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Bill Riley Talent Search postpones 2020 season

A decision from the Iowa State Fair on how it will proceed is expected in June.

CLIVE, Iowa — The Bill Riley Talent Search has postponed their 2020 season.

In a press release, the search says the decision was based on the local shows which take place from early June through August, even though it culminates with 11 days of performances at the Iowa State Fair. 

"Due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19, I feel it is in the best interest of the performers, coaches, volunteers and staff to postpone until 2021," said Bill Riley, Jr., President of the Bill Riley Talent Search, wrote in a statement. "We encourage our performers to continue to practice their talent and look forward to seeing them perform next season."

The first day of the talent search was set to begin June 6 at Denmark Heritage Days and would have lasted for four months, ending September 17 at the Moravia Fall Festival. 

In an interview with Local 5, Riley Jr. said the safety of his volunteers and performers are what's most important. 

"We've already had close to a dozen cancellations," Riley Jr. said. "We just couldn't wait. I have a responsibility to lead ... We feel this is the best path."

A total of 35 shows were planned. A competitor would have needed to qualify at a local show to move on to the Iowa State Fair competition.

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