The Greatest Show On Earth
by STORMIE MCGEE
Step right up! Its almost time… the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey will present their big top family production that has been touring the nation for more than 100 years. And on Thursday, Feb. 28, the Crown Coliseum will come alive when the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, “the Greatest Show on Earth,” comes to Fayetteville.Starting out as a small circus, in no way distinct from a throng of small shows that traveled regionally by wagon, the seven Ringling brothers quickly transformed their traveling act into one of the largest and best-run circuses in the country. With John and Charles at the helm, they gave their tour the official title: “Ringling Brothers United Monster Shows,Great Double Circus, Royal European Menagerie, Museum, Caravan, and Congress of Trained Animals.” The Ringling Brothers distinguished their circus from the others by being honest and fair in their attitude toward the public; never allowing ticket sellers to short change customers or gambling on their lots. Their success resulted from a reputation of clean dealing and good value. It wasn’t long before they were able to begin touring the country by railroad.In 1907 the brothers purchased the Barnum & Bailey circus and ran the two circuses separately until they merged them into one unit in 1919 when they also moved the winter quarters to Bridgeport, Conn. Today the circus travels around the world bringing joy to the faces of children of all ages. When the circus makes its stop in Fayetteville, it will bring its Gold Show to the stage. This intimate, interactive event brings you so up-close and personal to the live action that you’ll experience a day at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey you never imagined possible! Audiences are just a few feet away from six white Bengal tigers. The aerialists walk, fl y and jump through the air on a high wire, while the Wheel of Steel act leaves you questioning the forces of gravity. The circus also offers an all access pre-show to meet the animals and performers, teach circus tricks and give audience members a taste of the circus before the show even starts! Join the circus for a special opening night performance on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. Tickets for the pre-show are $12.50. This price is not valid on VIP fl oor seats and cannot be combined with any other offer. Tickets to the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus are on sale now and can be purchased at www. ticketmaster.com. The Crown Center box offi ce also offers tickets by phone at 223-2900. For fl oor seats, tickets are $33.50, lower bowl tickets are $19.50 and upper bowl seats are $15.50. On opening night, Feb. 28 all tickets (except VIP fl oor seats) to the 7 p.m. performance are $12.50 at the door. There will be a 7 p.m. show on Friday, Feb. 29; a 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. show on Saturday, Mar. 1; and a 2 p.m. show on Sunday as well.