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

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

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.

The festival is in full swing this weekend, August 3-4. Around town, “buskers,” or street performers, will alakazam their slight of hand for you live. Try grabbing a slice of pepperoni at Five Star Pizza at 4:00 P.M. on Saturday, and then taking in the Magic of Trino, who will perform while you chew. There is also a talent contest, where budding magicians compete for a prize that won’t disappear.

If you want to learn magic or purchase some trinkets, there’s a dealer fair on site. Want to try your hand at speaking without moving your mouth? Vent-o-rama (no, really, that’s the name) will teach you tips and tricks of ventriloquism. But the main event is the magic show on Friday and Saturday nights, starting at 8:00 P.M. Get your tickets for $20.00 and head over to Colon High School to watch a host of magicians perform, many of them top acts. The heart of the event is that the magic here isn’t an illusion. These guys (and gals) are good. Really good.

If you have time, head north a few miles on I-69 to Marshall, Michigan where the a bigger-than-life-sized poster of Harry Houdini hangs from the ceiling in the American Museum of Magic—an image that could be considered imposing if Houdini wasn’t wearing a bowtie and a just a hint of a smile, like he’s happy you’re there. Or, if not happy, at least pleased that one more person will be taking in the museum’s oddball objects, like the metal milk can Houdini himself was folded into—while shackled, as the whole thing was filled with water—and escaped from time and again.

Pack your rabbit and your top hat. See you in Colon.

[Photo: Jimmy Emerson/Flickr & American Museum of Magic]

Archived Comments:


Please do your homework next time you do an article on Colon and Magic. Abbotts Magic 75th anniversary was the story, and they have no association with F*B magic. Four huge evening shows were the centerpiece of this festival, all put on by Abbotts.

Not Written for Magicians

This is the first of three stories on the goings-on in Colon, Michigan from this past weekend. The piece does mention the evening shows, plus a host of other events. Fab Magic is not credited with anything -- except being a brick and mortar store where people can shop. In Colon. Which is true. More stories to come, which will specifically highlight Abbotts' role.

Magic Week in Colon

Thanks for the very nice coverage! Watch for our 10th Anniversary in 2013 - July 31 - August 3rd. Lots of great events here at FAB Magic - and we're expanding our operation here! The walk of fame is a great addition to this magical village. Thank you again .....

Not Written for magicians is no excuse

Where in this article is Abbott Magic mentioned? They are the ones who put on the shows for 75 years (The same family has been involved with everyone, the Bordner family. First as partners with Percy then for the last 50+ years on their own) yet in this article there is zero credit to either Abbotts or the Bordner family? There is no such event as the Colon Magic Get Together, it is the Abbott Magic Get Together. Believe me, Abbotts does not invest 50K plus for Vegas style acts for people "to shop at F*B Magic Company". It seems to me that you went out of your way not to mention Abbott Magic. If you were celebrating a special event in your life and found an article like this that does not even mention your name how happy would you be about it.