Updated 03/20/2013 03:54 PM
"Greatest Show On Earth" Marches Into DUMBO
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The "Greatest Show on Earth" is making a stop in DUMBO this week.
For the first time ever, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus is coming to the Barclays Center.
To celebrate its arrival Wednesday, a parade of eight elephants and their handlers marched across Old Fulton and Old Water Streets, wowing school kids and adults who came out to see the unusual sight.
"I mean this show is full of danger and excitement this year, I mean this is a show you don't want to miss," said Ringmaster Andre McClain.
Borough President Marty Markowitz also proclaimed it Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus days while they're in town.
The new show "Built to Amaze" features the King Charles Unicycle Troupe and of course, clowns.
With the Brooklyn Bridge as a backdrop, Wednesday's preview was a nice treat for kids of all ages who stopped by.
"It was fun and it was exciting, it was thrilling," said one onlooker.
"I remember as a child going my grandparents used to take us so now we'll be taking him," said another onlooker.
Meantime, activists with the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, are speaking out against the show.
"Ringling Brothers elephants are forced to travel up to 50 weeks out of the year in small, stuffy, poorly ventilated box cars and not only does this cause health problems including arthritis. It also drives them crazy and you can actually see them swaying back and forth out of frustration. So they are not being kept in conditions that are suitable for health. They are, of course, also beaten with bullhooks," said Ashley Byrne of PETA.
"They're false. You know, they've got an agenda. The go after the 'Greatest Show on Earth' because they get the most attention obviously going after the 'Greatest Show on Earth.' We're the largest, we've got the largest herd of elephants in the entire western hemisphere so we're a large target," said Ringling Brothers' Assistant Animal Supervisor Ryan Henning.
The circus will be performing at the Barclays Center through April 1.