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Be a star at the Tri-County Fair

August 13, 2014

Singers of Inyo, Mono and Alpine counties have the chance to compete for bragging rights, prizes and a donation to their favorite charity during the Inyo, Mono, Alpine Idol Contest at the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair on Thursday, Aug. 28.
The IMA Idol contest is a new feature at the fair that will have the best singers from the Tri-County area performing one or two songs on the MGD stage. The event is free for spectators with the price of admission to the Fair. Spectators will also have the opportunity to vote on their favorite performer.
The deadline to register for IMA Idol is Friday. Entry forms are available at the Tri-County Fair office in Bishop and online at The registration fee is $10 per contestant.
Tri-County Fair CEO Sally Symons said Wednesday that the IMA Idol contest was added to the fair line-up this year in an effort to give local residents another opportunity to participate in the fair, and showcase their talents. “We’re hoping to get some more public involvement. We want as much participation as we can get,” and give residents the chance to entertain their friends and neighbors.
Contestants must come prepared with two songs they can perform. Symons explained that this year, IMA Idol is strictly a singing contest, and instruments are not aloud, so participants must have their music available on a CD.
A panel of judges will select the top five contestants from the first round to advance the finals and perform their second song.
Following the finals, the judges will pick the top three participants to win prizes: $100, and a Fair package that includes two all show passes and two carnival wrist bands for first place; $50 and a Fair package for second place; and $25 and a fair package for third place.
In addition, Symons said there will be a special $100 prize for the People’s Choice award winner. For the People’s Choice categories, spectators will have an opportunity to purchase chips for $1 each. Spectators can place those voter chips in a jar for each contestant. All proceeds from the chips will be donated to the charity of the People’s Choice winner’s choosing.
Symons said there has been interest from a diverse group of residents, ranging in age from their early 20s to their early 60s, and ranging in musical style from modern pop to classic show tunes, to songs from a popular musical. “We’ve had people call with questions about it, there’s been interest,” Symons said. “It’s an interesting spectrum of folks.”
Symons said that the charities contestants have chosen to raise money for are as diverse as the contestants, with singers already signed up to represent Playhouse 395, ICARE and Disabled Veterans.
Those who would like to participate in the IMA Idol contest can select any style of music to perform, as long as it is appropriate for a family event.
Depending on how this year’s IMA Idol contest goes, Symons said the competition may be opened to other musicians, or organized as an all-around talent show in future years. “But this year, we just gotta put our toe in the water” and test it out, Symons said.
For more information on the IMA Idol contest, call the Tri-County Fairgrounds at (760) 873-3588 or visit

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