The Ringling Brothers Circus Takes Its Final Bow

"The Greatest Show on Earth" is no more.

After 146 years, the famed Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus held its final performance Sunday before a sold-out crowd at Nassau Coliseum in New York. The iconic Circus experienced a sharp drop in ticket sales after it stopped using live elephants in acts last May. Experts say shrinking attention spans and pressure by animal activist groups contributed to the demise of the circus.

In the 1800’s, Phineas Taylor Barnum's traveling show of animals and human oddities, and the five Ringling brothers' juggling act and skits in Wisconsin merged and performed across the country, traveling by train (some still do, to this day). The Feld family bought the Ringling circus in 1967.

The final performance ended with the singing of "Auld Lang Syne." Before the show, a Ringling Bros. spokesman said, "it really is the end of an era."Source: USA Today

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