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Title : Clowns Clowns
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Creator : Advertiser Newspapers Ltd, (photographer)
Date of creation : 1964
Format : Photograph
Dimensions : 208 x 150 mm
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Donated by : John Martin & Co.
Copyright : This item is reproduced courtesy of David Jones Ltd. It may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires written permission from David Jones Ltd and the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

Two clowns taking part in the John Martin's Christmas pageant, one with a giant head. The Adelaide Town Hall can be seen on the left, and a brass band is following the clowns.

Although they may appear to be just fooling around, in reality clowns have a lot of responsibility for ensuring the smooth running of the Adelaide Christmas pageant.

Roving the procession, clowns are asked to fill gaps between floats as required and, with their comical antics, distract from any hiccup which may mar the seamless running of the pageant.

'Being a clown also carries a big responsibility because the clowns are used as runners, taking messages back and forth to make sure the timing is exact' said Lionel Clark, a John Martin's employee and pageant clown (Sunday Mail, 31 October 1993, suppl. p. 14).

In addition to the responsibility that comes with the role, clowns also have to be pretty fit. Whilst zipping around between floats they cover around three times the distance of the parade route and are usually either running, skipping, cycling or skating.

Recent pageants have relied upon the services of almost 160 clowns.

Related names :

John Martin & Co.

Coverage year : 1964
Region : Adelaide city
Further reading :

'60th John Martin's State Bank Christmas pageant 1933-1993', Sunday Mail, 31 October 1993, 24 p. supp.

Adelaide's once-a-year day, Adelaide: Commercial Printing House, 1978.

'Street pageant delights crowd', Advertiser, 20 November 1933, p. 16.

A touch of magic [videorecording] : [the story behind the Christmas Pageant], West Lakes?, S. Aust. : Cine News Productions, 1993.

Internet links :

Credit Union Christmas pageant

John Martin's first pageant: 1933 [State Library of South Australia]



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