As an event that has been a part of McCracken County for the past 33 years, the McCracken County Talent Contest is a staple for the community and a chance for those around us to have a time to shine. Presented by Douglas P Music Studio, the contest will be happening on Saturday, June 30 at 6pm, inside the RIFF, which is located at 2055 Irvin Cobb Drive in Paducah.

Win a spot in the Kentucky State Fair

Douglas Arnold, owner of Douglas P Music Studio and office manager for the Academy of Movement and Performing Arts (AMPA), has also been the talent contest manager of the show for the past 16 years. Since taking over as organizer, the number of entries has grown, as has the audience. Contestants should note that this show serves as the only open preliminary contest in the county for this year’s 40th “Coca-Cola Talent Classic” at the Kentucky State Fair in August!

You do what you do best

The talent contest will consist of five different age groups: 4-7, 8-12, 13-17, 18-21, 22 and over. Contestants are not confined to any particular skill set, so whatever you feel counts as your talent, they want to see it! In addition to prize money and trophies awarded in each different age division, the top three acts from the 13-21 age category will advance to, and compete at, the Coca-Cola Talent Classic.

“I think this talent competition is a great asset to the community, especially with the additional opportunity to advance to the Kentucky State Fair,” Arnold told me. “We’ve had several kids use the Talent Classic as a springboard for their career in the arts.”  In 2017, finalist Emma Johnson made it to the finals at the state fair and ended up winning 1st Place Sweepstakes.

This year, the McCracken County Talent Contest will feature a special performance from Mckynleigh Abraham, a previous winner of the contest and finalist at the Kentucky State Fair. Mckynleigh is currently playing the role of Janelle Woods on the 1st National Broadway tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.

Be a Talent Sponsor

The contest is still looking for organizations and businesses to help sponsor the community event with a monetary donation or gift certificates. If you are interested in sponsoring the contest or know someone who would be interested in competing, please contact Arnold at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or you can call him directly at 270-331-1372.