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Albert Lea Parks and Recreation Department hosting virtual talent show

With many of their planned events throughout the summer already getting canceled, the Albert Lea Parks and Recreation department has had to brainstorm new ways to engage with the community. 

Afton Wacholz, recreation administrative assistant, said the department has been challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic as mostly all of the parks and recreation summer programs involve face-to-face interactions with residents. 

“As a staff at parks and rec, we’re trying to brainstorm on what we can provide to our community still,” Wacholz said. “We’re looking at programming a little bit different now, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes you can get into a funk with the same programs, and I think this is an opportunity for us to explore some new ideas.”

The first of those new activities is a virtual talent show for all Albert Lea residents that started Wednesday afternoon. 

With many spring and summer performances being canceled, community members had little opportunity to showcase their talents.

“I think there’s a lot of hidden talent out there in the community,” Wacholz said. “I thought, ‘What better way to show that than do a virtual talent show.’ Because we know it’s something that’s going to be safe, but yet we can still have a lot of fun with. We’re hoping it turns out well.”

The competition is open to anyone in Albert Lea. To enter, all you need to do is submit a video performing your talent to the dropbox link that can be found on the City of Albert Lea – City Hall Facebook page. 

Videos must be two minutes or less and all videos must be suitable for all ages. The deadline to submit a video is 11 p.m. May 26. 

All videos will be posted to the City Hall Facebook page on May 29, and the winner will be determined based on how many likes each video receives. Wacholz said there will be additional awards given out that are yet to be determined. 

There have been some small businesses within the community who have donated some small prizes to be awarded, as well. 

“It’s our opportunity to collaborate with these small businesses and support them by advertising for them,” Wacholz said. “Basically we’re calling them our sponsors for the awards.

“It’s still kind of coming together exactly what the awards will be. It won’t be anything big by any means, no monetary award or anything. It’s just going to be a more feel good award for those who went and put themselves out there.”

More information can be found by going to the City of Albert Lea – City Hall Facebook page or by going to www.cityofalbertlea.org/deparments/parks-and-recreation/.

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