Can you carry a tune in a bucket? The town of Unicoi wants you.

Published 8:49 am Thursday, April 10, 2014

Unicoi is looking for some berry good singers.

The town of Unicoi, to be specific, is calling on singers of all ages to take part in its first “Tunes in the Valley” singing contest.

As part of this year’s Wayne Scott Strawberry Arts and Heritage Festival, Unicoi will host its own singing competition. And while there are folks who can’t carry a tune in a bucket, the town will employ buckets in an unusual approach to crowning the berry best singer.

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Tunes in the Valley is open to anyone 12 years and older, although parental approval is required for those under 18. Because it’s the competition’s first year, no registration fee will be charged.

A single tryout will be held May 2 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Tourist Information Center off Interstate 26’s Exit 32. The first-come, first-sing tryout will be voice only, and judges will choose the top talent to compete in final competition May 16 at Unicoi Elementary School.

The finals will include both public voting and judges: Each contestant will have an identification number placed on a voting bucket into which members of the public will place their votes. A penny placed in the bucket is one vote; a $1 bill is 100 votes. And a single wooden nickle will count as 25 votes.

The winner – who will receive $300 – will be announced the next day at the end of the Strawberry Festival. Each finalist will receive 20 percent of his or her voting proceeds, with the remaining money going toward arts and recreation in the town.

For more information, call town hall at 743-7162.