Street magic

Magic swept into town on the tail of a red dragon Friday night and we delighted in its gift.

Wandering fairies waved their wands and sprinkled their pixie dust.

“Make a wish!” they said and, enthralled by the spectacle, children obliged.

Appleton’s first downtown night market, “Light up the Night” offered everything we love about summer in Wisconsin — live music, tasty street food, intriguing booths, happy people and magic.

One of our little people got his face painted like a unicorn. We saw giant bubbles float over the street, ate delicious burgers, watched cool acrobats and danced.

As we turned to make our way home, a giant dragon made its way up College Avenue. At first we stood and cheered. Then we followed that magic dragon right through the crowd.

And here’s how the magic of that street festival followed us home:

I idly texted our family chat as I monitored our five-year old’s bath,

“Tense negotiations going on as to the removal of all that makeup before bed. One of us thinks he will turn into a real unicorn if he leaves the paint on while he sleeps. The other of us knows it will give him a rash and stain the pillowcase.”

My son Charlie replied, “Only one way to find out.”


But my daughter Molly responded with an inspired suggestion.

“Maybe if you wash it off with special soap the magic will stay behind.”

Miraculously, we found some magic soap. It washed away the paint and glitter but left the magic behind.

And that night the little boy who’d worn the unicorn face paint dreamed he’d gone to a magical place full of unicorns and pink glitter.

“Do you think you dreamed that?” I asked him the next morning. “Or do you think you were there.”

“I was there,” he said.

Thank you to Appleton Downtown Incorporated and anyone who sponsored or participated in Appleton’s Light up the Night.

The magic lingers on.

Giant bubbles floated over an eager crowd.
Fairies wandered the avenue, sprinkling magic dust on anyone who wanted to make a wish.
A whole variety of vendor booths offered people various wares. This one taught patrons how to build a bouquet.
I can’t show you how cool this unicorn face painting project turned out, but I can tell you it was magical.
So many dragons, so much fun. This one danced and tossed cool candy presents out into the crowd.
We saw a lot of very cool street performers and acrobats.
As we were leaving, we spotted this dragon making its way through the crowd.
So we followed it home.

One thought on “Street magic

  1. I wondered if you were there. We were at the game! Tough finding places to eat after the game. We lived at Friday’s all week — since it was only place we found open after 9PM. Finally got Chili’s on Friday night.

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