Making a living out of clowning around - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Making a living out of clowning around

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CHEROKEE, Iowa (KTIV) -- The Cherokee Rodeo has come to town, and besides the bull-riding and roping, one thing you can always count on at a rodeo is the clown. But there's more than meets the eye when it comes to making a career out of "goofing around."

"I'm the rodeo entertainer, the barrelman, the rodeo clown," says Hippie Englekes.

Whatever you call him, Hippie has one function: to entertain. Before the big show, Hippie suits up into his make-up.

"The hot summer days when it runs into your eyes, if you don't get baby powder on it to set it."

In full uniform, Hippie turns a lot of heads, and attracts a crowd. Before the rodeo, Hippie mingles with adoring fans. Some shy at first, but most of them come around.

Hippie says, "Being able to be out there and laugh with everybody and enjoy that... If I'm out there and I got one person to laugh, I'm having a blast because I know we're having fun."

Clowning is mostly fun and games, but when you're a guy in full make-up, everyone likes to have a little fun with you. Even the bulls. Part of the job is climbing down into the barrel.

Hippie says, "The more I get knocked around, the more fun I'm having."

For Hippie, it's all in a day's work.

"They're going have to roll me out in a wheelchair and I'll get up and still tell jokes."

The Cherokee Rodeo runs through Saturday with nightly performances at 7:30.  If you'd like to head out, it's $12 for folks age 13 and up. Kids, 12 and under, are $5, but anyone under 3 gets in free. The rodeo takes place at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds.

Online Reporter: Zach Tecklenburg

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