Soapy Smith Night at the Magic Castle in Hollywood this year will be on Sunday, July 8th, beginning at 6:00 pm.
It is a costume party celebrating the gunfight at the wharf in Skagway, Alaska on July 8, 1898 during the height of the Gold Rush in which Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith was killed.
Soapy Smith was the con man and gangster that ran the town of Skagway with his gang of 100 trained con men and hustlers. He had the fix in with the law and the government of Alaska, and stripped almost everyone going into or out of Skagway with some kind of scheme or other. He had previously controlled Denver and then Creede, Colorado during the Silver Rush of the 1880’s.
After his death, members of his gang later scattered around the country, and included famous playwright and aphorist Wilson Mizner, Alexander Pantages who founded the Pantages theater chain, and Alexander “The Man Who Knows” Conlin who made over twenty million dollars as a fake psychic in vaudeville.
We have live Old Time Music by Dave Bourne and the Medicine Show band, a trickshot demonstration by 2 time world champion Chef Anton, a toast by great-grandson Jeff Smith and family, and gambling at old time gambling games like Faro and Chuck a Luck on antique equipment provided by Phil Gessert of Tombstone, Arizona. Nick Lewin will demonstrate his amazing linking finger ring routine, and John Reynolds will demonstrate bi-labial fricatation.
There will also be three-card monte, shell game, lotteries and other swindles designed to take your Soapy Money all around the Castle.
People dress up in Gay Nineties, Old West, Gold Rush and Steampunk attire for the event. There are prizes for most authentic, sexiest, and funniest costumes.
Proceeds of the event go to the Vernon Fund.