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FARMINGTON — A panel of judges that features Farmington Mayor Tommy Roberts, Navajo comic Chizz Bah, San Juan Symphony member Cathy Pope, Henderson Fine Arts Center Director Linann Easley and local radio personality Shawn Kelly will determine the winners of the third annual San Juan County’s Got Talent! show Thursday, Oct. 27 at San Juan College.

The event, which raises money for the community programs and is presented by the nonprofit San Juan County Partnership, will feature 13 finalists who were chosen from a field of 24 applicants.

The top three acts of the evening will receive a cash prize of $200 each.

San Juan County Partnership Executive Director Pamela Drake said the event has been divided into categories of music, dance and other in years past, and winners were selected in each category. But this year, there were not enough entries in the “other” category, so the judges will simply choose the three best acts, regardless of category.

Drake said some of the performers are high school students, but she was pleased that the contest will feature more adult performers than ever this year.

“We have people who have never performed in front of other people before and people who have,” she said.

The show typically features just 12 finalists, but Drake said the judges of the preliminary competition on Oct. 10 and 11, which included the nonprofit organization’s staff and board members, were unable to settle on only a dozen this year and decided to increase the field to 13.

She said the applicants were judged on how appealing their performance was, how good their stage presence was and the pace of their performance. She was impressed by the quality of the performers who made the cut and looks forward to seeing them in action during the show.

“We want it to be the best of the best,” she said. “We really want to display the best talent in San Juan County.”

The band Island Style will perform at the beginning of the show, and local broadcaster Scott Michlin will serve as the master of ceremonies.

The event typically attracts more than 300 spectators, but Drake is hoping that number increases.

“We anticipate more than that this year,” she said. “The word is getting out. It’s taken us a couple of years (to learn how to market the event).”

Drake said the Merrion Family Foundation, San Juan College and the San Juan Safe Communities Initiative are helping sponsor the event.

Mike Easterling is the A&E editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4610.

If you go

What: The third annual San Juan County’s Got Talent! fundraiser for San Juan County Partnership’s community programs

When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27

Where: The Henderson Fine Arts Center on the San Juan College campus, 4601 College Blvd. in Farmington

Tickets: $5

For more information: Call 505-566-5867

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