FOR decades the ritual blooming of circus cotton candy each March has been a sure sign of spring for winter-weary New Yorkers.
Until three years ago.
That’s when the nearly billion-dollar renovation of Madison Square Garden dislodged the annual Manhattan run of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the “Greatest Show on Earth,” temporarily evicting human and animal performers from their subterranean berths.
Although the circus toured arenas in New Jersey and on Long Island, city circus lovers were denied their yearly infusion of hokum, bunkum, hoopla, humbug and ballyhoo at the New York opening — long considered the opening, the Broadway of the circus.
Enter Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the borough that was the birthplace of P. T. Barnum’s circus.
On Wednesday Big Bertha, as circus folk call Ringling, opened its new show there for a 23-performance run that will continue to April 1. The advent of the circus at Barclays “will take our audience to a completely new place,” said Bruce C. Ratner, the arena’s developer, “and will be an important part of our audience mix, since we want all kinds of events for people of many different interests.”
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