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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Young talent takes to the spotlight during Fun Fest

All 14 contestants pose with the winners of each division of the Youth Talent Showcase at the 32nd Essex Fun Fest. 

by Garrett Fodor

Area youth showed off their talents in front of friends, family, and a large audience of supporters last Thursday evening during Essex Fun Fest’s annual Youth Talent Showcase.

  The talent show kicked off the four-day festival, and proved to be a crowd favourite as the rain did not stop the audience from gathering.

  Event organizers moved the Youth Talent Showcase back to Thursday night. In the past, it was hosted on the Fun Fest Saturday. This switch-up provided for the largest field yet. This year’s showcase featured 14 participants across two divisions: the junior division, for youth aged 4 to 8, and the senior division, for those aged 9 to 12. This year’s acts had a wide-range of disciplines from singing and dancing, to a violinist, a guitarist, and a gymnast.

Fynn Tilley, 11, played the violin in the Fun Fest Youth Talent Showcase, which earned a first place in the senior division.

  Carolyn Garon is the Youth Talent Showcase Organizer and said the event is one of her favourites of the weekend. She has been organizing the event for the last three years and she was excited at how much it has grown.

  Garon hopes the competitors had fun performing and decide to be a part of next year’s festivities, too.

  “I think they come out and they see their friends and the audience participation in the event and how much fun it can be to be on stage,” Garon said. “It doesn’t matter what your talent is, we want to see all of them and the audience enjoys them. It has really grown this year as we have 14 participants across two divisions. And we plan on continuing to hold it Thursday nights now.”

  Each participant in the event received a ride all day pass for Fun Fest, an opportunity to ride on the Essex Fun Fest float along with an Essex refillable water bottle that could be filled up at the festival’s water bottle refilling station.

  Awards were also handed out for the top three acts as voted by a panel of judges in each age group.

  Winning in the junior division was Jacey Adam, 8, who performed on the balance beam, with Bentley Bellavance, 7, and Paisley Robinson, 7, earning second and third place honours. Fynn Tilley, 11, won the senior division with his violin performance, while Daisy Piroski, 11, and Christina Nakhle, 12, earned second and third place.


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