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OED to stage Idol this year
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Students in Effingham middle and high schools will have a chance to show off their star power at the first Effingham Idol.

Olde Effingham Days announced this week that it will host Effingham’s brightest vocal talents April 13 in Springfield for a competition similar to the hit reality show American Idol, which finds and rewards amateur vocalists.

Co-chairman of the Olde Effingham Days committee, Clarence Morgan, said that they wanted to “try something new” for the Friday night entertainment, traditionally a street dance.

“I think it’s going to be great,” he said. “I think the kids, their parents and the community will come out and enjoy it.”

There will be a middle school division and a high school division of the singing competition. The three middle schools and both high schools will organize internal competitions to determine their finalist representatives.

There will be three finalists from each middle school and four from each high school.

“I think the students are really going to enjoy a chance to get up on the stage in the spotlight,” said Superintendent Randy Shearouse.

There will be a winner and a runner up in each division, with the winners getting $300 and the runners-up getting $200, as well as trophies.

A $100 prize will go to a “People’s Choice” winner in each division. This title will be given to the contestant from each division with the most $1 votes during the competition.

“This gives the audience a say,” said Connie Burns, co-chair of the Olde Effingham Days committee.

Plans are to have three local “celebrity” judges to provide commentary and three “real” judges to determine the best performance.

There will be no admission for Effingham Idol or the festival, but vendors will be on site with food and crafts as always.

Olde Effingham Days, in its seventh year, will be April 13-14 in Springfield behind the administrative complex, at the Living History Site and at Ulmer Park.

In addition to Friday’s Effingham Idol, Olde Effingham Days will have popular festival staples such as the Living History Site with Civil War re-enactors, a flower show and an antique car and motorcycle show.

Olde Effingham Days committee members are selling Low Country boil dinners to be picked up between 10:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. Feb. 3. Tickets are $9 and will go toward expenses of putting on the festival.

Tickets can be bought at the Effingham Herald office in Rincon, the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce in Springfield and at the Effingham County Recreation and Parks Department in Springfield, as well as from committee members.

For more information, contact Brenda Bruner at, Clarence Morgan at, or call and ask for either at (912) 754-6339.