bearded ladies or Siamese twins have acts at the
fairgrounds, but visitors can see a sideshow dominated
by huge, 4-foot rats and giant man-eating snakes.
Lee Kolozsy stands in front of the giant rat sideshow at
the Monroe County Fair.
A sideshow exhibitor
says he's amazed at how many people will keep their kids
protected, but still pay to see his 4-foot rat and 300
pound Burmese python.
to the Monroe County Fair tentatively step closer to the
exhibit at the south end of the midway and ask a common
question: "What do they eat?"
barded wire, ground up glass and small children."
Prof. Lee Colossal (Lee Kolozsy) says of Killer and
Crusher, "man-eating" Burmese pythons, that measure 16
feet and 19 feet respectively "You'd better watch your
shrink back and put their hands protectively over their
young ones, but they have nothing to fear. The 300
pound reptiles are in a climate-controlled environment
under a pane of glass an a metal grate.
"We have fun
with them," said Mr. Kolozsy a Florida resident who
works in a circus and tours with his animal sideshow.
"It's all about fun."
spectacle, situated at the south end of the midway area,
offers fairgoers a glimpse at marvels of the world of
featured creature is a giant 4-foot rat.
surprised how many people pay money to see a giant rat
and a python from the jungles of Cambodia." he said.
"I can't believe they'd want to see something like that,
but I'm glad they do."
considers his animal sideshow a modern spectacle that is
reminiscent of the human freak shows of yesteryear.
purpose of his show was to catch the attention of the
overflow of crowds at circuses and concerts. He
found that people often were more interested in
sideshows than the feature acts.
They have a
high turnover rate, and often bring in more revenue than
the rides and main events.
This is Mr.
Kolozsy's third time at the Monroe County Fair. He
passed through in 1992 with the "World's Smallest
Horse," and in 1994 with his Magic and Illusion Show.
other members of his circus, he also has toured with
Lollapalooza and Ozzfest. In addition to showing
animals, he is a stilt-walker, earning him a name as the
"World's Tallest Ringmaster."
other traveling fair workers, Mr. Kolozsy expressed his
admiration of the local fair.
"This has to
be the best fair in Michigan." he said. "It's the
best value and it's a real old-time country fair.
This is what it used to be all about."
is concerned about the future of the fair with the shift
toward the development of farmland in to residential
agricultural portion relies on the agricultural
community, which is shrinking" he said. "Fairs are
becoming fun parks. This one is a genuine
agricultural event. It's a fun zone with a good
dose of culture."
August 5, 1999 by Ingo Kaufman