Clowning under the big top in Bangor

Posted April 30, 2013, at 5:32 a.m.
Don Young begins the transformation into Bo-Bo in his camper outside of the Bangor Auditorium before the opening show of the 2013 Anah Shrine Circus. Don has been an Anah Shrine Clown since 1986.
Linda Coan O'Kresik
Don Young begins the transformation into Bo-Bo in his camper outside of the Bangor Auditorium before the opening show of the 2013 Anah Shrine Circus. Don has been an Anah Shrine Clown since 1986. Buy Photo
Don Young spends about an hour transforming into Bo-Bo in his camper outside of the Bangor Auditorium for the 2013 Anah Shrine Circus. Don, who dresses as an Auguste Clown, which is the buffoon or fool, has been an Anah Shrine Clown since 1986.
Linda Coan O'Kresik
Don Young spends about an hour transforming into Bo-Bo in his camper outside of the Bangor Auditorium for the 2013 Anah Shrine Circus. Don, who dresses as an Auguste Clown, which is the buffoon or fool, has been an Anah Shrine Clown since 1986. Buy Photo
Don Young ties up his loose ends before heading into the opening show of the 2013 Anah Shrine Circus as Bo-Bo.
Linda Coan O'Kresik
Don Young ties up his loose ends before heading into the opening show of the 2013 Anah Shrine Circus as Bo-Bo. Buy Photo
Iggy heads down a hallway of the Bangor Auditorium to the Clown Room before the opening show of the 2013 Anah Shrine Circus. Andrew Matlins (Iggy) has been an Anah Shrine clown since 2002.
Linda Coan O'Kresik
Iggy heads down a hallway of the Bangor Auditorium to the Clown Room before the opening show of the 2013 Anah Shrine Circus. Andrew Matlins (Iggy) has been an Anah Shrine clown since 2002. Buy Photo
Four-year-old Shayla Henderson of Bangor presses her nose against the glass trying to catch a glimpse of circus activity while waiting for the doors to open for the first showing of the 2013 Anah Shrine Circus. This year marked the 50th presentation of the Anah Shrine Circus.
Linda Coan O'Kresik
Four-year-old Shayla Henderson of Bangor presses her nose against the glass trying to catch a glimpse of circus activity while waiting for the doors to open for the first showing of the 2013 Anah Shrine Circus. This year marked the 50th presentation of the Anah Shrine Circus. Buy Photo
Gumpy signs autographs before a showing of the 2013 Anah Shrine Circus at the Bangor Auditorium. The Anah Shrine Clowns truly are the face of the circus, bringing out smiles and laughter of circus attendees and always sought out by kids for balloons and autographs. Michael Robshaw has been Gumpy since 1998.
Linda Coan O'Kresik
Gumpy signs autographs before a showing of the 2013 Anah Shrine Circus at the Bangor Auditorium. The Anah Shrine Clowns truly are the face of the circus, bringing out smiles and laughter of circus attendees and always sought out by kids for balloons and autographs. Michael Robshaw has been Gumpy since 1998. Buy Photo
Even behind the Big Top, the Anah Shrine clowns are always clowning around. Jiggs (far right) and Busta (Bill Case and Dave Denis respectively) crack jokes with brothers Erwin (left) and Melvin Urias as they wait to make their entrance for their act, Urias Globe of Death, at the opening show of the 2013 Anah Shrine Circus.
Linda Coan O'Kresik
Even behind the Big Top, the Anah Shrine clowns are always clowning around. Jiggs (far right) and Busta (Bill Case and Dave Denis respectively) crack jokes with brothers Erwin (left) and Melvin Urias as they wait to make their entrance for their act, Urias Globe of Death, at the opening show of the 2013 Anah Shrine Circus. Buy Photo
The Anah Shrine Clowns gather for the singing of the National Anthem before a showing of the 2013 Anah Shrine Circus at the Bangor Auditorium. This year marked the 50th presentation of the Anah Shrine Circus.
Linda Coan O'Kresik
The Anah Shrine Clowns gather for the singing of the National Anthem before a showing of the 2013 Anah Shrine Circus at the Bangor Auditorium. This year marked the 50th presentation of the Anah Shrine Circus. Buy Photo

BANGOR, Maine — Using his camper parked in the lot of the Bangor Auditorium as his dressing room, Donald Young transformed himself from a regular guy sporting khaki shorts and a T-shirt into a red-nosed, yellow-haired, brightly clad clown known as “Bo-Bo.”

Young, who has been clowning since 1986, spent his weekend participating in the 2013 Anah Shrine Circus.

“I’m a very social person and get a lot of satisfaction out of working with not only kids, but the elderly and handicapped as well,” said Young.

Bo-Bo is an Auguste clown, which means “the fool,” or as Young describes, “the one that gets the pie in the face.” He chose that style of clown because he says he always has been kind of foolish.

There are three other types of clowns: the character clown, the hobo and the white-faced clown.

According to Young, the Bangor Anah Shriners’ clown unit is the busiest in the Shriners and a very close unit. There are approximately 40 clowns from the Bangor area and about 40 more from the Presque Isle area.

The clowns that bring smiles to the faces of thousands are not just playing their parts when they are front and center. Even behind the scenes, they are joking around with each other and with the other circus acts.

“You act totally different than you do in real life,” said Young.

“It gives people a break from all the realities of the world,” said circus director Charles Grindle, who is also “Chuckles” the clown. “It’s a whole other world and is very satisfying.”

But what’s the best part of clowning?

“You’re No. 1 to the kids when you’re a clown,” said Young.

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