Greatest Show On Earth Closes

Owner Feld Entertainment announced earlier this year that the show would end its 146-year run in May.

Feld made a decision to fold its tent as a result of high operating costs combined with lower ticket sales, it said in a statement at the time.

Circus managers said in January that declining attendance and increasing operating costs are forcing what is known as the "Greatest Show on Earth" to come to a close.

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.

It's an institution that goes back to the 1800's - to the days of PT Barnum, and on Sunday, after almost a century and half, the Ringling Brothers Circus packed up its tent.

As the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performed its second-to-last show Sunday afternoon, a group of retired and former circus performers sat across the street at a hotel bar, laughing and hugging and sharing memories of tours past.

"People aren't really concerned with wildlife until they see it, feel it and love it as much as I do", Lacey said.

The group, as well as local animal rights advocates, have been protesting the circus' final shows, and plan to be there again on Sunday.

Greenberg and her parents, and her three children, along with her sister and extended family - 12 in all - clowned around, laughing and joking, as they walked into the show. When they say the "Greatest Show on Earth", it truly was the greatest show on earth. "I'm seeing people I haven't seen in years".

It's just been an experience that I will never ever forget.

Ringling Bros. ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson opens the final show of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Sunday, May 21, 2017, in Uniondale, N.Y. "I thought the circus was antiquated?" He led the circus performers, crew and audience through an emotional rendition of Auld Lang Syne.

Saloutos said he and the rest of the staff at Circus World are determined to keep the tradition alive.

  • Salvatore Jensen