7 months after GR, ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ takes final bow today

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Elephant acts used to be the popular cornerstone of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

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 for Sunday at the Nassau County Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, is sold out.

The circus’ final performances in Grand Rapids were Sept. 30 through Oct. 2, 2016.

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.

In May 2016, the company removed elephants from its shows, but ticket sales continued to decline.


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