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Cedar County youth impress with their talent

HARTINGTON – Lilah Droppers was hoping her dance moves were enough to win some money and buy a sweet treat.

The 10-year-old Coleridge girl finished in first place on July 13 in the junior division of the 2022 Cedar County Fair Talent Contest in Hartington.

“Happy,” Lilah said when she was asked how she felt about winning over four other entries. “Very exciting.”

She danced her way to a $40 prize by twirling and whirling to the song “Look Up Child,” by singer-songwriter Lauren Daigle.

“I really liked it,” Lilah said of the song, adding she danced to a routine she came up with on her own.

The Hartington-Newcastle Public Schools student was looking forward to buying some Sour Patch Kids with her winnings.

Lilah was one of five entries in the junior division to show off their talents on the stage inside the Open Class Building at the fairgrounds.

The other children who competed in the talent contest’s junior division were: -Second place: Nora

-Second place: Nora Lange and Vayda Lippert, Hartington, $30.

-Third place: Kloe Fischer, Hartington, $20.

-Fourth place: Paisley Collier, Hartington, $10.

-Fifth place: Maleah Heimes, Wynot.

Meredith McGregor of Hartington won the top spot – and $50 – in the talent contest’s senior division by tickling the ivories.

“I feel good,” she said. “In the past, I’ve gotten fourth, and my grandpa – he was a little disappointed. I’m glad I got first this year – make him proud.”

Meredith played the song “Hallelujah,” by singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, on the piano for her grandfather Dean McGregor.

“I wasn’t originally going to do it, but I just had to do it for my grandpa,” she said. “I’m pretty sure he likes that song, so I figured that’d be the best way to go.”

Meredith, 17, has been playing the piano for about 11 years. She is a student at Cedar Catholic High School in Hartington.

The other people who competed in the talent contest’s senior division were:

-Second place: El Haug, Harting ton, $40.

-Third place: Abby Anderson, Hartington, $30.

-Fourth place: Aaralynn Collier, Hartington, $20.

Mara Droppers of Coleridge and Castin Pinkelman of Bow Valley also competed.

Amber Leise of Hartington strummed her way to a first-place finish in the talent contest’s adult division and won $50.

Rachel Droppers of Coleridge, who was the only other competitor in the adult division, placed second and earned $40.

Amber noted she felt “amazing” after winning the adult division.

“In the past years, I’ve always been second or third,” she said. “I’ve always been disappointed because everyone said I’d done so good and I should’ve won first, so it’s been my goal to get first for a while.”

Amber played a guitar and sang “Better Man,” by singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, and “Good 4 U,” by singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo.

She picked “Better Man” for the talent contest because the song has meant a lot to her this year.

“I was in a relationship where I was ready and I was willing to give everything, but he wasn’t ready and he wasn’t in a good emotional place,” Amber said.

She added “Good 4 U” is a song that “is just really fun to play and to jam out (to). And I was really proud of myself when I learned it because it’s a lot faster than a lot of the songs I’ve learned.”

Amber, who has been a serious guitar player for about three years, expressed her gratitude for the people who have supported and complimented her singing throughout her life.

“It means a lot,” she said.