Ad Spot

Oakboro celebrates 60th annual Talent Show

Streets fill up with cars and music fans every Fourth of July in Oakboro, one of the many traditional festivals in Stanly County.

One event that is part of the Oakboro 4th festivities is the annual talent show.

Hosted by Wes Tucker, this year’s talent show featured a myriad of various types of performances. Along with singers and instrumentalists, mime and interpretative dance were performed along with a number of acapella gospel songs.

Tucker noted many of the past performers and winners have gone to become big names in the performance industry.

Judges for the event included Stanly County Arts Council’s Renee Van Horn, Monroe Middle School band director Cassie McCormick and Oakboro First Baptist Church’s Rev. Jonathan Waits.

The adult division, with participants 17 years and older, saw 12 acts compete for top honors.

Dustin Curlee earned top honors in the adult division, playing guitar and performing his rendition of a Chris Stapleton song, “If It Hadn’t Been For Love.”

Having played for 11 years, Curlee talked about his feelings regarding the music of Stapleton.

“Chris Stapleton has always been an idol. The first time I saw him, I thought, ‘Wow,’ ” Curlee said.

Hoping to have a recording career of his own, Curlee found inspiration in Stapleton’s music. He has performed in bars, but said he preferred being on stage in venues like the Talent Show.

“I like to play in front of a bunch of people,” Curlee said. “I love my music and am passionate about it.”

Winning the talent show felt amazing, he added, saying he had finished in second the prior year.

Brandon Perry’s mime performance to a gospel song earned him second place at the talent show.

Another performer with guitar in hand, Daniel Poole, earned third-place honors in the adult division with his original song, “Close Your Eyes,” which he described as a cross between flamenco guitar and heavy metal.

The Youth division winner was 11-year-old Lena Preslar, who led off the entire show with her version of “Rise Up” for the many in attendance.

Sixteen-year-old Jake Bryant, complete with American flag-colored cowboy hat, entertained fans with his version of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man,” winning him second place in the youth division.

Another 11-year-old, Ethan Tarlton, performed the “Cherokee Shuffle” on the mandolin, garnering him third-place honors.