The End of an Era!
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Do you remember the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus late night elephant walks through the Queens Midtown Tunnel and across 34th Street to Madison Square Garden? This used to be an annual event in Murray Hill. People would bring bags of peanuts to feed the elephants.
As reported in Ephemeral New York, circus elephants have been crossing New York City’s bridges and tunnels since 1884 when circus founder P. T. Barnum proved that the Brooklyn Bridge, which had opened a year earlier, was safe, by marching 21 elephants and other animals across the bridge as a publicity stunt.
An MTA traffic notice announced the tunnel closure for the elephant walk in 2010. This may have been the last time the elephants walked across 34th Street. Since then the circus has bypassed MSG. In addition, animal rights activists have protested the treatment of circus animals. This January, the circus announced that after 146 years, it was closing in May. This is truly the end of an era!