by Peter Bodley
The 2012 Coon Rapids Snowflake Days celebration ended Saturday with the annual children’s carnival at Epiphany School.
Sponsored by the Coon Rapids Snowflake Association and hosted by the 2012 Coon Rapids Junior Royalty families, the carnival took place in the school’s cafeteria and gymnasium.
Activities included face painting, hair coloring, crafts, carnival games, concessions and prizes.
A highlight of the carnival is the magic show presented by magician Robert Halbrook assisted by his wife Lynn.
Halbrook, who is from Duluth, has been performing every year at the Snowflake Days carnival since 2005.
According to Halbrook, he did magic tricks as a child, but has been a full-time, professional magician the last 14 years.
But it happened by chance. He and his family were on a cruise and at one of the stops, he went into a magic shop and purchased some tricks, Halbrook said.
On the airplane flight home, Halbrook practiced the magic tricks he had purchased for his fellow passengers, he said.
“They liked them a lot,” Halbrook said.
Once home, Halbrook decided to sell his communications business and become a professional magician.
He has been successful. Halbrook works more than 300 dates a year, covering 60,000 miles a year over three states – Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.
His audiences are primarily children, but he also has a comedy magic show designed for adults, Halbrook said.
“I love kids and to be successful you have to love kids,” he said.
“You have to have patience and understand that it is their show.”
Indeed, Halbrook’s show Saturday involved young children in the audience – four- , five- and six-year-olds – in all his tricks.
So was 2012 Miss Coon Rapids Samantha Phillippi, who was invited to be part of Halbrook’s mind reading magic act with Chico the Mind Reader.
Peter Bodley is at