Colon Travel Guide

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At the Colon Magic Festival: There's a Walk of Fame and Everything

August 7, 2012 at 1:39 PM | by | Comments (0)

Here at Jaunted, we spend considerable time and (virtual) ink drooling over weird festivals. So, this summer, we've decided to visit a few. Today and tomorrow Lara Zielin will report back from the Colon Magic Festival in Colon, Michigan.

Move over, Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Colon, Michigan has its own star-laden sidewalk honoring not movie stars, but magicians. So what if there are only three stars in the entire town? And who even cares if two of the three magicians are dead? It hardly matters to festival attendees, who hunt down the stars around town as a kind of challenge. And it certainly doesn’t dim the exuberance of 78-year-old magician Carl Karl, who was honored with a star during the 75th annual Magic Get-Together this past weekend.

“The plaque took my breath away,” Karl says, his eyes filling with tears as he recalls the surprise of being recognized for a lifetime of magic tricks. He’s one of a handful of magicians at the festival who have made a full-time career of magic, though these days leg pain keeps him off the stage. There’s a big part of Karl that’s still performing, though. He has, after all, glued two coins to his forehead. When anyone asks him about it (and a lot of people do), he says those are his...headquarters.

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At the Colon Magic Festival: This is Your Brain on Magic

August 6, 2012 at 1:46 PM | by | Comments (2)

Here at Jaunted, we spend considerable time and (virtual) ink drooling over weird festivals. So, this summer, we've decided to visit a few. Today and tomorrow Lara Zielin will report back from the Colon Magic Festival in Colon, Michigan.

Okay, I’ll admit it, I was enthralled with that stupid rope. It was the Saturday night performance during the 75th annual Magic Get-Together in Colon, Michigan, and Mac King was on the stage. He was wearing a dumpy plaid suit (hello, cliché much?) holding nothing but a single rope. And here I was, leaned forward in rapt attention as he cut the rope, folded the rope, hacked at it time and time again and, voila! It was always the same piece of rope, the same length.

The applause at the Colon high school gym (the home of the fighting magi, where the motto is “learning is magic”) was deafening when he was done. Every seat in the house was packed, and everyone was downright delighted. Even the teenagers sitting in front of me—some of them from Chicago, a big city where disaffected kids should know better.

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Fulfill Your Summer Fest Quota at This Weekend's Colon Magic Festival

August 3, 2012 at 4:42 PM | by | Comments (4)

Colon, Michigan was named for a punctuation mark, not a part of the digestive system. The little southwestern Michigan town of 1,200 is a pause, but not a full stop, halfway between Chicago and Detroit.

Magician Harry Blackstone thought so, anyway. He set up shop there in the 1920s with his brother. The pair, along with their crew, would spit-shine their magic acts during the summer in preparation for their fall and winter tours across the United States.

Blackstone was a big deal performer back in the day—so much so that he drew other magicians to the town of Colon, including Australian magician and ventriloquist Percy Abbott. Abbot’s efforts to host public open houses showcasing magic left a legacy that’s not hocus-pocus. These days, the Colon Magic Festival and the Colon Magic Get Together draw thousands to the small town to see world-class performances and to shop at FAB Magic Company, one of the largest brick and mortar magic shops in the world.

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