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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Youth talent shine at Fun Fest

by Garrett Fodor

Sunday, July 8 may have been the final day of the 31st annual Essex Fun Fest, but the festival was not shut down before local youth had a case to showcase their talents on the main stage.

  The Youth Talent Showcase featured several local performers, aged five through nine, who demonstrated their various talents before a crowd of supporters. In addition to performing a dance routine or singing a song, the young performers also answered two questions from the event judges. One of this year’s judges was Tia-Lynne McCann, who was recently named Miss Teen South Western Ontario.

  McCann said it was a fun day in which to participate. Ultimately, it was difficult to decide which of the talented performers would win top prize.

  “I was just looking at their appearance on stage, their act, and how they did it, and much practice went into it,” McCann said. “I hope I was able to inspire the kids, show them how to gain their confidence and not be scared to go out on stage and have fun. Everyone was amazing. I loved the confidence they all had.”

  This year’s edition featured six groups and seven total participants, with a wide range of talents ranging from singing and dancing to gymnastics.

  The participants all received a chance to ride the float in the parade on Saturday morning and received a ride all day pass for the midway.

  Earning first place honors was Jaycee, 9, for her gymnastics performance. Bentley, 6, and Ella, 6, finished second and third for their singing performances, respectively.

  Carolyn Garon, event organizer, said the event is one of her favourites of the weekend. Garon hoped the competitors had fun and will be a part of next year’s festivities that may potentially expand to add a second talent show for the older age groups if possible.

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