The fall of the Big Top: Manuels say goodbye to the Greatest Show on Earth


Trisha Manuel, left, and her daughter, Julia Bothun, said goodbye to the Ringling Bros. Circus which closed this spring after 146 years in business. Manuel keeps clowning alive with her Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp and the annual All Star Clown Show which takes place Saturday, July 29, at 6 p.m., at the Buffalo Civic Center. The event is open and free to all. (Photo submitted)

“The Greatest Show On Earth” took its final bow on Sunday, May 21. The Ringling Bros. Circus had been in business for 146 years, performing across the entire country. Due to the high costs of putting on the show and a steady decline of ticket sales, the Feld family decided to close the show they have been presenting since acquiring it in 1967.
The circus had recently been in the news prior to closing when they announced the retirement of the Asian elephants from the show. This was seen as a success for animal rights groups as they had been pressing Ringling to stop making wild animals perform. PETA deemed the circus “the cruelest show on earth” and expressed their thrill of the entire production shutting down, as the other animals would no longer be forced to perform.

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