The Greatest Show on Earth is bringing its Bengal tigers, Asian elephants, and Russian acrobats to Coney Island -- part of Mayor Bloomberg's efforts to redevelop the iconic neighborhood.
The Ringling Brothers "Coney Island Boom-A-Ring,” will set up tent right on Surf Avenue beginning June 18, 2009.
Word of the big top comes a season after Coney Island saw the closure of Astroland after nearly 46-years in business. In addition, Coney Island's major landowner, Joe Sitt, has also done away with the batting cages, miniature golf course and the Lola Staar boardwalk boutique, leaving only three acres of amusements on adjacent land.
Historians and regular folks who've enjoyed the dwindling amusement district in Coney Island are worried that big business interests are eroding the character of the quirky sea-side neighborhood.
“The City is taking steps to expand and make permanent Coney Island’s famous amusement district, and, like summers past, this one will showcase why Coney Island is such a one-of-a-kind asset for New York City,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday.
Bloomberg's plans to rezone Coney Island includes high-rise hotels, retail stores and apartments. The city has been locked in a battle to buy up Sitt's land for the rezoning efforts.
The show will run on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from June 18th through September 7th. Tickets, which start at $10, go on sale Thursday, April 30th. Additional information is available at www.ringling.com.