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Tuesday, July 23, 2013



Jan. 26 to Feb. 1, a big street fair and carnival will be held in Lafayette, and there will be plenty of fun and amusements.

The World's Free Fair Co., will furnish the attractions, and that is a good guarantee that there will be lots of things worth seeing. Street fairs have been held in a number of other Louisiana towns and have always been both profitable and pleasant. Lafayette's fair will be equally as good, and besides furnishing recreation and amusement as well as benefit to our townspeople, will draw numbers of people from outside, and so advertise our progressive little city.
Lafayette Advertiser 1/10/1903.

Lafayette City Council.

Moved by J. O. Mouton recorded by Geo. A. DeBlanc that the privilege of holding a street Fair and Carnival in this town from January the 26 to Feb 12st., inclusive to be granted to Dr. F. E. Girard Manager of the Sontag Military Band, without license provided that the streets of the town be not obstructed in any way or any other ordinance of the town be violated, all extra police force to be appointed by the mayor and paid by said Dr. F. E. Girard. Carried.
Lafayette Advertiser 1/10/1903

The Street Fair.

Dr. F. E. Girard, manager of the Sontag Military Band, has completed the arrangements to have a street fair in Lafayette on Jan. 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31. Dr. Girard has interested himself in this matter in behalf of the Sontag Band which is to receive 75 per cent of the proceeds. An agreement has been entered into with the Fifk & Snyder Consolidated Street Fair and Carnival Association to furnish the attractions.

Dr. Girard has raised the amount necessary by subscription and the fair is now an assured fact. The attractions will be all first-class and of an unobjectionable character.

No organization in Lafayette is more entitled to the support of the community than the Sontag Band, and The Gazette hopes that Dr. Girard will succeed in this undertaking. With the money derived from the fair it is intended to provide the band with the best instruments that can be bought. The Sontag Band has already earned for itself a most enviable reputation. It is conceded to be the finest amateur musical organization in the State and surely it deserves to have the very best equipments that can be secured.
Lafayette Gazette 1/10/1903.


Not many years ago, if a man or boy was supple, loose in the joints and quick to act, and could turn a somersault or leap a five rail fence, the superstitious people regarded him as being in league with Satan ; but with the passing of each year ignorance gave way to reason, and when it was made known that a circus was coming, and would exhibit in this or that town, the people -- old men of four score years, old women decrepit and weak, young men and women and boys and girls -- would become nearly demented at the prospect of "seein' them ar' men and gals in their ring flip-flop, an' squat down jist in time ter git out of ther way of their hoops, and such flipsy-sipsy things!" The traveling show of that period was made up principally of a few stage performers of both sexes, and there was no riding worth speaking of, nor were there any startling feats performed. The clown would manage, by stale jokes and a sprinkling of vulgar wit, to keep the small audience in a sort of good humor ; nothing seen upon the big bills outside was seen in the ring inside, and thus it followed that so much deception disgusted people and it got to be so that a traveling show could not make expenses, and every season witnessed some unfortunate show put under the "hammer."

But the people were to be undeceived. Van Amburgh & Co.'s Great Golden Menagerie, Frost's Roman Circus and Royal Coliseum started out to make a tour of the States, and to show the people that one traveling show at least gave them the worth of their money ; bulletin boards a hundred feet long and more, and ten or fifteen feet high, with huge, many-colored and pictured posters, set forth the stern fact that what was seen there in paints and inks would be seen in the two tents on the day of the exhibition. These assurances were so plain, so honest in their intent, that when the show came every seat was occupied, and the ground about the ring covered with pleased and amused people. The two tents were necessarily made larger every season ; more seats were added ; more men and horses were employed to convey this monster show across the continent. Propietors of other shows were amazed ; they could not understand why Manager Frost with the Van Amburgh Company drew such crowds ; they had placed falsehoods upon their posters -- but the "Secret of Success" -- where was it ? The Van Amburgh Company found it in the truthful sentences contained on their bulletin boards, and the people found that what was advertised was exhibited or performed. In this manner, by being honest with the people Van Amburgh & Co.'s Menagerie and Circus came to be the only recognized show in America. The people of different States and towns made it an annual holiday when the Van Amburgh show came, and to-day this show is the largest and best in the world. Proof of this assertion is found in the two tents.

