RINGLING BROS And BARNUM BAILEY COMBINED SHOWS
VANISHING AMERICAN TRADITION
For the first time in 146 years, the circus isn’t coming to town. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will fold up its tent in May 2017.
The three-ring show has fallen victim to pressures of modern times: activists unhappy with the treatment of animals, kids with shorter attention spans and competition from modern spectacles like Cirque du Soleil. Some old-timers aren’t happy.
“Never in a million years did I dream there would be an end.” says Gary Payne, 61, president of Circus Fans Association of America. Payne has been obsessed with the circus since his first visit at age 5. “There was a magic to the circus like nothing else. One day, there’s an empty field, the next day the magic has come to town. Then, the day after that, the magic has vanished.”
Taken from March 2017 issue volumn 58 No. 2. of AARP Bulletin AARP.ORG/Bulletin