The Le Center American Legion resembled the green fields of spring on Saturday as community members turned out for the town’s 35th annual St. Patrick’s Day Miss Shamrock Talent Show.
Hundreds of people, including local Irish clans, filled the Legion to see the six new contestants show off their Irish talents as they competed for the title of Miss Shamrock to launch the beginning of the community’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
This year’s grand marshals, Michael and Sheri Collins, decided to open the show by showing off their own talents.
Michael pulled out a bagpipe and Sheri tried to play a bodhran and dance at the same time. The two of them then proceeded to struggle to achieve even a sound on their newfound instruments.
“Well, maybe we should leave the talent up to the girls,” Michael said and the crowd laughed.
Then last year’s contestants took the stage, including 2017 Miss Shamrock Megan O’Malley, Miss Irish Rose Katie Ellingsworth and Miss Leprechaun Mia Pribyl. They each informed the crowd about where they went to school and how it was going so far.
Then started the entertainment that everyone was waiting for.
Tri-City United senior Gabby Robinson took the stage first, and after battling technical difficulties, gave a fantastic speech about her family history, her fascination with the Miss Shamrock candidates when she was young and her trip to Ireland with the TCU High School band.
Next, Lauren Gaudreau took center stage and performed an Irish cooking skit where she tried to find a good Irish recipe to make for her parents. She tried making a couple things, including a dish with overalls before she realized that she probably wasn’t cut out for cooking.
Mackenzie O’Connell decided to play a couple of Irish songs on her flute with the accompaniment of Anya Menk on piano for the second song.
“Music has molded me into the person I am today,” O’Connell said.
She also reflected on her moving on to college as this is her senior year at TCU.
“This year’s goodbyes will be hard, but I’ll be accompanied by my memories,” O’Connell said.
Josie Weiers was the fourth contestant to take the stage and she surprised the crowd by acting out a radio talk show skit and inviting local Le Center Municipal Liquor store manager Brad Collins to the stage next to her.
The two of them discussed Irish history including why St. Patrick’s Day was notoriously green and why and how the shamrock came into the celebrations.
Grace Smith was introduced as the fifth candidate and she talked about her experience of finding the gift of gab. Smith thought she was going to find the gift of gab on her trip to Ireland on the TCU band trip when they got the chance to kiss the Blarney Stone, but after accomplishing that and not feeling any different, she realized that she had always had the gift and she used it to give the crowd some advice as well.
“Use (the gift of gab) to tell your family that you love them,” Smith said.
Finally, Olivia McCabe took the stage and decided to sing a few Irish songs for the crowd who ended up joining in and clapping along to some of them.
“I think they all did amazing,” St. Patrick’s Day committee emcee Matt Wallskog said. “They’re all amazing public speakers for their age and there was a lot of varying Irish talent.”
In the end, everyone seemed satisfied with the entertainment they had received for the past two hours and now they have to wait to see who gets crowned at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 9. and then the St. Patty’s festivities begin on Saturday, March 10.