The Big Apple Circus is folding up its tent.
The 38-year-old institution filed for bankruptcy protection Sunday, writing in filings that it had never been able to fully recover from the 2008 financial crisis.
At its height, the circus earned $18 million in the 2007-2008 season, performing over 350 shows in eight cities and towns.
In fiscal year 2016, it earned only $11.9 million, filings show. The circus was $8.3 million in debt.
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The circus’ woes were first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Big Apple employed over 100 performers, choreographers, directors, designers, managers, musicians, technicians, management, and staff, as well as over 80 specially trained clowns who visited at children’s hospitals.
The non-profit company said it would sell storage and training facilities in Walden, N.Y., and continue circus programs dedicated to blind, deaf and autistic kids.
Executives held out hope for a new buyer or hefty donation that would allow the circus to restart.
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