After 146 years of circus fun, the circus tent is coming to a close.
The owner of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus announced that "The Greatest Show on Earth" will be closed forever coe May 2017.
This monumental decision to close the doors on such an iconic event was triggered by several different factors: declining attendance, skyrocketing operation costs, along with sustaining multiple, long battles with animal rights groups.
"There isn't any one thing...This has been a very difficult decision for me and for the entire family," said Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment.
Between now and May, the production will perform 30 shows and make stops in some of the more major cities. The final show, or should I say "Grand Finale", will be in New York at the Nassau County Coliseum on May 21.
For many fans, going to the circus was an iconic memory they held dear from their childhood years.
With its various exotic animals, impeccable costumes, and insane acrobats, it has been something that people all across America have grown up loving.
"After 36 years of PETA protests, which have awoken the world to the plight of animals in captivity, PETA heralds the end of what has been the saddest show on earth for wild animals, and asks all other animal circuses to follow suit, as this is a sign of changing times," said Ingrid Newark, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
This traveling circus employs roughly 500 people. A handful of employees will be placed within the company's other, more profitable shows, but most will unfortunately be out of a job.
"We tried all these different things to see what would work, and supported it with a lot of funding as well, and we weren't successful in finding the solution," Kenneth Feld sadly stated.
While we do understand their reasons for shutting down production, we are saddened to see such a long, iconic, childhood memory come to an end.
We wish the staff and all those involved the very best as they pursue alternative endeavors.