Northern Star finale to be held Sunday

Posted Feb. 26, 2010, at 8:26 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:32 a.m.

CARIBOU, Maine — Officials with United Way of Aroostook are expecting to draw a capacity crowd Sunday to the Caribou Performing Arts Center for the finale of the inaugural Northern Star competition, a revamped version of the popular Aroostook Idol fundraiser.

“Our tickets are going fast, but there may be some tickets available at the door on Sunday,” Claudia Stevens, United Way of Aroostook executive director, said Friday afternoon. “We are expecting a very large crowd at the finale.”

The Northern Star vocal contest features contestants from The County and western New Brunswick pitted against one another in a singing competition. United Way of Aroostook debuted the competition, created in the spirit of the Fox TV series “American Idol,” five years ago. The contest has become one of the organization’s most lucrative fundraisers.

This year, organizers changed the name to Northern Star and decided to allow contestants from Victoria, Carlton and Madawaska counties in New Brunswick to compete in an effort to make the event more profitable and entertaining.

Three regional shows, in Houlton, Presque Isle and Fort Kent, have been held to find the top vocalist, who will be crowned the Northern Star.

Canadian participation has been significant, according to Stevens.

The winners in the Houlton show were Jason Shaw, Zachariah Harvey and Wyatt Jenkins, while the winners in Presque Isle were Lance Albert, Jordan Buckley and Allyson Michaud. The Fort Kent winners, Megan Ouellette, Isabelle Pelletier and Stacie Coltart also will appear at the finale.

Stevens said that ticket sales for the finale have been particularly heavy in southern Aroostook County.

“We have sold more tickets in Houlton than we ever have in the past, so it is a nice trend,” Stevens said Friday.

The three Northern Star events and the grand finale show are expected to raise $25,000 for United Way of Aroostook. Since United Way of Aroostook launched the fundraiser, it has drawn more than 150 competitors to the stage. It also has raised more than $150,000 to benefit agencies that United Way of Aroostook funds.

The finale begins at 2 p.m.

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