By Dolores Bader

Sometimes the most interesting ideas just come out of the blue. During a coffee session with friends on the Monday after the end of the State Fair the topic of the Bill Riley Talent Search show on IPTV the night before became the focus of the conversation. There was no disagreement in that group about the fact that there are some very talented young people in this corn and bacon state!

One thought begets another and someone said, “La Porte should include a talent show with the Festival of Trails Celebration.” The idea had the full support of the small group. The next thought was a question: “Who could get that done?” Think about it. There is more than enough talent in both Sprout and Senior divisions in this area to warrant contacting the Riley organization to check the possibilities. Even if a connection can’t be made, the idea is still worthy of pursuit on merit alone.

The Riley Talent Search Competition marked its 54th year at this year’s competition. A harp solo by sixteen year old Marjorie Gast of Cedar Falls sent her home with a $4000 prize for a second place win. A total of $17,000 in prize money went to winning participants. The show was great fun to watch. I also know from school events that there are youngsters in this community who could easily have matched those performing.

This year’s performance at the Festival by the reunited On the Brink group generated a lot of talk. People really enjoyed the group’s reunion. I heard the comment more than once, “They should come back every year!” What other ideas are in the incubator ready to hatch? The recent Kick Ball tournament at the Lions Complex is one more example of the spirit that says, “If you promote it they will come.” That event fostered a huge gathering. We need to remember that the Festival theme of trails means adventure in many directions. What ideas do you have for 2014?