The circus is coming to town

A German circus with a 100-year-plus legacy is making its debut in America, with its first U.S. stop being Stone Mountain March 21-31.

Germany’s Great Bavarian Circus is being staged at Stone Mountain Park for 17 days. An airline strike in Germany nixed plans for a longer run with March 21 being the new starting date.

Brothers Benjamin and David Spindler, the ninth generation of a circus family, lead the Germany’s Great Bavarian Circus. The Spindlers are one of Europe’s oldest circus families.

The Champion asked the Spindlers and their management team to tell us what audiences can expect when the circus comes to town:

Q. What makes Germany’s Great Bavarian Circus different from other circuses?
A. This show is produced by me (Benjamin Spindler) and my brother David.  We are part of one of Europe’s most illustrious circus families – The Spindler family.  In fact, Germany’s Great Bavarian Circus is full of family members, with 11 in the performing cast, which makes it a true family show, both from an audience and a cast perspective.
This show is circus meets Oktoberfest! When you come to the show, you’ll enter through the bier hall tent, featuring authentic German treats such as sausages, potato pancakes, German pretzels and the finest Bavarian beer, plus traditional circus treats like popcorn and cotton candy. You’ll also have a chance to meet the cast dressed in traditional Bavarian costume walking around with their beloved dachshunds – or Germany’s most adorable wiener dogs – prior to the show.

Ponies, goats, and dogs are featured in the German circus.

Q. Can you name a few “wow” moments in the show?
A. Audiences love the aerial acts—they’re daring and breathtaking all at the same time. Another favorite is when our lead clown, Marvin Spindler, brings audience members on stage to participate in his hilarious hijinks. Perhaps the most popular are Germany’s most adorable wiener dogs. They are family pets who like to visit with everyone before the show begins, where they show off their talents.

Q. Animals in circuses have come under criticism, why are they included in your show?
A. Our family has been working with animals for generations, and we view the animals as performing partners that are part of our family. Our barnyard act features our ponies, goats and dogs – all domestic animals. The care of these animals is our top priority, much like any family would care for their pets.

Q. What steps does your circus take regarding care and safety of animals?
A. For generations, our family has devoted ourselves to caring for animals, valuing proper husbandry. We think of them as integral family members and performing partners. The animals travel in comfort in trailers, and our team promptly sets up a secure space upon arrival, allowing the animals to roam freely while the show is prepared. The animals receive regular veterinary care and regular inspections.

Audiences attending the Great Bavarian Circus can expect to see jugglers and clowns.

Q. What should audiences expect from a performance?
A. Audiences should expect family-friendly fun at Germany’s Great Bavarian Circus. With the variety of acts presented, there’s something for everyone, but the underlying feeling is one of joy and happiness. Families and friends can disconnect from the world for a couple of hours to smile, gasp and laugh – in a beautiful, German-inspired atmosphere!

Q. Is this the first time in the U.S., Georgia, and Stone Mountain?
A. Yes, absolutely. Our father, Max, brought us to the U.S. on a family vacation years ago. From that vacation, he had a dream of bringing the family circus to America. While he was unable to do it, with this show, my brother and I are fulling his life-long dream, starting right here at Stone Mountain. We are excited to start our U.S. tour here.

Q. Do you anticipate making Stone Mountain a regular stop on your tours?
A. Stone Mountain is an ideal location for family-friendly events such as Germany’s Great Bavarian Circus. As the promoter for Germany’s Great Bavarian Circus and other circuses, our team at Sarasota Box Office is working with the Stone Mountain team on a plan to establish shows featuring the circus arts as an annual event at their location.

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