In case you didn’t know it, we have an association of professional and amateur clowns in Hopkins County. In fact, the group has applied to become recognized by the Texas Clowns Association to be chartered “Memory Makers Clown Alley”. The group held an organizational meeting at The Roc and a core group of interested individuals was there, each with an established act for parties, parades and festivals. Watch for them in costume at the “Walk Like Madd” Mothers Against Drunk Driving Walk on Saturday September 29 and the Lighted Christmas Parade downtown on Friday December 7. And their first judged “clown contest” is set for November 12 in Sulphur Springs. They also hope to conduct clowning classes for adults and for kids, or “Jr. Joey’s”.
How did a clowning group form in Sulphur Springs? Well, veteran performer Terry Cunningham was talking to Tony Abercrombie one day and mentioned the need for a local chapter. Both men were interested in getting it formed, however some time passed. One day Darris Cross (who performs as Inka the Clown) was talking to Tony, and the idea to form a chapter began to burn afresh. Darris has carried the torch, but modestly admits that Tony and Tery actually deserve the credit as founders. It is expected that the group will become part of the Tyler, Texas District of Texas Clowns Association, a member of Clowns of America International.
During the meeting, Terry (who appears as Lucky the Clown and as a ventriloquist with Woodrow) presented a program of interesting facts. “Clown Alley” is a circus term referring to an area where the clowns lived, rehearsed and dressed for performances. The term “First of May” describes a beginner clown, due to the fact that the circus season begins in the Spring, and that’s when new clowns get their first chance to perform in front of the public. In this entertaiment art, there are many genres of clowns based on costume and facepaint, stunts, tumbles, props and gags.