End of an era: Ringling Bros. Circus announces final performance


Holder of a broom

I am sure a lot of you have heard about the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus and since you are on this forum also about the related train (which is why I figured I should share this news).

Today they announced their Final Performance. The end of an era is near.

From their website:
Kenneth Feld said:
After much evaluation and deliberation, my family and I have made the difficult business decision that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® will hold its final performances in May of this year. Ringling Bros. ticket sales have been declining, but following the transition of the elephants off the road, we saw an even more dramatic drop. This, coupled with high operating costs, made the circus an unsustainable business for the company.

Nearly 50 years ago, my father founded our company with the acquisition of Ringling Bros. The circus and its people have continually been a source of inspiration and joy to my family and me, which is why this was such a tough business decision to make. The decision was even more difficult because of the amazing fans that have become part of our extended circus family over the years, and we are extremely grateful to the millions of families who have made Ringling Bros. part of their lives for generations. We know Ringling Bros. isn’t only our family business, but also your family tradition.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Circus XTREME will conclude its tour at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., on May 7, 2017, and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Out Of This World will conclude its tour at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., on May 21, 2017. We hope you will come to celebrate this American icon for one last time before our tours conclude.

Our company provides quality, live family entertainment, and we invite you to bring your family to one of our other events, including Marvel Universe LIVE!, Monster Jam, Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!, as well as future productions.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey has served as inspiration for all of the live entertainment produced at Feld Entertainment. We learned from the circus, and applied those learnings to our other productions. Without Ringling Bros., we wouldn’t have the vibrant live entertainment company that we have today. Ringling Bros. will always be part of Feld Entertainment, and its spirit will live on in every production and project we do.

No clue if they were actually still using the trains for the travel of the circus the last few years (though I assume so based on this video), but after May 2017 they will be out of service for sure.

Note that the elephants in the video already stopped traveling with the circus a year ago.

And before anyone asks or wonders: Ish6 (and a few others, but mainly Ish6) made a lot of related content back in the early days of Trainz. Just search for "Ringling" and you will find 49 assets.
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Sad news indeed... I photoed their trains several times over the years. I also read somewhere recently that one or more of their cars were undergoing restoration. But now I guess that's for a museum rather than back on the road.
Yep, I have like 2 dozen items dedicated to them!

Kind of sad -- have taken my girls every other year since the age of 3 --- we went last year --- they're 7 and 8 now!

I grew up about 40 or so miles from where they wintered in Sarasota, Florida. Wonder what will happen to that area plus the equipment.

After 146 years, the show is over.



We might have different opinions about certain aspects of the show or circus, but I hope we agree that from a train history point of view it is a lose. No more train traveling circus.

Those poor animals.
... And hence the main reason for this old institutions demise -namely the elephants! Animal Rights Activists (such as myself), have taken a great step forwards for our/their cause... but, admit-ably I do acknowledge many future generations of people will not know of a/the "circus"!
Still think that the circus thing is a loss. Many years ago on a holiday in Northern Ireland there was a circus on tour over there and as part of the advertising there were circus members dressed up going about a coastal holiday resort. One of them was a very well dressed cowboy complete with pistols but the funny aspect was that the contributor to the Irish circus was a Frenchman who couldn't speak English!
I had the incredible good fortune of seeing the circus train returning from its last show last Wed, 5/25. Approaching the CSX Trenton Line bridge on Parkway Ave in West Trenton, I saw a train stopped waiting for a signal. Sure enough, as I looked back through the trees, it was the circus train. :wave:
Earlier this evening I saw fourteen of the coaches of the circus train in Berea Ohio at around 8:40 pm. I had no idea that was going to pass through Berea really made the end of my birthday special. I'll upload the video of the train in a little while.
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