Photos from Appleton, Wisconsin and the surrounding Fox Valley. A service of

Apple Shots #6: The Magic of Wisconsin at Appleton Wisconsin's Houdini Days, 2004

Magic is part of Appleton's rich heritage, largely because it was the boyhood home of Harry Houdini, whose name lives on here in many forms and places. In 2004, Appleton drew in world-class magicians for a Houdini Days magic festival, Sept. 2-5. It was incredible. I discuss the event further on my page about my hobby of amateur magic. During the event, Appleton had loads of free street magic with a spectacular evening show at the Performing Arts Center. It was virtually all G-rated, family-friendly, and thoroughly entertaining. That's Appleton style.

While there were many big names here, the main draw for many people was Jeff McBride, one of the most artistic and impressive performers you will ever see. Jeff brings many fields together in his magic - mime, music, dance, Japanese theater, and brilliant creativity and artistry. After his performance at the PAC, the crowd went wilder than I've seen in that setting, with a rousing and noisy standing ovation that brought him back several times and led him to do another amazing encore act. He was touched by the warm reception of the Appleton crowd, and promised that he'll be back. I'm a big McBride fan, especially after spending five hours with him in a "Secret Session Workshop" on Sept. 4 that he provided for about 25 amateur and professional magicians - what an amazing experience that was! He's the best.

Here are some pics taken during the public parts of Houdini Days, mostly from Sept. 4, 2004, in downtown Appleton. These are all copyright 2004 by Jeff Lindsay. Down on the left are links to other Apple Shots pages, such as Apple Shots #4, Apple Shots #9, or Apple Shots #13.