Santa Clara families were delighted on June 18 when Red Panda Acrobats took over the Central Park Pavilion stage for the second installment of the Santa Clara Library’s Family Fun Night.
Wayne Huey, Red Panda Acrobats’ featured performer, juggled, balanced and contorted his body all while showing his incredible body control. Huey not only bent himself in half to shimmy through a barrel, but the acrobat undertook various balancing acts – both with himself and with inanimate objects – viewers had to see to believe.
One particular “trick,” and also his final of the evening, involved Huey stacking three rectangular blocks end-to-end on top of a platform. Huey then hoisted himself up into a handstand, while balancing his body on a clearly unstable surface. Onlookers were amazed with his ability, and to prove there were no magnets or trickery afoot, Huey – still in a handstand position – pushed his arms out, sent the blocks flying, and fell into the platform. Just before hitting the ground, he managed to catch himself and held a v-split, bent-arm handstand pose – further proving his inhuman abilities.
In another display of what should be an inhuman ability, Huey’s partner and mentor Mr. Niu Gui Zhang showed off his own unrelated-to-acrobatics skill of Chinese “mimicking” – perfectly imitating the sounds of birds and other animals.
Prior to the acrobatic performance, KeyPoint Credit Union CEO Brad Canfield and Vice President Helen Grays Jones presented Santa Clara Library Foundation President Joy Hansen with a generous donation to assist with the library’s Summer Reading Program.
“It’s our pleasure tonight to make a donation in the amount of $10,000 supporting the Summer Reading Program and the Santa Clara Library Foundation and Friends who make this all possible,” said Canfield. “They do a lot of work and they ought to be very, very proud of what they do.”
KeyPoint’s donation means “that we will be able to continue to provide great programs for all ages to enjoy,” said Santa Clara Library’s acting Division Manager of Youth and Extension Services Erin Ulrich. “We are very proud of the variety and caliber of programs that we offer during the summer. When families come in for events, they will most likely participate in the reading portion of our Summer Reading Program as well. This is great because it helps children and teens retain their literacy skills, and in some cases, improve their skills for the upcoming school year. Parents become great reading role models for their kids. It also makes thousands of library users very happy, especially during these economic times when entertainment for families can be very costly.”
Throughout the month of June and most of July, the Santa Clara Library will continue to host Family Fun Nights each Monday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Central Park Pavilion. June 25 marks the third week of family programming. The library will welcome musician and entertainer Wiley Rankin for “an evening of singing, dancing and jumping for joy” according to the library’s website. Admission to the event is free and all ages are welcome. For more information visit http://library.santaclaraca.gov/index.aspx?page=8. Also visit the website for information and to sign up for the Summer Reading Program for children, teens and adults. Signups will continue through July 14.