City to channel Hogwarts this week

New Haven may not exactly be Halloween Town, and Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. may be slightly less terrifying than Jack Skellington, but an extra whiff of magic will be in the air this week.

Magic Week New Haven — which kicks off today with the Mayor’s Halloween Parade on the New Haven Green — will feature a host of magic-themed events designed for city dwellers of all ages, including some specifically focused on the magic of recycling.

“Magic is an ancient art form which continues to create enjoyment and a vital sense to our modern society,” DeStefano said when he declared the city would host the week.

Functions for older magic-lovers include professional magic shows at night clubs like Lilly’s Pad at Toad’s, Caffé Bottega and Anna Liffey’s Pub, and children can attend performances by volunteers at New Haven public libraries. There will also be an exhibit on magic tricks and props at the Main Library and magic classes for adults.

C.J. May, the University’s recycling coordinator, said performances during the week will include both traditional and innovative magic tricks.

“There’s certainly going to be some old stuff — making coins disappear, predicting cards, pulling rabbits out of hats — which can be pretty amazing when done properly,” May said. “But there’s also going to be [exciting] new stuff in the Criss Angel, David Blaine style.”

May said Yale Recycling will attempt to use Magic Week — and he will use his performance, “Recycling is Magic” — to convey the idea that recycling is magic.

“I want to give children the message that they do not need wands to become wizards,” May said. “All they need is a blue bin.”

Another recycling-themed magic performance called “Halloween at Hogwarts” will take place at the McDougal Graduate Student Center this Sunday.

“We spent several months planning, organizing and preparing for this,” Dan Hovey, a senior administrative assistant in the President’s Office, said, without revealing information about his performance, entitled “Magic Dan.”

Magic Week is making its debut in New Haven this year, but its origins can be traced back 80 years to the first anniversary of the death of Harry Houdini. Houdini was once the president of the Society of American Magicians, the group that chose to create Houdini Day, which eventually evolved into National Magic Week, according to the organization’s Web site.

Magic Week New Haven is being sponsored by the International Brotherhood of Magicians Ring 59.

Each year the S.A.M. asks governors and mayors to issue proclamations declaring the week before Halloween Magic Week.

City Hall spokesman Jessica Mayorga said she thinks the community will find Magic Week entertaining.

“Magic Week is an opportunity to engage children and residents in a fun and diversified event,” Mayorga said.

One Yale student said she has noticed the efforts to publicize Magic Week and that some of its events appeal to her.

“I’ve been noticing the flyers around, and the prospect of not only magic shows but adult magic classes is very exciting,” Blair Lanier ’11 said.

The Mayor’s Halloween Parade will include over 1,200 costumed school children led by DeStefano, who will also be in costume.

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