Puckering up in Louisburg, North Carolina
April 24, 1997
Web posted at: 12:00 a.m. EDT (0400 GMT)
(CNN) -- Forget whistling Dixie. In Louisburg, North Carolina, they are whistling Beethoven, Brahms, Bernstein and Sousa. The 24th annual National Whistlers Convention enters its second day Thursday.
"It's part of a whole week," says Allen de Hart of the Franklin County Arts Commission. "The week is always proclaimed by the governor to be 'Happy Whistling Week.' The whole state is encouraged to be happy and whistle for what we are thankful for."
While the state may be getting jolly on whistling, the competitors are dead serious; On Saturday, 60 children, teens and adults will compete for six titles (male and female in each of the three age categories) at the International Whistling Championships, the highlight of the convention. The whistlers must choose classical compositions, popular music (big band, contemporary soloists, country music, etc.), or allied arts (which combines whistling with elements such as dancing and singing).
"For people who think of themselves as a true professional puckerer ... you simply can't do much smiling and look very happy when you whistle. Everyone else seems to be smiling and happy except the whistlers," says de Hart, "until they're done, and then they smile a lot."
The National Whistlers Convention runs through April 26 at Louisburg College. Admission is free. For information, call (919) 496-1191.
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