The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

June 20, 2013

Clowning around: Felix Adler Day set for Saturday

Samantha Pidde Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — Clinton families are invited to clown around at the 24th annual Felix Adler Day.

The event will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Felix Adler Children’s Discovery Center, 332 Eighth Ave. South.

The event honors the birthday of legendary clown Felix Adler, who would have turned 118 on Monday. He grew up on a farm near Eighth Avenue and 14th Street in Clinton.

Discovery Center Executive Director Sarah Lind said the past will be on display.

“The circus was the entertainment of the era,” Lind said.

Adler loved to watch his mother teach their animals tricks while growing up on the farm. He ran away at age 13 to join the circus, traveling with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. He eventually incorporated a trained piglet, Amelia, to his act. Adler eventually became a national act watched by many former presidents, and was known as the “King of Clowns.”

Felix Adler Day is a free event, offering a variety of entertainment. Programs include a 9:30 a.m. performance by River City Municipal Band, an 11 a.m. performance by Carousel Dance Studio and “Peggy the Pint-Sized Pirate” by the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre intern company at 2:30 p.m.

“This is a festival of the community and honoring the community,” said Lind, marveling about the community support from volunteers, businesses and organizations.

The Sawmill Museum will bring its Heritage Train to the event. Clinton Boy Scout Troop 642 will offer food and Hicks Food Stand will have caramel corn and caramel apples available. The YWCA’s pool will be available for a free open swim, beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Professional entertainers from around the region also will perform, including Nick Datillo’s Kids Show, Bubba da Clown, Dr. Bob, and local favorite Shocko the Juggling/Unicycling Marvel. Children will have a chance to see an authentic Native American tee pee, with activities led by Penny Richmond.

While admission is free, families can purchase $5 punch cards for rides and games including: pony rides, a petting zoo, rides on the Heritage Train, a science booth with Professor Anton, and recycled art with Miss Krysten. For the first time, the event will feature a 16-foot inflatable slide.

“This slide will be for kids of all ages,” Lind said.

For more information on the event, call the Discovery Center at 243-3600.