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Manteca youth celebrate summer reading
summer reading
Magic Ron made his balloon animals while Iris Rose did the face painting at Wednesday’s Summer Reading Program Closing Party at Library Park. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT

The Summer Reading Program at the Manteca Branch Library just came to an end.

As part of Wednesday’s closing party, Magic Ron and Iris Rose were back for the third straight year, providing plenty of thrills and laughter for children of all ages.

Magic Ron is Ron Young of Tracy. He and his daughter Iris may have been a little late arriving to the special event at the local San Joaquin County Library branch – they were caught up in traffic between Stockton and Manteca – yet they still managed to hit their mark with dozens of enthusiastic youngsters.

“They always enjoy when we bring out the balloons,” said Young, who made plenty of balloon animals to go around following his magic show.

The local magician made coins appear and disappear, for starters.

He then brought out the balloons, using young volunteers from the audience – in this case, Maddox assisted Magic Ron in his act in which he not only made a French poodle balloon but popped it only to make it reappear, using the magic words: “balloonist united.”

The magician also performed the disappearing milk-in-the-bag trick, producing a live bird.

He also conjured up a bunny rabbit named Stu.

All along, Magic Ron was able to keep the audience guessing and entertained. He’s often hired to do birthday parties.

“He’s always a big draw at our closing party,” said library assistant Shirley Meeker.

The Summer Reading Program encourages youngsters to read during the summer months.

Book Buddies was another program held this summer at the Manteca Branch Library.

Incoming first-, second-, and third- grade students who are struggling with reading had a chance to work with teen volunteers in helping them grow in their reading level and confidence.

With afternoon temperatures sizzling in triple digits, Magic Ron, Iris Rose and the Summer Reading Program youngsters cooled down at nearby Library Park with “Water Sports and Watermelon,” according to Meeker.

They managed to beat the heat by snacking on watermelon and played games such as Wet T-shirt Relays. Sponge Dodge Ball, and Water Balloon War, to name a few.

Magic Ron made the balloon animals while Iris Rose did the face painting on youngsters.

Meeker added that this last event is usually the most attended one.

To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail