When the Univer- Soul Circus returns to Buffalo for two weeks beginning Wednesday, August 8th to celebrate its “We Are One 25th Anniversary Tour,” it will also be a milestone for Buffalo’s own Econuel Ingram. Econuel, who is celebrating a quarter of a century with the circus, is the person responsible for making his hometown a destination for one of the nation’s top rated family entertainment events.
UniverSoul Circus sets up its single ring big top at Outer Harbor Buffalo (325 Fuhrmann Blvd), August 8th thru 19th for an unforgettable journey of electrifying, edge-of- your-seat performances on weekday mornings and evenings, and three shows on the weekends.
The Circus has forever transformed the world’s urban entertainment landscape with a powerful combination of music, laughter and extreme thrills. The show features a multicultural conglomeration of performers from virtually every corner of the globe, including South Africa, USA, Trinidad and Tobago, Chile, Colombia, Russia, Guinea, Gabon and Mongolia. Three new acts are featured this year, including a Ballerina, Perch Pole, Trampoline, and an amazing Aerial act – all from Cuba.
“One of the most exciting parts about this 25th anniversary circus,” said Econuel, “is that it’s a milestone that an African American owned production has become one of the number one family entertainment entities in the country.” UniverSoul Circus is rated as one of the top two circuses in America along with Cirque du Soleil. UniverSoul’s fresh approach to family friendly live entertainment has garnered it a coveted spot as one of Ticketmaster’s top ten most requested family events, along with other shows including Sesame Street Live, Disney on Ice, and Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
Tickets to the UniverSoul Circus are now on sale at the Community Action Organization of WNY @ CAO Headquarters corner of Leroy & Halber from 9a.m.-5p.m. starting@ $10 with no service fees (while supplies last). Tickets are also available at Doris Records, www.universoulcircus. com or any Ticketmaster location. A special show for underserved families will take place on August 14th at 4 p.m. The circus, Mr. Ingram noted, is reaching out across the country to give all children a UniverSoul experience.
Econuel, currently a marketing consultant for the City of Stockbridge, Georgia, resides in Atlanta with his wife Barbara and two sons. He was employed by the circus for 22 of the last 25 years. However for the past few years he’s worked for the Univer- Soul Circus as an independent consultant for only a few cities – Buffalo (he first bought the circus here in 1998) being closest to his heart.
His roots run deep.
Born and raised in the Nickle Econuel Ingram (inset, right) :The Buffalo- UniverSoul connection! City, Econuel, a record-holding star athlete, was educated at East High School, Genesee Community College and Johnson C .Smith University. His introduction to advertising and marketing began here with Astro Advertising Agency, WKBW-TV (the first African American Account Executive) and WUFO Power 96.5 radio. He honed his skills out west in California and then in Atlanta as General Manager at WAOK.
Being a native son of Buffalo played a significant role in helping him land the outer harbor, and he said there were lots of people to thank who helped make it possible, including Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples Stokes, Mayor Brown and Bishop Darius Pridgen.
“The circus has really evolved,” Econuel continued. “ It’s morphed into a multicultural venture owned by a visionary Black man -Cedrick Walker –with acts from around the world!” – one of the changes Econuel has long envisioned. ‘If we invite the world then they’ll come!”
This year, for the first time, one of the UniverSoul Circus tours is Europe (Scotland).
-Circus Ring of Fame- A great honor was recently bestowed upon UniverSoul Circus Founder and CEO Cedric Walker. The Circus Ring of Fame Foundation, Inc. selected Walker for 2018 enshrinement into its prestigious Circus Ring of Fame in recognition of his “outstanding contributions to circus arts and culture.”
“This has been an amazing journey and a fantastic ride,” said Walker. “Generations have witnessed our growth and have evolved with us. We want our fans to know they will always be a part of the UniverSoul Circus family. Consider us a community minded, family-oriented, spiritually- uplifting entertainment revival for families across America.”
For more information, tickets, show times and schedules, visit universoulcircus.com. Follow us on Facebook, @universoul, Twitter @universoulcir and Instagram @ universoulcircus.