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Curtain falls on 'Greatest Show on Earth' after 146 years

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/21/2017 By TAMARA LUSH, Associated Press
Clarissa Williams, of West Hempstead, N.Y., poses with her daughter Nylah, 8, after seeing one of the final shows of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus at the Nassau Veteran's Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., Saturday, May 20, 2017. Williams is a lifelong circus fan and hopes her daughter will remember the show. (AP Photo/Tamara Lush) © The Associated Press Clarissa Williams, of West Hempstead, N.Y., poses with her daughter Nylah, 8, after seeing one of the final shows of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus at the Nassau Veteran's Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., Saturday, May 20, 2017. Williams is a lifelong circus fan and hopes her daughter will remember the show. (AP Photo/Tamara Lush)

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus that has wowed crowds for 146 years with its "Greatest Show on Earth" is taking its final bow.

Gene Goldstein, center right, and his family stop for a photo outside the Nassau Veteran's Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., which is hosting the final performances of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Saturday, May 20, 2017. From left are Cheryl Goldstein, Dawn Mirowitz, Gene Goldstein and Heather Greenberg. (AP Photo/Tamara Lush) © The Associated Press Gene Goldstein, center right, and his family stop for a photo outside the Nassau Veteran's Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., which is hosting the final performances of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Saturday, May 20, 2017. From left are Cheryl Goldstein, Dawn Mirowitz, Gene Goldstein and Heather Greenberg. (AP Photo/Tamara Lush)

The circus' last show of three scheduled Sunday at the Nassau County Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, is sold out.

Ringling's parent company, Feld Entertainment, announced in January it would close the production, citing declining attendance and high operating costs.

Animal rights activists had targeted the circus, saying that forcing animals to perform and transporting them around the country amounted to abuse. In May 2016, the company removed elephants from its shows, but ticket sales continued to decline.

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