Iowa State Fair







Competition Results


Bill Riley Talent Search - August 22 Championship

Bill Riley Talent Search - August 22 Championship

August 22, 2021

Lily Gast, 21, of Cedar Falls, placed first in the senior division during the championship round of the 61st annual Bill Riley Talent Search Competition held Sunday, August 22 at the 2021 Iowa State Fair. Gast was awarded a $10,000 prize for her vocal solo.

Andrew Park, 18, of Davenport, was awarded second place and $5,000 for his lyrical dance solo.

Third place and $2,500 went to Lucy Gannon, 15, of West Des Moines, with a piano solo.

Acts competed statewide to qualify for competition in this year’s Bill Riley Talent Search at the Iowa State Fair. The championship round took place on the Anne and Bill Riley Stage sponsored by Pepsi with media sponsor iHeart Radio. Bill Riley, Jr. hosted the show.

After 25 years on stage, Bill Riley, Jr., will be retiring after the 2021 season of the Bill Riley Talent Search. He took over the reins from his father, Bill Riley, Sr. in 1997.

More than $20,000 was awarded to the senior and sprout divisions combined. This year’s contest was sponsored by Hy-Vee.

Sprout winners included:

Gwenyth Franczyk, 11, Urbandale, Piano Solo

Ava Kloppe, 12, Cumming, Contemporary Dance

Annie Hopkins, 11 Unionville, Guitar & Vocal Solo

Reegan Thomas, 12, Coon Rapids; Jenna Meadows, 12, Denison; Bailee Arkfeld, 12, Westphalia; Tap Dance

Mia Olson, 9, West Des Moines, Ventriloquist

Emma Strayer, 11, Davenport, Musical Theater Acrobatic Dance

Star of Tomorrow

Maria Steinkamp, 3, Wall Lake, Vocal

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The Iowa State Fair is one of the oldest and largest agricultural and industrial expositions in the country and the single largest event in the state. The Fair began over 160 years ago and is now considered one of the best events in the nation, attracting more than one million Fairgoers every year from all over the world. The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and East University, just off the interstate and minutes from Downtown Des Moines. How Do You Fair? August 12-22, 2021. For more information, visit