Hundreds of performing kids hit Branson

Posted In: City News by BroadcastBranson.com

“It seems as if kids are everywhere!” will be the word around Branson as young entertainers arrive the second week in July for American Kids Inc. National Finals. In addition to performing in the national membership talent competition and the top 25 AllStar Show at the Baldknobbers Theater, they will also be found around town on various other stages.

The young performers, members of the nation’s only little league of entertainers, have been preparing since January and July 13-17 their efforts will culminate at nationals. They will be competing for more than $9,000 in cash and prizes and the title of Performer of the Year at the American Kids Inc. 2009 National Finals and performing around town in outdoor concerts and pre-shows.

“American Kids Inc. has been showcasing the nation’s talented young performers for 27 years and holding national finals in Branson annually for more than a decade. The support this community has given us is appreciated. This year our young performers will have the opportunity to share their talent gifts in pre-shows and outdoor stages to the tune of more than 150 acts during the week of nationals,” said Dr. Dale Smith, founder of the non-profit group, based in Branson and known as the nation’s only little league of entertainers.

Many American Kids national finalists will be showcased on outdoor stages throughout the week. On July 12, 13 and 18, young performers will be at the Grand Village 2-3 p.m. July 12; 4-5 p.m. and 6-7 p.m. July 13; and 11 a.m.-noon and 5-6 p.m. July 18. On July 14 and 16, they will be performing at Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop on the dock at Branson Landing 1:30-3:30 p.m. both days.

American Kids will be featured in pre-shows on July 15 at Hamner Barber Variety Theatre and on July 16 at the Baldknobbers Theatre. Pre-shows are expected to begin about 7:30 p.m.

The entertainer judged as the top performer in the gospel category will be invited to perform on July 19 at the 10 a.m. Grand Old Gospel Hour at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater.

Kids presenting some 250 acts will compete in the membership talent contest judged by an impressive slate of national and celebrity judges. Competition begins at 9 a.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday with an awards ceremony on Friday morning. Wednesday has been dedicated to performance workshops rather than competition.

The competition will conclude with the AllStar Show at 2 p.m. Friday, July 17, where 25 of the top acts will be showcased. One winner will be selected as Performer of the Year and receive a $1,500 cash prize and the opportunity to guest star on the Penny Gilley Show on RFD TV. Tickets to the show are $10 and available at the door.

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