Baraga’s got talent: County fair talent show fun for everyone

Daily Mining Gazette/Joshua Vissers Easton Hoffman, 2, gets a little help from his mother Brenda as he sings the ABCs.

PELKIE – The young and young-at-heart took the stage to display their skills at the Baraga County Fair talent show, “Baraga’s Got Talent” on Sunday. Of the eight contestants, the senior competitor was 67-year-old Linda Kinnunen.

Kinnunen read from her collection of essays, “Memories of Pelkie.” She’s moved across the county since, but she fondly remembers growing up with her brother Jimmy in Pelkie.

“The biggest decision in our day was if we should play trucks or house,” she said.

Kinnunen’s grandmother ran the general store and post office, and took care of most of the chores. Kinnunen doesn’t remember ever being chastised or punished.

“We must’ve been good kids,” she said.

Daily Mining Gazette/Joshua Vissers Breanna Hoffman, 15, sings "She Used To Be Mine" from the musical "Waitress," while accompanying herself with the ukulele.

The youngest contestant, 2-year-old Easton Hoffman, sang the ABC song. At first he needed help from his mother, Brenda Hoffman, but gained confidence as he continued, finishing the song on his own.

“He likes to sing a lot,” Brenda said after the performance.

One of his favorites is “Jingle Bell Rock.” Easton took first place in his section of the competition.

“He’s always liked music and dancing and stuff,” said Easton’s 14-year-old sister Kayla.

Kayla also competed, singing “Hallelujah”, originally recorded by Leonard Cohen.

“I really like how the song flows,” Kayla said.

The chilling song wasn’t enough for Kayla to take first place in her section, though. The honor went to another Hoffman sibling, 15-year-old Breanna, who played the ukulele and sang “She Used to be Mine” from the musical “Waitress.” Breanna also won first in her section in last year’s talent show while only singing, and took part in a benefit concert for victims of the June 17 flooding.