ALEXANDRIA – “Magic Matt” appeared in its sixth year at the 4-H Madison County Fair, warming his audience by joking around while performing magic tricks. And he continues to do so on every show.
Matthew Scherer is “Magic Matt” and his four performances on Wednesday were a hit with children and adults alike at Beulah Park.
Interacting with the kids and making them smile is what he looks forward to when he returns for his sixth year at the fair.
Scherer, from Marseille, Illinois, goes to many fairs in the Midwest to present his family shows. He has been in the business for 35 years.
“I never put it away as an amateur,” he said. “I picked up the balloons and the magic together, and was able to do a bit of both. It’s just a fun family event.
Last year, the pandemic prompted Scherer to suspend operations. This year, he said, he can’t wait to get back in the spotlight, all for the kids.
“I was totally closed, I was not able to make a public performance,” he said. “A lot of fairs that canceled last year have reminded me, and we’re all back up and running, so I’m pretty well booked throughout Labor Day.”
The Alexandria Kiwanis Club hired Scherer after entertainment director Randy Miller researched options for the fair.
“I started watching magicians and I started watching different shows aimed at little children,” he said. “The first year I heard Magic Matt, he walked in and sat at the end of the building. He had blankets for the children to sit on, and he did magic tricks.
Miller said Scherer performs better every year.
“He’s a good influence, … I’m trying really hard to make sure I get him in here.”
During his four shows at the fair, Scherer joked with the audience and invited children to join in his performance.
Miller noticed that his third show attracted more viewers.
“The kids love it. That’s why I keep hiring him.
Anderson’s Michelle Cunningham returned to the fair this year with her family and stopped by to watch the Magic Matt show.
“It is important that the community comes together,” she said. “Especially after COVID, it’s a safe way for kids to come together. “