COVINGTON - Area residents don't have to go all the way to Hollywood and audition in front of Simon Cowell to become an Idol.
They can become a local singing star by participating in this year's Covington Idol.
For the second year, the Covington Lions Club will hold a singing competition during Sherman's Last Burning Fall Festival in October.
"Last year was such a success," said Doreen Stallworth, publicity chair for the event. "It was packed; people just stayed there. So (the club members) said if this is something that's an interest for the citizens of Newton County and surrounding counties, then let's do it again."
Although the competition, which is based on the premise of the Fox television show "American Idol," isn't until Oct. 9 and 10 at the festival, club members are looking for entries from now until Aug. 22. It is open to the public, no matter the place of residence.
To enter, individuals of any age must record one song on a cassette, CD or DVD and send it to the Covington Lions Club, 55 High Point Forest Drive, Covington, GA 30016. Background music is allowed in the recording, but the singing of rap music or inappropriate lyrics is unacceptable.
Only the song title and the contestant's name should be listed on the recording.
Along with a non-refundable $20 entry fee in the form of a check or money order made payable to the Covington Lions Club, the contestant must include his or her name, age and date of birth, mailing address, telephone number, song title and a photograph. Contestants age 17 and younger also must have a parent or legal guardian co-sign with the contestant. The Covington Idol application is available at the Covington Lions Club Web site, www.covingtongalions.org.
Contestants age 18 and older will compete for Covington Idol at 2 p.m. Oct. 10, while those age 17 and younger will compete for Jr. Idol at 6 p.m. Oct. 9.
"We figure it's more fair for the younger people" to have two competitions, said Richard Garner, an event organizer. "Hopefully it will inspire some more younger people to come in the competition."
After a panel of judges reviews the entries and selects at least 15 finalists, the club will notify the finalists by Sept. 18 that they will perform at the festival in the final round of the competition.
The club will award prizes to first-, second- and third-place winners in each age category. First place will win at least $200 and a recording session; second place will take home at least $150; and third place will win at least $100. Prize amounts could increase before the competition.
More information about Covington Idol and the fall festival is available by calling 770-787-0896, e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting the Covington Lions Club Web site.
Michelle Floyd can be reached at email@example.com.