News

Read the news and keep up with all of the things that Sir Toony does.

November 2011

Reston Holiday Parade 2011


On Friday, November 25, 2011, Sir Toony and several of his friends from Just Clowning Around of Northern Virginia (JCA) participated in the Reston Holiday Parade at the Reston Town Center. More than 70 groups gathered on a sunny Friday morning helped bring the 21st annual parade theme of storybook magic to life. Representing JCA were Sir Toony, Pelukyta, Moosey, Fancy, Dootsiedum, and Justin.


Mid Atlantic Clown Association Annual Convention 2011


For the second year in a row, Sir Toony attended the Mid Atlantic Clown Association (MACA) annual convention in Harrisburg, PA. As the Virginia State Director on the MACA Board of Directors, Sir Toony participated in the planning and running of the convention. While at the convention, Sir Toony attended a variety of lectures, entered the balloon, face painting, clown makeup, paradeability, and skit competitions. Sir Toony was re-elected to serve as the Virginia State Director and came home with the 1st place trophy for the whiteface category of the clown makeup competition and 3rd place trophies for both the single balloon competition and the full face, face painting competition.


October 2011

Clownfest 2011


In September 2011, Mike Becvar aka Sir Toony Van Dukes attended Clownfest in Seaside Heights, NJ. Clownfest includes three days of workshops and two days of community events. While at Clownfest, Mike attended workshops on balloons, clowning around, and magic. He also entered the face painting, balloon twisting, and clown costume competitions. He came in fist place for the full face, face painting competition and won the Fun-Friendly award. On Saturday, Sir Toony joined the clowns on the boardwalk. He participated in the Kazoo Band, Balloon Express, and Family Fun Frolic. On Sunday, Buzz Clownstrong (Mike's Astronut clown character) participated in the Clown Parade.


City of Fairfax 4th of July Parade


On Monday, July 4th, Sir Toony joined several of his friends from Just Clowning Around of Northern Virginia (Big Red, Tooter, Pelukyta, Wiggy, Moosey, Justin and Sharone) to participate in the City of Fairfax 4th of July parade. It was their 45th annual City of Fairfax Independence Day Celebration and it marked the City of Fairfax’s 50th birthday. They braved the heat and helped the crowds in Fairfax celebrate the 4th of July. As a reward for their efforts, JCA came in 1st place for the best clowns in the parade.


Minds for Motion Academy picnic


On Sunday, June 12th Sir Toony and his friend Sharone volunteered at the Minds for Motion Academy picnic, A Team Of Our Own. Sharone made balloons while Sir Toony did face painting. This event was sponsored by the MIMA Booster Club to benefit the Minds In Motion Academy, as school that provides a multi-sensory environment for children with learning differences.


Falls Church Memorial Day Parade


On Monday, May 30, 2011, Memorial Day, Sir Toony joined several of his friends from Just Clowning Around of Northern Virginia to participate in the City of Falls Church 30th Annual Memorial Day Parade and Festival. The parade took over Park Avenue with antique cars, Latin dancers, displays from the Falls Church Parks and Recreation Department and plenty of traditional displays of American pride from motorcycle riders to men and women dressed in old fashioned American clothing.


April 2011

Clown Conventions


Sir Toony Van Dukes has been busy attending clown conventions. In January, he attended the Kapitol Kidvention in Leesburg, VA. In February, he attended the Circus Magic Convention in Williamsburg, VA. Sir Toony won his first two awards for balloon twisting at the Circus Magic Convention with his Dragon and baby hippo balloons that came in 3rd and 1st place. In March, he attended the World Clown Association Convention in New York City. He came back from each convention with new toys and ideas. He will be taking a few months off before attending more conventions in the fall.


Parades


Sir Toony got a good start to 2011 with a series of parades including the George Washington Birthday parade in Alexandria, VA; the Alexandria St. Patrick's Day Parade; and the Gaithersburg St. Patrick's Day Parade.


December 2010

JCA Members with Santa

Safe Places Holiday Party


On Monday, December 13, 2010, Sir Toony and his friends from Just Clowning Around of Northern Virgini (JCA) hosted a holiday party for the families of Safe Places. Safe Places is a local charity that provides housing and other support to domestic violence survivors and their children. JCA provided the Christmas decorations, a buffet dinner of chicken and cold cuts, gifts for all of the children, and a special visit from Santa. After all of the children had a chance to visit Santa, JCA members entertained their guests with songs and games. JCA members at the party included: Dot Com as Santa and Bingo as Mrs Claus, Big Red and her son Ben, Sir Toony, Pelukyta, Wiggy, Moose, Sweet Pickle, and Dot Com's wife Beverly as a Christmas Elf.



