After 146 years, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey is coming to an end. According to the circus’ operator, Feld Entertainment, this decision is a consequence of the fall in ticket sales.
On Sunday, the circus presented their final show; a wonderful spectacle taking place at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. There was no tent covering the last show and no eaves to support the man on the flying trapeze. It was the last time to pack up the big top.
Why ending the show?
Autumn Luciano, a pinup photographer and one of the audiences who attended the last show, said: “It feels a little like a funeral today, but I’m trying not to mourn it in a sad way. Circus is all about being happy.”
Luciano loves the circus so much that she has a tattoo of the circus’ tent on her wrist.
She continued to say that without, “we lose the ability to go and see that humans can do anything,” she said. “You go to the circus and see human beings doing insane things, but the truth is, we all have the ability to do crazy things.”
Last year, the elephants were removed from the show after a push by animal rights groups. This decision led to a big drop in ticket sales.
“To this day, the final performance with the elephants is the hardest performance I have ever had to go through,” Ashley Vargas, who worked with the animals and skated in the show, said. “I had to say goodbye to elephants I’d been with since they were born. They were part of my family.”
People’s devastated reactions
Almost everyone is devastated and in shock that Sunday’s show was the last one.
“It’s the last safe space,” he said. “It’s the last pure form of entertainment there is,” Johnathan Lee Iverson, who spent two decades with Ringling Brothers, commented.
The circus has a crew of 500 persons along with 100 animals. The remarkable circus dates back to 1871 as P. T. Barnum’s Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome and Feld started it in 1967.