Magic show impresses at library

Published 8:59 pm Monday, June 1, 2015

Hunter Barnett and Gary Ledbetter of Dynamite Magic & Balloons play with a rabbit used in Ledbetter’ performance at the Selma- Dallas County Library’s Sensational Summer program. More than 100 children attended the free show. --Tyra Jackson

Hunter Barnett and Gary Ledbetter of Dynamite Magic & Balloons play with a rabbit used in Ledbetter’ performance at the Selma- Dallas County Library’s Sensational Summer program. More than 100 children attended the free show. –Tyra Jackson

The Selma-Dallas County Public Library’s Sensational Selma Summer program kicked off with a disappearing act. 

The summer fun began Monday with a magic show put on by Gary Ledbetter of Dynamite Magic & Balloons. Ledbetter didn’t saw any of the participants in half, but he did make some of the children appear to float, and he pulled a rabbit out of a hat.

The annual program, which is in its 37th year, encourages children to not only have fun, but to bask in the joys of reading. Puppet shows, arts and crafts, animals and other activities are all incorporated into the summer initiative. Children of all ages are able to take part in the free activities and shows at the library.

Audience member Hunter Barnett thoroughly enjoyed Lebetter’s performance.

“I like the part where he pulled out the rabbit,” Barnett said. “I came last summer and he was good.”

The children enjoyed Ledbetter, and he enjoyed their presence.

“They were good. You can tell by my performance and the laughter that’s there,” he said. “[Library director] Becky [Nichols] has me back every year because my performance is interacting with the kids.”

Throughout the course of the show he planted the importance of reading within the minds of the children, who watched in awe and amazement. Ledbetter mentioned to them how he read books from the library in order to better understand magic.

Nichols said during the summer programs she wants participants to have fun, but also explore the library.

“Not only do we have magic shows and puppet shows, but we want the kids to go back upstairs into the children’s area and check out the books,” she said. “The library is the place to be for the summer. We invite all of our kids and their families because most of these activities are family fun.”

Nichols said the event was a big success as the first program of the summer.

“It was a fantastic beginning,” she said. “We had a couple of hundreds of kids in here having a ball, and participating with Gary.”

More fun will continue throughout the summer. The library will host an “Aladdin and His Lamp” puppet show Tuesday at 2 p.m. An “Open House Crafts Make and Take” crafting event will begin Wednesday at 10 a.m. A drum and noise show will be Thursday at 10 a.m. Children will get to create their own puzzles Friday at 10 a.m.

For a full schedule of the program’s events, visit www.selmalibrary.org or call 874-1725.