The Magic Unfolds: Pre-Tour in Talkeetna Alaska

Posted on Jun 17, 2019

The Be Mary Chautauqua Tour 2019 is Underway

On Thursday, June 13th, airplanes carrying vaudeville performers landed, cars filled with visionary tour planners sped northward, and a Blue Bird bus packed with exhausted travelers fresh off the Al-Can Highway pulled up in front of the Northern Susitna Institute; a tiny community center on the outskirts of Talkeetna, Alaska.  

These courageous individuals were gathering from every corner of the globe to honor the work of renaissance woman and Green Light Circus founder; Mary Langham. And to keep our Chautauqua tradition of education, entertainment, and joy alive. 

By eight o’clock in the evening, activity abounded. A group of musicians played brass band marches, acrobats balanced and tumbled in the community center’s main hall, kids ran wild, tents were pitched in the sunny field outside, and pairs of performers brainstormed their acts. 

By midnight, the kitchen trailer had pulled into camp, and was being set up by a tireless, late-night crew.

The 2019 Be Mary Chautauqua Tour had finally begun. 

Two days later, tour life is in full swing. The show committee has reviewed a record 38 acts, and the 25-piece band doesn’t seem to ever stop rehearsing. We’ve already had our first parade through town, and played a 4-hour gig at the Fairview; Talkeetna’s historic pub. 

Of course, Chautauqua life overflows with the unexpected. At any given moment, there may be a lanky man hanging by his hair (yes, his hair) from the back of the box truck. A team of Chautauquans might be serving up a restaurant-style meal from out of the blue and red kitchen trailer. Or, a motley crew of kids and adults may be having a highly competitive wheel barrow race between rehearsals.

Just 3 days into the official start of the 2019 Be Mary Chautauqua Tour, you can feel the magic unfolding.