Posted Online: Oct. 01, 2012, 12:53 pm

175 clowns from across the Midwest are coming to Q-C

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Press release submitted by Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau

How Many Clowns Fit in the Clarion Hotel? Find Out Oct. 3-7!

Quad Cities – Send in the Clowns! The Quad Cities is host to the Midwest Clown Association's 39th Annual Midwest Roundup on October 3-7, 2012, at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, 5202 Brady Street in Davenport.

175 clowns from across the Midwest are coming to the Quad Cities – full time pros, folks who clown part time, clowns who do nothing but charity work, seasoned veterans, brand new clowns, and those who clown for the sheer pleasure of putting smiles on people's face. The local Quad City Clown Troupe is this year's host organization.

Over 50 elective classes will be taught by many great instructors with classes on character development, balancing, balloon sculptures, make-up, magic tricks, juggling, stickers, rubber chickens, clown ministry, face painting, history, sign language, and birthday parties.

Two headlining instructors are:

Kelly James Ballagh "ran away and joined the circus". Kelly joined the Blue Unit of Ringling Bros. Circus in 2001, where he spent his first year learning the art of clowning. In 2005, Kelly was promoted to the higher ranking of Boss Clown of the Red Unit, where he was placed in charge of the entire Clown Alley for the Show. He still does some specialty work for the circus, as well as instruction at conventions across the United States and Latin America.

Randy Christensen began his entertainment career as a juggler in 1980 and was introduced to the art of clowning shortly thereafter. One of only four people to receive the World Clown Association's "Master Clown" recognition in the last 20 years, Randy is skilled in juggling, such as puppetry, balancing, sleight-of-hand, stilt-walking, uni-cycling, balloon sculptures, mime, stage movement, music, and performance. Randy has performed in 25 states and 4 foreign countries and has served as the featured solo performer for the International Clown Hall of Fame. He has authored over 20 books on clowning, variety arts, and children's ministry.

Events Open to Public (free)

Skit Competition – Individual clowns and groups of clowns will present a program of skits to be judged by a panel. Community members, adults and children, are encouraged to attend! The program is Friday, October 5 at 7:00 p.m. in the Cornet Room of the Clarion Hotel Conference Center.

Paradeability Competition – Community members are invited to view a parade of clowns competing for awards on paradeability. The parade begins at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 6 outside the Clarion Hotel (or inside, depending on the weather).

Lifetime Achievement Award for Local Clown

​Jim Caffrey is receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the luncheon on Friday, October 5 from 12:15-1:00 p.m. Jim started clowning January 1990 in a one-piece jump suit and a "Rainbow" wig and he hasn't stopped loving the art ever since. Jim has held the President Elect and President positions in the local club many times throughout the years, along with many other board positions.

The Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates this convention will have a positive economic impact of $100,000 on the Quad Cities.

For more information about the Midwest Roundup, visit



5:00-9:00pm Judging Certification Pt. 1 of 2

Robbie "Robo" Levensbaum & Annette "Miss Pockets" Darragh– Bass Rm.

4:00-10:00pm Registration Open – Convention Center Hallway

7:00-10:00pm Dealers Set Up – Trombone/Piano


8:00 – Noon Judging Certification Pt. 2 of 2

Robbie "Robo" Levensbaum & Annette "Miss Pockets" Darragh– Bass Rm.

8:00am Dealers Set Up – Trombone/Piano

9:30am Registration Open – Convention Center Hallway

10:30am Dealers Open – Trombone/Piano


12:30 - 1:30pm 1st Timers Meeting - Bill "Bibo" Young - Bass Rm.

1:45 – 2:45pm

What to do at a Photo Shoot – Merilyn "MT Pockets" Barrett - Oakwood

Face Painting - Details Matter – Sandra Seymour – Palmer Hills

Art in Clowning – Eric "Colosso" Plaut - Terrace

MCA Hall of Fame Meeting – Bass Rm.

3:00 – 4:00pm

Age Appropriate Clowning – Randy Christensen – Palmer Hills

Face Painting – Connie Lyons - Terrace

Posing for a Picture – Merilyn "MT Pockets" Barrett - Oakwood

MCA Agenda Meeting – Bass Rm.