We headed this article "The Circus," and now will confine our words to the ring. While they do not claim to have engaged all the "best performers in the world," they do claim that the enormous salaries paid to some of them will entitle them to having the best. The acrobats, gymnasts, athletes, tumblers, jugglers, bare-back riders, trapeze performers, mimics, and others who delight and amuse the vast audiences, are not puny looking beings with sunken chests, but they are fresh, robust, and full of strength, and able to perform every act advertised. The inimitable clown is here arrayed in all his glory and nothing obscene or vulgar passes his lips. He has an inexhaustible fund of incident and anecdote, all original, and he will give them to you by the pail full. The ring horses are not some worn-out creatures, made so from over-tired (unreadable word) but they are fresh from their stables, lively, and know just what is required of them. We cannot here tell you all, nor half, you can see in the arena. What they advertise upon their bulletin boards will certainly be seen in the show. What they ask of you is to study well what each poster says, and you will be all the wiser when you see all you have read about. They have gentlemanly attaches connected with every department, to name to visitors the animals or other things in the tents. To make final, Van Amburgh & Co. are the exhibitors, -- the world are the judges.

Will exhibit at Vermilionville, on Tuesday, January 15th, 1878.
Lafayette Advertiser 1/12/ 1878.

Shields' Wagon Show.
Shields' big show gave an entertainment here yesterday the 10th. inst. and was well patronized. Part of the proceeds goes to the Catholic Church of this place. All things considered, the many difficulties to be met and overcome by these wagon shows makes this one of the best we have ever attended. Lafayette Advertiser 1/14/1899.


The Circus. - The circus came and our money is gone. Those who never saw any other or a better one, seemed to be satisfied. Others were disappointed in many respects. Bad road, cold weather, hard times, in fact, scarcely anything prevents any one from going to a circus.
Laf. Adv. 1/19/1878.


The Street Fair.

The fencing near the railroad depot, in which the street fair attractions are to be enclosed has already been built, and everything is ready for the fair on Monday.

Excursions from Lake Charles, Opelousas and New Orleans will run to Lafayette during next week. On Sunday, the first day of February, the fireman's parade will take place. Militia companies from Opelousas and New Iberia will participate in the parade.
Lafayette Gazette 1/24/1903.

The Street Fair.

The street fair has been going on during the week and has been well attended.

It is under the active management of Dr. F. E. Girard, and given under the auspices of the merchants and businessmen of the town for the benefit of the town for the benefit of the Sontag Military Band. The gentlemen belonging to the band and Dr. Girard have endeavored to eliminate all attractions which might prove objectionable, and to maintain orderly conduct within the enclosure of the fair and as a whole they have succeeded in doing so.
Many ladies and children have consequently attended the daily performances.

To-day and to-morrow the management have made special efforts to give interesting programs. To-morrow excursions will run from Washington on the Alexandria branch, and from Franklin and intervening points.
The militia companies from New Iberia and Opelousas will take part in Sunday's program, and will give a competitive drill.

Both are newly organized companies and sharp rivalry naturally exists between them, with fact assures a pretty contest to lovers of the military. The Gazette again wishes to call public attention to the commendable cause for which the fair is held. The Sontag band is one of the most public-spirited organizations of this town, and it behooves every citizen to promote this undertaking if only to assist the band boys.

Lafayette Gazette 1/31/1903. 

Street Fair Parade. - The street fair parade took place Thursday. The principal amusement concerns of the fair participated in the parade. The following business men of the town had advertising floats. Lacoste Hardware, Simms, the pop man, Martin's stable, Pogue's sale stable and Pellerin Brothers. Lafayette Gazette 1/31/1903. 

Proceeds of the Street Fair.

