By Molly Goad
The United States Post Office held a first-day of issue ceremony for its Dragons forever stamp set Aug. 9 at Stampshow 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. The American Philatelic Society national summer convention, co-hosted by the American Topical Association, was held at the Greater Columbus Convention center downtown Columbus.
“Just like the animals in legends and fairy tales, the brilliant Dragons stamps are a triumph of the imagination,” said Joshua Colin, vice president, Area Operations, Eastern Area, U.S. Postal Service. “The APS national summer convention and stamp show is one of the premier stamp events in America and serves as an excellent platform to showcase these magnificent Dragons Forever stamps as they take flight today through the mail to millions of homes and businesses.”
Colin spoke about the popularity of dragons today, as they appear in books, TV shows, movies, and video games. (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings, and the Dungeons & Dragons video game are a few popular examples.)
APS Executive Director Scott English spoke at the ceremony and Colin dedicated the stamps. USPS director of Stamp Services Mary-Anne Penner was the master of ceremonies.
The Ohio State University Centurion Drill Team presented the colors, and the USPS’s own Nicole Feagin sang the National Anthem. Feagin is the manager of the Beechwold Station post office in Columbus, Ohio.
The U.S. Postal Service embraced the Here Be Dragons show theme with a booth dressed as a large castle complete with a giant inflatable dragon perched atop the castle doors (see photo above).
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Roaming the floor was "Perf The Magic Dragon," a Stampshow mascot of sorts that attendees could take pictures with. Medieval-costumed folks were also present, greeting people as they entered the show. English joked during the ceremony that the APS may have gone a little overboard with the creativity.
“But I want to tell you something, when I look out here, it shows me that we were exactly right,” he said, addressing the crowd gathered in the middle of the show floor for the dedication. “This is a fantastic stamp and I think it’s going to be one for the collections.”
Audience members received a ceremony program with a first-day cancel on the outer envelope. The ceremony was relatively quick compared to other stamp reveals, wrapping up in just under 20 minutes. Show participants were available for autographs immediately following the presentation.