Coney’s big top

for The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

The Cyclone and Parachute Jump aren’t the only landmarks on Coney Island’s skyline anymore!

On Friday, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey set up shop on the corner of West 21st Street and Surf Avenue, raising its big top for the so-called “Greatest Show on Earth” to open its hotly anticipated “Coney Island Boom A Ring” show on June 18.

The raising of the blue-and-yellow striped tent didn’t go perfectly to plan, owing to the torrential rains on Friday, but workers eventually succeeded, to the cheers of dozens of gawkers.

The real excitement will start next week, when the circus’s one-ring version begins, featuring high-wire acts, the daring crossbow team of Liina and Martti, a motorcycle “Ring of Steel,” and elephants, tigers and clowns (oh my!).

But this show offers more than entertainment in these hard times. A job fair last month attracted 1,000 locals — and 150 or so got hired as ticket-takers, ushers and custodians, said circus spokesman Craig Peters.

And city officials say that Ringling Brothers will pump at least $10 million in to the battered Coney economy.

Of course, this in New York, so, inevitably, there are complaints.

“I work right across the street, and now I got to deal with the lines and people,” said a woman who gave only the name Linda.

“And,” added her friend, Donna, “the animals are going to stink it up.”

The circus is taking the place of a vacant lot this summer.

Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey’s “Coney Island Boom A Ring!” (West 21st Street at Surf Avenue in Coney Island) will run from June 18 through Sept. 7. For info, visit

Updated 2:47 pm, June 8, 2009: Story was updated to fix the gender of the Ringling Brothers spokesman, Craig Peters. He is not scheduled for a sex-change operation until next year. The Brooklyn Paper regrets the error.
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Craig Peters from Coney Island says:
You BETTER regret that error, buddy! ;-)

By the way: Anyone interested in up-to-the-second news about The Coney Island BOOM A RING can follow us on Facebook:

And on Twitter:

And on our official blog:
June 9, 2009, 5:06 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.