postheadericon Idol contest a hot topic for festival

BRIDGEPORT, Texas – Reality TV has made its way into the lives of everyday Americana.

In Wise County, the reality arrives the second weekend in May during Bridgeport’s Butterfield Stage Days. From the festival downtown to the rodeo at the Bridgeport Riding Club Arena, the annual celebration features family fun and world-class competition.

That includes the community’s own spinoff of one of reality TV’s most popular shows.

“This will be our ninth year for the Bridgeport Idol contest,” said Susan Miller, one of the community volunteers who helps organize Butterfield Stage Days. “The contest has grown so much, and we give away over $1,000 in cash and prizes.”

That’s big time for a fun part of the day-long festivities, which takes place from 10 a.m.-5

p.m. Saturday, May 11, at Harwood Park in Bridgeport. The festival features

CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES: Stagecoach rides, petting zoo, kiddie train, face painting, stick horse rodeo, bounce houses a carnival and more.

FAMILY FUN: The inaugural rib cook-off sponsored by Mas Meat & Produce Market, a pancake eating conference, the inaugural battle of the boot pancake eating contest, food and craft booths, artisan market, the rodeo pink 5K run, gunfighters, bingo, live entertainment and more.

BARBECUE AND RIB TASTE TEST: Brisket sandwich dinner catered by Five Boys Ranch; a $10 wrist band includes a brisket sandwich dinner and the rib cook-off taste test.

“There’s a lot happening in Bridgeport that weekend, and we’re very excited about it all,” Miller said.

She should be. Butterfield Stage Days may be the perfect way for the community to gather together to celebrate the area’s history, but the word is getting around. More and more people are making Bridgeport a destination for family entertainment.

“Bridgeport Idol will take place right after the stick horse rodeo at the festival grounds,” Miller said. “Singers from all ages can compete, but it is limited to the top 10 that apply.”

Idol will begin at 12:30 p.m. Contestants are required to have two songs ready, but those songs can be karaoke style or instrumental.

“It is a lot of fun, and it’s been a hit with everybody at the festival for quite a while,” Miller said. “I’m looking forward to it again this year.”

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