"So from the bottom of our hearts, we want to say thank you all very much, and please enjoy and celebrate the Greatest Show on Earth one last time".
America's most celebrated circus Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus has staged its final performance in NY, as emotional performers, and wistful crowd-goers bid farewell to an institution in USA live entertainment. The company removed its famous elephants from its shows in May 2016, but ticket sales continued to decline.
The performing pachyderms, which typically paraded down the street to signal the arrival of the circus in a town, were staple of Ringling Brothers for years.
"There's a feeling of adoration, pride, in the fact that I've been a part of an American institution". That show was the more traditional, three-ring circus, while the one in Uniondale, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of New York City, this weekend has a narrative storyline.
The final show on Sunday evening was a sell-out and a worldwide audience can watch the event via a live stream on the Ringling website. "Now that we have made this decision, as a company, and as a family, we will strive to support our circus performers and crew in making the transition to new opportunities".
Ringling's parent company, Feld Entertainment, announced in January that it will close the show due to high operating costs and declining attendance figures.More news: Dying elephant gets fatal revenge on hunter
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Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey Circus has two traveling circuses, "Circus XTREME" and "Out of This World", XTREME shutdown earlier this month at the Providence, Rhode Island Dunkin' Donuts Center.
As Ringling Bros. prepares 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". A spokesman for PETA released the following statement, "As of May, the saddest show on earth for wild animals will end".
But the shows lost their appeal toward the end of the 20th century, CEO Kenneth Feld told the AP.
Feld said Sunday that while he is melancholy about closing the production, he feels the performers are energized to "go out on top".
"Every single circus in America used Ringling Brothers as their compass", he said. The Felds bought the circus back in 1982.
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