The Roxborough Development Corporation hosted a holiday party for kids this weekend, complete with magic tricks, a Santa sighting, finger painting and plenty of other children’s activities.
Lamont Samuel, who has been performing magic shows as Mr. Magic for 40 years, kicked off the event.
Samuel performed a simple set of hand tricks, with props such as cards, ropes and rings. He says the nature of his magic tricks are often simple and mechanical while his presentation and stage presence are what captivate the audience.
“I like the humor and making people laugh,” Samuel said. “I think that’s the best part of it.”
Samuel is often seen performing at the Manayunk Arts Festival each year.
“These [Roxborough Development Corporation] guys saw me at the Manayunk Arts Fest and they stole me from the Manayunkians,” Samuel says.
Roxborough’s native comedian Chris Morris is another resident who enjoys making people laugh. He attended the Roxborough Development Corporation’s holiday party dressed as Santa Claus, talking to attendants and waving to cars and people who passed along Ridge Avenue.
Morris says he has performed in character roles for 16 years, just as long as he has done comedy.
“I’ve always loved kids and to see them happy when they see Santa is priceless,” Morris says. “Playing Santa is extremely rewarding because to see kids’ faces light up when they see him is awesome.”
The Roxborough Development Corporation has grown to include 80 volunteers, said its executive director Bernard Guet, who joined the non-profit in 2006.