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Fans happy to see '' Greatest Program in the world' ' a final time

Saturday, May 20, 2017|9:09 p.m.

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP)– For some circus fans Saturday, it was a possibility to say goodbye to precious youth memories. For others, it was a pail list satisfaction.

Lions, tigers and clowns, no more. Oh my. It’s curtains for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & & Bailey Circus.

This weekend, the most well-known American circus ends its 146-year reign as one of the world’s biggest big tops.

Ringling’s moms and dad business, Feld Home entertainment, announced in January it would take its final bow this year. On Saturday afternoon, under cloudy skies, fans streamed into the Nassau Coliseum in suburban New york city to pay their last respects to the renowned program.

“I am sad that it’s going to be over,” said Melissa Angevine of Walton, New York. She and her hubby owned four hours with their two kids Saturday to see the show “It’s a leisure activity that not anybody gets to take pleasure in anymore, unfortunately. Everyone’s in their tablets and not really heading out and seeing different type of home entertainment any longer.”

Saturday evening’s circus was an extravaganza of huge cats, motorcycle stunts, clowns performing death-defying stunts, ice skaters, buckets of popcorn and Mongolian contortionists– which was just the very first half of the show.

“I’m ending up being an adult today,” stated 46-year-old Heather Greenberg, of New york city City. “I can’t go to the circus with my daddy anymore.”

Greenberg and her moms and dads, and her three children, along with her sister and extended household– 12 in all– clowned around, laughing and joking, as they walked into the program.

Her sister, Dawn Mirowitz, 42, of Dix Hills, New York, sobered as she contemplated a future without the Ringling Brothers circus.

“We’ll never ever get an opportunity to take our grandchildren to the circus,” she stated.

Feld executives say decreasing presence combined with high operating expense are amongst reasons for closing.

Ringling had 2 touring circuses this season, one ending its run earlier this month in Providence, Rhode Island.

The last shows of exactly what was long promoted as “The best Show on Earth” are being staged throughout the weekend, with three programs Saturday and 3 Sunday. The final circus program Sunday night will be streamed on Facebook Live and on the circus’ site.

Clarissa Williams, a 38-year-old stay-at-home mommy from West Hempstead, New York, took her 8-year-old daughter, Nylah, to the program.

“I’m appreciative we get to see it before it leaves,” she said. “I pray that when they end, they take the animals and put them in a safe, spiritual place.”

A circus spokesman states houses have been found for the animals that were owned by Ringling, including the tigers, horses and camels.