By ELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times
This year’s Five State Fair promises something for everyone, including the competitive events.
One of those events is the Gospel Sing-Off, which will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 29.
Tickets to get into the event will be $10 per person. The entry fee buys two voting tickets, the first ticket being for the first round and then after all of those are tallied (along with the judges’ votes) the top 10 will perform and the second ticket will decide the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners, who will open for Suzie McEntire the next evening.
This is the first year the Gospel Sing-Off has happened. Deadline to sign up as a contestant has been moved to July 21 and applications are available through www.fivestatefair.com and is open to solo singers and groups.
“We were going to have it just as single singers, but we’re opening it up to groups as well because we had some church choirs call and ask about it. So, it can be a solo, duet, trio or church choir,” Jennifer Malin, president of the Five State Fair Board, said.
Originally, the fair board was asking people to submit a CD of their singing, but that has been dropped. To be officially entered in the competition now, contestants need to simply fill out the application and take it along with the $10 entry fee to the United Wireless offices at 402 N. Kansas. The music must also be pre-approved by the judges and must be a Christian or gospel tune.
“We want to make sure no one’s singing the same songs because it’s not very fun if you’re sitting there listening to three people singing the same songs over and over. We want to make sure we have a variety and things like that,” Malin said.
Prizes are $300 for 1st place, $150 for 2nd place and $75 for 3rd place. Malin also offered encouragment for people to come out and show off their voices.
“Just come out and get involved,” she said. “If you can sing or have a group that can sing, just come out and have fun.”
Malin said they hope to have at least 25 contestants in the competition, but will adjust if the need arises. However, she still encourages people to sign up, saying she has received many inquiring phone calls about the compeition but no sign-ups as of yet.
“We’ve got a lot going on this year,” Malin said. “I think we’ve got double what we had last year so I just encourage everyone to come out and have fun and take in everything we’ve booked and all the hard work.”
For those who appreciate and like gospel music, July 29 and 30 are nights they don’t want to miss.
Once in a lifetime opportunity
The Five State Fair Board has made the following announcement on entering the Gospel Sing-Off scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 29.
Individuals or groups “do not” need to send in a CD to enter the Gospel Sing-Off, simply go to www.fivestatefair.com and click on the “Events” tab. Then go over to “Competitive Events Applications” and scroll down to the Gospel Sing-Off. Print it, fill it out and drop it off at United Wireless at 402 N. Kansas Ave.
The first 25 applicants will be those competing for the Top 3 places, who will return to the stage Wednesday evening as opening acts for the Susie McEntire concert.
Go fill out an application, who knows, maybe you or your group will place in the Top 3, and you'll get to meet Susie.