Richard Cannon of Logan takes first place in first Cache Valley Magic Competition

From a field of seven contestants from as far away as Salt Lake City and southern Idaho, the first Cache Valley Magic Competition on Sunday, October 30, 2011 was won by longtime Logan resident Richard Cannon.
Winners of the first Cache Valley Magic Contest
Winners of the first Cache Valley Magic Contest
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Nov. 2, 2011 - PRLog -- Magicians from Salt Lake City to the south and Preston, Idaho to the north descended on Legends Billiard Club in Nibley on Sunday, October 30th to compete in Cache Valley's first Magic Competition. There were no restrictions on competitors, other than an eight minute time limit. The line up was determined by a random drawing, and Daniel T. Geddes of Preston, Idaho, a.k.a. "Abracadan" was up first with card effect in which the card selected by a spectator mysteriously rose from the card case she was holding as she concentrated on it. The second contestant was Ernie Flynn of Salt Lake City, who last month placed third in a magic competition in Salt Lake City and was named "Best Magical Entertainer" in the 2010 competition in Salt Lake City. Flynn enlisted the help of several spectators, one lending him a $100 bill which mysteriously disappeared in flames, only to be found deep in the center of a thoroughly examined lemon. "Lefty Outlaw" (a.k.a., Elias Caress) of Salt Lake was up next with a fast paced act of several feats, most memorable being the use of a psychic cockroach to divine a spectator's chosen card. Fourth was Steven Viator, a business student at USU in his first ever magic competition. He performed the venerable Chinese feat of linking and unlinking solid steel rings. Fifth was Celeste Mcculley from Salt Lake, in full voodoo regalia, who performed apparent sword swallowing and voodoo skullduggery. Sixth was Richard Cannon of Logan with a well practiced routine of rope magic, with the ropes stretching, shrinking, dividing and uniting in a most mysterious fashion. The final contestant was Eric R. Wanner, fresh from his first place win at last month's magic competition in Salt Lake City. His performance consisted of several effect,s the final being a baffler with colored light bulbs and switches which obeyed his commands and those of audience members, defying logic along the way.

Following the contest performances, the three judges - Legends owner (and magician) Allan Cornia, Logan native Carolyn Farrell, and USU Philosophy Professor Charlie Huenemann - retired to determine the outcome. Audience members were given ballots to vote for their favorite independent of the judges' ruling. During this interim, contest organizer, timekeeper and Master of Ceremonies Richard Hatch of the Hatch Academy of Magic and Music performed some items from his repertoire, including the classic Cups and Balls and Fred Kaps' famous Eleven Dollar Bill Trick.

The judges' unanimous verdict awarded first place to Richard Cannon of Logan, second place to Ernie Flynn of Salt Lake, and third place to Steven Viator of Logan. The "people's choice" award went to Eric R. Wanner of Syracuse, Utah.

The first place winner, Richard Cannon, 79, has been performing magic for 69 years, having been introduced to the art while growing up in Tremonton. The Loftus Magic Shop in Salt Lake City provided early inspiration on family outings to the big city. Cannon obtained a BS in Chemistry from USU then an MS, also in Chemistry, from the University of Idaho before returning to Cache Valley to begin a 35 year career with Thiokol and raise his son and two daughters. Retiring in 1997, he remains active in the community as a volunteer at Logan Regional Hospital, as an usher at the Lyric and Ellen Eccles Theaters, and as a clarinetist in the Cache Community Band. He is also an active member of Logan's Historic Harmony Masonic Lodge and serves as a Missionary at the LDS Employment Resource Service Center. Cannon has three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. A founding member of the Cache Valley Conjurers, he had originally intended only to observe the competition, but when told he could save the $10 cover charge by entering the competion, he stepped up to the plate and hit a home run, winning the $100 top prize!

Third place winner, Steven Viator of Logan, is also a founding member of the Cache Valley Conjurers, as well as a student of the Hatch Academy of Magic and Music.

Following the awarding of the prizes, Legend's patrons were entertained with spontaneous and informal performance of magic by the contentants, Allan Cornia and other magicians in attendance. Club owner Allan Cornia has indicated a desire to host additional magic events at  Legends, given the success of this inaugural event.

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The Cache Valley Conjurers is a group of magicians who meet to improve their performing skills and knowledge of the craft of theatrical conjuring. Membership is open to anyone with a sincere desire to learn and a willingness to respect the traditions of conjuring. Close-Up magic, stage magic, parlour magic, street magic, the history of magic, card magic, coin magic and mentalism are just a few of the interests group members share. The November meeting will begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 19th at the Hatch Academy of Magic and Music in the historic Thatcher-Young Mansion. The theme of the meeting is "Holiday Magic."
Source:Richard Hatch
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Location:Logan - Utah - United States
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