After spending some time at work Saturday covering a speech tournament followed by a forum on the voter ID amendment and taking photos at Marshall's St. Patrick's Day parade, I was so ready for a break. So I headed to Wood Lake and Ross and I did a walk around town before getting ready to eat. Even though neither one of us gambles (and this is surprising of me as both my parents are card-carrying members of St. Croix Casino in Turtle Lake, Wis.), I had suggested eating at Prairie's Edge. I liked the food the last time we were there, so I thought, "why not?"
We hit the St. Patrick's Day buffet, which even had corned beef and cabbage as one of the entrees. I'm not Irish in any way, shape or form and I don't really like foods from my own heritage, German and Bohemian, so I mainly went for a chicken dish and barbecue pulled pork. Actually saw a few familiar folks from the Marshall area; guess some of us had the same idea on how to spend the holiday.
During dinner, a deejay from the Paynesville area was announcing a We Fest karaoke contest that was taking place later in the evening. All you had to do was sign up before 9:15 p.m. Ross contemplated this for a bit and we ended up in the bar area where the contest was to take place. Ross went to grab a songbook and started flipping through pages. We were sitting across from a fellow from Olivia who seems to take part in a lot of these contests. And he sings the crooner type songs. He already had the potential winners pegged - Mike and Shanna. Guess they must all be regulars. At first, Ross wasn't sure if he was going to even compete. I was worried about having to work the next day. But the guy from Olivia convinced Ross to give it a shot. So we stayed. Ross was going to sing "Danny Boy" in honor of St. Patrick's Day. But he changed his mind and decided to do "The Boxer" by Simon and Garfunkel. I was glad the contest was starting somewhat early and the contestants only had to do one song.
So in random fashion, a young man named Anthony was selected to go first. He launched into an energetic rendition of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance." And he pretty much knew all the words. At least he was entertaining.
Shanna did "Broken Wing" by Martina McBride and she sure nailed it. Ross was somewhere in the middle of the pack. He chided himself for messing up part of the song. One of the women at our table, who turned out to be the deejay's wife, thanked Ross for doing the song, basically being "anything but country."
The contestants were from various spots - Willmar, Renville, Redwood Falls. There were a couple from the Marshall area. The first place winner was to receive two tickets to this year's We Fest and would move onto regionals. The second place winner would also move on. And at the end, there was a tie for second place with Shanna taking first. Mike came in second more or less. The man from Olivia predicted that one correctly.
For fun, Ross sang "Mississippi Squirrel Revival" by Ray Stevens. Who knew that a parody song would bring people out onto the dance floor?