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Ringling Bros. Circus Ends ‘Greatest Show on Earth’

Ringling Bros Circus Ends 'Greatest Show on Earth'

Ringling Bros. Circus Ends ‘Greatest Show on Earth’

After nearly 150 years, the show will not go on for the iconic Ringling Bros Circus and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which performed its final act. Throughout its 146-year history, the massive, traveling circus elated crowds from small towns to big cities across America with its exotic animals, mile-long trains and death-defying feats but not without courting its fair share of controversy. As Ringling Bros. prepared to take its final bow before a sold-out crowd at Nassau Coliseum in the suburbs of New York City, circus performers and enthusiasts lamented the shutting down of “The Greatest Show on Earth.” Ringling Bros. Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson told NBC News the show was “one of these wonderful dynamic miracles in the annals of time, and that’s where it’s going.” “It’ll be in the memories of many people for years to come,” he said, adding, “It doesn’t feel good, of course, you know that such a storied institution is at its end, but everything comes to an end.” Ringling is “the grandparent” of the circus art form and many other kinds of modern live entertainment, according to Scott O’Donnell, a former performer with Ringling and now executive director of Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin. “The thought of it not being there is sad and bewildering,” said O’Donnell. “It’ll live on through those in our art form, and it will always be remembered fondly and respectfully for really being sort of the trailblazer.

After years of changing public tastes, declining ticket sales and bitter battles with animal rights activists, Feld Entertainment, which owns of “The Greatest Show on Earth,” announced in January that the show would be making its final run. For Ashley Byrne, associate director of campaigns for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the circus’ final show “can’t come soon enough.” “It is long overdue for this very cruel company to end their days,” Byrne told NBC News. PETA has long been an outspoken critic of Ringling’s use of elephants and it still protesting the circus’ use of other animals, including big cats, horses, kangaroos and small farm animals. The group has also expressed disapproval with Ringling for retiring its 11 touring elephants to its own company-owned 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida. Byrne said that while the circus was ending, PETA was concerned over where the animals may go next. “All of the animals, including the elephants should be sent to reputable sanctuaries,” she said. Feld Entertainment and the circus’ workers have repeatedly denied any claims of animal mistreatment, and spokesman Payne said they had found homes for all of the approximately 50 animals with the show.

Any animals that are owned by the show’s presenters will remain with them, he said.

As With All Forms Of Entertainment, Nothing Last Forever!

Susan Z’s Conclusion:

There are many reasons this big circus is no longer viable: cost, loss of interest by the audience and more awareness of animal rights. Inevitably, they will all cease to exist but on rare occasion.

Eight of Swords: This card is fear keeping one bound and unable to make a choice. I feel this card shows this is a long overdue decision to close the circus and was resisted till the bitter end.

The Fool: Inverted (Upside Down)
This card is trust and faith in oneself and others. Since inverted, I believe there was a naïve optimism that somehow the circus would always remain a mainstay of entertainment for the public.

Two of Swords:
This card is stalemate. I feel there was no other option but accepting the tide was not going to turn in the circus’s favor to stay in business. The audience and interest was just not there anymore.


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