Stoner’s ‘Funstore’ to host free 70th anniversary block party June 29

Dick Stoner, owner of Stoner's Funstore. (News-Sentinel.com file photo)

A free community block party celebrating the 70th Anniversary of Stoner’s Funstore will be held on Saturday, June 29, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Harrison Street, between Main and the Harrison Street alley.

Dick Stoner opened his store on this very block, at 712 S. Harrison St., in 1949, and it continues today to cater to the young and old, amateur and professional magicians and enthusiasts alike. Stoner has performed his magic for the nationally syndicated Bozo the Clown Show in Chicago, as well as locally produced shows such as the Mickey Mouse Club and Laurel and Hardy’s Magic Castle. He also appeared on the Steve Allen TV show (while in the Army), the Statler Brothers TV show, and he opened for Johnny Cash & Dolly Parton at Buck Lake Ranch near Angola. Muhammad Ali enjoyed Dick’s magic so much that he was invited to perform at Ali’s 50th birthday party.

In addition to lots a magic performed by Dick Stoner himself and others, the day’s activities will include face painting, balloon artists, juggling acts, and big band music from noon to 2 p.m. Also, a photo booth contest (with props provided by Stoner’s) will take place. The best photos to “tag” Stoner’s on social media will win fun prizes.

Ice cream, popcorn and water will be available, and all proceeds from the popcorn and water will be donated to MDA and the Allen County SPCA.

The store expanded in the 1960s and again the ’70s into the buildings it occupies today. In 1974, Stoner’s added costume rentals and in the 1980s Stoner’s developed an interactive website.