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Singers needed to try out for ‘O Say Can You Sing?’ competition

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Can you hold a note better than Carl Lewis? Can you remember the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner” better than Christina Aguilera? Then you may already be on the road to becoming the next Jacqueline Pearson.

Pearson got concerts at the Washington State Fair grandstand started on a patriotic note for years, followed by Jennifer Lauer until 2014. Now, Fair organizers are looking for more fresh faces to do the honors at this year's Fair, which will be held from Sept. 2-25 at the Washington State Fair & Events Center in Puyallup.

Organizers are accepting submissions for their second annual “O Say Can You Sing?” competition, which will give 21 performers a shot in the spotlight. “They would get to perform the National Anthem before our big events, like our concerts and rodeos,” said Symone Littlefield, the Fair's public relations coordinator.

Both vocal groups, individuals and instrumental entries will be accepted in the contest. Video entries can be uploaded on YouTube or submitted by mail. An outline of the official contest rules and procedures, plus complete lyrics of the first verse of “The Star-Spangled Banner” are found at: www.thefair.com/contests/details/o-say-can-you-sing. No entry fee is required.

After the Feb. 19 deadline, the first round will be screened by a panel of judges, which will be looking for overall appeal of the vocal or instrumental performance, and lyrical accuracy. The top 40 entries will move on to the semi-final round, where they will perform live at the grandstand during the Washington State Spring Fair, which will be held from April 14-17 this year. Semi-finalists will receive four gate tickets to the Spring Fair, plus six gate tickets to the Washington State Fair.

Judges will select the top 20 entries from the second round, as well as one wild card entry selected by the public. Three alternates will also be selected. Each winner will perform the national anthem at one of the 2016 Washington State Fair concerts and rodeo events.

The 21 grand prize winners will receive one-night double occupancy standard hotel accommodations for winners who live outside a 100-mile radius of the Washington State Fair Event Center, six tickets to the concert or rodeo performance for which they are performing the national anthem, $200 cash and a Fair gift bag. For more info about the Sept. 2-25, Washington State Fair (closed Tuesdays), visit www.thefair.com.

Tacoma Weekly staff

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