After 146 years, the final act has been announced. The circus that has been performed by the Ringling Brothers will no longer be performing anymore. The ending of the show was mostly in part to animal rights activists that were suggesting that they remove the animals from their performances. I have been to the Ringling circus many times and I have seen circus acts performed during the Florida State Fair, and I have always marveled at the training and the time devoted to getting the animals to perform. But to me, a circus is always gypsy caravans, animal cages, clowns, and acrobats, and that won't ever change.

Last leg standing

CEO and chariman Kenneth Field told Associated Press that the reason the circus is closing its doors is due to attendance, competing with circus' like Cirque du Solei, who have only acrobats and clowns but none of the animals, along with animal rights activists who have been protesting outside the circus to remove the animals from their shows. The biggest hit was the financial cost of operating the animals and transportation, which was more than they could make thanks to the dwindling attendance. Tastes and culture are also much different now than it was back in the 1920's. But there are grandparents who still take their grandchildren to the Ringling circus.

Ringling has two tours that will end in May of this year.

But the circus will be performing Jan. 25-29 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL, and end their tour for Circus Xtreme in Providence, RI on May 7. Out of This World tour will end May 21 in Uniondale, NY. There are a total of 30 shows and the announcement to end the circus came from the end of their performances in Miami and Orlando.

When the circus is over, nearly 500 people will be without a job and will have to find work elsewhere with either other circuses or different career paths.

Piece of history

While the Ringling circus was born in the 1800's, it was just a jumble of five juggling brothers known as the Ringling Brothers and Phineas Barnum displaying animals and human oddities, then the modern staple circus is what we know from the merging of these two acts.

But the iconic death of the circus was the removal of (and legal sanctuary built for) the Asian elephants, located in Central Florida, which were a staple of the circus since they were used in 1882. But as advancements move forward, so do people's interests, and distractions from things that used to be entertaining. But as the curtains close, Ringling's circus always has a piece of history that has left entertainment for millions of children all over the United States. Nostaglia and memorabilia can be seen in the Ringling circus museum in Sarasota, and some pieces in the Showmen's museum in Riverview, FL.

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