Circus owner says final show is a 'celebration'

If there was angst over the remaining Ringling animal performers, it was not evident at the midday performance.

With laughter, hugs and tears - and the requisite death-defying stunts - the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus received its final standing ovation Sunday night as it performed its last show.

The Ringling Bros. Twitter account and some fans shared a few final moments from the show online as things progressed.

The circus' final performances in Grand Rapids were September 30 through October 2, 2016.

And as the last Ringling Bros.

Following the transition of the elephants off the circus, the company saw a decline in ticket sales greater than could have been anticipated.

"Circuses around the world that beat Ringling to the punch in making the decision to stop using animals are thriving". She and her husband drove four hours with their two kids Saturday to see the show "It's a pastime that no longer anybody gets to enjoy anymore, unfortunately". The Feld family bought the Ringling circus in 1967.

Feld chose to fold up the tent as a result of high operating costs combined with lower ticket sales, it said in a statement at the time. What killed Ringling Brothers Circus was the changing economics of the business.


One of the biggest challenges since Ringling Brothers made its announcement that its touring shows were ending, according to O'Donnell, is setting the record straight that circuses in general are not going away. Thirty-six years of PETA protests, of documenting animals left to die, beaten animals, and much more, has reduced attendance to the point of no return.

"Our audiences today loved seeing horses, dogs and two very talented 700-pound (317 kilogram) pigs", Feld spokesman Stephen Payne said Sunday.

Trapeze artists perform on the final day of the Ringling Bros Barnum and Bailey Circus. And Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1919.

Her sister, Dawn Mirowitz, 42, of Dix Hills, New York, sobered as she pondered a future without the Ringling Brothers circus.

For Rosemary Sylvester and Muriel Skeet, who used to perform in the show and live on that famous big train, mixed emotions come about. The circus is the only major business that still uses the train system as it's main source of transportation, a throwback to the days of old.

Owner Feld Entertainment announced earlier this year that the show would end its 146-year run in May. Those who still call Ringling Bros.

But that didn't stop the circus from giving the performance of their life, one last time, to one last crowd.

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