Circus comes to Connecticut for the last time

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performed one final time in Connecticut on Sunday evening.

The Flick family came from Bolton to see the show at the XL Center in Hartford.

“It was just something I really enjoyed and so we’re excited to bring our little guy to check it out before it’s gone,” said Megan Flick.

Many people taking their kids to see the show went when they were young. They get nostalgic talking about it.

“I’ve been to it once when I was a kid and I actually got to ride the elephants,” said Brian Avery of Bristol. “So it was pretty cool and [my son has] heard that story about a million times.”

The show will be ending after a nearly 150 year run. Feld Entertainment, which owns the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, announced earlier this year it would be ending the show. The company cited high operating costs, lower ticket sales and expensive legal battles with animal rights groups. Some supporters of animal rights, including Lisa Gottier of Ellington, stood outside the Hartford show with signs.

“We’re okay with the people in the circus who are not involved with the animals, we have no animosity towards them,” said Gottier. “We just wanted to get the animals out of the circus.”

Many people are sorry to see the Greatest Show on Earth come to an end, however. They wanted to make sure their kids could experience it one last time.

“To see it as an adult now looking at it through my son is pretty cool,” said Avery. “It’s about making memories for him so he can pass it on to his kids.”

There are two units of the circus that are still operating. The one that performed in Hartford puts on its last show on May 7 in Rhode Island. The other one performs for the last time in New York on May 21.

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