Wiggy and Sir Toony

Fantasy Flight At Dulles


Sir Toony joined Wiggy from Just Clowning Around of Northern Virgini (JCA) to clown at the Fantasy Flight at Dulles Airport on Saturday, December 11, 2010. Both Sir Toony and Wiggy made balloons for the children. Sir Toony even made the local NBC News coverage at the event.

Each year, United Airlines pairs up with Children's Hospice International to make Christmas a little brighter for some special kids. The program, started in 1990, takes children with life-threatening conditions and terminal illnesses from hospitals and hospices across the region on a make-believe flight to visit Santa at the "North Pole". United employees, along with other sponsors and volunteers come together each year to make it an extra special Christmas for such children.



November 2010

JCA Members before the Reston Holiday Parade

Reston Holiday Parade


Sir Toony joined several of his friends from Just Clowning Around of Northern Virgini (JCA) and participated in the 20th Annual Reston Holiday Parade on Friday, November 26. Sir Toony and Pelukyta spent their Thanksgiving building a pair of special parade props (Christmas Presents) for the parade. Wiggy offered “Free Shakes” while Moose and Dootsiedum showed off their puppets. Although not with the rest of the JCA group, Dot Com was also in the parade. He was Santa in the horse drawn carriage at the end of the parade.

It was a fun, but rainy Friday morning for a parade. Other groups in the parade included the Unicycle Lady, UniStars Unicycling Showtroupe, Hogettes, the Jokesters, and several large helium balloons.



Kapitol Klowns

Montgomery County Holiday Parade


Sir Toony joined several of his friends from the Kapitol Klowns in the Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade on Saturday, November 20, 2010. The parade was on Ellsworth Drive and Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, MD. After the parade, the Kapitol Klown members enjoyed lunch at Fire Station 1 Restaurant.



Clowns at the MACA Convention

Mid Atlantic Clown Association Convention


Sir Toony attended the Mid Atlantic Clown Association (MACA) annual convention November 10-14, 2010 in Harrisburg, PA. Sir Toony attended a variety of lectures, entered the balloon competition, let a face painter use his face for the face painting competition, watched the skit competition and dressed up for the theme dinners. He was also elected to the MACA Board of Directors as the Virginia State Director.



October 2010

Mike's Halloween Costume

South Riding's Halloween Spooktacular


Each year, South Riding hosts a Halloween Spooktacular which includes a parade, costume contest, and activities for the family. Mike dressed up as a Skeleton Pirate and won First place in the Adult Category. After the parade, he set up the decorations on his driveway and handed out candy to the children in the neighborhood.



Pelukyta and Sir Toony

Annandale Festival Parade


On Saturday, October 23, 2010, Sir Toony and Pelukyta represented JCA in the Annandale Festival Parade hosted by the Annandale Chamber of Commerce. Once again, Sir Toony drove his smart car. Pelukyta offered “Free Shakes” to the spectators along the parade route.



Sir Toony's Car

Columbus Day Parade Parade


On Saturday, October 9, 2010, Sir Toony represented Just Clowning Around of Northern Virginia in the 28th Annual Columbus Day Parade in Sterling Park, VA. The parade was hosted by The Knights of Columbus - Good Samaritan Council #6175. Sir Toony created a car sized party hat and drove his smart fortwo in the parade.



September 2010

Big Red and Sir Toony

SYA Glory Days Bowl


On Saturday, September 11, 2010, Sir Toony and Big Red from Just Clowning Around of Northern Virginia volunteered to clown at the Southwestern Youth Association (SYA) Football League's Glory Days Bowl. They set up their supplies under a canopy and painted faces for a few hours.



Georgetown NICU Reunion


On Saturday, September 11, 2010, Sir Toony joined his friends from the Kapitol Klowns to entertain the children at the Georgetown NICU Reunion. Sir Toony and Pearl of the Sea helped out by painting faces while other members of the Kapitol Klowns made balloons and played games with the kids.



