I was honored to attend the last Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey circus performance in Georgia. We watched it ringside last night at the Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth. It was everything I remembered from when we took our children to see it at Philips Arena in Atlanta. Except, well, the elephants.
Yes, it was the elephants that caused the downfall of RBB&B, according to our usher. He pointed out that since the animal rights activists were successful in banning elephants from the circus, attendance had been down. Evidently, people didn’t want to go if they couldn’t see the elephants.
Sadly, after 146 years of being the “Greatest Show on Earth,” the big tents will come down. The final performance will be held May 21 in Uniondale, NY. Hundreds will be without jobs. And what will happen to the camels, tigers and poodles? The usher had heard the tigers would be joining another circus.
And what about the ringmaster? Kristen Michelle Wilson was awesome! She was the 39th to hold the legendary position . . . and the first female. I understand she beat out hundreds of competitors with her powerhouse voice and dynamic personality. Hopefully, we’ll see her again in another high-profile job.
If you have a chance to attend a performance, take it. And buy some cotton candy while you’re there. You won’t be sorry.