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Scudder, singing kids kick off music series
Voice of Ceres contest draws singing children
Melissa Ruiz.tif
Melissa Ruiz was the "The Voice of Ceres" contest winner for the evening of June 3. All winners will be finalists in the July 15 finale. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier photo

The country sounds of Greg Scudder and Beer:30 kicked off the first in the Ceres Concerts in the Park series on Tuesday, June 3, accompanied by three young girls who charmed the Whitmore Park crowd with their own style of music in the second annual "The Voice of Ceres" youth singing competition.

City of Ceres recreation supervisor Cambria Pollinger said the evening was perfect.

"I thought it was great. I think having the fire union there barbecuing food and the free activities and Cash Pass, all of those elements contribute to a great turn out," said Pollinger. "It was one of the best attended concerts we've had in some time."

Melissa Ruiz won the singing competition after the audience had a chance to hear her and competitors Diana Boyington and Megan Yorba.

The singing competition will continue each Tuesday night and there is still more slots for kids who want to perform. The contest is open to children in kindergarten through sixth grade. The winner of the competition will have a chance to perform at all of the Ceres special events, such as the Halloween and Christmas festivals, The Ceres Street Faire and the 2015 Concerts in the Park kick-off. No entry fee or experience is required and applicants should contact Cambria at 538-5782 or email

The winner each night will advance to the grand championship to compete to win the contest. The winner will be announced at the July 15 "The Voice of Ceres" youth singing competition grand finale. All contestants will be asked to come back that night and sing again.

New to the concert series is a nightly cash giveaway for those participating in the Cash Pass promotion, which thus far has been about 50 in number. Concerts are free but a $35 season Cash Pass will be sold that enable people to have a chance to win $500 during each of the eight concerts. Winners must be present to win the entire $500 amount but those who are not present if their name is drawn will be awarded $250. Passes may be ordered by calling the city at 538-5628; or the Chamber of Commerce, 537-2601. Those who wish to participate in one concert drawing may buy a single "prize pass" for a 50/50 drawing for $10 per ticket. Passes are available at the Ceres Community Center, 2701 Fourth Street, at the Ceres Chamber of Commerce, 2938 Fourth Street.

The very first name drawn on June 3 was that of city recreation employee Cara Butler, who was not present but eligible for the $250 prize. A second name drawn made Sheila Brandt $250 richer.

The second concert was held Tuesday evening and featured Patty Davis Castillo, The House of Orange and the Rob Hill Band.

Concerts will be held every Tuesday evening starting on June 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Whitmore Park, corner of Third and North streets.

The remaining concert series schedule is as follows:

• June 17 - Johnny Rocket & The Thrust, on Graffiti Night and Car Show, sponsored by Bronco Wine Company;

• June 24 - Eli & The Old Timer and Breaking Chains, sponsored by Supermom;

• July 1 - Ernie Bucio's Little Big Band (on Patriotic Night) sponsored by American Pet Clinic;

• July 8 - Local church music groups, sponsored by Curves Fitness.

• July 15 - The Voice of Ceres singing competition finale.
Concert goers will be encouraged to bring blankets, chairs and picnic dinners. Free kids crafts and activities are also available each week, courtesy of the city.

Beer and wine is allowed at the summer Concerts in the Park series at Whitmore Park. The Ceres Chamber of Commerce is selling beer and wine at the 2014 concert series. The Chamber proposes that proceeds from the sale be split between the Chamber, the Concerts in the Park and the Ceres Downtown Improvement District, commonly known as the Ceres Downtown Revitalization Area Board.
Barbecued hamburgers and hotdogs are sold by the Ceres Firefighters Association.

The city has sponsored Concerts in the Park since 1989.