By Vince Jackson

The popular and ever changing Liberty Idol talent contest marks a return to Liberty’s town square beginning in April, along with some important additions.

The Liberty City Council recently approved construction of a new stage and landscape design that will compliment Idol and free-up shopping space on Commerce St, say town officials. Merchants say their businesses have been negatively impacted due to the large crowds attending the yearly event and blocking the street.

The City will spend about $25,000 for a new stage, a circular runway that will allow contestants to interact with the audience and landscaping that will beautify the downtown area, said Liberty Mayor Brian Deese.

Deese said that hospitality funds will be used to pay for the additions and will not generate any expense for taxpayers.

“We are very fortunate to have funds available to make these improvements. This addition is not just for Idol either, it will be used for festivals and other events that are scheduled in Liberty,” he said.

Sue Woods, city clerk, said other changes are in the works. “We plan a lineup of really great judges and some surprise out-of-town guests and performers that will make this an exciting year for Liberty Idol,” she said.

Liberty Idol uses a similar format to the TV show “American Idol.” The audience votes for the best performers each week, winners advance, losers go home. Returning talent must continually improve their act in order to compete for cash awards and the title of Liberty Idol.

“During these economic times it is important for families to have access to quality entertainment that is free of charge and close to home. We feel that Liberty Idol provides that kind of value,” Deese said.

Liberty Idol will run from April 25 to July 18, according to event organizers. For more information about how to enter the Liberty Idol contest go to their website. Proceeds benefit charity. Last year Idol presented a check to the Ronald McDonald House of the Carolinas for $5,000.

Roy Costner will return to MC the contest and that is always good news. He does a terrific job.


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