Circus due in Manchester next month


August 19, 1998|By Pat Brodowski | Pat Brodowski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE STRIPED BIG TOP will go up in Manchester on Sept. 15, transforming the Manchester Carnival Grounds on York Street into the magic of the Roberts Brothers Three-Ring Circus.

This circus is one of only a dozen or so in the nation that travel all summer, performing two shows a night at firehouses and parks in small towns like ours from New England to Florida.

Show times in Manchester are at 5: 30 p.m. and 7: 30 p.m. Tickets, available at Millers Market, are $6 for adults and $4 for children.

"I'll probably go to this one, and I'll probably take my nieces," said Josh Shaffer, a firefighter with the Manchester Volunteer Fire Company.

I'm hoping this year will see the return of talented ringmaster Brian LaPalme, who could eat fire for dinner. Fire-eating intrigued me when I saw this circus about eight years ago because it was real.

LaPalme told me the secret was to keep your lips wet and your head straight back. First, though, you "get over the gag reflex" and swallow a few swords. He'd punctured his stomach this way.

Night after night he ate gasoline torches, even after his lips were burned when a breeze suddenly blew through the tent during one of his acts.

At that time about 150 people moved with the show from town to town. Arriving in a caravan of recreational vehicles, the circus people muscled for four hours to set up the big tents, tend trick dogs and other animals, and attend to myriad details to transform the grass lot into a place of magic.

A family traveled, too, with their children training on trapeze or tumbling whenever the tent went up. Everyone in the circus, it seemed, was committed to performing a family-oriented circus show.

Information: 410-239-2286.

Take a hike

If your family enjoys searching for birds and butterflies, identifying wildflowers and trees or just exploring woods and meadows, Pine Valley Park in Manchester offers plenty of wild acres close to home.

The park is at the end of Wilhelm Road off York Street. It's also accessible from Manchester Elementary School beyond the playground.

Between dawn and dusk on weekends, the public may hike through Pine Valley Park. The classroom building, used for elementary school projects, is open during park programs and the first Saturday of each month. On the first Saturday, guided and self-guided tours begin at 10 a.m.

Pine Valley Park operates without government funding. It depends upon volunteers, donations and grants.

Volunteers 18 and older are always needed for outside work evenings and weekends. Join the Trailmasters to maintain the network of trails or the Weedmasters to take on the mowing, weeding and general horticultural maintenance of the gardens at the outdoor classroom.

Call Vince DePalmer at 410-374-6193.

Birdmasters fill bird feeders, maintain and build birdhouses and install bird feeders. For this group, call 410-374-4343.

Information: 410-374-3395.

Town golf tournament

Tee off for an afternoon round of golf and benefit projects within the town of Hampstead during the annual Hampstead Golf Tournament at 1 p.m. Sept. 17 at Oakmont Green Golf Course, Golf Course Lane, Greenmount.

Four-memeber teams will form, and captain's choice determines the play. You may register as an individual and be placed on a team, or register as a team. The cost of $65 per golfer includes greens fees and cart, followed by a steak dinner in the clubhouse. Prizes will be awarded.

The first $1,000 raised by the tournament will fund a North Carroll High School scholarship. The remainder will benefit projects within the town.

Registration is due at the Hampstead Town Office before Sept. 4 and is limited to 144 golfers.

Information: 410-239-7408.

Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 8/19/98

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