Sir Toony at Clownfest

Clownfest 2010


For one week in September 2010, Mike attended the Clownfest convention in Seaside Heights, NJ. He attended lectures on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and participated in the clown events on the boardwalk on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, Sir Toony visited the arcades on the boardwalk, spent an hour making balloons, did some face painting, and marched in Pricilla Mooseburger's Kazoo Band. He won an MP3 player for his participation. On Sunday, Sir Toony marched in the clown parade.



August 2010

JCA Members at their Open House

JCA Open House


On Sunday, August 15, 2010, Sir Toony and his friends from Just Clowning Around of Northern Virginia hosted an Open House for the Northern Virginia/DC area clowns and children's entertainers. Sir Toony was responsible for sending out the email invitations to the event and invited as many of the areas children's entertainers as he could.

It was an afternoon for new friends and old to get together. JCA provided had food, games, door prizes, and more. This year, they expanded the Open House to include vendors. JCA invited Carol “Holiday” Coleman, Jody Rodgers, Arla Albers, Metina Bongiovanni, and Paul Belanger to setup shop. JCA also had Scott McDonald, aka Buggler, from the Society of American Magicians Assembly 252, give a short magic show.

Each year, the members of JCA select a local charity to support with our time and a donation of 75% of the funds earned during the previous year. This year, JCA once again selected Safe Places, a local charity that provides housing and other support to domestic violence survivors and their children. JCA presented Safe Places with a check from JCA at the Open House.



July 2010

JCA Members before the City of Fairfax Independence Day Parade

City of Fairfax Independence Day Parade


On Saturday, July 3rd, 2010, Sir Toony joined his friends from Just Clowning Around of Northern Virginia and participated in the 44th Annual City of Fairfax Independence Day Celebration by marching in their Independence Day Parade. JCA has been participating in the parade for more than 15 years. Members present included: Big Red, Tooter, Sir Toony, Ben and his friend, Chloe.



June 2010

Falls Church Memorial Day Parade


On Monday, May 31st, Sir Toony joined two of his friends from JCA to participate in the Falls Church Memorial Day Parade. Sir Toony decorated his tiny smart fortwo in patriotic colors. He was joined by Big Red and Dot Com.



Infants and Toddler Connection Picnic


On Saturday, May 22, Sir Toony represented JCA at the Infant & Toddler Connection Picnic at Van Dyck Park in Fairfax. He entertained the kids with his face painting.



YMCA Healthy Kids Day


On Saturday, April 17th, Sir Toony joined two of his friends from JCA to do face painting and balloons at the YMCA's Healthy Kids Day. JCA members at the event included Pelukyta (face painting and balloons), Big Red (face painting), and Sir Toony (balloons).



Vienna Baptist Church Carnival


On Saturday, May 8th, 2010 Sir Toony joined three of his friends from JCA to entertain the children at the Vienna Baptist Church carnival. Sir Toony did juggling and walk around clowning while his friends Dot Com, Sweet Pickle, and Jimmy Peith did face painting.



March 2010

Circus Magic 2010


Mike continued his clown education by attending the Circus Magic convention in Williamsburg, VA in February 2010. He took a balloon twisting Pre-Convention Workshop and several seminars on balloon twisting and working in a restaurant. On Saturday, Mike entered the American Clown Idol competition with a skit starring his clown character, Buzz Clownstrong the Astronut. Mike called the skit Clowns in Space. He came in second place, but learned a lot by competing.

Mike created a video with highlights from Circus Magic.



December 2009

Christmas 2009


In the weeks leading up to Christmas, Mike joined his friends from Just Clowning Around of Northern Virginia (JCA) and the Kapitol Klowns at holiday events for area children. Mike's first event was with three other clowns from JCA, the Fantasy Flight at Dulles Airport. This was Mike's second time volunteering at the Fantasy Flight. He went as his new clown character, Toony Snowflake. His next event was the Annual Awareness Tree Lighting Event for the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation. He volunteered through Single Volunteers of DC to help with the food and made balloons after dinner. His next event was a holiday party for Special Love with his friends from the Kapitol Klowns. He went again as Toony Snowflake and did face painting. His final event was a holiday party for the families served by Safe Places with his friends from JCA. He attended this event as Sir Toony.

Mike created a video of the JCA Clowns at the Fantasy Flight YouTube.



