SIOUX CENTER—One Sioux Center child was able to whistle his way into second place at the Iowa State Fair’s annual whistling contest.
Ten-year-old Caedrian Van Kley has long been a whistler, picking up the talent when he was 5 or 6 years old.
“I just liked it ever since because you can do it whenever you want,” he said.
It’s a skill he can thank his maternal grandfather, Monte Hoegh of Elk Horn, for, who taught him how, according to Caedrian’s mother, Jamie. It’s been something the two have been able to bond over.
Hoegh has participated in the Iowa State Fair whistling competition for many years, and got Caedrian started in it as well.
The Iowa State Fair held its youth whistling contest on Aug. 19. The youth division is meant for children ages 5-16.
What contestants whistle is up to them. Caedrian chose to whistle “God Bless America” this year. In his previous two performances for the contest, he’s done “Jesus Loves Me.”
Hoegh took part in the adult contest as well, whistling the hymn “In the Garden.”
Judges consider several factors when scoring competitors, such as the difficulty of the tune, the range and the skill displayed.
He recalled that he didn’t like performing in front of a crowd his first year, but for his second year, he came up with a trick around that.
“I found out that if you don’t really look at the crowd so much but look somewhere it helps,” he said.
This is the second time Caedrian took second place in the contest. Although proud of his accomplishment, he was disappointed not to have come in first place.
Still, he enjoyed his time at the fair and getting to see the ag barn, the exhibits and tractors. The fair has long been a favorite family trip.