Hundreds dazzled at magic show

December 19, 2010|By C.J. LOVELACE | Staff Correspondent

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Eight-year-old Noah Horton looked a bit nervous when entertainer Doc Swan asked him to come on stage to help with his next trick.

Swan, who has performed professionally as a comedian, magician and musician for about 37 years, asked Noah to place his arm into a contraption with a large blade that looked like it could cut his hand off.

On cue, Swan slammed the lever on the device down quickly, slicing several pieces of raw carrots that he had set up below his hand, but it left Noah’s hand unscathed.

“I wasn’t worried,” Noah said confidently after the show, while his father, John Horton of Waynesboro, laughed.

He was just one of many volunteers who Swan asked to join him on stage Sunday afternoon as part of his holiday-themed magic show at Hooverville Elementary School.


The annual show, which is hosted by the Rouzerville Lions Club, is offered free of charge to the community. Every child in attendance was treated to a free stuffed animal, in addition to the chance to win one of six bicycles that were raffled.

Aileen Zeigler, coordinator of the event for the Lions Club, said the club hosts the event every year as a way to give back to the community. About 169 children plus their parents attended, she said.

“It’s all about the children,” Zeigler said.

Swan, who hails from the Philadelphia area, sang songs, coaxed surprised faces with his optical illusions and brought widespread laughter from those in the crowded gymnasium at Hooverville.

“Didn’t you hear the people in here?” Swan said when asked why he enjoys entertaining.

Some of his most awe-inspiring acts of the afternoon were two stunts late in the performance when he ate fire and walked on shards of broken glass while giving a piggyback ride to a parent from the audience.

Swan said he learned both tricks while working for a traveling carnival when he was younger.

“I really liked the fire (trick),” said Noah, who came with his father and sister, Emily, 10.

John Horton said they’ve been coming to the show for the past couple of years.

“It’s always a great show,” he said. “I really appreciate the Lions for doing it.”

Although this was his first performance in the Lions’ show, Swan thanked everyone for coming and also members of the community for their generous donations that make the event possible.

He also offered some advice for youngsters.

“Find something you like doing and then do it. That really is the secret to success,” he said. “The best jobs in the world are the ones that you enjoy doing.”

After Swan’s performance, Zeigler announced raffle ticket numbers for the six bikes that were given away, three for boys and three for girls.

Jessica Elden of Waynesboro was announced as one of the bike winners. She went Sunday with her parents, Matt and Holly Elden, and her sisters, Sarah and Emily.

“We loved it,” said Holly Elden. “It was a great show.”

The family said they’ve been coming to see the show for the past five years, and this isn’t Jessica’s first time winning a bike. Two years ago, her name also was called.

Smiling, Holly Elden hinted that Jessica is a lucky charm.

“We’re going to start buying lottery tickets,” she joked.

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