November 2009

Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade


On Saturday, November 21st 2009, Mike joined his friends from the Kapitol Klowns and participated in the 12th Annual Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade in Downtown Silver Spring, MD. The Kapitol Klowns had a great turnout with 21 clowns marching in the parade. Mike went at Buzz Clownstrong.

Mike created a video of the Kapitol Klowns in the parade and posted it on YouTube.



Face Painting and Balloon Jam


Mike and his friends recently started an new face painting and balloon jam at the Cici's Pizza in Chantilly. They plan to meet at Cici's around 6:30pm one Monday each month. Mike has been participating in other jams at the Cici's locations in Maryland, but this will be much closer to home for Mike and several of his friends.


October 2009

Halloween Spooktacular


On Halloween, Saturday, October 31st, 2009, Mike Becvar dressed as Buzz Clownstrong, Astronut, and participated in the South Riding Halloween Spooktacular. The Halloween Spooktacular has been a South Riding tradition for many years. The day began with a costume parade that started at the South Riding Golf Course and made its way down Upper Clubhouse to Center St. where it turned towards the Town Hall. Mike managed to juggle most of the parade route. The parade ended at the Town Green where there was a petting zoo, crafts for the kids, and a magic show.

Residents had a chance to enter into a costume contest which included categories for children, adulds, and families. Mike came in 1st place in the Adult Category and won a gift certificate to South Riding's Market Square. This was Mike's second time winning a prize in the South Riding Halloween Spooktacular costume contest.



Vienna Halloween Parade


On Wednesday, October 28, 2009, Mike Becvar joined his friends from Just Clowning Around and participated in the 63rd Annual Vienna Halloween Parade. Mike went as his new clown character, Buzz Clownstrong, Astronut. Begun in the 1940s by the Vienna Businessman's Association (now the Vienna-Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce), the Parade was originally a gathering of local kids so they could show off their costumes to the Town of Vienna. Even now that the Parade draws big name entertainment and a crowd of ten of thousands. This year's parade theme was "Vienna Celebrating Community Service".

Unlike last year when it was cold and a little rain was in the air, it was a great night for a parade. Before the parade, Mike found several friends including the members of the Jim Moyer Circus Club, the UniStars, and the Kena Klowns. JCA members in this year's parade included Sir Toony (Buzz Clownstrong, Astronut), Pelukyta, Wiggy, and Moose (the Halloween ghost).


Kapitol Klowns Convention


On October 16th and 17th, 2009, the Kapitol Klowns hosted a clown convention in Gaithersburg, MD and celebrated their 40th anniversary. The theme of their convention was, "40 Years of Funny Noses and Smiling Faces" Mike is a member of the Kapitol Klowns and participated in their convention. He attended lectures by Jim Howle, Dave Hill, Paula Biggio and other clowns.


September 2009

Clownfest


The week of September 16-20, 2009, Mike attended the Clownfest convention in Seaside Heights, NJ. Mike was featured in a video loop that showed him juggling outside the convention registration. He attended lectures on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and participated in the clown events on the boardwalk on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, Sir Toony visited the arcades on the boardwalk, spent an hour making balloons, and marched in Pricilla Mooseburger's Kazoo Band. He won an MP3 player for his participation. On Sunday, Sir Toony marched in the clown parade.


Labor Day, 2009


Sir Toony has been working hard. On Monday, September 7, 2009, he joined several members of the Kapitol Klowns and participated in the City of Gaithersburg 71st Annual Labor Day Parade. Sir Toony put together a brief video of the day.



August 2009

Sir Toony and Friends at Moose Camp

Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp


Sir Toony spent a week in Minnesota developing his clown character, learning new skills, and spending time with his clown friends while attending Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp (or Moose Camp). This year's camp was July 28 - August 2, 2009. Sir Toony took the Birthday Parties and Show Routines course with Rex Nolen. He also took workshops on clown movement, gag writing, and running a clown business.

As part of Moose Camp, Sir Toony was in the All Star Clown Show on Saturday, August 1st, 2009. He played in Kazoo Band, performed in a juggling exposition, and played a baggage handler in the Airport Gag.


July 2009

4th of July, 2009


Sir Toony has been keeping busy lately. On the 4th of July, he joined several members of Just Clowning Around of Northern Virginia and participated in the City of Fairfax Independence Day Celebration Parade 2009. Sir Toony put together a brief video of the day. Sir Toony's alley came in 1st place for best clown group in the parade.



