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Monday, January 16, 2017

Legendary Circus Packs Up Their Tent

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to face final curtain after 146 years

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, performing on Saturday in Orlando, Fla., will close after being in show business for 146 years. (CHRIS O'MEARA/AP)
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, performing on Saturday in Orlando, Fla.,
will close after being in show business for 146 years. (CHRIS O'MEARA/AP)
By Rich Shapiro, Daily News, NY

The Greatest Show on Earth will not go on.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is folding up its big tent for good in May after an epic 146-year run, its owner announced Saturday.

Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment, said a variety of factors doomed the circus — declining attendance, high operating costs and prolonged battles with animal rights groups.

“There isn't any one thing," Feld said. “This has been a very difficult decision for me and for the entire family.”

Ringling Bros.’ two touring circuses will perform 30 shows until May.
Bello Nock the clown rides atop the lead elephant as the animals walk up 34th St. towards Madison Square Garden in 2007. The annual elephant walks, which heralded the arrival of the circus in town, ended in 2010. (GARY LISTORT FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
Bello Nock the clown rides atop the lead elephant as the animals walk up 34th St. towards Madison Square Garden in 2007. The annual elephant walks, which heralded the arrival of the circus in town, ended in 2010.
(GARY LISTORT FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
The tours are slated to hit Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia, Boston and Brooklyn. The final shows will be in Providence, Rhode Island, on May 7 and at the Nassau County Coliseum on May 21.

Animal rights groups celebrated the news.

“After 36 years of PETA protests, which showed the world the plight of animal captivity, PETA heralds the end of the saddest show on earth,” the group tweeted.

-- more at Daily News, NY
This 1909 poster advertises the Ringling Bros. circus as having the "world's largest menagerie".  The illustration features profile portraits of the five Ringling Brothers (at upper left), (AL FENN/THE LIFE IMAGES COLLECTION/GETTY)
This 1909 poster advertises the Ringling Bros. circus as having the "world's largest menagerie". The illustration features profile portraits of the five Ringling Brothers (at upper left), (AL FENN/THE LIFE IMAGES COLLECTION/GETTY)

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