Day Two of the 84th Annual I.B.M. Convention was the first full day; Day One started at noon yesterday. People continued to arrive all day, but the majority of attendees were signed in and ready to go by the first events, at 9:30 a.m. The day was full, with three lectures, the first set of Big Three Events, special spouse and youth events., and the Grand Banquet, with a double-header of performances. And to top off the day, there were spectacular fireworks on this Fourth of July. WOW!
The first round of Big Three Events began Day Two. One third of the attendees enjoyed close-up performances; a second third attended Paul Gertner’s famous “Ten Fingers” performance; and the last third attended a lecture by Wayne Houchin. The three groups will rotate twice more over the next two days. Rounding out the morning were a Spouse Event, a Youth Event (who got to meet some of the stars), and a Board of Trustees meeting.
At high noon, a special event was held in the hotel’s outdoor pool. Alexanderia the Great (Donna Purnell), performed an underwater escape successfully, ala Harry Houdini. She’s a wife and mother from Massachusetts, who has been called “The Houdini Housewife.”
The first round of the I.B.M. Stage Contest began at 1 p.m., instead of the early-morning start times of past years. Most people (including the contestants) seemed to respond positively to the later-start experiment. A late afternoon lecture by Dani DaOrtiz completed the daylight events.
The Grand Banquet has been a historical highlight of the convention, and this year was no different. Don Wiberg, International Secretary, introduced the I.B.M. officers and other celebrities, and their spouses, and President Vanni Pulé welcomed everyone. Following a great meal of steak and chicken, the dinner crowd was treated to a double-header of entertainment. First, New York’s Chris Capehart performed some of his specialties, including a mind-reading rabbit, Miser's Dream, a thumb cuff escape, a Floating Table piece, and his world-famous Linking Rings routine. His Three-ring Routine has earned him the title, “The Ring Master.”
Then everyone was treated to the Catch the Rising Stars Show, featuring seven youth acts. Mandy Reed was the master of ceremonies and performed some of her own magic between other acts. What a terrific way to top off the evening, by watching the future of magic parade across the stage.
Following a beautiful display of fireworks outside on the waterfront, everyone moved back inside for the closing event of the day, a lecture by Hannibal).
Don’t forget: a PDF of the convention program may be downloaded from this page (click on the cover in the story below; or go to the convention button at the left, and click on the cover at that location). Also, the photos which accompany this story are all taken by the official I.B.M. photographer, Michael Messing, and all are copyrighted by the I.B.M.