Judges named for fair talent contest

Published 10:01 am Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Entries are coming in already for the 2008 Mower County Fair Talent Contest.

The contest will be held Saturday, Aug. 9 at 1 p.m. on the Godfather’s Fair Square Stage.

Entry deadline is Thursday, Aug. 7 at 6 p.m.

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The Mower County Fair runs Aug. 5-10 at the fairgrounds in southwest Austin

Judges are Coni Nelson and Barry Rush, both from Austin, and both professional musicians and entertainers.

Nelson teaches elementary music at Ellis Middle School, where she has five choirs.

Nelson also gives private voice lessons, sings with a local group called 2nd Edition, and is minister of music at First United Methodist Church in Austin.

Rush has played guitar in bands all his life.

A 32-year retiree from Hormel Foods Corporation, he got started in music on the East Coast playing with big bands, one of them called the Fantasy Big Band, which is still performing.

Locally, he has played with the Dixielanders and the Henry Charles band.

Currently he is retired and serves as vice president of the Mower County Humane Society board of directors.

Rush also heads up his own band called Rush Hour.

The talent show has three divisions: pre-teen is for entrants up to age 12; teen division is for any one within the ages of 13 to 19; and the open division will accept anyone who does not fit into the first two categories. Prize money paid is $40, first place; $30, second place; and $20 for third place in each division. First-place winners advance to the 2008 Minnesota State Fair to perform.

The entry fee is $10 and the contest organizers provide professional sound equipment for all contestants.

A piano is provided only if the contestant notifies the organizers on the time needed on the contest entry form.

Entry forms are found in the fair book which is in all Mower County banks and libraries or online at www.mowercountyfair.com.

For more information call the contest superintendent Vandy Newman at 437-4437 or Karen Wolff at 433-1868.