annual "Sideshow Gathering" convention is over and it was a
smashing success. It always amazes me how Franco Kossa, the
producer is able to book such unusual acts, knowledgeable
historians and human oddities.
The action-packed three days in Wilkes Barre PA were neatly
packaged and well balanced programs of old pros and new kids
on the block.
One special event was Dick Zigun and the entire cast of his
Coney Island NY sideshow. The talented acts included
Diamond Dony V, Heather, Roc Rokit, Todd Robbins, Scott
Baker, Serpentina [Stephanie Torres]and Insectavora
[Angelica Velez]. Zigun was presented a special award for
his contribution to the sideshow arts.
Sideshows By The Seashore is the only permanent ten-in-one
show left in the country!
Rob Houston, Bob Blackmar, Todd Robbins, Al Stencil, James
Taylor, Chris Fellner and Walt Hudson shared sideshow
history during many of the informal gatherings.
The ever-popular Aye Jaye
served as M.C. and kept the shows moving. Other performers
over the three-day event included Red Stuart, Sideshow
Benny, Ses Carny, Bindlestiff Family, Pickle Bros. Sideshow,
and Natasha Verushka.
Cute little Firefly,
the world's smallest fire-eater was kept busy posing for
pics and signing autographs. She was one of the most popular
gals at the convention.
Travis Fessler and Pickle Bros, sideshow presented a new and
flashy nailboard routine. One of the brothers juggled on the
rola bola while standing on the other who was lying on the
board of nails. WOW!
Matt the Knife amazed with his mentalism and sensational
escapes. I can understand why this young guy is so popular
on the college circuit.
Newcomer to the convention John Shaw was right on the mark
with his torture routine.
Bindlestiff s Stephanie Monseu premiered her new Vegas
styled musical comedy act and it was the hit of the evening.
Way to go gal! Keith Nelson was in top form with his
spinning top act.
Beautiful Natasha Verushka, belly dancer and sword swallower
returned again this year fully recovered following
a near death auto accident after last year's gathering.
Natasha, congratulations on your inclusion in the 2007
Guinness Book of Records for swallowing the most swords!
Sideshow Benny presented a new act with a cooking-kitchen
theme. The creative routine included all the classic
sideshow stunts performed by Benny dressed as a chef!
Steve Pittella brought along and performed several classic
beautifully built sideshow illusions.
My good friend Col. Hunsley and his lovely wife were on hand
with their oddity museum display. This outstanding
attraction is ALWAYS a crowd pleaser.
Several dealers who had great gaffs and memorabilia exhibits
included James Taylor, Jim Mundie's Prodigies, Steve
Pittella, Big Head Studio-Scott Bonelli, Gerrone studios,
Toni Lee's Banners, Bob Blackmar, and Rob Houston
A BIG thanks to Franco Kossa for another memorable weekend.
See you all down the road.
Dick Zigun and the
entire cast of his Coney Island NY Sideshow
Firefly, the world's