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updated: 9/2/2012 8:27 PM

Local talent shows off at Summer Sunset Festival

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  • Aliyah Starks, 10, of Hoffman Estates sings "Colors of the Wind" from Disney's "Pocahontas" during the Got Talent competition Sunday.

      Aliyah Starks, 10, of Hoffman Estates sings "Colors of the Wind" from Disney's "Pocahontas" during the Got Talent competition Sunday.

  • Amanda Wasserman, 11, of Lake in the Hills shows off her dance skills during the Got Talent competition Sunday at the 12th annual Lake in the Hills Summer Sunset Fest at Sunset Park.

       Amanda Wasserman, 11, of Lake in the Hills shows off her dance skills during the Got Talent competition Sunday at the 12th annual Lake in the Hills Summer Sunset Fest at Sunset Park.
    Photos by Christian Gossin | Staff Photographer

  • Crowd members applaud for a Dixie Chicks song during the Got Talent competition Sunday at the 12th annual Lake in the Hills Summer Sunset Fest at Sunset Park.

       Crowd members applaud for a Dixie Chicks song during the Got Talent competition Sunday at the 12th annual Lake in the Hills Summer Sunset Fest at Sunset Park.
    Christian Gossin | Staff Photographer

  • The 12th annual Lake in the Hills Summer Sunset Fest wrapped up Sunday at Sunset Park.

       The 12th annual Lake in the Hills Summer Sunset Fest wrapped up Sunday at Sunset Park.
    Christian Gossin | Staff Photographer

 

Lars Burke, 10, learned his first yo-yo tricks about a year ago. Friends from school got him hooked and started him down a path of performing.

The Crystal Lake boy said he was pretty nervous going up against singers, dancers and musicians in the Lake in the Hills Summer Sunset Festival's Got Talent competition Sunday, but his nerves didn't get the best of him.

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Burke managed all of the tricks he planned to do, placing fourth in front of his biggest crowd yet.

The competition was open to all ages but drew a talent lineup of people ages 4 to 24.

Got Talent committee chairwoman Kim Brey said when she started organizing the talent show four years ago, she switched it from an American Idol, singer-only format to include people like Lars.

"If you're brave enough to come out here, we'll let you onstage," Brey said.

The show included 23 acts and about 35 performers from across the region, many of whom perform at several other local festivals.

Four-year-old country singer Alana Nguien got help from her sister, Alexis, on the guitar. Alexis, 13, performed alone as well, singing and playing the guitar like she did at the Kane County Fair earlier this summer. She said she is teaching her younger sister piano and guitar while hoping to make music into a career.

"I like it a lot," Alexis said. "It's fun to get onstage."

Alexis finished in first place Sunday with Lars' older sister taking second for singing alongside guitarist and drum player Ryan Lammers.

Though none of the performers auditioned to compete Sunday, one act after another kept the bar high.

Michelle Anderson and her husband Eric, of Pingree Grove, watched, impressed at the mostly teenage talent.

"They're pretty amazing," Anderson said. "You'd be surprised at what talent lurks even in the person sitting next to you."

The three-day Summer Sunset Festival ended Sunday with an Aerosmith cover band and comedian performing on the main stage after the Got Talent competition. Carnival rides, food, a local business expo and fireworks rounded out the final day.

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