Folks to Show Off Their Talent at Wilkowski Park

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When Veronica Brauer, who works in Real Estate, was showing a house in the Nisqually Pines, she noticed an ice cream truck rolling through the neighborhood and knew she would have to act fast.

Brauer dropped everything she was doing, made a hasty apology to her clients, and raced outside to flag the driver down. She launched into a pitch for the man to become a vendor for “Rainier’s Got Talent,” a variety show that will be held at 4 p.m., Saturday, July 24, in Wilkowski Park in the heart of Rainier.

“I ran down the cul-de-sac and made the ice cream truck driver stop,” she said in an interview with the Nisqually Valley News. “I told him about the talent show, and he said that, for sure, he would be there.”

After calling a host of “taco trucks” and other food vendors, she found that most of them were booked, so she was getting desperate.

“When I was (grocery shopping) … I saw another ice cream truck in the parking lot, so I got out a flyer and put it on the truck,” Brauer said, adding that by the time she was finished, the driver came up to her. “The driver said, ‘Veronica? The talent show? Yeah, I’ll be there.’ It was the same man.”

Such hussle is just a small part of what Brauer has done to get the show off the ground.

After the idea for the event came up at a “We Love Rainier” group meeting in the city’s senior center last year, the Rainier resident took to planning an all-inclusive show for the community.

Due to her efforts, she secured a time and location for the event with the city of Rainier, acquired a stage, advertised for the festivities, inspired volunteers to help out and recruited talent for the show’s variety of performance slots.

“This has been so amazing, because people are responding, coming together, trying to make this happen,” Brauer said. “I was hoping that it would be amazing, of course, but it’s going to be something really more amazing than I expected.”

She said the response from the community has been better than she expected.

“We have, like, 13 participants and they are so excited to be part of it,” Brauer said. “People are coming to help. …It’s just been really amazing.”

She’s even booked professional performers.

“We have this amazing aerialist girl,” Brauer said. “She used to work for the … circus. And she does acts on a trapease. It’s just amazing what she can do. She and her friend are going to do two different acts.”

There are a few singers signed up as well.

“One is a 96-, 97-year-old singer who is going to go up and sing and play the portable keyboard,” she said. “And … three of her friends are going to go up and sing … and an 8-year-old girl is going to sing ‘Shallow’ by Lady Gaga.”

The higher arts will also be present, and some acts will really put  the “variety” in the “variety show.” Brauer said performers include two poets, and a girl who is going to put her Hula Hoop skills on display.

One of Brauer’s friends from Puyallup will be showing off his skills on the guitar and she herself will be dancing to an authentic, Mexican folk song from her country of origin, an act that she has painstakingly created a costume for.

“I’ve already finished my dress,” Brauer said. “It took a long time, but it’s come along pretty good. I think I’m the only dancer.”

She said people should bring their own blankets to sit on, but the senior center is going to help with folding chairs for those with ability-related needs. To make arrangements, people should message Brauer on Facebook, or contact her by other means.

In all, she said the purpose of the event is for the community to have fun together.

“It’s not a contest,” Brauer said in a previous interview with the Nisqually Valley News. “There’s not gonna be a first, second (or) third prize. Everybody’s gonna be a winner.”

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