WILKES-BARRE -- The big top is coming down on "The Greatest Show on Earth."
The owners of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus announced the world's best-known circus will close in May.
The show's yearly stops in our area drew thousands of fans.
Jodie Januszko of Wilkes-Barre has brought her children and grandchildren the Ringling Brothers circus. She thought "The Greatest Show on Earth" would return every year, for years to come.
"I'm kind of shocked. I know they were having problems with protesters about the elephants and everything, but I didn't see this coming," Januszko said.
Newswatch 16 caught up with Jodie and her grandchildren 12 years ago, when the elephants from Ringling Brothers got off the train in near downtown Wilkes-Barre and marched them to what was then the Wachovia Arena.
Her grandchildren are grown now, but Jodie still can't believe she's likely seen her last Ringling Brothers circus.
"I think it's sad because it was great family entertainment."
"100 years from now, our great-great-great grandchildren are going to be asking, 'mom and dad, did they really have animals in circuses?'" Silvie Pomicter said.
Pomicter has stood in protest every time Ringling Brothers brought the circus to our area. The woman from Lackawanna County says that even after Ringling Brothers released elephants from the show, the group continued to mistreat other animals.
"Activists all over the world are really excited about this news."
The Ringling Brothers "Circus Extreme" is scheduled to make its last appearance at Mohegan Sun Arena near Wilkes-Barre on April 5-9. Tickets have not yet gone on sale.
"I think it should be a good crowd because like I said, it's the end of an institution," said Januszko.
Januszko thinks many will want to spend a day at the circus one last time before it fades into our memories and before the performers and the animals leave town for good.