One mother’s birthday present 23 years ago was finally cashed in, allowing her daughter to see the Greatest Show on Earth right before its curtain call.
In 1993, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus was already celebrating its 200th birthday.One of the circus’ promotional ideas was to give away tickets that granted its recipient lifetime access to one of their shows.
Jeanna Padilioni’s mother was able to get her hands on one, and welcomed Jeanna into the world with that circus ticket.
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Now more than two decades later, Jeanna used that ticket to celebrate her brother’s 21st birthday with her family. The Philadelphia natives scored one of the most coveted seats to see the Ringling Brothers’ final stop in Philadelphia before they closed their doors.
“This is the perfect day, it’s good weather, it’s a good family day,” Jeanna said.
Like Jeanna, no one in her family has been to the circus, but were excited to see all of its attractions.
"Great spirits, a great day, time to have fun,” said her brother Jeff Padilioni.
After 146 years of touring around the country, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be putting on the breaks in May, and are currently in their final run in shows.
Kenneth Feld, the CEO of Feld Entertainment and owner of the circus, said the show could not keep up with declining attendance and high operating costs. Their farewell tour includes 30 shows.
The performers will be in Philadelphia for two more shows on Monday, at 11 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.