After 146 Years, Ringling Bros. Circus to Take Final Curtain Call

What's Hot

How a Mexican Tariff Will Boost the Cost of 6 Common PurchasesFamily

Report: Walmart to Begin Selling CarsCars

How to Protect Yourself From the ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Phone ScamFamily

Trump Scraps FHA Rate Cut — What Does It Mean for You?Borrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

10 Overlooked Expenses That Ruin Your BudgetFamily

Protecting Trump Will Cost Taxpayers $35 MillionFamily

8 Creative Ways to Clear ClutterAround The House

8 Tuition-Free U.S. CollegesCollege

Study: People Who Curse Are More HonestFamily

Tax Hacks 2017: Don’t Miss These 16 Often-Overlooked Tax BreaksTaxes

The 3 Golden Rules of Lending to Friends and FamilyBorrow

Porta-Potties for Presidential Inauguration Cause a StinkFamily

12 Surprising Ways to Wreck Your Credit ScoreBorrow

These Are the 25 Best Jobs in the U.S.Jobs & Work

"The Greatest Show on Earth" will fold its big-top tents for good in May.

After nearly a century and half traveling across the U.S. and delighting audiences with “The Greatest Show on Earth,” the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is striking the tent on its iconic show. Its final performances will be in May.

In a statement on the Ringling website, Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment — the circus’ parent company — largely blamed declining ticket sales for its decision to permanently fold the big top on the 146-year-old organization. The slump in sales became even more pronounced after the circus pulled the iconic elephants from its shows last year.

After several years of protests and criticism from animal-rights groups, Ringling Bros. halted its elephant shows in 2016, retiring the popular pachyderms to its Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida. Feld says:

“This, coupled with high operating costs, made the circus an unsustainable business for the company.”

Ringling Bros. has two touring circuses that will perform their final shows on May 7 in Providence, Rhode Island, and May 21 in Uniondale, New York.

According to The Wall Street Journal, although Ringling Bros. is the biggest and best-known circus to call it quits recently, other circuses have accepted the same fate.

Cole Bros. — a touring circus founded in 1884 — shuttered its operation last year. New York-based Big Apple Circus also recently suspended its performances, the WSJ reports.

Scott O’Donnell, executive director of the Circus World museum and a former circus performer, tells the WSJ that circuses enjoyed wildly prosperous times in their early years traveling across America because they provided live entertainment for the whole family with little to no competition.

“There was no ‘Barney Live’ show, there was no ‘Sesame Street,'” O’Donnell explains.

And while the imminent Ringling Bros. shutdown may appear to be the end of the circus era in the U.S., some industry experts disagree.

Wayne McCary, a veteran circus producer and vice president of global circus organization Fédération Mondiale du Cirque, notes that newer circus acts — like Cirque de Soleil — are flourishing.

Ringling Bros.’ closure “should not be read as the death of circus in America,” he says.

What do you think of the Ringling Bros. announcement? Sound off below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 8 Ways to Get Your FICO Score for Free

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,844 more deals!