International clown week celebrated with host of special activities and events worldwide

  • 2 months   ago
International clown week
There are an estimated 10,00 clowns in organized groups, and over 20,000 clowns all over the globe. 
 
Becoming a clown is serious business and not just anyone can clown around every day. The International Clown Week is celebrated each year between August 1-7 as a tribute to the first recognised group of organised clowns. 
 
It is estimated that there are over 10,00 clowns in organized clown groups, and over 20,000 clowns world-wide. They all have one goal in mind, and that is to make people happy. 
 
 
On this day, clowns around the world do what they do best.... they clown around, holding events at malls, nursing homes, schools, and educational events. 
 
Clown groups often celebrate the week with special activities such as performing volunteer show or having their local community declare the week as a city celebration to coincide with the National and International Clown week. Volunteers also form shows and clowns host performances. 
 
The first Clown Week began some time in the 1950’s. Walt “Wabo” Savage is believed to be the man behind the original Clown Week. He reportedly picked August because it coincided with the birthdays of both his daughters. 
 
In 1966, Ray Bickford, President of Clown Club of America, appointed Frank “Kelly the Clown” Kelly, as the first International Clown Week chairman. Bill “Boom Boom” Bailey, a member of Clowns of America, was the first American chairman of National Clown Week.
 
President Nixon proclaimed the first official National Clown Week in 1970. The proclamation begins with “[W]hoever has heard the laughter of a child or seen sudden delight on the face of a lonely old man has understood in those brief moments mysteries deeper than love.” President Nixon believed anything that could bring smiles and joy to people, especially children should get special recognition.
 
Though the proclamation declared the first week in August of 1970 as National Clown Week, the tradition continued to celebrate the clown and clowning annually and eventually grew to an international event. 
 
Originally, this event was called ‘National Clown Week’ but 1991, the group Clowns of America renamed it "International Clown Week", recognizing that there are many clowns around the world, and this event. Both International Clown Week and National Clown Day were created to give recognition to those funny clowns that make us laugh and smile. 
 
Clowns come in many forms. They create their own characters and storylines. Like celebrities do, many clowns will develop a following. 
 
For example, Bozo the Clown from children’s television with his iconic red hair and Soupy Sales, also known for his children’s television persona. There’s also Willard Scott who first portrayed another redheaded clown with giant shoes – the hamburger-selling Ronald McDonald.
 
Unfortunately, not all people think clowns are fun. Many people have a fear of clowns known as Coulrophobia. Celebrities such as Daniel Radcliffe and Johnny Depp are among those celebrities who suffer from coulrophobia.
 
Clowners ‘clown fans’ celebrate International Clown week by attend a street performance or pursuing their dream of clowning.  Some serious minded clowns also go through a training programme.
 
The training is nothing to joke about because clowns take their jobs seriously enough to have a code of ethics known as The Eight Clown Commandments. Clowning around is not allowed during performances. Unless you’re being funny, then clowning around is a requirement. Professional clowns also have an official prayer.
 

A clown’s prayer – Author Unknown

 
As I stumble through this life,
help me to create more laughter than tears,
dispense more happiness than gloom,
spread more cheer than despair.
Never let me become so indifferent
that I will fail to see the wonder
in the eyes of a child
or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged.
Never let me forget that my total effort
is to cheer people, make them happy
and forget – at least momentarily –
all the unpleasantness in their lives.
And, in my final moment,
may I hear You whisper:
‘When you made My people smile,
you made Me smile.’
 
So I hope a clown or two brightens up your day, today. And in case he does not, go spread a smile to someone else… Happy Clowns Day!

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