Last-ever performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus
And so tonight, sometime after 9 p.m., the Greatest Show on Earth will be no more.
The circus which began in 1871 as as P. T. Barnum’s Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan and Hippodrome was bought by its current parent company, Feld Entertainment in 1967.
After 146 years of existence, the circus gave its final performance Sunday evening in Uniondale, New York, outside of New York City. The move came as circuses and animal-performance shows across the country have struggled with declining attendance, shrinking attention spans and shifting social pressure brought to bear by activists who have argued the animals are sometimes poorly treated.
“We are the keepers of the stories of shows like Ringling Bros we are here to preserve that”, Saloutos said.
“It’s a sign of the times”, said circusgoer James Schuessler of Lindenhurst, who marked the occasion by taking a selfie outside the venue with his wife, Natalie, and their 4-year-old, Lucas.
After more than 145 years, the lights have gone dark on the iconic Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. “So you’ve got all these things working against it”.
“The animals, this is where we fell in love with them”, she said. “I’m gonna be the last word on it too”, said Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson. People, it seemed, didn’t want to see a circus without elephants. “PETA is urging everyone to build on this momentum by never buying a ticket to any circus or amusement park that still uses live animals”. But while Ringling’s mile-long train of animals and humans continued crisscrossing the country, it ultimately could not weather another major transition: last year’s exit of its most famed performers, the elephants. Those owned by Feld, including a kangaroo, a camel and other tigers, have been found new homes that circus officials would not divulge. They donned red clown noses and hugged friends not seen in years before gathering in front of a Ringling truck for a photograph.