Curtain falls on ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ after 146 years

Posted at 12:28 PM, May 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-21 14:47:47-04

UNIONDALE, N.Y.  — The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus that has wowed crowds for 146 years with its “Greatest Show on Earth” is taking its final bow.

The circus’ last show of three scheduled Sunday at the Nassau County Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, is sold out.

Ringling’s parent company, Feld Entertainment, announced in January it would close the production, citing declining attendance and high operating costs.

Animal rights activists had targeted the circus, saying that forcing animals to perform and transporting them around the country amounted to abuse. And in May 2016, the company removed elephants from its shows, but ticket sales continued to decline.

Feld said when the company removed the elephants from the shows, ticket sales declined more dramatically than expected.

“We’re trying to have as much fun as we can,” said Estefani Evans, a 5th generation trapeze artist at one of their final shows.

“It is sad that the show is closing because this is ‘The Greatest Show on Earth,'” Evans said. “This the American tradition of circus.”

Circus fans can watch final show online here.

PIX11 News contributed to this report.