Statement on 69th Pittsburgh Shrine Circus camel incident

Statement from the Pittsburgh Syria Shriners:

On Sunday, September 16, 2018 at approximately 3:38pm, during the final intermission of the 69th Annual Shrine Circus, a domesticated camel, which had been giving rides to patrons during each of the five performances of the circus, was startled while returning to the ride platform. This caused the animal to rear and attempt to dislodge the three persons (one adult, two children) who were riding.

At this time, we are unable to confirm initial reports that an audience member threw a nearby shovel at the camel’s feet during the ride, which allegedly startled the animal.

At the time of the incident, the camel was being led by a trained and licensed handler. The animal had not displayed any abnormal behavior prior to the incident.

The incident lasted at total of approximately eleven seconds before the camel was brought under control by the handler; all other animals remained under control during the incident.

The three persons who were riding the camel were transported to the hospital for injuries sustained when the animal reared, as were three or four other audience members who were injured in the commotion of the crowd while the incident was occurring. Several people were released after being treated for minor injuries.

This is first incident impacting patron safety in the 69 years of the Shrine Circus in Pittsburgh and is now being investigated by the proper authorities.

The Shrine Circus expresses its deepest regrets for the incident and extends its sympathies to all those who were injured or impacted by the event.

Divan Ladies of Syria Shrine Center Present “A Night at the Races”


Divan Ladies of Syria Shrine Center Present:
“A Night at the Races”

“Night at the Races,” also known as video horse racing, is fast becoming one of the most popular entertainment options. A Night at the Races is an audience-participation event where actual, recorded horse races are shown to the audience to recreate the atmosphere of being at the race track. Wagers are placed, and winners are not shy when their horse comes in!

Admission is $20 at the door. For $35.00 you can become a “Horse Owner” or “Jockey” (name a horse/be a jockey, price includes admission) Winning horse owners/jockeys earn $50.00.

There will be 10 sponsored races and a final auction race. Wagering is $2.00 per horse per race.

* Registrations are due by September 29th! *

This is the first edition of our “Night at the Races” event and it is expected to soon become an annual occurrence presented by the Divan Ladies of Syria Shrine Center.

This event is for anybody interested in a fun evening out to help support our fundraising endeavor and of course Syria’s membership.

“It’s a fun evening for people to get together with drinks, guaranteed great hors d'oeuvres, a delicious buffet and dessert plus horse racing action all in a fun evening with friends to help raise funds for the Syria Shriners,” says organizer and Divan Lady Linda Branthoover.

Linda was the visionary behind adding “Night at the Races” to our busy schedule of great annual events at the Shrine. When her husband and current Potentate Bill Branthoover was president of Caravan 18, Linda oversaw their Night at the Races event for three years. “They are fun events. Everyone seems to have a really good time,” Linda said.

By September 29th owners/jockeys remit registration receipt 
along with your check payable to: 


Divan Ladies of Syria Shrine Center 
Linda Branthoover 
101 Mildred Street
Beaver Falls, PA 15010 


(For more info call Linda at: 724-847-4730 (H) 724-581-7052 (C)

Exciting things to expect:

In addition to the racing, there will be a 50/50 raffle and a Chinese auction.  Linda says that there are surprises in store including a special chance to win big. “The Trifecta race will be a really neat twist. It’s based on 3 races with a $500 award going to the winner.”

Price of admission includes food and refreshments!

Night at the Races attendees receive hors d'oeuvres, a fantastic hot buffet meal and desserts included with their ticket price. Beer and beverages, too!

Don’t miss our very first “Night at the Races” because...

Take it from Linda, “They are just so much fun. We can guarantee a great meal and a fun evening with friends. Our main goal is to promote having a fun time while supporting our Syria Shriners and through them, our Shriners Hospitals for Children.”

race horses

Syria Shriners Present Rocktoberfest 2018

Grab your stein, Pittsburgh, and head to the Shrine as The Syria Shriners present "Rocktoberfest" on Sunday, September 23rd, 2018!
-GATES OPEN AT 1:30PM-

Rocktoberfest presents the season’s best value with an all-inclusive ticket for only $25.00. You will not find the same traditional food, exciting entertainment and Oktoberfest beer for that price anywhere else in Pittsburgh! Ach, du Lieber!

Since 1996, this is the best party that Syria Shriners have each year. Event Co-chairmen Bob Addleman and Dave Gardy are long-time fans of Oktoberfest celebrations.

“Oh, I am,” says Bob Addleman. As a member of “The Barons,” he has played at hundreds of Oktoberfests since 1987.