May 2009

Buddy

Buddy - January 1, 1997 to May 19, 2009


Sir Toony is saddened by the loss of his dog and best friend, Buddy. Sadly, Buddy passed away on Tuesday, May 19, 2009. His memory will live on. Buddy was a collie-shepherd mix born around January 1997. Buddy was adopted from the Fairfax County Animal Shelter in September 1998 and was always a great companion. Several years ago, Buddy picked up the nickname, Sir Bud the Wise, or Sir Bud for short, and that was the inspiration for the 'Sir' in Sir Toony Van Dukes.


April 2009

Mike Becvar Takes Beginner's Magic Classes


Sir Toony's friend, Mike Becvar, recently completed a five week Beginner's Magic Classes offered by master magician Barry Taylor, owner of Barry's Magic Shop. At the end of the class, Mike performed a magic trick in the students magic show.


February 2009

Sir Toony

Circus Magic 2009


Sir Toony continued his clown education by attending the Circus Magic convention in Williamsburg, VA from Friday, February 20th to Sunday, February 22nd, 2009. He took the Face Painting Pre-Convention Workshop with Gary Cole from Snazaroo. He also took seminars by Tom King (Comedy Magic for Kids), Dana Ryan (Close Up Magic for Clowns), Chagy (Move Like a Clown), and Penne Sewall (Creating Clown Skits). On Saturday, Sir Toony entered his first clown competition the American Clown Idol. He created his own three minute juggling and jokes routine overnight while at the convention. The skit was a little rushed, but he got several compliments for his efforts. He had a lot of fun and looks forward to being able to use some of the things he learned at the convention.

I have more pictures from the Circus Magic convention on Mike Becvar's Website at Circus Magic 2009.



The Clown Network Logo

The Clown Network


I am beginning to create a new clown website that I call The Clown Network. The website is designed to be a resource for professional clowns by providing links to clown organizations, conferences, camps, and suppliers. It will also have information on related areas including magic, face painting, balloon twisting, and juggling. Check out The Clown Network.


January 2009

Clown Cruise 2009


On January, 10th, I set sail on the Ruby Princess with a group of clowns on a Clown Cruise. Earl Chaney, "Mr. Clown", was the guest host for the Clown Cruise. Other instructors on the cruise included Linda "Flo" Hulet, Jim "Jimbo" Hunsinger and Bethany "Beppie" Lopez, and Nicole "Maggie the Clown" Portwood. The group had about 35 clowns and 15 non-clown family members. While on the cruise, I got to know several clowns and learned a few new balloons and magic tricks. See some pictures from the Clown Cruise on Mike Becvar's website at Clown Cruise 2009 Photos.


December 2008

BooBoo, Sir Toony, and Sweet Pickle

Fantasy Flight


On Saturday, December 13th, 2008, Sir Toony joined three other members of JCA and more than 100 area children on a magical journey to the North Pole as part of United Arlines' annual Fantasy Flight at Dulles Airport. The program, started in 1990, takes children with life-threatening conditions and terminal illnesses from hospitals and hospices across the region on a make-believe flight to visit Santa on his home turf.

The JCA clowns were not the only celebrities at the event. Children were also greeted by Ronald McDonald, SpongeBob SquarePants, Big Bird, and of course, the big guy, Santa Claus and his wife Mrs. Claus.

Sir Toony Van Dukes entertained kids with jokes and juggling. Big Red and BooBoo did face painting and cheek art at the North Pole. Sweet Pickles gave out temporary tattoos.


Sir Toony

Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Awareness Tree Lighting 2008


On Saturday, December 6th, Sir Toony helped entertain children at the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Awareness Tree Lighting event at the Old Post Office Pavilion in Washington, DC.

The Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation National Office was founded in 1970 by concerned parents of children with cancer. Their mission is to provide information and awareness for children and adolescents with cancer and their families, to advocate for their needs, and to support research so every child survives and leads a long and healthy life.

Sir Toony is friends with one of the families who has been decorating the Old Post Office Pavilion for the party. He helped put up the Childhood Cancer Awareness Tree in 2007 and 2008. This year, they invited Sir Toony to come to the party and help entertain the kids.