Less than one month in, 2017 is already shaking up the world as we know it. First, we learned that after 28 years in the biz, US-made brand American Apparel will be shuttering its doors — at least as far as its brick-and-mortar stores are concerned.
Now, another American institution is reportedly nearing its final days: The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will hold its final performance in Uniondale, NY on May 21.
In a message from the show’s CEO of production, Kenneth Feld, fans were told that deciding factors included declining ticket sales (particularly following reports of animal abuse that resulted in the removal of elephants from all live performances in 2015) as well as rising production costs.
The news certainly comes as a shock, considering the show’s history — the circus has been around for 146 years. It began as a group of traveling German and French immigrants back in 1882, and became the iconic show we all know today after a 1907 merger with traveling circus man P.T. Barnum.
Love it or hate it, one thing’s for sure: It’s the end of an era.
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(h/t The Atlantic, photos via Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post + Ari Perlistein/Getty)