Grandma is taking down her tent by Kiana Douby, staff reporter

The singing hamsters and the trapeze artists of the Big Apple Circus say farewell to the legendary character, Grandma, as she performs her last show.

 For the little kids, at least, there’s a certain degree of joyfulness missing from this production. That’s partly due to the fact that Barry Lubin, who plays the festive clown, Grandma, is retiring from the Big Apple Circus, as well as his clown career altogether. Lubin’s 25 year run entertaining youngsters and adults has come to an end, due to a medical issue.

“Barry was an extraordinary collaborator. He always found ways to be funny and made it easy for me as Ringmaster to enjoy working with him. His character became an icon of the Big Apple Circus. Say ‘Big Apple Circus’ and the person to whom you’re talking will invariably find his/her way to mentioning Grandma. He embodied a circus’s core values. A kindness, a sweetness, a sense of fun and family,” said Paul Binder, the founder of the Big Apple Circus.

“From the Big Apple Circus, I remember the tall people. Grandma was very funny, she would interact with the audience. She made a big impact on her audience with her craziness, says 11th grader, Talitha Forbes. “If I saw her before she left I would tell her “Girl, leave the circus and come be my grandma.””

According to www.npr.org, for the past 25 years, Grandma has headlined the Big Apple Circus. But this year’s show, the “Dream Big Tour,” will be her last with that circus. Grandma and Barry Lubin, the clown who created her, are moving on. Mr. Lubin is already a member of the International Clown Hall of Fame. He’ll be introduced into the 2012 into the Circus Ring of Fame.

“I remember Grandma riding a bike and asking people to come dance with her. She definitely had a huge impact on her audience because she kinda drew everyone’s attention. It was really funny especially for the little kids,” says 9th grader, Amada Guapisaca. “Thank you for being such a great performer.”

Grandma took down her tent on January 8, 2012. She will be missed by many many supporters. “ You have done an awesome job getting people to smile,” Kristine Vicente, 6th grader.

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