4:15 – 5:15pm

Key to Success is Character – Kelly James Ballagh - Oakwood

Show Documentation – Brian "Topper" Lees - Terrace

Speed Painting - when Time Matters – Sandra Seymour – Palmer Hills

4:15 – 5:30pm Judges and Competitors Meeting

7:00 – 10:00pm THEME PARTY *Food Included* - Cornet

10:30pm – ?:?? ~Jam Sessions~

Page 2 of 4


7:30am Hospitality Hosted by_ Niarome Clown Troupe & AOK Alley of Clowns

8:30-12:00 Noon FACE PAINTING COMPETITION - Cornet

8:30 – 9:30am

Skit Development – John "Luther" Hanewall – Palmer Hills

Working with a Partner in Business – Harlen "Rollo" Pierson & Rick "Patches" Zaborac - Terrace

Entertaining with balloons – Bill "Bibo" Young - Oakwood


Dealers Open – Trombone/Piano

Registration Open - Convention Center Hallway


Productive Rehearsal – Brian "Topper" Lees - Terrace

Introduction to Juggling – Brad Wyman - Bass Rm.

Voices in My Head – Kelly James Ballagh – Palmer Hills

11:00 – 12:00 Noon

Art of Clowning – Randy Christensen – Palmer Hills

Performing as a Business – Brian "Topper" Lees - Terrace

Basic Balloon Sculptures – Harlen "Rollo" Pierson & Rick "Patches" Zaborac - Oakwood

12:00 Noon-1:00pm LUNCH ON YOUR OWN

Dealers Closed


1:30 – 2:30pm

Beginning Club Passing – Brad Wyman - Bass Rm.

Face Painting for the Impatient Line – Laura "Daisy Dee" Anderson – Palmer Hills

Clown History – Eric "Colosso" Plaut - Terrace


2:45 – 3:45pm

Skin Care – Brian "Topper" Lees - Terrace

5 W's and H of nursing home clowning – Karin "Pockets" Hanson – Palmer Hills

Facial Animations – Angel Contreras - Oakwood

4:00 – 5:00pm

Be a Bad Juggler with a Funny Act – Kelly James Ballagh – Bass Rm.

Best Dressed Rubber Chickens – Connie & Bill Lyons – Palmer Hills

Building audience participation w/running gags & comedy magic tricks – Eric Dany - Terrace

5:00 – 7:00pm Dinner on Your Own

7:00 – 9:30pm ALLEY SKIT COMPETITION & Dealers Show - Cornet

9:30 – 11:00pm Dealers Open Late

9:30 – ?:??pm ~Jam Sessions~

9:30 – ?:??pm Hospitality – Hosted by Winners' Circle

Page 3 of 4


7:30am Hospitality Hosted by_ The Clown Shop

8:30 – 12:00 Noon BALLOON COMPETITION – Cornet

9:00am Registration Open – Convention Center Hallway

Dealers Open – Trombone/Piano

8:30 – 9:30am

Skillful Art of Sticking Stickers – Kelly James Ballagh - Palmer Hills

Show Development– Brian "Topper" Lees - Oakwood

Set-up your Stage and Performance Area – Bill "Bibo" Young – Bass Rm.

9:45 – 10:45am

Been there, done that, now what – Terry & Marti Bloes - Terrace

Pt. 1 of 2 Birthday party (live party in costume) – Lori "Lorelei" Jacobs - Oakwood

Character Development – Jim "Jay J." Caffrey – Palmer Hills

11:00 – 12:00 Noon

Clown Humor – Randy Christensen – Palmer Hills

Paradeability – Harlen "Rollo" Pierson - Terrace

Pt. 2 of 2 Nuts and Bolts of putting together a Birthday Party-Lori "Lorelei" Jacobs - Oakwood

12:15-1:30pm LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT LUNCHEON *Food Included* - Cornet

Dealers Closed

1:45 – 4:00pm Jr. Joey Supervised Makeup Application – Glynn's Creek

2:00 – 3:00pm

Working with Music – Brian "Topper" Lees - Terrace

Working with a Partner – John "Luther" Hanewall – Palmer Hills

Non-inflated Balloon Sculpturing – Patty "C.C.Skwiglz" Williams - Oakwood

3:15 – 4:15pm

Art of Slapstick – Kelly James Ballagh – Bass Rm.

