Florida Matters: Saying Goodbye To 'The Greatest Show On Earth'

Florida Matters: Saying Goodbye To 'The Greatest Show On Earth'
Florida Matters: Saying Goodbye To 'The Greatest Show On Earth'

After 146 years as the "Greatest Show on Earth," the owners of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus have decided to take the tent down.

This week on Florida Matters we’re exploring the history of the circus, its local ties and the economics of the decision to close.

Florida Matters’ Stephanie Colombini talks with performers, fans and animal rights activists who were in Tampa for Ringling’s last shows in the Sunshine State.

The circus has a colorful past full of performers who worked under the big top. Many of them call Gibsonton home in Hillsborough County. Florida Matters’ Quincy Walters visits their community along U.S. 41.

The show also features a discussion with our guests:
Janelle Irwin, Reporter with the Tampa Bay Business Journal

Rodney Kite-Powell, Director of the Touchton Map Library and the Saunders Foundation Curator of History at the Tampa Bay History Center

What will you miss most about the circus? Or are you pleased to see it go? Share your thoughts and memories with us on our Facebook page.

For more on the history of the circus click here. For local circus attractions, check out the Ringling Circus Museum and Circus Arts Conservatory in Sarasota, or the International Independent Showmen's Museum in Gibsonton.

For more on the history of the circus click here. For local circus attractions, check out the Ringling Circus Museum and Circus Arts Conservatory in Sarasota, or the International Independent Showmen's Museum in Gibsonton.

Original Broadcast Date: 
02/09/17

Tuesday at 6:30 PM | Sunday at 7:30 AM on WUSF 89.7
Monday at 10:00 PM on WSMR 89.1

Host:
Carson Cooper

Carson Cooper is a familiar voice. He has become a favorite of WUSF listeners as the local host of NPR's "Morning Edition" on WUSF 89.7 since he took the job in 2000. Carson has worked in Tampa Bay radio for more than two decades. He has been the host of WUSF 89.7's Florida Matters since its launch in 2006. During that time he has reported on a variety of issues of importance to the community, including growth management, education, transportation, affordable housing, taxation, public health and the environment.

Tuesday at 6:30 PM | Sunday at 7:30 AM on WUSF 89.7
Monday at 10:00 PM on WSMR 89.1

Host:
Robin Sussingham

Robin Trohn Sussingham is a reporter and program host at WUSF Public Broadcasting, and is the producer of Florida Matters. She came to WUSF from public radio stations KUER and KCPW in Utah, has contributed stories to NPR and Marketplace, and also has an extensive background in print reporting. She was born in Lakeland and often reports about Polk County.

Contact Information

Florida Matters isn’t just one-way communication. We want you to get involved in the conversation each week and tell us what you think about the topics we’re discussing.

All you have to do is sign up for a free account on our Web site -- it’s free, easy, and we promise we won’t share your information! We welcome your input as we continue to find new stories to share in the Bay area.

And if you have an idea for a show or want to contact the producers, send an e-mail to floridamatters@wusf.org.

FirstChoice eNewsletter