Getting personal with magic at Northglenn event

Expect more sleight of hand at third annual Magic Festival

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While Northglenn’s Magic Festival continues to bring in national acts, the event — now in it’s third year — is giving a little more emphasis on personal prestidigitation.

“You really want it to be close up,” Northglenn Events Supervisor Steven Stokes said. “Every year, we get people coming and they’ve seen maybe one magician — maybe they’ve seen two at a time. But this is a chance to see 25 magicians on site, and another 35 performances on one of our stages. So you can be there for nine hours and never have to see the same show twice.”

The Magic Festival returns from noon to 9 p.m. Aug. 17 at the city Recreation Center and the adjoining E.B. Rains Jr. Park.

Stokes said the event is now a one day event, but that one day is longer than before. It will have a similar split, with kid and family friendly magic early and more adult entertainment later on.

“It’s pretty much the same amount of hours, just compressed to a single day,” Stokes said.

The festival features four magic tents — one devoted to mind reading acts, one devoted to kid-friendly magic, a stand-up magic stage and a smaller sleight-of-hand tent. Each tent will feature a variety of acts rotating throughout the day.

“For the stand-up magic, magicians hate when I call it `Comedy magic’ but that’s essentially what it is,” Stokes said. “It’s a little bigger act. One act’s specialty is around money and counting routines. Another does more card magic.”

The sleight of hand tent is new, Stokes said. The audiences there will be limited to 20 people at a time for a 30 minute show, giving the entire audience a closer and more personal view of the tricks.

“I want people to be able to stand an arms-length away from these magicians and have them do a show,” Stokes said. “There is something about it when you are that close to a magician that makes it just mind blowing.”

There will be booths with vendors to selling wands, take home magic tricks and memorabilia, food trucks and a bar for adults and bounce houses for the kids. Wandering magicians will perform their tricks and the event includes other special activities with a Harry Potter theme during the day and mystery and adult themed events after dark.

Stage shows

The festival’s outdoor events are free of charge and open to everyone. The special shows indoor at DL Parsons Theatre are not free however and require tickets.

That includes a kid-centric specialty performance at noon. Tickets for that are $5.

Las Vegas magician Jeff McBride will host two shows, at 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., and tickets for those are $15 each.

McBride was named Magician of the Year by Hollywood’s The Magic Castle, a noted private club for magicians. He’s also been named by the Guinness Book of Records as having the fastest hands in the world. His act relies on masks and mime as much as it does sleight of hand.

“He has more of an Asian-influenced magic,” Stokes said. “It’s a kabuki-inspired performance with martial arts. It’s more of a performance-based magician compared to some of the other’s we’ve had. But even so, sleight of hand is one of his specialties.”

Northglenn’s festival wraps up with a Las Vegas-themed variety show for adults, set to begin at 9:30 p.m. Stokes said attended should expect more adult humor and potentially risque acts.

“You don’t have to purchase tickets in advance,” Stokes said. “You can buy them at the door, if there are any left. Keep in mind that all of our shows sold out last year.”

Visit www.themagicfest.com for a complete list of events, magician bios and tickets for the inside performances.

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