EATON — The junior fair talent show filled the cavernous Toney Building with a variety of music and performance on Sunday evening, Aug. 2, as young 4-H members performed for family, friends, and judges.
The show featured both singing and dancing, and a spontaneous senior category.
Stephen Garrett, a member of the fair court, served as a lively emcee for the evening. He introduced judges Jay Conard, director of many local musical groups including the Eaton Community Choir and the Richmond Community Symphony and Lavon Wright, Preble County Auditor and lifelong musician. They enjoyed judging and said the contestants put in good effort, though Conard said the decision was “hard with different types of performances.”
The first act was a clogging routine by Mallory Deaton, a member of the Cloverettes 4-H Club. She clinked onstage in white boots, performing a clogging routine with unflagging energy and a grin that didn’t fade. Impressed, Garrett asked, “If I wanted to start clogging, how would I start?” His feet, slow in sneakers, had trouble following the beginning steps her small boots showed, fluid with six years experience. Deaton earned second place.
James Beneke next came to the stage, a member of Monroe Better Livestock, and performed Imagine Dragons’ hit “Radioactive.” He was poised on stage, possessed with the gravity of his song.
Jocelyn Beneke followed, a member of Spic n Span Pots n Pans 4-H club, who performed a clogging routine. Her biggest fan was her young brother, who pulled his father past the judges and watched her careful steps from just below the stage.
Elliana Hurst was the final contestant in that category, and illustrated “Fly to Your Heart” with a ballet routine in a glittering purple and green outfit. She used the entire stage space, green wings fluttering behind her as she spun. Hurst, a varied 4-Her with a state fair placing in a sewing project and a goat to show later this week, received the first place ribbon. She placed second last year, and plans to continue competing in future years.
In a last-minute addition, junior fair board members Hannah Cline and Caleb Carson formed a senior category. Carson performed a marching band song on his cornet, and Cline covered Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Girl Put Your Records On.”
Though the show was much smaller than it has been in previous years, it still proved a fun evening for contestants and audience.