Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Long Island through the years

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Check out photos from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' finale performances, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Sunday, May 21, 2017, and take a look back at historic photos of the show on Long Island.

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was a mainstay on Long Island for decades, from its days under the big top in the area known as Roosevelt Field to the arena shows under the lights at the Nassau Coliseum. The circus' arrival to town was, until recent years, heralded with a grand parade of elephants from their quarters on the circus train that pulled up near Nassau Community College to the Coliseum.

Scenes from the final performance of Ringling Bros.
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(Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

Scenes from the final performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on Sunday, May 21, 2017. The circus has decided to close after this show.

Scenes from the final performance of Ringling Bros.
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(Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

Scenes from the final performance of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus at the NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on Sunday, May 21, 2017. The circus has decided to close after this show.

Scenes from the final performance of Ringling Bros.
Buy photo
(Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

Scenes from the final performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on Sunday, May 21, 2017. The circus has decided to close after this show.

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Scenes from the final performance of Ringling Bros.
Buy photo
(Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

Scenes from the final performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on Sunday, May 21, 2017. The circus has decided to close after this show.

Scenes from the final performance of Ringling Bros.
Buy photo
(Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

Scenes from the final performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on Sunday, May 21, 2017.

Scenes from the final performance of Ringling Bros.
Buy photo
(Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

Scenes from the final performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on Sunday, May 21, 2017.

Scenes from the final performance of Ringling Bros.
Buy photo
(Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

Scenes from the final performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on Sunday, May 21, 2017.

Scenes from the final performance of Ringling Bros.
Buy photo
(Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

Scenes from the final performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on Sunday, May 21, 2017.

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ADVERTISE HERE
Circus performers embrace at the close of their
Buy photo
(Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

Circus performers embrace at the close of their final performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on Sunday, May 21, 2017.

Scenes from the final performance of Ringling Bros.
Buy photo
(Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

Scenes from the final performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on Sunday, May 21, 2017.

Scenes from the final performance of Ringling Brothers
(Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara)

Clowns give the audience big laughs during the 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' final performance, held Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus Ringmaster
(Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara)

Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson welcomes the audience to the 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' final performance, held Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. He became the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's first African-American ringmaster in the late 1990s.

Scenes from the final performance of Ringling Brothers
(Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara)

The Cossack Riders display the horsemanship of Kazakhstan during the 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' final performance, held Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

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Trapeze artists embrace after their performance in this
(Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara)

Trapeze artists embrace after their performance during the 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' final show, held Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

scenes from the final performance of Ringling Brothers
(Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara)

The Simet Troupe does a "spacewalk" on the Simet Wheel, a three-story rotating wheel, during the 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' final performance, held Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus Ringmaster
(Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara)

Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson, a native New Yorker, welcomes audience at the farewell performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, held Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. He became the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's first African-American ringmaster in the late 1990s.

scenes from the final performance of Ringling Brothers
(Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara)

Intergalactic Queen Tatiana -- played by Tatiana Tchalabaeva of the Cossack Riders troupe -- during the 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' final performance, held Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

scenes from the final performance of Ringling Brothers
(Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara)

A trapeze artist performs during the 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' final show, held Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

 

Kenneth Feld Chairman and CEO of Ringling Brothers
(Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara)

Kenneth Feld, CEO of Feld Entertainment, operator of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, is joined by his family members and ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson as he thanks the audience before the 146-year-old circus' final performance, held Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

scenes from the final performance of Ringling Brothers
(Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara)

The Simet Troupe does a "spacewalk" on the Simet Wheel, a three-story rotating wheel, during the 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' final performance, held Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Circus Performers embrace at the close of their
(Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara)

Performers embrace during the 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' final show, held Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Circus Performers embrace at the close of their
(Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara)

Performers embrace during the 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' final show, held Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Circus Performers embrace at the close of their
(Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara)

Performers embrace during the 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' final show, held Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus Ringmaster
(Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara)

Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson is joined by family members as he thanks the audience and fellow performers and staff members after the 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' final performance, held Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Unicyclists perform in the final performance of Ringling
(Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara)

Members of the King Charles Troupe play basketball while riding on unicycles during the 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' final performance, held Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. In 1969, the group became the first African-American act to perform with The Greatest Show on Earth.

