Littles Talent Show

Aria Castillo, 5, dances the Macarena at the Littles Talent Show, held on May 11. The event provided the young contestants an opportunity to perform in front of an audience.

The annual Little Mr. and Miss Apricot Talent Show recently took place at the Masonic Hall.

The event was hosted by the Soroptimists, and was intended to provide the 13 contestants an opportunity to get warmed up to the stage before their big event on Friday, the 31, at the Main Stage in downtown on El Circulo where they will be judged on their poise, ability to follow directions, and their introductory walk.

Contestants, who ranged from five to six years old, put on a charming display of talent. There were singers, dancers, gymnasts, and even a 90’s throwback Macarena performance by five-year-old Aria Castillo that had some members of the audience joining in. Five-year-old Vicky Wurtz, a kindergartener from Las Palmas, showed off some gymnastics moves that she has been practicing at Trinity Dance Studio. “She was real nervous before her performance. But she feels a lot better now,” said her mother, Christina Wurtz, who works for Patterson Unified School District. “She has been practicing since March. She’s been doing dance for four years at Trinity, and gymnastics for three years, she loves it.”

An assortment of pastries that included cinnamon rolls, banana bread, and poppy seed muffins, were laid out along with juice and coffee for the crowd to enjoy while they watched the performances.

The annual event has taken many different forms, and was not always a talent show. “Back in the 80’s, when my daughter ran, it used to be a costume contest. She was She-era,” said Marilyn Hoobler of the Apricot Fiesta Committee, who also recalled it being a fashion show that took place at the old Del Puerto Hotel, where City Hall currently is currently located. “The stage used to be flush to the stairs, and the kids would walk out of the Hotel and be right on the stage,” said a smiling Marilyn, who seemed to find warmth in the memory. “Like anything, it has taken a metamorphosis through the years, and now it is a talent show.”

The Little Mr. and Miss Apricot winners will get to ride on the float during the Fiesta parade, and the firetruck when Santa comes to town during the holidays. They also get to travel with the Miss Patterson Court when they go to events in Newman and Gustine.

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