‘Greatest Show on Earth:’ Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to return

It’s been four years since the center ring was filled with acrobats, animals and a ring leader, but the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is coming back.

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Feld Entertainment announced that the Greatest Show on Earth will be on once again, but with a few changes, USA Today reported.

The circus will restart in 2023 without the animals that had made its 146-year original run popular.

Planning is still going on for the relaunch and an official announcement is expected next year, but Juliette Feld Grossman, the company’s chief operating officer, said the show will be back during the VenuesNow Conference in Seattle.

Before the lights went out in May 2017, animal rights protesters spoke out against the circus with many believing that contributed to low ticket sales. The lack of ticket sales and high operating costs contributed to the circus’ closure, the “Today” show reported.

The circus had stopped using elephants in shows in 2016, and the company said ticket sales went down further than they had planned for.

The elephants were sent to the Center for Elephant Conservation in Polk County, Florida, WFLA reported.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals organized many protests at the time, said the group is excited that the new version of the circus won’t have animal acts.

“The exciting announcement sends a powerful message to the entire industry, something that PETA’s been saying for decades: Cruelty doesn’t belong in the circus or any other form of entertainment,” the group said in a statement, according to USA Today.

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