The United Way of Aroostook is looking for its next Northern Star!

United Way of Aroostook

In its fourteenth year, UWA is changing things up a bit for the competition by creating a Junior Northern Star Division for contestants and groups under the age of 12. Through the years there have been changes to improve the show, which is one of United Way’s largest fundraisers.  Organizers believe this year’s change will provide audiences with highly entertaining shows they won’t want to miss.

“We are hoping to add variety and increase entertainment by including younger talent in the program. The County has some really talented children and we wanted to give them a platform to perform,” said Sherry Locke, Executive Director of the United Way of Aroostook.

The talent show was originally titled “Aroostook Idol” but then changed to “Northern Star” so it could include contestants from not only Aroostook County, but also Madawaska, Carleton, and Victoria Counties on the New Brunswick side of the Maine/Canadian border. Last year the program opened the typically “vocal-only” talent show to include all talent, including group acts.  The new format saw a whole host of new talent, ranging from singers and dancers to stand-up comics and beat boxers.  Then thirteen-year-old violinist Hope Chernesky of Houlton took home the title of the 2017 Northern Star, bringing the house to its feet with her performance of Lindsey Stirling’s dubstep piece, “Crystallize & Spontaneous Me.”  Last year’s show also introduced a new Co-Host to join long time host Jason Parent. Local television personality and reporter for WAGM TV Katie Zarrilli was thrilled to be part of Northern Star.

United Way of Aroostook

“Co-hosting Northern Star was one of the highlights of my year last year. When I agreed to come on board, I had no idea how much fun I'd have,” said Zarrilli. “The mystery buildup and then reveal of me being the co-host was a blast and then during the shows I was blown away by the talent we have right here in Aroostook County. I'm so happy to be part of this and am so unbelievably excited to see what this year brings!

Regional Shows will take place Friday, March 9th at 7PM at Fox Auditorium in Fort Kent; Saturday, March 10th at 7PM at PIMS Auditorium in Presque Isle; and Sunday, March 11th at 2PM at the Community Arts Center in Houlton.  The finale will be held on Sunday, March 25th at 2PM at the Caribou Performing Arts Center.

People interested in participating in this year’s shows should contact the United Way office at 207-764-5197 or by visiting for more information or to get an application. Tickets for all shows will be available soon at all Acadia Federal Credit Union and The County Federal Credit Union branches throughout the County.

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