After 146 years of performing in front of rapt audiences of all ages, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is playing its last shows this weekend, all at Uniondale, NY’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The show, which traces its origins all the way to Phineas Taylor Barnum’s purchase of Scudder’s American Museum in New York City before the Civil War and hit the road for the first time in 1871, announced its intention to close up shop for good earlier this year. One of two touring units performed its final show in Providence, RI earlier in May, while the other plays its seven final shows over the weekend – Friday at 7pm and three each on Saturday and Sunday.

While not the only circus in the land, the Ringling Bros. has always been among the most well known and attended in the industry, with generations of families awaiting the mile-long train’s arrival.

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Fans unable to make it to Long Island for the final run can watch the final show live on the company’s Facebook page on Sunday.

Learn more about the fascinating history of the touring show and its performers with this long piece from the BBC. advertisement