The greatest show on earth comes to Bowling Green

Kelly Richardson

It’s been 83 years since the greatest show on earth has been in Bowling Green, but that will all change this weekend, when the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus will take up residence at Diddle Arena for three days.

While Ringling Bros. is 134 years old, older than baseball and Coke, the show coming to Bowling Green is brand new.

It’s called the hometown edition, which is a one-ring circus, and Bowling Green is the sixth city on its tour, after it premiered in Rome, Ga.

Rome may seem like an odd city for a circus to visit, but that’s the whole point of the Hometown edition. This show visits cities that Ringling Bros. has never been to, or hasn’t been to in several years.

Ringling Bros. two larger three-ring circuses travel by train, which eliminates cities without train access on their tours. The Hometown edition travels by trailers and trucks, which brings it to more cities.

Despite being a one-ring circus, there won’t be much missing from what the three-rings have to offer said Julia Filz, a regional spokesperson for Ringling Bros.

“We have everything that you imagine a circus to be all in one ring,” she said.

The show will offer two elephants, acrobats, clowns, six alligators, six horses and a man who balances objects on his face, just to name a few.

But while some support the circus, others oppose it.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals opposes circuses because they feel circuses abuse animals.

“Circuses take great lengths to hide their abuse,” said Joel Bartlett, a student activists coordinator for PETA. “We don’t believe that circuses should come to a town and put up this front without the truth of how animals are abused and beaten to be shared with the public.”

PETA officials didn’t say a protest was planned, but the group traditionally protests circuses.

Filz defended Ringling Bros. and said PETA is grouping all circuses together. She said they don’t know how far Ringling goes to care for their animals.

The shows are 7 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday. Ticket prices range from $10 to $21. Students get a $4 discount on Sunday with a valid student ID.

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