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Powerful Snowstorm Forces Halt to Midwest Competition Season

The show choir competition season ground to a near-halt this past weekend as a powerful winter storm passed through the Midwest, bringing snow, high winds, and cold temperatures to many states on Friday. 

In total, five competitions were canceled and two competitions were postponed due to the inclement weather as travel was deemed unsafe. Competitions in South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin were impacted by the weather.

The Sioux Falls Jefferson Cavalier Classic was among the first competitions to call off their event. On Thursday, Jefferson Choirs announced on Facebook that the competition was canceled as the school administration determined all weekend activities had to be canceled due to the impending snowstorm. With this competition being an important fundraiser, Jefferson Choirs established a GoFundMe for their program, where they raised $8,000 as of Tuesday afternoon.

Another competition that was forced to cancel was Linn-Mar Supernova, where seven inches of snow fell on Friday. The competition was set to see a faceoff between Iowa powerhouses Ankeny Centennial and Urbandale before it was canceled.

Initial reports indicated Waukee Starstruck was going to be postponed a few hours on Saturday with several groups unable to attend. However, with a Blizzard Warning lasting until 7 p.m. Saturday and snowfall totals over six inches in the Des Moines metro, Waukee Starstruck, briefly nicknamed Waukee Snowstruck, was canceled. Starstruck was set to feature a Valley vs. Waukee Northwest faceoff before Mother Nature intervened.

Following the cancellations, prominent clinician and judge Adam Peters expressed his sympathy for performers on Instagram, “For many kids, this is their one sport… the stage is their field," Peters said. "Hundreds of hours of careful preparation leading up to many group’s first competition of the season, whited out by Mother Nature’s once-in-a-decade weather system. It reminds our young performers to never take for granted a chance to perform on stage.”

Peters was set to judge the Muscatine River City Showcase before the event was canceled. The Showcase has been impacted by weather four out of the last five years, with three being canceled and one being heavily impacted to the point that the finals round was cancelled.

While some competitions were canceled altogether, two competitions in Nebraska were able to postpone instead. Both Gretna Primetime and Lincoln Links Show Choir Invitational moved their competitions to Monday, which many schools have off in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Even as wind chills dipped ten degrees below zero, the competitions went ahead as planned. Ralston Ramageddon was not so lucky, as the competition was cancelled outright.

In Kansas, the Blue Valley Tiger Takedown went on as scheduled, including finals, even as dangerously cold wind chills entered the area Saturday night.

The Onalaska Show Choir Classic continued on Saturday in Wisconsin; however, several groups had to drop out due to travel concerns. Despite snow in the upper Midwest, Bemidji Vocalmotive made the six-hour bus trip from Northern Minnesota to compete at Onalaska, where they ultimately won. In the process, they defeated La Crosse Central and other Wisconsin schools on their way to their third straight victory at the Classic.

In all, the Sioux Falls Jefferson Cavalier Classic, Linn-Marr Supernova, Muscatine River Showcase, Ralston Ramageddon, and Waukee Starstruck were canceled due to inclement weather. It will hopefully be the last significant weather weekend of the 2024 season.

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