Wild About Harry

‘Holidays at Hogwarts’
at Oldham library a treat
for Harry Potter fans

Helen E. McKinney,
Contributing Writer

(December 2001) Crestwood, Ky – The Harry Potter craze comes to South Oldham Public Library from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 8, 2001 in the magical form of “Holidays at Hogwarts” Magic Show and Book Fair.

Jeff Russ

Jeff Russ

This family event is aimed at elementary aged children and their parents. A magic show will miraculously conspire at 6:30 pm to entertain patrons, with Louisville-based magician Mr. Magic.
Jeff Russ (a.k.a. Mr. Magic) said he provides “an interactive comedy magic show” that “adults will enjoy as well.”
Skits will be geared towards the holidays, Russ said. He will incorporate such symbols of the season as a Christmas stocking and candle into his 45-minute act.
Russ has performed full time as Mr. Magic since 1994, booking 648 shows this year alone. His interest in magic began 27 years ago at a family reunion when a cousin’s magic tricks sparked his curiosity. He started out performing typical tricks of the trade, using simple props like cards and coins.
Russ was 13 at the time and has been fascinated with magic ever since. He even went to school with now famous master magician, Lance Burton, who was born and raised in Louisville.
As a professional magician, Russ said that what he has seen of the Harry Potter books he finds interesting, even though he has not read the books.
The books, however, are certainly in demand according to Susan Eubank, Assistant Library Director for Oldham County Public Libraries. The South Oldham branch owns three copies of each of the four J.K. Rowling books and they “are rarely on the shelves,” said Eubank.
Their popularity has led the library to present “Holiday at Hogwarts” Magic Show and Book Fair to celebrate the season. The children’s area of the library will be transformed to resemble the Great Hall at Hogwarts School.
Each child attending the party receives a free pair of round Harry Potter spectacles and a lightening bolt tattoo.
Eubank said that cookies and punch based on recipes from the books will be served. Children can look forward to punch made with Fizzing Whizbees Levitation Sherbet Balls and Golden Snitch cookies. There will be drawings for prizes including Harry Potter movie passes and copies of the movie picture book.
Eubank said that the biggest advantage of the series is that it has “encouraged kids to read.” The book fair provides a chance to promote the reading habit farther by allowing parents the opportunity to select new books for their children for Christmas.
The book fair will feature Usborne Children’s Books, which are a line of educational material that make reading and learning fun. Usborne Books were created by Peter Usborne, and are illustrated in England. They are published in more than 40 languages.
The more than 1,000 titles available incorporate puzzles, humor, detailed illustrations, and hands-on experiments. At a starting cost of only $3.95, 80 percent of the titles can be purchased for under $10.
Each branch of the Oldham County Public Library system is planning a “Holidays at Hogwarts” party for children and their parents, but on different nights. The Duerson branch in La Grange, Ky., will play host to its party during “Light Up La Grange” on Friday, Dec. 7, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with the magic show beginning at 7 p.m.
The South Oldham branch in Crestwood, Ky., will play host to its party in conjunction with “Christmas in Crestwood” on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with the magic show beginning at 6:30 pm. The Mahan branch in Goshen will play host to its party on Monday, Dec. 10, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with the magic show beginning at 6:30 pm.

• For information, call (502) 241-9899.

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