Clownfest underway; 'I'm addicted to laughter,' organizer says

Posted: 4:59 PM EDT Aug 22, 2013   Updated: 6:52 PM EDT Aug 22, 2013

Funny business is what they do. Once a year, clowns of all ages and skill levels come together for Clownfest.

The three-day event at the Lancaster Host Resort and Conference Center in East Lampeter Twp., Lancaster Co., gives clowns from across the region the opportunity to take part in workshops and demonstrations and put their training to the test with a live performance.

"So, you are coming here to get maybe a refresher, an update, network, but you are also getting really first-hand, good information about what to do once you are out of the building," said organizer Vincent Pagliano, who performs as "VAPPO" (Vincent Anthony Pagliano Professional Oaf) the clown.

This is the first time Clownfest is taking place in Lancaster County. About half the clowns participating are from Pennsylvania. 

"It's just fun to entertain people," said Mary Jane Logan, a native of Douglassville, Berks Co., who performs as "Sassafras." "People waiting in a long line and finally getting their balloon sculpture and that smile on their face."

The clown industry, Pagliano said, can be very competitive, especially for aspiring circus performers, however, he said when you love what you do, it's worth the challenge.

"I'm addicted to laughter," Pagliano said.