Performers and Fans Flock to Wilkes-Barre for Freaky Fun at Sideshow Gathering 2007
Wilkes Barre, PA (PRWEB)
Wilkes-Barre, PA (PRWEB)— This Halloween season, this small town in northeastern Pennsylvania will once again become the world’s center of weirdness when the 14th Annual Inkin’ The Valley tattoo convention and Sideshow Gathering 2007 roll into town. From November 2 through 4, the strange, the unusual and the freakish will take center stage. Showmen from across the country will congregate to celebrate the giddy thrills and forbidden mysteries of the circus and carnival sideshow. Over the weekend, these carnies will swap lies (or “cut up jackpots”, as they say), swallow swords, eat razor blades, walk on broken glass and invite the public to watch. Past years at the Sideshow Gathering have witnessed world records broken, and even a carnie marriage ceremony on stage. This year’s event promises to be just as unusual.
Attractions at Sideshow Gathering 2007 will include: New York’s Bindlestiff Family Cirkus; Col. Hunsley’s Freaks & Oddities; Zamora, the Torture King; Washington DC’s Swami Yomahmi and The Cheeky Monkey Sideshow; Disgraceland Family Freakshow; Natasha Veruschka, Queen of Swords; the old-timey medicine show that is Dr. Wilson’s Memory Elixir; Denver’s Crispy Family Carnival; Bizarro; and master of ceremonies Aye Jaye. Vendors will also be on hand to display unusual items such as freakshow memorabilia and original artwork.
Concurrent with the 14th Annual Inkin’ the Valley tattoo convention at Wilkes-Barre’s The Woodlands Inn & Resort, Sideshow Gathering 2007 begins at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, with live sideshow performances starting at 5:00 p.m. and continuing until midnight. Performances will resume from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, with a special after-hours auction of sideshow memorabilia. On Sunday, there will be an awards breakfast and encore performances from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Tickets for the entire weekend of events are only $13 per person and provide entry to both the Sideshow Gathering and Inkin’ the Valley. For more information, please visit http://www.thesideshowgathering.com.
“The Side Show Gathering is a must for all aficionados of human oddities and performers of the strange and weird Today’s performers of the unusual entertain and amaze. Yesterday’s ‘greats’ share past history and experiences with newcomers. It’s a three-day adventure like no other I know.” — Walt Hudson in Circus Report
Generations of Americans once stood in line on their local fairgrounds to stare at human freaks and strange feats under a canvas tent. Every big circus had a sideshow full of odd attractions, and dime museums flourished in every city. The golden days of the sideshow are long gone, but for this dedicated group of fans and performers the tradition is still very much alive.
The Sideshow Gathering is a treat for the audience, but for performers it is also an opportunity to connect with fellow acts. “The Sideshow Gathering is the Switzerland of this illegitimate entertainment,” says Keith Nelson, co-founder of the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus. “It provides a neutral ground for some of the most entertaining egos to gather. It is the only place on Earth where you will get tired of watching someone nail a spike directly into their head.” Stephon Walker, whose alter-ego Swami Yomahmi will be performing at the Sideshow Gathering for the first time this year, says, “From the old pros to the new up-and-comers, the Gathering, well, gathers the most incredible group of carnies, new-vaudevillians, natural wonders, working acts, showmen, historians, artists and enthusiasts that you could ever hope to meet in one place. It’s all real. It’s all alive. And it’s all at the Sideshow Gathering.”
When asked what makes the Sideshow Gathering different from any other convention, Kathleen Kotcher (editor of the journal James Taylor’s Shocked & Amazed On and Off the Midway — which will debut its ninth volume at the Sideshow Gathering) said, “It is Christmas, your birthday and your first kiss all rolled up into one great weekend The Sideshow Gathering is the greatest gathering of freaks (and the folks who love them) in the history of entertainment. If you’re a fan of the odd, bizarre and unusual — or if you just plain love a good time – the Sideshow Gathering is the place to be”
Franco Kossa, founder and organizer of the event, feels that the Sideshow Gathering is vital to keeping the tradition alive. “This is a tough business, and the sideshow world is a tight-knit community. The Gathering gives these folks a place to get together, cut up jackpots, show off a bit, and refresh their spirits. Not just anybody can go out there day after day pounding spikes into their face or letting people staple dollar bills to them. As they say in the business, it’s a hard way to make an easy living”
For more about Sideshow Gathering 2007, including performance schedules and ticket information, please visit the official website: http://www.thesideshowgathering.com.
Inkin’ the Valley and Sideshow Gathering 2007 are sponsored by Marc’s Tattooing and Body Piercing, Electric City Harley-Davidson, The Weekender, Holiday Inn, Joe Nardone’s Gallery of Sound, and Luzerne County Convention and Visitors Bureau.