$10,000 Grand Prize at Stake in 44th Annual Amateur Talent Contest

Audition Registration Closes Monday, July 25

ST. PAUL, MINN. (07/15/2016)(readMedia)-- The Minnesota State Fair's Amateur Talent Contest showcases Minnesota's top talent and most outstanding performers. The deadline to register for auditions is 4 p.m. Monday, July 25. This year's new sponsor, JACK'S ® Pizza, has added a $10,000 grand prize, along with thousands of dollars in additional cash and awards.

Special prize packages in this year's talent contest include:

• Open Division Grand Prize: $10,000, an exclusive JACK'S ® Pizza Prize Pack and one year's worth of JACK'S ® Pizza

• Open Division 2nd Place: $2,500 and an exclusive JACK'S ® Pizza Prize Pack

• Open Division 3rd Place: $1,000 and an exclusive JACK'S ® Pizza Prize Pack

• Teen and Preteen Divisions 1st Place: $2,500 and an exclusive JACK'S ® Pizza Prize Pack

• Teen and Preteen Divisions 2nd Place: $750 and an exclusive JACK'S ® Pizza Prize Pack

• Teen and Preteen Divisions 3rd Place: $500 and an exclusive JACK'S ® Pizza Prize Pack

JACK'S ® Pizza Prize Packs include: pizza coupons, rolling cooler, Bluetooth speaker, bamboo cutting board, picnic blanket, silicone finger mitt and pizza cutter.

In total, nearly $20,000 in prize money will be awarded to the first- through third-place winners in three divisions. Entries are accepted for all age groups, and categories are: Open Division (any age), Teen Division (ages 13-18) and Preteen Division (ages 12 and under).

Auditions run Monday, July 25 through Sunday, July 31 at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell on the fairgrounds and begin at 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The public is invited to attend audition sessions. From auditions, semifinalists will be selected to perform during the first 10 days of this year's Minnesota State Fair at 6 p.m. on the Leinie Lodge Bandshell stage. Winners from the semifinals will compete in the finals at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4 at the Grandstand.

Family Three of Buffalo, Minn., who took the grand prize for their vocal trio performance last year, will return to the stage as the featured act during the 2016 finals.

Participants are encouraged to register online at mnstatefair.org. Entry forms may also be printed and returned through the mail. For more information, call (651) 288-4395 or email msfent@mnstatefair.org.

About JACK'S® Pizza:

It all started back in 1960 in the family garage in Little Chute, Wisconsin. And delivery was courtesy of the family's 1949 Plymouth – with a single bucket seat. Times were pretty simple back then and JACK'S was one of life's simple pleasures. After all, JACK'S is still made with 100% real Wisconsin cheese, and an extra-crispy crust that never lets you down. And while the company has grown, the recipe remains much the same. Today, JACK'S Pizza continues the tradition that started more than 50 years ago, providing pizza lovers everywhere with the same great quality and taste they've come to love and enjoy, indoors or out.

About the Minnesota State Fair:

The Minnesota State Fair is one of the largest and best-attended expositions in the world, attracting 1.8 million visitors annually. Showcasing Minnesota's finest agriculture, art and industry, the Great Minnesota Get-Together is always 12 Days of Fun Ending Labor Day. Visit mnstatefair.org for more information. The 2016 Minnesota State Fair runs Aug. 25 - Labor Day, Sept. 5.