Clown Camp aims to lift frowns amongst clowns

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ONTARIO, Calif. — Several dozen clowns from around the U.S. and Canada gathered to learn new magic tricks, sharpen their punch lines and train would-be professional buffoons at a clown camp in Southern California.

The annual California Clown Campin’ event at a hotel in Ontario, Calif., brought together veteran clowns with decades of experience and those who have never worn a red nose or a pair of oversized shoes.

The weeklong event earlier this month featured classes on balloon tying, pie-throwing, face-painting, comedy writing, magic tricks and character development.

It ended with a free public show for residents.

Clowns say the annual event helps keep their skills sharp even as the economy has led to a drop in paid gigs.