“I certainly am,” said Dave Gardy. “I’ll be wearing my lederhosen and my wife will be in her dirndl. Our event has always been a Pittsburgh celebration of what a traditional Oktoberfest would be like in Germany itself. We’ll have dancers, German-style beers and a good German meal to cap it off.”

Come One, Come All to Rocktoberfest!

This event is open to the public! We really hope to welcome families and festival-goers with an interest in traditional activities. Rocktoberfest offers a more current approach to the event, though, at least from a musical perspective. It is more like what is played in the fest tents in Munich, combining traditional and modern music from Germany. Austria, and the USA. We truly hope all of Western PA, German or not, will come out and enjoy a great meal, lively music and take part in all the fun we have planned.

“Really, this an event for everybody, very family friendly. We don’t wish to give the impression that our Oktoberfest is only a beer blast. We offer a 1-price ticket with sumptuous buffet, a day’s worth of entertainment and beer and beverages. It really is a tremendous amount of value,” Bob said.

Traditional Oktoberfest Food & Drink

Our Oktoberfest buffet will surely satisfy the heartiest of appetites on September 23rd. “We are aiming to serve all the old Oktoberfest favorites,” Dave said. “Pork, veal and beef sausages, traditional German potato pancakes, good krauts and some additional surprises yet to discover.”

Entertainment & Performances

shriners oktoberfest the barons

We’ll display traditional & modern German and American music featuring Pittsburgh's Premier Oktoberfest band.. THE BARONS! Co-chairman Bob Addleman is a member of The Barons. They’ll begin playing at 2:00pm and will continue playing throughout the event. A very special German Folk Dance performance by Alpen Schuhplattler und Trachten Verein will start at 4:00pm.

“It’s the best time to be had in Pittsburgh on that date,” Bob says. “The band is good, and they know how to work these kinds of events. “

Games & Fun

Rocktoberfest will also play host to plenty of Bavarian festival fun and games. We’ll have activities for guests to compete and test their skills. There’ll be a ‘most decorative stein’ contest, a nail driving contest, log splitting contest, a grape stomping contest, and to keep liabilities low, a chicken chucking contest (rubber chickens, of course) will take the place of an axe throwing exhibition.

Why we do it

Shriner’s International has long served a Noble purpose of supporting our hospital network, while providing activities for its members, and often hosting events open to the public, too. “Syria Shriners is a group of fun loving guys from throughout 11 Southwestern Pennsylvania counties,” Bob says. “We come together to have fun for a purpose. Our organization supports a network of 22 pediatric specially hospitals throughout North America.”

*Reservations are REQUIRED by September 14th.
There will be NO TICKETS AT THE GATE.
(will-call desk at the gate for pre-sold tickets only)

For more information contact the Syria Shrine office at
724-274-7000


*Proceeds benefit Syria Shriners - Admission price is not tax-deductible.

Pittsburgh’s Syria Shriners Debut New Website

Nobles throughout the Oasis take notice, the Syria Shriners are pleased to announce to one and all the debut of our new website! 

The address is still the same, www.SyriaShriners.org, but we now boast a fresh new look. The new site adds modern functionality that we hope will serve the Nobility's desire for a strong online presence to promote the activities of our Temple.

The newly designed website satisfies the vision of our 2018 Potentate, Bill Branthoover. Our Illustrious Sir decided this spring to make the site redesign one of his focal projects this year.

"It is my great pleasure to announce the release of our new fraternal website, Bill said. "It is my hope than an improved online presence will help educate and inform both the nobility and the public, who express a desire to learn more about our wonderful fraternity and all that we have to offer."

The site is proud to offer each Unit Club and Caravan their own space to showcase the purpose, history and activities of each to current and potential members. 

Our new site also organizes our vast content assets into an easy to access portal. ​

New links will guide site visitors quickly to resources and information about our Shriners Hospitals for Children, information on becoming a Shriner and of course, Freemasonry in our great state of Pennsylvania. 

Additionally, we owe an immeasurable debt of gratitude to our two talented Nobles Tim McKiernan and Tom Ruch of McKiernan & Ruch Photography. Without their incredible creativity and generous permission, the site would not be as beautiful visually. Their hard work truly serves as an amazing record of the activities and people who make our Temple as great as it is. Thank you, both!

We hope you all will enjoy this new site well into the future. If you have any comments about the new site or if you have content updates or suggestions that may help to improve it, please feel free to send us a note via the contact page.

Fraternally,

  • Syria Shriners