The Coney Island Boom-A-Ring was such a big hit this summer that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus not only wants to come back to Brooklyn again next year - they’re interested in making it an annual event.
“It makes sense for many reasons to come back to Coney Island, many of which are more than economic,” said Paulina Piekarski, Northeast Regional Public Relations Manager for Feld Entertainment, Inc.
For the circus to return to town, however, the Bloomberg administration will first have to work its magic with developer Taconic Investment Partners, LLC.
The Coney Island Boom-A-Ring -- along with its menagerie of wild animals -- spent the summer of 2009 on Taconic-owned land located at West 21st Street and Surf Avenue.
Developers hope to someday build new condos on the site.
“We are currently working with the land owners to secure the right to use the lot for 2010, plus working with the Coney Island Development Corporation to figure out ways to provide more elements next summer,” Piekarski told this newspaper.
Libby Langsdorf, spokesperson for the New York City Economic Development Corporation, voiced support for the circus’ return, but played the details close to the vest.
“Ringling Brothers was a very successful addition to [the] Coney Island experience this summer and we hope that they return for summer 2010,” Langsdorf said. “We are committed to revitalizing the area and believe that Ringling sees the same potential in Coney that we do.”
The Boom-A-Ring’s arrival to Coney Island at the start of the summer came with much fanfare as Borough President Marty Markowitz and City Councilmember Domenic Recchia joined Mayor Mike Bloomberg at Nathan’s Famous for a few celebratory hot dogs.
Piekarski called the summer engagement “wonderful” and said that ticket sales “exceeded expectations.”
“We see the value of being an annual event on Coney Island for reasons beyond just ticket sales,” Piekarski added.“We became a part of the community, hiring over 200 local residents, worked closely with Coney Island stakeholders to enrich the entertainment community on Coney Island and partnered with Mayor Bloomberg’s office to help bring to life his vision of the revitalization of Coney Island.”
There were a couple of hiccups along the way. PETA - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - paid for a billboard near the boardwalk denouncing the “Greatest Shame on Earth” while members of the group leafletted shows accusing Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus of abusing its elephants.
Critics also bristled at season’s end when the FDNY came by to hose down the elephants on Surf Avenue.
©2009 Community News Group
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