Send home the clowns.
After 146 years, the curtain is coming down forever on “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
Its last performance will be May 21 at the Nassau Coliseum.
The show stoppers included high operating costs, declining attendance and changing public tastes.
Not to mention a long and costly legal battle with animal rights advocates, which ended with its hugest stars — the elephants — being pink slipped. Elephants had been the symbol of the circus since an Asian pachyderm named Jumbo joined the show in 1882.
Employees were told the sad news Saturday night in Orlando.
The circus will perform 30 more times. Besides the show on Long Island, there will be one in Brooklyn. Other stops on its last tour include Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia and Boston.
With its exotic animals and death-defying acrobats, the big top had been a huge draw from the mid-1800s to the mid 1900s.
Phineas Taylor Barnum had made a traveling spectacle of animals and human oddities popular, while the five Ringling brothers performed juggling acts and skits. Eventually, they merged and the modern circus was born.
Its clowns, acrobats, horseback riders — along with their animals — were transported across the country in special cars on extra long trains.
New York staged its own yearly spectacle. When the circus came to town, the performers, along with invited guests, rode elephants from the Sunnyside rail yards through the Queens Midtown Tunnel and then along Manhattan streets to Madison Square Garden.
In its heyday, the circus attracted huge crowds. It had such a glamorous image that kids famously dreamed of running away from home to join.
Via: New York Post