 The Gazette has been favored with the report of Mr. F. V. Mouton and Dr. F. E. Girard, respectively, of the merchants' organization in charge of the street fair given here last week for the benefit of the Sontag Band. It shows net profits amounting to $619.30. The total gross receipts of the attractions were $2292.90, the receipts at the main entrance being $728.

 It is a source of pleasure to notice the flattering results of the fair. With this money, the band boys will be able to provide themselves with improved musical instrument. Lafayette Gazette 2/7/1903.

John H. Sparks Railroad Show Exhibits Here.

John H. Spark's new railroad shows and trained animal exposition will exhibit in Lafayette on February 15, afternoon and evening. Admission only 10 and 25 cents. This show is known the over as the largest, grandest and best 25 cent show on the road, with all new startling and up-to-date features. The finest performing lions, wolves and elephants are to be seen with Sparks' big one ring shows, together with a troupe of highly educated horses, ponies, mules, dogs, goats and monkeys. See our grand free balloon ascension with a parachute jump, also a free thrilling high tower dive from a ladder of 80 feet high into a net. Thus is given free to all from the show ground at 1 and 7 p. m., rain or shine. It alone is worth going many miles to see and it costs you nothing. Mr. Sparks offers a handsome bedroom suite to any couple that will take a trip in his big bridal balloon and get married. Now is your chance for a big novel wedding and a handsome present and no danger of any accident at all. There have been hundreds of successful marriages in this big balloon and not a single accident. Now is the chance of a life time. Don't miss out.
  Lafayette Advertiser 2/8/1902.

Col. G. W. Hall's United Rail Road Shows, European Menagerie, World's Museum and Arenic Carnival will exhibit in Lafayette on the 20th instant. There will be a grand balloon procession and parachute leap from the show grounds, and a magnificent street parade at 11 o'clock a. m. Laf. Adv. 2/9/1895.

A Circus Coming. - As per announcement in another column the United Railroad Shows will give an exhibition next Wednesday. If we may judge by the press comments this show is one of the best on the road.
Laf. Gazette 2/16/1895.

Gentry's Dog and Pony show, this afternoon and to-night.
Laf. Adv. 2/20/1897.

Long's Artistic Pavilion Show and the Hickman Comedy Company have been entertaining our citizens for a week past, and we but voice peculiar sentiment when we say that it is one of the best and most satisfactory shows, for the money charged, that has ever visited our community. The performance abounds in variety, is altogether chaste and proper, and interesting throughout. Mr. Long is a prompt and pleasant man to do business with, and we recommend him and his show to people of Louisiana. Laf. Adv. 2/21/1891.

Circus - Last Wednesday was "circus-day" in Lafayette and the average boy left quite happy. The menagerie and the performances were of a most ordinary character. We do not believe the show people took away much money from the parish and for that we should feel thankful. Laf. Advertiser 2/23/1895.

The funniest Clowns in the business with W. H. Harris' Nickle Plate Shows. Laf. Adv. 2/25/1893.

During the last few days a carnival hen has laid golden eggs about Lake Charles, New Iberia, New Orleans but she flew over Lafayette. Whose fault was it? Laf. Adv. 2/26/1898.

The 26th Regiment.

