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Singing with Spirit - of the West

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Eight North Dakota contestants will sing their hearts out tonight at the 29th Annual Colgate Country Showdown state finals taking place in Beach.

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The Colgate Country Showdown is billed as America's largest country music talent search and this year is a part of Beach's annual Spirit of the West celebration.

"The Colgate Showdown is special to Beach this year," City Auditor Kim Nunberg said. "They have chosen us for the North Dakota state finals."

The competition takes place at the Golden Valley fairgrounds and starts at 7:30 p.m. and is part of our annual Spirit of the West activities. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.

The showdown is open to vocal and instrumental performers, individuals or groups who have not been on the Billboard charts. Contestants compete at a local level and then advance to state, regional and the final competition which takes place in Nashville, Tenn. with a chance to win $100,000, Nunberg said.

Jolee Bosserman, a high school senior and a Beach native, is to perform. "I look forward to the state competition here in Beach; my hometown!" Bosserman said in her contestant biography.

Kari Bosserman, Jolee's aunt, believes Jolee can win the state competition.

"Jolee has a beautiful voice and grew up singing with her parents who are also very musical," Kari Bosserman said.

Also competing is Zanna Anderson from Bismarck who started singing in March.

"I have never had a voice lesson nor have I ever been in choir so I am definitely an amateur," said Anderson.

"There was some awesome talent in the local showdown competition and I believe luck was on my side when they announced the winner," Anderson said. "I'm super lucky that I get the privilege to advance in the competition. I'm really excited, but I have to admit my heart starts pounding whenever somebody mentions the upcoming state finals."

In addition to the Colgate Country Showdown the Spirit of the West will offer a wide range of activities for old and young. On Saturday a 5k/10k fun run/walk will begin at 6:30 a.m., followed by a parade and a raffle. Throughout the weekend there will be food and craft vendors and local businesses will be offering sales, Nunberg said.

The Spirit of the West welcomes the Bellamy Brothers as they hit the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $30 at the gate and food and beverages will be available inside the fairgrounds.

All are welcome to attend the 54th Annual Home on the Range Champions Ride Match rodeo Sunday. The Spirit of the West and the Champions Ride Rodeo always try to take place on the same weekend, said Jolene Obrigewitch, development director of Home on the Range. This encourages more attendance, she added.

Beach resident Deb Walworth is eager about this year's Spirit of the West. "I don't know if it's because of the Colgate Country Showdown or just the excitement of it all," Walworth said. "Beach is a small town with a lot going on, and the Spirit of the West is a time for everyone locally to celebrate."

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