Legendary Chicago-born magician Harry Blackstone bought a farm in Colon, Michigan, in 1926. A few years later, fellow conjurer Percy Abbott visited Blackstone, decided he liked the look of the town, and founded Abbott's Magic, now the world's largest dealer in wands, hats, scarves, and other prestidigitory paraphernalia. Although it's mainly a mail-order business, Abbott's has a small showroom in town where the clerks will demonstrate magic tricks--but only once, because "twice is a lesson." Colon, a town of 1,200 located 25 miles south of Battle Creek, is also home to the two-year-old FAB Magic Company and claims the title "Magic Capital of the World." The town's weeklong magic festival includes Abbott's 68th annual Magic Get-Together, which draws as many as 1,500 professional and amateur magicians for four days of shop talk and performances. Featured entertainment includes Vegas regular John Shryock, quick change artists David and Dania, teen magic champ Nathan Kepner, and many others. Across the street, FAB's second annual MagiCelebration offers more performances, a magic flea market, and magic day camp for kids seven and up. If you can't make it to the festival, FAB also stages a magic show at 1 PM every Saturday between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Tue-Sat 8/2-8/6, Colon, Michigan. 800-926-2442 or www.abbottmagic.com; 269-432-4017 or www.fabmagic.com; $8-$20.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/David Linsell.