Professor Whizzpop enthralled young and old alike with his magic show at the Murphy Public Library on Friday.

SCOUTING AROUND: Local libraries will rock this summer

   It won’t stay quiet at the Andrews and Murphy branches of the Nantahala Regional Library this summer as children experience that libraries can rock.
    Libraries Rock is the children’s program theme for the Collaborative Summer Library Program, of which the Nantahala Regional Library is a member. The program aims to prevent the “summer slide.” While the program offers many tools for librarians, Youth Services Librarian Bridget Wilson planned most of the materials for the local branches on her own to fit the community.
    “You can go one of two ways with Libraries Rock – music or rocks,” Wilson said.
    She went with music, as the weekly storytime themes and school-age events will be musical, covering musical instruments, dance, and, of course, rock and roll.
    The local summer programs will kickoff Friday with the return of magician Professor Whizzpop.     
    Professor Whizzpop, who tailors his show each year to the collaborative program’s theme, will present his Musical Magical Tour, a 45-minute show combining magic, books and music.
    “I’m excited to have him back,” Wilson said. “He was very well-received last year.”
    Professor Whizzpop’s show will start in Murphy at noon and in Andrews at 2:30 p.m. Friday.
    Weekly storytimes for children ages 0-6, and events for children ages 7-12 start the week of June 11. Murphy will have storytime at 10:30 a.m. Mondays, with events following at 11 a.m., while Andrews will have storytime at 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays, with events following at 11 a.m.
    The summer reading challenge fro children ages 0-10 also starts the week of June 11, with children being able to pick up activity logs at their storytime or event. Each week children 10 and younger turn in their log for a small prize. Teens ages 11-18 have their own reading challenge to read or listen books for a minimum of 600 minutes. Logs for the Teen Reading Challenge will be available at the circulation desk starting June 11.
    The coloring contest will return this year, but Wilson added a coloring party special event to kick off the contest. She said last year, many kids picked up coloring sheets, but only about half were returned to be judged for the contest.
    “I’m hoping to get more sheets turned in,” Wilson said.
    The coloring party will be held Monday, July 30, at 11 a.m. in Murphy, and Wednesday, Aug. 1, at 11 a.m. in Andrews. Finished creations must be returned to a library branch by Aug. 17. For the contest, there five age categories, including adult, and judges will pick one winner in each category. Prizes will be awarded by Aug. 31.
    Wilson is most excited about the Ferdinand Party she is planning as a special event for both branches in August. The parties – at 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3, in Murphy and 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 17, in Andrews  – will include games and crafts based on the popular book made into a movie starring John Cena as the peaceful bull.
    Wilson knew she made the right choice to add a Ferdinand event when promoting the summer program at the elementary schools.
    “When I mentioned it at the schools, there was a gasp,” she said. “I think we’ll have a super huge turnout, and that’s always fun.”
    Other summer special events at the Andrews branch include Paper Light Craft at 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 17; Tie-Dye at 3 p.m. Friday, July 20; and a Card Crafting Class at 3 p.m. Aug. 1. At the Murphy branch, there’s one other special event planned – Rock Painting at 3 p.m. Friday, July 13.
    For details, call Wilson at 837-2025.

Site praises local pub
    The Parson’s Pub got a big surprise Memorial Day. The Only in Your State website published an article naming the downtown Murphy pub as having “some of the best food in the Southeast.”
    General Manager Colby Beck said a patron brought the article to his attention.
    “We’re really honored,” Beck said. “We had no idea whatsoever.”
    He said he was never called by the author, Robin Jarvis, and suspects she must have stopped by at some point in her travels. She is a travel and entertainment writer for the website who loves to hike and kayak.
    The article featured praise for the pub’s atmosphere and food, with several photos showing what’s offered.
    “I liked the fact that she focused on the fact that we’re not a bar,” Beck said, adding that the local eatery is for everyone, including families.
    The article, “This Small Town North Carolina Pub Has Some of the Best Food in the Southeast,” can be read at onlyinyourstate.com/north-carolina/parsons-pub-murphy-nc. The article had been shared more than a thousand times in just a few days.
    Samantha Sinclair is the Scouting Around columnist for the Cherokee Scout. You can reach her by email, scoutingaround@cherokeescout.com; fax, 837-5832; or by leaving a message in the office at 837-5122.