MARSHALL - Sounds of Summer, Marshall's annual festival, is next month, and it promises to be a fun time for all with a parade, music and plenty of children's activities. Wanting to add even more fun to the mix, SOS committee members Riann Rave and Rachel Sanow have come up with a way to expand the annual talent contest, which in the past has focused on singing.
Marshall's young residents can show their talents singing, telling jokes, juggling - whatever they can do well - at the first Sounds of Summer royalty contest.
"The talent could be telling jokes, dancing, singing, poetry, anything," Rave said.
The age categories are 5-10 years, 11-15 and 16-19. In addition to showing a talent, the contest includes modeling formal wear and an outfit of choice.
Rave and Sanow said they get asked what is meant by "formal wear" and "outfit of choice."
The "outfit of choice" means "anything that expresses your personality and creativity," said Rave. "It could be music inspired, or if you're a gymnast, it could be your gymnastic clothes. It could be summery clothes."
The formal wear doesn't have to be anything fancy - "this is a family-friendly contest," Rave said.
"You don't have to spend a single dime," said Sanow. "This isn't 'Toddlers and Tiaras.'"
The formal wear could be something you already own, Rave said.
"It could be holiday dress," she said. "We're not asking for full glitz."
Rave and Sanow hope Marshall youth sign up as soon as possible.
"It's a fun event featuring talent, creativity and personality," Rave said. "If the young person likes performing, it could be a place to develop his or her stage presence and confidence."
Rave and Sanow said the judges will be from out of town.
"They are two teachers who are not local," Rave said.
The contest will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, in the Schwan parking lot. Winners in each category get cash prizes and will represent Marshall in the SOS parade, Southwest Minnesota State University's homecoming parade, and the Tracy Box Car Days and Minneota Box Elder Bug parades.
Contestants should register by July 31 at www.marshallsoundsofsummer.com.
For more information, e-mail Rave or Sanow at firstname.lastname@example.org. The royalty contest is also sponsored by Marshall Community Services.