Attention, all aspiring singers: The WE Fest 2012 concert stage is calling.
Saturdays through March 24, sign up and sing for a chance to open for country mega stars Toby Keith, Alabama and Jason Aldean.
The WE Fest Karaoke Round Up is one of the largest karaoke contests in the upper Midwest. For its 12th year, singers in at least five states will compete for cash and prizes totaling more than $300,000, with the top three winners having the opportunity to be opening acts on the main stage at the 2012 WE Fest in front of more than 55,000 people.
Rochester's Elks Lodge, 1652 U.S. 52 N., is hosting local qualifying rounds again this year. To compete, sign up from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. the night of the contest, which begins at 8 p.m. The contest is free to enter, and is open to anyone at least 21 years or older.
Winners will be chosen by a panel of local judges. The top winner from each week wins two three-day general admission tickets to WE Fest 2012, a WE Fest T-shirt, and a spot in the local final round on April 14.
All others who compete throughout the qualifying weeks are invited to compete in the consolation round on March 31, for a chance to advance to the local finals.
Those who qualify then move on to state finals in May, followed by the grand finals to compete against others from the entire upper Midwest.
The top three overall competition winners will receive up to $2,500 cash, a WE Fest VIP package for two (including the use of an RV during the festival), professional recording time, and a spot on the WE Fest concert stage opening for this year's WE Fest headliners.
— Marissa Block, Life section editor and Out & About columnist