Model and Circus Carnival Exhibit showcasing hobbies and history

New York State Fair

GEDDES, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — If you make your way onto the second floor of the Art and Home Center at The Great New York State Fair, you’ll enter into another world, a miniature circus. The circus model builders have filled that room for 18 years, along with the train exhibit.

In the center of it all is Dom Yodice’s model collection, which includes original outfits worn by actors and actresses in the movie, “The Greatest Show on Earth.”

“I’ve always liked to build models as a kid. For my era and generation, that’s what the kids did. They’d build model cars, airplanes, I build circus models,” said Dom Yodice, owner of “Greatest Show on Earth” display at fair.

Yodice and others who have fallen in love with the circus spend hours, even years, perfecting their pieces and showing them across the country. Opening a window to their hobby and hoping to get the little ones on board.

“A lot of the model builders are older people, and when they’re gone, that’s it. We’re trying to attract a younger membership. But that’s easier said than done,” Yodice said.

“You don’t have to build a whole circus or a whole train, you can build one wagon or one train or whatever and build a scenery around it to create something that tells a story,” said Don Kowell, President of the Hoxie Tucker Ring, Syracuse Chapter.

It’s a story they say many forget. Though the circus was more popular back then, Kowell says there are still more than 30 smaller groups existing today.

“I like the seniors that come through because they say, I remember when I was a kid I went to the circus and I saw this. And then younger people ask questions about, ‘Wow, this really was the way it was,'” Kowell said.

The local club of circus model builders meets every month. It takes about two weeks for them to set up at the fair and once it’s over, they take the exhibits down in just one night.


For more local news, follow Julia LeBlanc on Twitter at @JulialeblancNC9.

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