 A soldier's life, generally speaking, is not a pleasant one, and none can bear more vivid testimony of that fact than the members of the Louisiana 26th. There were few hard-ships they did not suffer during the many months of marching, fighting and camp life they performed in answer to the call of duty. It is but natural, then, that when comrades of the battle-field who have "fought and bled and died together", meet once more they should weep with joy, renew old ties and proceed to drown the sorrows of the past. Among the survivors of the "26th." who claim Lafayette as their home are some genial souls, who have always feel an inexpressible delight at meeting a real live "colonel', and when these same convivial spirits started out on a "colonel" hunt Wednesday of last week, they were as jovial as they were determined. On that day it happened there was a circus in town and the old "vets" fairly snorted at the sight of tents and the sound of martial music. Surely, they reasoned, a "colonel" must be lurking near by. "What's this!"  "Can we believe our eyes?"  "Col. G. W. Hall's New United Shows" they read in half abated tone, on the circus bills.  "Why it must be -- of course it is -- our own beloved Col. Hall of the 26th. regiment. Bravo! Bravo!" echoed in the air.  "Attention",  "Forward", "March", the order was given, and a moments later old comrades had met and embraced each other. Col. G. W. Hall, of circus fame, took in the situation and turned his aptness for a practical joke to a good account. What mattered the difference of an initial or two in a name, just so it bore the title of colonel?  And besides it would have been cruel to disappoint the old soldiers. They had started out to have a good time and Col. G. W. was too whole souled and accommodating to do aught to dampen their bright anticipations. According he mustered up all he ever knew of war reminiscences  and proved himself quite equal to emergency. So perfect was his impersonation of Col. Winchester Hall of the 26th Louisiana, that the old "vets" who exchanged war greetings with Col. Geo. W. Hall of the New United Shows, on the 20th ultimo, are still unshaken in their conviction that the latter is the real and the only Colonel of the 26th., and based on this belief the following statement found its was to the columns of our local contemporary :

Belonged To the 26th.

 Col. Geo. W. Hall, proprietor of the show which played here Wednesday is a Confederate soldier, having served, to-gether with a number of our fellow citizens, in the 26th regiment. The colonel met some of the old "vets" and a jolly good time just the same.
Lafayette Advertiser 3/2/1895.  

Lafayette Parish Needs A Country Fair. 

We must call attention to the fact that at 11 a. m. to-day there will be a public meeting at the Court House in Vermilionville, for the purpose of organizing a country fair in our section of country. The importance of county fairs can be estimated but by the beneficial results there from in all other portions of the world and of the East, West, North of our own country. War has deprived us of our wealth and fortunes but our lands and energies and minds are left to us, and them we must use to the utmost advantage. The mission of communities as well as of men, is not stationary in the great work of life, but on the contrary, to go a head. Finite beings we must march towards the infinite, imperfect, we must toil towards perfection as much as in our power lies. There is our noble mission and duty. Let us then get together and compare notes ;  and by a general interchange of ideas arouse a noble spirit of emulation in the way of progress and improvement which will soon defy all oppression.
Lafayette Advertiser 4/17/1869.

The Street Fair. - Monday evening the street fair given under the auspices of the Sontag Lafayette Concert Band gave its initial performances. Owing to the unsettled condition of the weather the crowd in attendance was not as large as it would otherwise have been. The attractions furnished by the Whitney Amusement Co., are all good: there are seven of them, "Dixie," the "Electric Theatre," moving pictures, lady glass blowers, a snake show, "Pete's Monkey Circus" and "Lotta." There are also the usual Ferris Wheel, the flying horses, the pop corn man, the "Tell your fortune for 10 cents" and other diversions to amuse.

 The street fair is well worth visiting and doubtless every body will spend at least one evening "On the Pike" during the week. Lafayette Advertiser 5/17/1905.

THE FAIR.  - We are glad to be able to say that the fair was a financial success. The weather was propitious, and there was plenty of dust, but that did not seem to keep anybody away. The attendance during the whole time was as good, perhaps better, that on any previous occasion. The dramatic entertainment on Saturday was generally conceded to have been especially attractive, and the "old man" and the boys repeatedly drew the down the house in uproarious applause. The Tableaux on Monday evening, however, constituted the summum bonum of the entire enterprise ;  there was artistic charm and striking beauty showing excellent taste and superior judgment on the part of the managers.

 Our local brass band, of boys, furnished music at times for the crowd in attendance, and , we believe, it was the general opinion that the boys played very well.

 On Sunday evening the brass band of New Iberia, under the leadership of Prof. J. E. Martin, very graciously, and gratuitously came to town, and the fair grounds on that evening were entertained by strains of real good music. They returned on Monday morning to the depot, homeward bound, and as the last strains of their marching music died away, we are sure that all who heard were unanimous in the hope that they would come again.

 The String Band of Breaux Bridge under the leadership of Mr. Domingeau, also paid us a visit on Monday evening and furnished music for the Tableaux.
Lafayette Advertiser 5/20/1882.

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