The flea circus has been at the Oktoberfest since 1948 by virtue of Peter Mathes, and is now managed by Robert Birk, a long time employee of Peter Mathes’ son, Hans. In 2005 Robert Birkl brought back to the Oktoberfest the tradition of the flea circus after a break of 3 years, from 2002 to 2004, due to the ill health of Hans Mathes.
Here it is possible to observe the smallest artists in the world! Fleas pulling small wagons, spinning rides and playing soccer. The children especially like the circus from where they leave excited. It looks like magic but it isn’t, and all this is possible due to the mastery of the trainers.
The first flea circuses appeared in England in the 1830s. This kind of show was traditionally a travelling show and reached its peak between 1800 and 1900. The shows were held very frequently in the past, especially as entertainment in the classic circuses. Nowadays however, attending a show on the level of those presented at the Oktoberfest is not an everyday occurrence. It is a unique show in Europe, perhaps all over the world. Absolutely not to be missed!