CFA Press Release 2017

C.F.A. 2018 – Beyond Normal!


The Circus Fans Association of America is delighted to announce plans for their annual convention in Normal, Illinois April 18-22, 2018! 

There will be a whirlwind of activities and speakers in this central Illinois community once known around the world as “The Trapeze Capital of the World!”  Circus stars of yesterday, today, and tomorrow will be present – Tito and Richie Gaona top this impressive list — and thrills beyond imagination will bring enthusiasm and energy to the hearts of “ladies and gentlemen… and children of all ages!”

Convention goers will be immersed in circus from beginning to end.  Films like “The Flight Fantastic,” a documentary about the Gaonas produced by the award-winning Tom Moore, will be shown in Normal’s historic Art Deco theater (a Q & A session will follow the film) on Thursday. 

Speakers will educate as well as entertain.  Some of them include:  Cherie Valentine will talk about her family’s glorious historical involvement in circus;  Eric Willey will share the fabulous story of an early towner, Pawnee Bill;  Candace Summers will inform the audience how this community delights in keeping our circus memories alive;   Maureen Brunsdale and Mark Schmitt will speak about how this community became “trapeze capital.”

Internationally heralded trapeze historian, Steve Gossard, will introduce the brothers Gaona at the banquet on Friday evening and then convention goers will hear these legends speak about their careers!

Opportunity will be provided to tour Milner Library on the campus of Illinois State University where a circus themed exhibit will be displayed.  Special Collections in Milner Library, home of the Circus & Allied Arts Collection, will throw open its doors to welcome visitors. 

Last, but certainly FAR from the least, Gamma Phi Circus will round out the convention on Saturday evening.  The longest-running collegiate circus in the United States (started by Clifford “Pop” Horton in 1929!), will be sure to astound all while creating memories that will be live for years and years to come!!

These activities — and so much more — will surely be enjoyed by all!  To register, or for more information, please see             

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