Circus Performers embrace at the close of their
(Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara)

Performers embrace during the 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' final show, held Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Performers from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum &
(Credit: AFP/Getty Images/Timothy A. Clary)

Performers embrace during the 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' final show, held Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Performers from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum &
(Credit: AFP/Getty Images/Timothy A. Clary)

Dressed as Intergalactic Queen Tatiana, Tatiana Tchalabaeva clasps hands with a fellow member of the Cossack Riders troupe, after the 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' final performance, held Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Davis Vassallo, center, hugs a member of the
(Credit: AP/Julie Jacobson)

Davis Vassallo, center, hugs a member of the trapeze troupe as he holds his daughter Adriana after the final show of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Uniondale on Sunday, May 21, 2017.

epa05979929 Animal trainer Alexander Lacey performs with lions
(Credit: EPA/Peter Foley)

Animal trainer Alexander Lacey performs with lions and tigers perform on the final day of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

UNIONDALE, NY - MAY 21: Big Cat Trainer
(Credit: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett)

Animal trainer Alexander Lacey performs with lions and tigers on the final day of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

epa05979862 Animal trainer Alexander Lacey performs with a
(Credit: EPA/Peter Foley)

Animal trainer Alexander Lacey kisses a tiger during a performance on the final day of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

UNIONDALE, NY - MAY 21: Big Cat Trainer
(Credit: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett)

Animal trainer Alexander Lacey performs with tigers on the final day of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

epa05979930 Animal trainer Alexander Lacey performs with lions
(Credit: EPA/Peter Foley)

Big-cat trainer Alexander Lacey performs with lions on the final day of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

UNIONDALE, NY - MAY 21: Ringmaster Jonathan Lee
(Credit: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett)

Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson performs on the final day of the Ringling Bros Barnum and Bailey Circus, at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale on Sunday, May 21, 2017. 

UNIONDALE, NY - MAY 21: Big Cat Trainer
(Credit: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett)

Big-cat trainer Alexander Lacey performs with a leopard on the final day of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

epa05979867 Animal trainer Alexander Lacey performs with Maasai
(Credit: EPA/PETER FOLEY)

Big-cat trainer Alexander Lacey kisses with Maasai the lions on the final day of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

UNIONDALE, NY - MAY 21: Big Cat Trainer
(Credit: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett)

Big-cat trainer Alexander Lacey directs lions and tigers on the final day of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

UNIONDALE, NY - MAY 21: Clowns perform on
(Credit: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett)

Clowns give the audience a big laugh on the final day of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

UNIONDALE, NY - MAY 21: Big Cat Trainer
(Credit: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett)

Big-cat trainer Alexander Lacey performs with lions and tigers on the final day of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

epa05979864 Animal trainer Alexander Lacey performs with tigers
(Credit: EPA/Peter FOley)

Big-cat trainer Alexander Lacey performs with tigers on the final day of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

UNIONDALE, NY - MAY 21: Acrobats entertain attendees
(Credit: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett)

Performers entertain attendees on the final day of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

UNIONDALE, NY - MAY 21: A kangaroo performs
(Credit: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett)

A kangaroo performs a trick on the final day of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

UNIONDALE, NY - MAY 21: A general view
(Credit: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett)

A general view of the show on the final day of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale on Sunday, May 21, 2017. Known as "The Greatest Show on Earth," the circus performed its final act after a 146-year run.

UNIONDALE, NY - MAY 21: Mixed Animals trainer
(Credit: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett)

Animal trainer Katie Azzario-Lacey on the final day of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

UNIONDALE, NY - MAY 21: Trapeze artists perform
(Credit: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett)

Trapeze artists perform on the final day of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

UNIONDALE, NY - MAY 21: Performers enterain attendees
(Credit: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett)

Members of the Simet Troupe perform their "spacewalk" on the final day of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

UNIONDALE, NY - MAY 21: Trapeze artists perform
(Credit: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett)

Trapeze artists perform on the final day of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

UNIONDALE, NY - MAY 21: (L-R) Ringmaster Jonathan
(Credit: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett)

Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson, left, and Starseeker Paulo dos Santos perform on the final day of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

 

UNIONDALE, NY - MAY 21: Performers enterain attendees
(Credit: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett)

The Cossack Riders perform a stunt on the final day of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

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