Earlier this month, while the world was transfixed on the Olympic opening ceremony, I was in the town of Colon, Michigan–the self-proclaimed "magic capital of the world"–for their 79th annual Magic Get Together.
Similar to my own apartment in July, show tents are swamps that lack proper air movement to support human life. So, before the invention of air conditioning, traveling magic shows and their crews used to settle in small towns during the summer months. In the early part of the last century, legendary magician Harry Blackstone Sr. chose the lake-studded town of Colon to settle, which is how it ended up becoming the capital of magic for the whole entire world.
The town was and is a beacon to magicians, circus performers and other assorted weirdos. At the festival, there are lectures on magic ethics and philosophy, large evening shows (ranging from unrelentingly sexist/racist nonsense to genuinely amazing standing ovation performances), ventriloquism training, smaller street shows, and a contest at the local pub of which David Copperfield (a name that one cannot utter here without also chanting "billionaire" and then crossing one's heart, gesturing to the sky, and spending the next three hours in solitary prayer) once took first.