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Ventriloquist coming to NY Mills

James Wedgwood, a professional ventriloquist, will be coming to NY Mills on Saturday, Feb. 11 to help the library raise funds for new carpet.

Without moving his lips, a one-man variety act will entertain entire families at the city hall in New York Mills.

Saturday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m., ventriloquist James Wedgwood will put on a family-friendly show with fun characters like Patrick McWiggins, the leprechaun.

According to his website, Wedgwood makes virtually everything talk - from wooden associates, to purses, bottles and even audience members. Since 1988, Wedgwood has been performing nationwide at colleges, fairs and city halls.

He learned ventriloquism as a child when his aunt sent him a plastic dummy and two phonograph records with instructional tips.

He said the main concept of ventriloquism, talking without moving your lips, takes the average person about six months to master. Perfecting the performance aspect of ventriloquism takes years.

With more than two decades under his belt, Wedgwood said he continues doing ventriloquism because he "enjoys making people laugh."

Advanced tickets will be sold at the library for $15 until 2 p.m. on Feb. 11. Tickets will also be available at the door for $20. Kids may attend for free.

The evening will include hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar and a silent auction.

Proceeds from the night will go to the NY Mills Library, which is working toward a hefty goal - $10,000 for new carpet and paint. The carpet is in need of repair, as the last time renovations were done was 10 years ago.

"The faster we can raise the funds, the faster we can get this project started," said Julie Adams, library director.

Library patrons can donate items for the silent auction, or sign up to help at the Feb. 11 event.