Ten locals compete in Friday’s Tongue Twister Tournament

The third-annual SMART Tongue Twister Tournament will be held Friday.

The audience can sit back and enjoy well-known community members attempting tongue twisters, and try one of two themselves, with the chance to win prizes from local businesses.

The benefit for Start Making A Reader Today starts at 7 p.m. at Hood River Middle School. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; admission is $5 per person.

Comedian and expert palindromist Mark Saltveit from Portland will open the show.

“Open mic” tongue twisters, during intermission, cost $5. Prizes include gifts ranging from event tickets to artisanal olive oil, and gift certificates are from local residents, coffee houses, bakeries, pubs, toy and hobby stores, sports gear and apparel stores, and more.

Kids’ prizes include toys, books and gift certificates.

The tournament is a spelling bee-style competition among local residents; but instead of spelling out words, contestants must flawlessly repeat tongue twisters


April 26, 7 p.m.

Hood River Middle School auditorium

Admission: $5

Note: Program will begin promptly at 7 p.m.

Returning to defend her 2012 Tongue Twister Tournament crown will be Kim Vogel, principal at Cascade Locks and Parkdale elementary schools. Also on the slate of contestants include actor Bruce Ludwig, Kristen Reese of The Next Door, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mike Glover, Janet Davis of Our Children’s Place, Riverside UCC Pastor Vicki Stifter, Follies singer Dave Tallman, HRVHS senior Duncan Krummel, fresh off his role as Hamlet, and his mother, HRVHS drama director Rachel Harry.

SMART serves children in grades K-3. Adult volunteers and kids read for an hour a week and the kids get to take home two books per month. Oregon SMART is assisting in the event, and representatives will be on hand to provide information on the service.

Tongue twisters in the competition and in open mic will be a combination of the familiar — some dating back hundreds of years — and others written expressly for the competition and never heard before. Palindromes will also be mixed in as tongue twisters.

“This year, with Mark Saltveit’s help, we’re celebrating language and literacy by pairing the two mischievous cousins of word play: tongue twisters and palindromes. On their own, the forms are a lot of fun to speak and to hear, and we think that combining them will give the evening an added zest,” said tournament organizer Kirby Neumann-Rea.

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