SARASOTA, Fla. — The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be returning in 2023, but animals will not be a part of the show, Feld Entertainment confirmed.
What You Need To Know
- The circus shut down four years ago after a roughly 150-year run
- Plan confirmed for a 2023 relaunch
- Shutdown happened after pushback from animal rights activists and a decline in ticket sales
The circus shut down four years ago after a roughly 150-year run, due to pushback from animal rights activists and a decline in ticket sales.
They plan to relaunch in 2023.
“Right now, we are currently still in the planning phase for the relaunch of The Greatest Show On Earth, which will not include animals. An official announcement will be made in 2022 and an opening date is expected for 2023,” a spokesperson from Feld Entertainment wrote in a statement.
Nik Wallenda’s family immigrated to the United States roughly a century ago for the sole purpose of performing for The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
“They clearly have been able to do the research that is necessary to show that it would be attended well or they wouldn’t be making the investment,” he said.
The change to not include animals wasn’t a surprise to him.
“I think that’s the way the world has forced circus to go and times have changed.”
Kay Rosaire, founder of Sarasota’s Big Cat Habitat, found her love for animals as a young circus performer. She believes that domesticated animals should still have their place under the big top.
“There’s nothing wrong with a dog act or a house cat, or goats or horses or ponies, people see them in all other forms and it's just fine,” she explained.
No hiring plans or details surrounding the relaunch have been released.