Esmeralda’s Travelling Flea Circus
We wandered into the circus area at this year’s LA County Fair and were promptly entertained by the oldest of vaudeville acts in a vintage tent, complete with hay bales for seating. Esmeralda’s Travelling Circus occupied the area south of the farm, with Steampunk acrobats, clowns, and Trapeze artists. Though it was a tough crowd, our flea ringmaster persevered despite the heat and the lack of enthusiasm from the audience. We have a healthy curiosity for all the of the carnival arts, the more obscure the better. The Flea Circus is one of the earliest carnival attractions, advertised in 1833 in England and a mainstay elsewhere well into the 1930’s. While a mechanical setup replaced the real fleas years ago – news to me – thought it was always an illusion. So let’s take a minute to remember those risk-taking fleas and be thankful that the LACF is keeping this time-honored tradition alive.