Priscilla Kibbee

I love to travel all over the globe shopping for textiles to add to my wearable art. I have taught quilting to school children in Nepal, seminole patchwork to seamstresses in Thailand, and jackets and embellishment to quilters in Turkey where I also served as a judge at 2 of their International Quilt Shows. I have created garments for 5 Fairfield and Bernina Fashion Shows and teach classes on embellishment and wearable art. Lately I have been leaning more toward making art quilts.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Billy Martin's Cole Circus comes to Red Creek

Today was a big outing as I went with my daughter, granddaughter, her fiancee, his daughter and my great grandson Dominic to the Billy Martin's Cole Circus in the gymnasium of the Red Creek School. Dominic does a bit of last minute running around before the circus begins.
There was a stand of toys available for purchase of course.

Then the excitement begins. The first act was trained dogs which the children enjoyed.



Followed by a man in a tall unicycle who juggled and included his 8 year old son in his act.


Billy Martin's Cole Circus is a decades old circus act that has been entertaining schools in New York and Northern Pennsylvania since 1938, and started in Penn Yan, New York.
The Cole Circus began with the vision of Penn Yan native James “Jimmie” Cole, who is also known as “Barnum of the sticks” by people in the circus business.
Cole began work in the circus business as early as age five, when he produced his own circuses in his back yard. Cole went to work as a reserved seat ticket seller with the Walter L. Main Railroad Circus in 1924. After seeing circus job opportunities diminish in 1938 due to the economic depression, Cole decided to start his own circus.
“I went home and saw projects putting up schools and got an idea,” Cole said .His act included clowns, acrobats, aerialists, dogs and ponies, traveling from school to school. When the circus came to a school, the students at the school would provide music, promotion and stage hands in return for a portion of the circus revenue to go towards school fundraisers.
Cole also had five elephants which were used in his act for about 10 years. The elephants stayed on Cole’s Penn Yan farm during the winter when the circus was not on tour. Two of the elephants, Frieda and Dorothy, once broke loose in spring 1947 to take a middle-of-the night stroll in downtown Penn Yan before being found by village police officers on Maiden Lane.
When the circus was not on tour, it could be found on Cole’s farm. Called Circus-Land and sitting near Mays Mills (County Road 1), the farm served as the headquarters for the circus.
Cole traveled with his circus, which changed names several times throughout the years, mostly around Western New York and Northern Pennsylvania, but returning to Penn Yan was always a special event for Cole.
Martin met Cole when he came to Martin’s hometown of Olean in 1972, and began working for Cole booking shows across Western New York.
After Martin graduated from high school in 1977, he joined Cole’s circus performing a juggling and balancing act and serving as ringmaster.
Martin, considered to be Cole’s right hand man, bought the circus from Cole when he retired in 1987. After retiring, Cole moved to Sarasota, Fla., where he died in 1991.
“I am so fortunate that I was broken into the business by Mr. Cole,” Martin said.
Martin has since carried on Cole’s legacy of performing and fundraising for schools throughout New York and Northern Pennsylvania.
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Two excellent jugglers using huge metallic squares.

During intermission you could have your photo taken with a large snake.


Dominic enjoys part of the show on his Grandmother BArbara's lap.
A sort of huge slinky.
A sort of circular bicycle.

And of course time for more purchases as the show ends.

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