Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Photo

Goodbye to the 'Greatest Show on Earth': Ringling Bros. Hold Final Curtain Call

The iconic Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will perform its final act on Sunday.

 / Updated 17 PHOTOS

Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson is in his eighth edition of the Ringling Bros, he is the first African-American ringmaster in the show's history.

The self-proclaimed Greatest Show on Earth is ending their 146-year run with a final performance on May 21.

Andre Chung / for NBC News
  • Share

The Cossack riders, a group of acrobatic riders and horses, wait backstage for their cue.

Andre Chung / for NBC News
  • Share

Mongolian contortionists Solange Ulzii, Nomin Nyamkhuu balance on Erdenesuren Damdinbayar.

Andre Chung / for NBC News
  • Share

Tatiana Tchalabaeva waits to make her entrance as the Evil Queen along with the clowns.

Andre Chung / for NBC News
  • Share

Left: Matthew Iverson plays a younger version of his father, Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson, and Adrianan Vassallo plays a younger version of her father, Davis Vassallo.

Right: Ashley Vargas hosts a pre-show before the ‘Out of This World’ performance of the Ringling Bros.

Andre Chung / for NBC News
  • Share

Katie Azzario Lacey strokes her tiger, Cashmere, before the show.

Andre Chung / for NBC News
  • Share

Members of the King Charles Troupe salute the crowd during the finale. The King Charles Troupe is the first African-American circus act in Ringling Bros. history, having debuted in 1969. The unicycle act plays basketball and even performs on ice during the show.

PHOTOS: Black Unicycle Basketball Stars Ride Into Ringling Bros. History

Andre Chung / for NBC News
  • Share

Dave Honigman, Joe DeSoto, and Mandy Curry play the clowns of Clown Alley.

Andre Chung / for NBC News
  • Share

Performers kick off the opening act of the ‘Out of This World’ show.

Andre Chung / for NBC News
  • Share

Left: Byron Allen plays trombone in the band.

Right: Acrobat Paulo dos Santos as the Circus Starseeker.

 

Andre Chung / for NBC News
  • Share

Big cat trainer Alexander Lacey performs with lions during the show.

Andre Chung / for NBC News
  • Share

Left: Freestyle skater Natahlia De Roover

Right: The Torres Family, originally from Paraguay, race motorcycles inside a steel cage just inches apart.

Andre Chung / for NBC News
  • Share

Tatiana Tchalabaeva, who plays the Evil Queen, has been with the Ringling Bros. for over 25 years.

Andre Chung / for NBC News
  • Share

Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson with his sidekick Paulo dos Santos.

Andre Chung / for NBC News
  • Share

Victor Rossi is an eighth generation clown from Monaco. He grew up performing in the Monte Carlo Festival and has traveled the world for shows.

Andre Chung / for NBC News
  • Share

Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson with his sidekick Paulo dos Santos.

Andre Chung / for NBC News
  • Share

Big cat trainer Alexander Lacey comes from a family of animal trainers.

VIDEO: A Circus No More: Historic Ringling Bros. Says Goodbye

Andre Chung / for NBC News
  • Share
1/17

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Leave your email if you’d like us to respond. (Optional)

Please enter a valid email address

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.