Ellis Co. celebrities take center stage

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

dobrien@dailynews.net

Thirty-one fifth-graders from Ellis County will compete for top honors Friday in the annual Famous Figures county competition at 12th Street Auditorium in Hays.

The first contestant will take the stage at 8:30 a.m., and competition will continue throughout the morning with the awards ceremony set for 11:35 a.m.

Students qualify for the county finals, sponsored by the Hays Arts Council, from their individual schools.

Each school is allowed two contestants from each fifth-grade classroom to advance to the finals.

Winners are determined by a scoring system, from which points are tallied from three judges.

Trophies are awarded to the first- through fifth-place winners, and every contestant receives a medal for participating. Those winners then get the chance to perform in front of Rotary Club members the following Monday at the weekly rotary meeting.

Last year was the 16th year for the competition under the direction of the local arts council, and Washington Elementary School in Ellis celebrated in style by winning its first county title.

Leading the number of winners through the years is O'Loughlin Elementary School in Hays, which has taken home top honors, either solo or tied, six times.

Those two schools will have participants entered again this year along with Victoria, St. Mary Grade School in Ellis and five other Hays elementary schools -- Holy Family, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Washington and Wilson.