Ambassadors of Laughter bring smiles, buzz to Roanoke Valley ahe - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Ambassadors of Laughter bring smiles, buzz to Roanoke Valley ahead of circus

Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus doesn't take over the Roanoke Civic Center until May, but this week, two of its ambassadors are clowning around the Roanoke Valley generating buzz and doing community outreach.

David and Cherie Gregg are Ringling Bros' Ambassadors of Laughter, who tour the country promoting the show and performing for people of all ages through various outreach programs.

One of those is called Reading with Ringling, which encourages children to read books to spark their minds and imaginations.  During the program, Dave and Cherie give a lively performance while reading their favorite book "If I Ran The Circus", then decide to put on their own circus -- doing everything from spinning plates, juggling, and balancing chairs on their chins.

"Anytime that we have been presented with things that are fun and exciting and little educational, that message sticks in our heads," said Dave Gregg.  "When we're doing our Reading with Ringling Program, we show how much fun reading can be and it can broaden your imagination."

To give kids an extra incentive to read, Ringling Bros has come up with a special offer -- if your child reads five books between now and when the circus comes to Roanoke, they'll receive a free ticket.  You can sign up for the program at the Roanoke Public Library on Williamson Road in Downtown Roanoke.

Other programs the ambassadors do include teaching older kids about the physics and science behind circus acts, encouraging kids to get active and fit, and working with young performers on improving their craft.

They make it a point to reach out to groups of children who might not otherwise get to experience the circus.

"We're going to the hospital today to cheer up some kids who may not be having the best of days and prove once again that laughter is the best medicine," said Cherie Gregg.  "We want to bring smiles to kids who are going through some serious business."

Thursday at 1:00pm Dave and Cherie will perform at the Salem Family YMCA.  Then at 3:00pm, they'll be at the Roanoke Children's Theater, where they'll run a workshop with the students in that program.

Friday at 1:30pm, they'll perform at the Kirk Family YMCA in Downtown Roanoke.  Then from 4:00pm - 6:00pm, they'll entertain riders aboard the Starline Trolley.

Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus rolls into town May 2 - 5 at the Roanoke Civic Center.  Tickets are available at the box office and online.



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