Cheery in Cormorant
Back in 2006, Gerry and Doris Hukebo decided not only did Cormorant area need some entertainment, but the Cormorant Community Center also needed to be utilized more.
The couple presented their idea to the Cormorant Township board, which supported the proposal and has supported it ever since.
The idea has since blossomed into two segments — one with evening entertainment and one with Friday morning’s Talk of the Town.
Since 2006, a Showteam was formed of local residents charged with finding talent and speakers to host. This year’s chairmen are Glen and Nancy Sitz.
“We were invited to join,” Nancy Sitz said of how they got started on the Showteam. “(We were) a little hesitant at first but soon realized every volunteer team needs new members and new ideas.”
Other volunteer members of the team include Doris Haukebo, Dennis and Rachel Johnson, Karin Bueling, Yvonne Grindall and Mike and Bette Wammer.
But, Sitz said, they are always on the lookout for new members, so contact any members if you’re interested in joining and keeping up the enthusiasm of the team.
The initial start of the programming in 2006 was a “Spring into Summer” dance with Odell Braaten. Other shows that summer included the third annual Wayne Nelson Hidden Talent Show, Gordy Lindquist “Crazy Fingers” and a Tribute to Frank Sinatra featuring Johnny Jay.
The “Talk of the Town” program then started in 2010.
“At some point back in 2010, Gerry Haukebo had the idea that we should include in the Showteam, more intellectual entertainment, possibly a one hour lecture-question and answer period, featuring local interests,” Sitz said.
Thus “Talk of the Town” was born. They scheduled the programs for Friday mornings throughout the summers and offered free coffee, cookies and conversation for those attending.
The Talk of the Town events are free, and the Showteam events at night usually have a cost to them. It varies by event.
Both events draw a different crowd, she said. They vary on the topic and speaker, but on average, Talk of the Town events average 50-60 people. The Showteam events sometimes draw up to 175 people — the capacity of the Cormorant Community Center.
“These programs are just plain fun,” Sitz said. “It is wonderful to see so many folks, getting together, visiting, meeting new people and having a good time. They enjoy the affordable entertainment, and our guest entertainers have a good time with the friendly and enthusiastic reaction to their shows. It’s also a great opportunity for young and or new entertainers to enjoy some stage time.”
On Thursday, June 20, Wayne Luchau and the Shadows Band will be performing “Back to the ’50s and ’60s” with the music of Elvis, Everly Brothers, Gene Pitney and more.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for 12 and under and are available at the Cormorant Pub, Cormorant Bottle Shop, from any Showteam member or at the door.
The popular Hidden Talent Show is Thursday, July 25, this year.
“This event was started by Carolyn Nelson in remembrance of her husband, Wayne, who was very enthusiastic in helping create the dream of the Cormorant Community Center,” Sitz said.
Whether you have a big or little hidden talent, everyone and anyone is invited to participate in the Hidden Talent show. Those interested can contact Carolyn Nelson to get on the agenda.
Then on Thursday, Aug. 8, at 7 p.m. is the Christian music of Tanya Todd. Tickets are $5 for adults and children 12 and under are free.
On Friday, Aug. 23, is the Showteam’s annual lobster dinner with whole, fresh, live lobster from Maine. The menu includes kielbasa, clam chowder, coleslaw, steamed whole lobsters, and locally grown corn on the cob.
“The Showteam prepares and serves this meal for 90 folks,” Sitz said.
Tickets must be purchased in advance and price will be determined closer to the date of the event, depending on the price of lobster.
Talk of the Town events
The Talk of the Town events are held at 9 a.m. usually on the last Friday of each month — with the exception of August.
Back in April, the team hosted nursery owner Eric Bergeson, and just last week they hosted Larry Bergsbaard, author and retired Special Agent with the United States Department of Treasury and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
“He summers here in lake country and winters in Arizona,” Sitz said.
For the upcoming Talk of the Town, on June 28, local chef Jeff Holte will prepare and share ideas on cooking and grilling. There will also be free samples.
On July 26, Daryl Ritchison, WDAY meteorologist, will give the audience plenty of weather information.
On Aug. 9, Ghazi Q Hassoun, PhD, will share his recent book, “Walking Out into the Sunshine” — recollections and reflections of his Palestinian personal experience.
The last event of the season will be Terry Teiken on Aug. 16, sharing Vietnam experiences.
“People are eager to share names of others who would be good speakers and we have yet had anyone turn down the opportunity to speak,” Sitz said of how they find speakers for the series. “We have found we have the most interesting people right here in our own backyard.”
Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.