After 146 years of lion-taming, tightrope walking, and pie-tossing, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is shutting down for good this weekend. “The Greatest Show on Earth” will perform for the final time this Sunday to a sold-out crowd at Nassau Coliseum in the suburbs of New York City. The grand finale comes after years of protests by animal rights groups–the circus agreed to permanently retire elephants in 2016–and diminishing ticket sales. The pachydermless program this weekend represents the end of a tradition that began when America’s most prominent huckster, P.T. Barnum, agreed to license his famous name.
The last show will take place this Sunday at 7:00 pm EST and, while the event is sold out, fans hoping to catch the Ringling Brothers last hurrah will be able to watch the whole thing online. The show will stream on the Ringling Brothers’ Facebook Page. It will also be live-streamed on the Ringling Brothers official website. The Ringling circus has long been a family-friendly show beloved by adults and kids alike all over the country, and their final act should be no different.
The circus may not have the same level of cultural prominence that it once did, but there is still a lot of awesome things to see during Ringling’s final performance. Along with the usual animal tricks, clown shenanigans, and acrobatic displays, the circus features tons of new acts that will amaze fans of all ages. This includes the King Charles Troupe, a group that can ride unicycles while playing basketball and even performs on ice during the show. Viewers will also be wowed by the performance of Katie Azzario Lacey and her partner, Cashmere the Tiger. Then there will be a bow. Then the big top will be no more.