Local stars, sky shine tonight at Monticello Riverfest talent show, fireworks

By Vicki Ikeogu
Monticello Times

After moving back to her hometown of Monticello about two years ago after college, Brittany Lindahl was in search of a way to meet new people and become involved in the community.

“I loved theater in high school and college,” she said. “But I’m not a stage person. I like being behind the scenes of it all.”

After working alongside members of the Monticello Community Theater putting together a dinner theater show in late 2015, Lindahl began working closely with Jacque Gordon who was at the time the Riverfest Talent Show chair.

“Jacque was looking to phase out (as chair of the talent show),” Lindahl said.
This year, Lindahl takes over as the chair. The opportunity seemed to be a perfect fit.

“I shadowed Jacque for last year’s talent show,” she said. “And it was just a fun group (to work with). Everyone has been doing it forever.”

Now in its 18th year, the Riverfest Talent Show shows no signs of slowing down.

“People look forward to being entertained by ‘old’ favorites and being surprised and entertained by new, unique performances,” said Gordon. “The Monticello Community Theater seeks to recognize performers in this showcase of talent.”

Auditions were completed in June. About 20 acts will take the stage Friday, July 14 at the Performing Arts Center at Monticello High School.

“I’d say we have about 12 acts that are singing,” Lindahl said. “Either by themselves or with a piano or guitar accompaniment.”

The talent show starts at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $4 per person.

“My goal is to keep this a high-quality show,” Lindahl said. “And I couldn’t do it without several people helping me along the way.”

The two-hour talent show concludes with just enough time for spectators to grab lawn chairs, blankets and bug spray as the city prepares to launch dozens of fireworks into the air at dusk, just east of the high school.

Tom Moores, street superintendent for Monticello Public Works, coordinates the “Magic in the Air” fireworks display every year. He’s overseen the event for the past 15 years.

In addition to being in charge of the fireworks display, Moores also works on setting up and tearing down displays, booths and other supplies needed across the four days of Riverfest.

“Basically, if anyone needs anything they can contact me,” he said.
Even though Moores has a lot of responsibilities throughout the celebration, he still makes time to enjoy his favorites – that includes the “Magic in the Air.”

“This is our community,” Moores said about his commitment to the fireworks display. “And I just want to help make it a great event.”

Riverfest fireworks will be shot off between Monticello High School and Eastview on the northside, Moores said. Parking is available at the high school and Eastview.

Spectators can sit south of the softball fields. No spectators will be allowed in the new football stadium or bleachers, track or construction areas. These areas will be marked accordingly.

Vicki Ikeogu is a freelance feature and business writer for the Monticello Times.