NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- You could tell by the enthusiasm in her voice, how excited Nellie Hanneford is to put her own creative touches on the 42nd Annual Royal Hanneford Circus when it comes to White Plains and The County Center President’s Day Weekend.
Speaking at her Florida home and Circus Winter Quarters, just south of Sarasota, Nellie was animated in her description of the “New’ Royal Hanneford Circus…new lighting, new costumes, new acts, new Ringmaster and more.
This is the first year that Nellie Hanneford and her husband, Adrian Poema, will be presenting The Hanneford Circus around the Country as owners and producers of the famed Circus which dates back to the late 1600s’s in Merry Old England.
Nellie started performing at a very young age with horses and elephants. Now years later and the mother of 4 children, She and Adrian are determined to breathe new life into the already successful Royal Hanneford Circus.
The Circus is always a family affair and Nellie and her family are no exception. Adrian also grew up in a Circus family and still performs.
Catherine, at 20, the oldest of the 4 children is an accomplished aerialist. She debuted in the Circus at age 3 and will be the Aerial Star of The Royal Hanneford Circus in White Plains.
Younger sister, Marianna, started her Circus career at the age of 2 is now 18 years old. You will see her featured in this year’s Elephant Act.
Adrian Jr, 16 is a Natural Performer, who joined the family act at age 4. Since then he has become a juggler, acrobat, trapeze artist and star of the family’s Risley Act.
The youngest of the Hanneford-Poema children is Tommy, age 10. Tommy is named after his famous Grandfather, Tommy Hanneford, and dreams of becoming a comedian on horseback just like his grandfather. Tommy will make a cameo appearance with the family at the Westchester County Center.
Both Nellie and Adrian expressed concern for their fellow performers who will be unemployed when Ringling Brothers shuts down late this year.
Adrian says about Ringling, “The economics didn’t work anymore. Ringling Brothers play large venues that are expensive to rent and had a huge travelling cast to pay plus thousands of pounds of props and equipment to transport.” The fact that Ringling did away with the elephants over the last year also reportedly played a role in the decision as fewer people attended the performances.
In White Plains, The Hanneford’s will present a Managerie of animals including elephants, tigers, ponies, llamas, zebras and dogs (acts subject to change). According to Nellie, “Most people who come to the Circus enjoy seeing the animals.” They are an integral part of the traditional 3 Ring Circus that we bring to the various venues.”
Adrian said that since Ringling’s announcement, “The Royal Hanneford Circus received calls looking for them to fill some of the abandoned Ringling dates.”
The Royal Hanneford Circus begins its 2017 run in Dayton Ohio before coming to White Plains and then on to Columbia, South Carolina. They will be on the road or at fairs and festivals until November.
The Royal Hanneford Circus will brighten up an otherwise dreary winter with spectacular costumes, and incredible performers from around the World. Enjoy high flyers, jugglers, Grandma the Clown, the Daredevil shot from a Cannon and more.
The Royal Hanneford Circus will appear at The Westchester County Center, February 18 – 19 – 20, President’s Day Weekend. Performance times are 10AM, 2PM and 6PM daily. Tickets are on sale at The Westchester County Center Box Office, Ticketmaster and ticketmaster.com. For additional information, please visit countycenter.biz.