By Eraina Hooyer
Feet were stomping, two stepping and twirling on the Ponoka Stampede grounds during the Entertainment and Talent Night immediately following the chuckwagon races on June 30.
Ten performers from around Alberta took the stage and showed Ponoka a good time with a strong variety of songs.
The performers were backed by the professional group Hey Romeo who provided music and backup singing for each individual.
Each singer performed two songs of their choice and gave it their all for their chance of the night.
Keith Kjenner introduced each singer and kept things flowing throughout the performances.
Three of the singers were local area residents and the town had a chance to see the talent that these individuals had.
Alex Dion, from Hobbema, entertained the crowd and his energy radiated off the stage. Dion has a passion for music and began learning the guitar at age 14. Since then he has won many talent shows and continues with his passion by writing songs and is working towards becoming a recording artist.
Mark Ferguson, from Ponoka, donned a suit and hat as part of his entertainment for the night. His love of music was evident and he had the full attention of the audience. Ferguson is 14 years old and is currently studying voice, piano and trumpet.
Samantha MacKinnon, also from Ponoka, lit up the stage and did not disappoint the crowd with her voice. She was also a finalist for the talent night when she was 14 and had the chance to perform again.
Also among the finalists was Jeanette Carrico, Red Deer, Jennifer O’Neill, Edmonton, Jessica St. Dennis, Blackfalds, Kaitlyn Hiller, Leduc, Kurt Silk, Red Deer, Cole Malone, Innisfail and Mariya Soetaert, Stavely.
The ten competed to perform at the big stage at the Ponoka Stampede on May 2 and three. They performed two songs in front of the judges and entertained over 150 people at the Ponoka Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.
Out of the 34 people to audition, only 10 were chosen to perform during the Stampede.
In addition to singing on the big stage the performers were given two tickets to enjoy the George Canyon and Shane Yellowbird concert.
The Stampede Talent Night has seen some of their winners become famous after getting a chance to perform at the Ponoka Stampede. Artists like Shane Yellowbird, Brett Kissel and Adam Gregory got their start from the Stampede Talent Show.