Magicians come together for annual Magic Get Together

COLON — A multitude of magicians from all around the world and several thousand spectators gathered in the Magic Capital of the World for the 82nd Abbott’s Magic Get Together.
What started in Colon in 1937 as the Abbott’s Magic Open House, where 80 magicians stopped in Colon for a one-day festival and spent, according to BJ Mallen of Abbott’s Magic, a grand total of $88, has become a major event for magicians from not just the United States, but also the world.
“There was a gentleman from Cuba that performed during one of the shows, and we had an MC from London,” Mallen said. “This event attracts both magicians and the public who are magic fans or spectators.”
Mallen, who is also Abbott’s resident magician, said the Get-Together is “truly unique” every year.
“There are magic conventions that happen throughout the country and throughout the world fairly regularly now, but those take place in large major metropolitan areas in convention centers or hotels, and you’ll be there and there will be people in the same building that don’t know that there’s a magic event is happening,” Mallen said. “Here in Colon, the only people in Colon these four days are here for the magic event. It truly lives up to its title of the Magic Capital of the World.”
Scott Correll, owner of SWC Magic in York, Penn., said he first heard about the Get Together over 50 years ago, and has been coming to the even for the last three years.
“It was always in the magazines and people were talking about it online,” Correll said. “They said it’s a great convention, and it lived up to its name.”
Correll, who helped lead a ventriloquist puppet class during the event on Thursday, said his favorite part about the Get Together is the history behind it all.
“It’s the oldest convention in the world that Harry Blackstone and Percy Abbott, they started it years ago,” Correll said. “The cemetery, the shop itself being so old, and they have a couple magic shops that piggy-back off of it and do well themselves, it’s just a lot of tourism opportunities.”
There were various street performances during the week as well, including from John Sturk, who came to visit the event from Chicago. Sturk, who said he has been coming to the event for 16 years, said his specialty was doing rings and cups and balls, which he called “very old tricks.”
“It’s like studying Bach and Beethoven for magicians,” Sturk said.
He said he enjoys going to the Get Together every year because he considers it a “family reunion.”
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