COVINGTON - This year's Covington Lions Club fall festival will provide more live entertainment than in the past.
Several club members decided this was the year to hold Covington Idol, a singing competition, during Sherman's Last Burning Fall Festival and BBQ Cook Off set for the weekend. It is a first for the event.
Out of 24 entries the club received in September, 18 will perform at 1 p.m. Saturday for the competition. They will each sing one song on Stage 1 at the Legion Fairgrounds in Covington, where the annual festival is held.
"A lot of them came in at the last minute, so for a long time we didn't really expect that many" to enter the competition, said event organizer Richard Garner. "We hope next year we'll have more entries."
Those who entered the contest come from various hometowns - from Covington and Conyers to Douglasville and Suwanee - and also vary in age - from 14-year-olds Jordan Humphrey of Suwanee and Jordan Rager of Loganville to 72-year-old Conyers resident Bill Callas, who entered with the song "After the Lovin'" made famous by Engelbert Humperdinck in the late '70s.
"It's a good mix, and I think it's good to get the elderly involved, too," Garner said. "We don't have any duds either. ... It's a shame we couldn't have them all sing, but we had to break it up at some point."
The contestants also entered the contest with a variety of songs and genres, including country, oldies and popular radio hits.
Garner said next year, the club plans to hold the singing competition again but may break it up by age group.
During the festival Saturday, the contestants will perform on stage a song of their choice with a backup band or their own music, depending on their level of comfort, Garner said.
Three judges - Covington voice teacher Dana Henderson, Covington band leader Don Dimsdale and Conyers entertainer and studio production worker Barbara Dockett of Star Vision International Records - will score the contestants and pick the Top 5 winners. These were the same judges who picked the 18 finalists.
The first place winner will take home $250 and a recording session; second place receives $150; third place receives $100; fourth place receives $75; and fifth place receives $50; and all contestants receive a Sherman's T-shirt.
"Everybody says they'll have fun, and that's the main thing," Garner said about the performers. "They like to get up and perform. ... We hope everybody comes out for it."
Michelle Floyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SideBar: Covington Idol
When: 1 p.m. Saturday during Sherman's Last Burning Fall Festival
Where: Stage 1 at the Legion Fairgrounds, Covington
More Information: www.covingtongalions.org
David Ables, 57, Jackson
Scoot Allen, 35, Covington
Bill Callas, 72, Conyers
Jason Carver, 28, Social Circle
Stephen Cochran, 30, Covington
Audrey Davis, 16, Covington
April Draper, 34, Covington
Jordan Humphrey, 14, Suwanee
David Leon, 15, Dacula
Marcia McCart, 52, Covington
Ronnie McCart, 59, Covington
Drew Parker, 17, Covington
Jordan Rager, 14, Loganville
Julie Redish, 33, Covington
Billy Reese, 39, Douglasville
Ray Shaw, 71, Conyers
Ashlan Troutman, 17, Mansfield
Marti Williams, 18, Conyers