On Stage – Brian "Topper" Lees - Terrace

Basic Beginning Signing – Mary Bein – Palmer Hills

4:30 – 5:30pm JR. JOEY MAKEUP PRESENTATION - Cornet

5:30 – 6:30pm DINNER ON YOUR OWN


10:00 – 1:00am Memorial Hospitality – Hosted by Special Guests

Page 4 of 4


7:30am Hospitality Hosted by _ Calumet Clown Alley

9:00am Registration Open – Convention Center Hallway

9:00am Dealers Open - Trombone/Piano

9:00 – 12:00 Noon PARADEABILITY COMPETITION – Outside or Back Hallway

9:15 – 10:15am

Sponge Magic – Brian "Topper" Lees - Terrace

Hospital Clowning– Kelly James Ballaugh – Palmer Hills

Gospel Clowning – Bob "Mulligan" Smith - Oakwood

10:30 – 11:30am

Writing Clown Ministry Material – Randy Christensen – Palmer Hills

Intermediate Balloons – Dwight "Bilbo" Englund Terrace

Q & A about RBB&B Circus' Clown College – Ron "Toto" Johnson - Oakwood

12:05pm GROUP PHOTO (ALL Registrants) – Atrium

Noon – 1:00pm LUNCH ON YOUR OWN

Dealers Closed

1:00 – 2:00pm Jr. Joey Showcase – Cornet (may not necessarily be 1 full hour)

2:00 – 4:00pm MCA GENERAL MEETING – Bass Rm. (may not necessarily be 2 hour)

2:00 – 3:00pm

Performing with a "Co-Star" Who is a Puppet – Terry & Marti Bloes - Oakwood

Art of Balancing Anything – Kelly James Ballagh – Bass Rm.

Beginning Magic – Bob "Mulligan" Smith - Terrace

3:15 – 4:15pm

Putting on a Beginning Clown Workshop – Lou "OnePinkey" Wilson - Oakwood

Physical Comedy – Ron "Toto" Johnson – Palmer Hills

Make it take it Magic – Jerry Phillips - Terrace

5:30 – 7:00pm Auction/Cocktails – Cash Bar – Bass Rm.

7:00 – 10:00pm AWARDS BANQUET *Food Included* - Cornet

10:00 – 1:00am Hospitality – Hosted by _ 2013 Host Alley Clowns Around Redford


9:30 – 10:30am Clown Worship Service w/ Randy Christensen– Cornet

9:00-12:00pm Dealers Room Tear Down - Trombone/Piano

11:00am "Farewell Brunch" *Food Included* - Atrium

*Food Included* = Included with a FULL REGISTRATION to the entire Convention.

Meals can be purchased for an additional price.


Have a Safe and Wonderful Trip Home!

Midwest Clown Association

The Midwest Clown Association includes clown alleys (troupes) from the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, and Ohio. It is an individual clown association, with close relations with Clowns of America and the World Clown Association. The MCA has its own Hall of Fame and presents Lifetime Achievement Awards each year at the annual convention, called a Roundup. It has a strong Jr. Joey program to train the children and grandchildren of the MCA members.

Quad City Clown Troupe

The Quad City Clown Troupe, formed in 1989, is an organization of clowns, who are dedicated to community service and education with the art of clowning as its focus. Members participate as a troupe at community events, fund-raisers, schools, and other community organizations. They also clown on their own, both as professionals and as volunteers at area businesses and events. Several are developing skills as caring clowns, performing and making visits at area nursing and rehabilitation centers.

Troupe members teach a class each summer on the art of clowning, including classes on makeup, costuming, juggling, magic, balloon sculpture, skits, character development, and the history of clowning. Each year, students of all ages (children and adults) have graduated from the class, with many going on to use their clowning skills in a variety of ways.

Troupe members meet the third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at Community Christian Church, 4330 12th Avenue in Moline. Visit their Facebook page.