Ringling Bros. thanks Providence for response to circus accident


Emergency personnel attend to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performers on May 4. (Aletha Wood/Reuters)

The company that owns Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus thanked the people of Providence, R.I., for the way its citizens and first responders reacted to the accident during a performance there May 4.

Nine performers were injured during a show at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence on that Sunday morning. An apparatus holding the performers in the air collapsed, sending acrobats plummeting to the floor and causing two of them to suffer severe spinal cord injuries.

In the open letter posted Friday, Feld Entertainment, which owns Ringling Brothers, thanked the people of Providence for “the overwhelming care and positive energy” they showed the circus after the accident.

“Now more than ever, Providence will hold a special place in our hearts,” the letter reads. “We deeply appreciate your continued thoughts, prayers and support, and we look forward to bringing Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey back to Providence next year and for many years to come.”

The circus canceled the remainder of its shows in Providence after the accident and traveled to Hartford, Conn., where it performed the first of eight shows there Thursday.

You can read the entire open letter from Feld Entertainment here:

To the people of Providence, Rhode Island,

From the bottom of our hearts, all of us at Feld Entertainment® want to thank you for the overwhelming care and positive energy you’ve focused on our circus family in the days following the unfortunate accident that occurred during a performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDSSM this past Sunday afternoon. We are deeply touched by the kind thoughts that have been shared.

We want to commend the first responders who took care of our performers in the immediate aftermath, and who performed like the true super heroes that they are. The medical teams and all of the staff at Rhode Island Hospital have been, and continue to be, incredible. It’s comforting to know our performers are in such good hands as they make strides toward their recovery.

Much gratitude also goes to the personnel at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, especially General Manager Larry Lepore, who went above and beyond the call of duty and exemplified the meaning of a true partnership.

Feld Entertainment events visit Providence several times a year, and we have a long history within the community. Now more than ever, Providence will hold a special place in our hearts. We deeply appreciate your continued thoughts, prayers and support, and we look forward to bringing Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey back to Providence next year and for many years to come.

With Gratitude,

Kenneth, Nicole, Alana and Juliette Feld

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.
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