#10E3C7.JPG Veterans First

    With Moody Air Force Base expecting to lose 300 to 400 personnel due to government cutbacks, area organizations are working with military personnel about to enter the civilian work force.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lowndes increases millage rate

    For the first time since 1999, the Lowndes County Commission voted Wednesday to increase the millage rate.

    July 24, 2014

Top News
Poll

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results