Festival of the Arts features children's vocal competition

So it's not quite "American Idol," but it comes close.

Kids can impress judges and audiences with singing, dance or other talents at the second annual "Festival Idol" competition, held Tuesday through Saturday, April 25, during the Arts Council of Oklahoma City's annual Festival of the Arts.

"It really is a talent show, so they can do almost anything," said Emily Reagan, communications director for the council. "We have about 750,000 people coming to Festival every year, so it really is a live audience. You don't know who's going to hear you."

Participants will audition Tuesday through Friday, and the top 12 finalists will compete Saturday evening for the coveted top spot of "2009 Festival Idol" within their age bracket. The three age groups include kindergarten through fourth grade, fifth through eighth grade, and ninth through 12th grade.

"This will give children a good experience in front of a live audience if they are looking at performing in their future," Reagan said.

Founded in 1967, the Festival of the Arts celebrates visual, performing and culinary arts. It includes four stages of performing arts and entertainment, food vendors and a children's area. "Festival Idol" helps promote kids' involvement in the event, Reagan said.

"Maybe one day, these kids will be performing with the festival when they're older," she said. "We expect the best talent in Oklahoma City."

The competition takes place in downtown Oklahoma City at the Children's Stage. Advance registration is required. Call 270-4848.

"Caitlin Harrison             

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