Five Minutes of Fame

Five Minutes of Fame Open Mic is holding a special event at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, in the Mount Carroll First Evangelical Lutheran Church sanctuary to celebrate 105 consecutive months of entertainment. There will be free entertainment and free food. From left, Forrest Riche, Kenny Sweitzer, and Carolyn and Kemo (Al) Mysliwiec performed recently at the open mic.

Mount Carroll's oldest-running open mic will offer not only free entertainment but a free meal as well on Tuesday night, Oct. 15.

The event starts at 6 p.m. in the Mount Carroll First Evangelical Lutheran Church sanctuary, 306 S. Clay St. The sanctuary is handicapped accessible.

The special event is sponsored by a grant from the Main Street Art Guild, an endowment of the Mount Carroll Community Foundation.

Five Minutes of Fame Open Mic is celebrating 105 consecutive months of entertainment in October. The event, formerly known as Five Minutes of Fame on Market and Main, began in February 2011 as the brainchild of Heather Houzenga, of Savanna, and Mick Parsons, formerly of Mount Carroll, and was hosted by the Main Street Art Guild.

Since its beginning, the event occurred monthly in (or near) the Market Street Commons. Beginning in June 2017, the open mic got a new home at Mount Carroll First Evangelical Lutheran Church in the education room, otherwise known as the church basement.

For over nine years spectators and performers, alike, have enjoyed local home-grown talent, whether it be music, poetry or dance. Admission is always free, and a hot meal and homemade desert is available for sale. This month, thanks to the Main Street Art Guild, the meal will be free (as long as the food lasts).

Many performers from the local community and beyond have attended Five Minutes of Fame for the past 8 1/2 years, sharing their talents simply because they enjoy entertaining others; applause is their only payment.

The rules are sign up when you arrive and, when it's your turn, you get to perform three numbers. Once everyone has had their chance, and if time permits, they start at the top of the list and give everyone an opportunity to take the mic a second time.

Any style of music, poetry or dance is welcome as long as it is family-friendly in nature, and a sound system is provided. The acts include many soloists, as well as groups of various numbers of performers. Often, musicians join together on the spur of the moment to perform their old favorites.

“The level of talent varies as does the age of the participants and everyone is welcome,” said Alan Schroeder, chairman of the First Evangelical Lutheran Evangelism Committee. “Many of the seasoned performers got their starts as nervous newbies back in the early days of the event.”

Five Minutes of Fame happens on the third Tuesday of each month at Mount Carroll First Evangelical Lutheran Church. Doors open at 6 p.m. with music starting around 6:30 p.m. The church basement is handicapped accessible through the west entrance off the alley.

For questions, call the church office at 815-244-8044.

“Everyone is welcome to come join in the fun,” said Schroeder.