Revival tent! Ringling Brothers circus to return to Coney this summer

After Ringling snub, Coney gets another circus operator
The Brooklyn Paper / Mike Short

Maybe Coney Island really will be the “greatest show on earth” this summer.

On the heels of the city’s announcement that a major new amusement park would operate from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is poised to unveil an entirely new (or, at least, newly named) show that will run from June through Labor Day.

“The show is called, ‘Illuscination,’ and it will be thrilling,” said Dick Zigun, founder of Coney Island USA, which runs the sideshow and the Mermaid Parade.

Zigun is not affiliated with Ringling Brothers — but he knows a good thing when he ballyhoos one.

“We’re letting people know that Coney Island has in fact not shut down,” he said.

Officials from Ringling Brothers, whose “Boom-A-Ring” big top was one of the few bright spots in a dismal summer last year, wouldn’t comment on the return until all the paperwork is completed. But the company’s Web site describes the “Illuscination” show as a “fantasy-filled world … with eye-popping illusions, mind-blowing transformations,” and of course, acrobats, exotic animals and clowns galore.

The deal to bring back the circus almost didn’t happen, according to Zigun. The circus wanted to rise on the same West 21st Street lot that it occupied last year, but landowner Joe Sitt has filled the land with school busses. Thankfully, Zigun said, the city agreed to take the buses on a West 29th Street lot.

The show will join the all-new Luna Park — an amusement park run by Italian-based ride manufacturer Zamperla — as one of the main attractions at Coney Island this summer.

“With these two major entertainers, Coney Island will really be the greatest show on earth,” Zigun said.