Local talent in the bandstand spotlight for a night

Both Bethany Beach residents and visitors who signed up to perform in the annual talent show are predicted to exceed expectations this year.

Since 2001, the Town of Bethany Beach has been holding a talent show on the boardwalk bandstand. This year’s event will be on Friday, Aug. 18, from 7 to 9 p.m. Bethany Beach Events Director Julie Malewski said anyone can sign up in the first two weeks of August to perform, but only the first 25 acts are accepted due to time constraints. There are no age restrictions.

“So far this year, it’s ranging from 20 months old to 82,” she said of those who had signed up before the Aug. 15 deadline.

Malewski said a vast variety of talents are accepted, and there are usually singers, comedians and even jugglers. She also mentioned that people from all over the country come to participate in the show. Most of the more distant performers are visitors to the town and, this year, there will even be an act from Arizona.

A highly anticipated aspect of the show for Malewski has been seeing the recurring acts come every year. She said that, because of their numerous appearances, the returning performers have even accumulated a good amount of familiarity amongst audience members.

“Seeing them improve and hone their talents” is a reason why Malewski said she personally enjoys seeing familiar faces on the stage.

Alyssa Flaherty, 13, from Riva, Md., has been participating in the talent show for five years now. She said she is looking forward to her sixth time performing on the bandstand. Flaherty’s act of choice is singing, and she has sung in numerous events elsewhere, including her personal favorites — at a Washington Nationals baseball game and at a “Welcome Home, Redskins” event.

“I am going to be singing ‘Million Reasons’ by Lady Gaga,” Flaherty said of her selection for Friday’s show. In past years, she has sung songs including “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus and “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys.

“I think it’s really fun, because I’ve grown up in Bethany during the summers,” Flaherty said of one reason why she keeps coming back for the show every year.

The Town of Bethany Beach only provides the sound equipment for the acts, so in the past, performers have brought their own props and supplemental materials for their own acts. The evening’s emcee will once again be Mario Rocco, who will be announcing all of the acts and has been working the talent show for the past five years.

“The talent is usually pretty incredible,” stated Malewski, encouraging residents and visitors to come and attend the show.