Ringling picks 1st female ringmaster in 146-year history

ELLENTON, Fla. (AP) — The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus has its first female ringmaster.

Feld Entertainment Inc. is the parent company of the Florida-based circus. The company said in a statement Wednesday that Michelle Wilson will be the first-ever female ringmaster in its 146-year history.

Wilson starts her new role next month and her first performance will be in her hometown of Orlando, Florida, during "Circus Xtreme" show.

She will become the 39th ringmaster in Ringling Bros.' history.

Wilson has a professional background in theater and singing.

A ringmaster typically introduces each act in the circus.

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This story has been edited to correct style to female ringmaster, not woman ringmaster. 

Copyright 2016. The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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