Minnesota State Fair Amateur Talent Contest registration is now open

Published 6:14 pm Friday, June 23, 2023

Calling all amateur singers, dancers, musicians, jugglers, acrobats and talented people of all ages: Registration is now open to audition for the 50th annual Minnesota State Fair Amateur Talent Contest. 

Auditions run Monday, July 24, through Sunday, July 30, at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell on the fairgrounds. Registration is available online at mnstatefair.org/competitions/amateur-talent-contests/. The deadline to register for auditions is 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 26. Everyone who auditions receives a commemorative MSF Amateur Talent Contest T-shirt.

 From the summer auditions, semifinalists are selected to perform during the first 10 days of this year’s Minnesota State Fair on the Leinie Lodge Bandshell stage, sponsored by Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. Winners from the semifinals then compete in the finals on Sunday, Sept. 3, on the Grandstand stage. In total, nearly $20,000 in prize money is awarded to the first- through third-place winners in three divisions: Open Division (any age), Teen Division (ages 13-18) and Preteen Division (ages 12 and under).

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 Over the past five decades, more than 17,000 acts have auditioned for the MSF Amateur Talent Contest, with 5,500 qualifying for semifinal competition. 

More than $250,000 in prize money has been awarded to top finishers. Past winners include Nashville-based country music singer-songwriter Caitlyn Smith, local theater actor Max Wojtanowicz, beatbox artist DJ Snuggles, piano prodigies Emma and Jacob Taggart, and Minneapolis’ first family of soul The Steeles.