Last night, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus opened its new one-ring circus in Coney Island. Mayor Bloomberg and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz were on hand to welcome the show, The Coney Island Boom-A-Ring—Mayor Mike even checked out the Monster Trucks.

While ticketholders get to see the 29 performers, 6 musicians, 7 dachshunds, 3 Asian elephants and 6 Tigers, there's also pre-show access where they can meet performers. Production manger Jason Gibson told NY1, "We have a wardrobe rack and you can try on costumes from previous editions of Ringling Brothers Circus. You can learn how to juggle. We have hula-hopping and jump roping, a practice trapeze. Plus there's an actual ring you won't see during the show itself."

Of course, when the circus is in town, protesters are on hand also. Apparently dozens were on hand before last night's show (though there were closer to eight near show time), to protest Ringling Bros.' alleged mistreatment of animals (Ringling is currently facing a lawsuit from the ASPCA and other groups for allegedly inhumane treatment of its Asian elephants in violation of the Endangered Species Act).

Tomorrow, Ringling Bros. performers will participate in the Mermaid Parade and the pre-show will include performers from Coney Island U.S.A. with Coney Island U.S.A.'s Dick Zigun as special guest Ringmaster. The Coney Island Boom-A-Ring has performances on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday through September 7 (info on schedule & tickets).