Magician Greg the Great entertains at the Albert Lea Public Library

Published 8:32 pm Thursday, June 20, 2024

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By Ayanna Eckblad

The children’s library at the Albert Lea Public Library on Thursday was packed with children, parents and grandparents to see a special show with magician Greg the Great.

This was part of the library’s 2024 summer reading program “Adventure begins at your library.” Greg the Great, otherwise known as Greg Skillestad, has been performing for about 20 years, and he is a favorite among families in Minnesota.

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Some of his tricks included “coloring” a blank coloring book with his mind, producing a giant drinking straw from a small paper bag and even pulling a live dove out of a book.

Oftentimes during the show he asked for children to volunteer to come to the front of the room and help him with one of his tricks.

Skillestad used comedy and storytelling to keep everyone entertained between tricks so there were no dull moments. Although the audience mainly consisted of early elementary age children, it was clear to see that the older children and adults in attendance were also having a good time.

Another notable illusion Skillestad performed during the show was taking three solid colored scarves, putting them into an empty bag and pulling out an American flag. Skillestad said this trick is especially meaningful to him as he is a veteran. According to Skillestad’s website, he served as a U.S. Army airborne air assault military police officer as well as police chief.

This library’s summer reading program aims to support literacy, development and learning in children, teens and adults. This includes crafts and science experiments, book pals and special events like magic shows. Greg the Great is the second magician to perform at the library this summer, the first being “The Magic of Isaiah” on June 6 and Jim Jayes, which will be on July 11. For more information visit or call the library at 507-377-4350.