Carousel Museum Adds Side Show Exhibit

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LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) _ The Leavenworth carousel museum has added a side show all about -- side shows.

The C.W. Parker Carousel Museum has expanded to show visitors a ``mermaid,'' ``shrunken heads'' and other bizarre items dedicated to carnival side shows. Wandering through the museum alone is enough, but hearing stories told by volunteer guides is something else.

More than half the guides are older than 80, and many of them have personal stories of the Parker family, its amusement factory and the city's connection to the industry.

The exhibit material comes from the collection of Rod Sipe, a fire-eating magician who has performed at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival for decades. His artifacts include a juggler's wardrobe trunk, rings owned by the ``world's tallest man'' and photos that document the side show era.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)