Talent fair to be added to Sportsman’s line-up

If you have a talent, something you think might entertain people or just want to ramble on about the qualities of President Obama or City Hall, you have a chance to win a substantial pile of cash next year during Frontier Sportsman’s Holiday.

Nancy Patton, chair of the Sweet Home Active Revitalization Effort Program and Marketing Committee, brought the idea back from a vacation in Boise, Idaho, and the Chamber of Commerce, with help from local businesses, is going to fund and run the show next summer. Prospective participants have nearly a year to badger their friends into attending and voting for them, and to hone their winning talent.

Stuffing the ballot box may be a sign of corruption and illegal during an election, but in this case, it’ll be encouraged and is likely to be a key strategy to winning.

The Sportsman’s Street Fair will follow the annual grand parade, said Chamber President Bruce Hobbs. The event will be a street competition held on Long Street on a portion of the parade route.

“Pretty much anyone who wants to take up space on the sidewalk could win,” Hobbs said. Spectators will have tokens and can vote for anyone they wish as many times and for as many people as they have tokens. The spectators will place the tokens into cups sitting in front of the performers. The street performer who has the most tokens in his or her cup wins.

Throwing money into the cups in appreciation of a performance also is acceptable, Hobbs said.

The idea is “to bring people and have fun,” Hobbs said. “The more people at an event, the funner the event.”

The rules are simple, he said. One, keep your clothes on. Two, keep it under 90 decibels. Three, stay inside your 5-foot space €“ unless you enter the contest in more spaces.

Performances in the Idaho event included the usual suspects: singers, dancers and the like, but it also included one guy proselytizing and a couple of political pundits. A karate drill team won.

Vote stacking is legal, Hobbs said. “If you’re stacking the vote, you know the guy next to you is going to stack that vote.”

Tokens will be available at local merchants about three months prior to the event, Hobbs said. Those who spend money at the local merchants will receive the tokens. Everyone also can stop by a booth and pick up three tokens the day of the event.

The chamber is working to extend the street closure on Long Street from 13th to 18th Avenue into the afternoon following the parade. Spaces will be provided along the sidewalk there. Performers pay $5 for each 5-foot square. Spaces will be assigned randomly.

Vendors also will be able to set up along the route.

The chamber is still working out the details, but each token will probably be numbered. The chamber is still working out the details, but a second prize will go to the person holding the winning number in a drawing.

While bringing activity to local merchants and providing a good time, the chamber is hoping to use the event to keep a steady stream of activity going all day long and encourage people to stay in town and participate in other events, such as the Sweet Home Rodeo and Working Logger Olympics, Hobbs said.

For more information, contact the chamber at (541) 367-6186.