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Capital City Cloggers Win Norwegian Cruise Line “Epic Star” Contest

Written by: Cruise

June 18, 2010.

Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that Clay and Heather Barnhart, the Capital City Cloggers, have won the “Search for the Epic Star” contest held in conjunction with USA TODAY.  The married duo clogged their way into the judges’ and the public’s hearts – they earned the majority of the more than 80,000 public votes cast and were the unanimous choice of the Epic Star judges.  The Barnharts will perform during the inaugural festivities of Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest Free style cruise ship, Norwegian Epic, in New York, July 2-4, 2010.

The Barnharts, who hail from Irmo, SC, will also receive a 7-day cruise on Norwegian Epic, the most innovative new ship of 2010.  They will be joined on board the inaugural by the two contest finalists, Douglas Mytnik, a Rat Pack impersonator from Cape Coral, FL, and the Diamond Sisters, Marci Diamond and Gina DeFreitas, a trapeze act from Brattleboro, VT.
Clay and Heather, who are both teachers as well as the owners of the Capital City Clogging Co., met six years ago during a clogging competition and “we clicked – literally and figuratively,” said Clay Barnhart.  “We started performing together soon after we met and were married nearly four years ago.”  The Barnharts are thrilled by this honor.  “2010 started out with our house burning down and we lost everything and then my grandmother passed away days later,” said Clay.  “We entered hoping to turn our luck around and thanks to Norwegian Cruise Line, we certainly have,” said Heather.  “We are so grateful to Norwegian, the judges and to everyone who voted for us and cannot wait for the Norwegian Epic inaugural in New York!”

World-class entertainment is Norwegian Epic’s hallmark.  For the first time at sea, Blue Man Group will perform their exhilarating fusion of comedy, theatrics and paint, exclusively on Norwegian Epic.  In the only “big top” at sea, Cirque Dreams™ and Dinner will present a one-of-a-kind interactive theatrical dining experience with music, mayhem and acrobatic imagination.  Legends in Concert, the original and world’s greatest live tribute show, will be featured for the first time at sea in more than a decade on Norwegian Epic, along with The Second City® Comedy Troupe, which has launched the careers of some of today’s best known comics, and Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, the world’s greatest rock ‘n roll dueling piano show that encourages audience participation.   Guests can also “Check-in-Rock-out” on board Norwegian Epic with an exclusive program with Gibson Guitars.
The Barnharts were selected by Norwegian Cruise Line’s panel of judges which includes representatives from its partner entertainment companies – Tim Aumiller of Blue Man Group, Neil Goldberg of Cirque Dreams™ & Dinner, Brian Brigner of Legends in Concert and Beth Kligerman of Second City® Comedy Troupe.
“We’re thrilled to have the Barnharts join our inaugural festivities for Norwegian Epic,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line Chief Executive Officer.  “They will be an excellent addition to all the world-class entertainment on board.”

Norwegian Epic’s inaugural festivities will take place from 2:00-3:00p.m. on July 2.   Jeff Garlin will host the event, serving as master of ceremonies, and the ship will be christened by legendary entertainer Reba McEntire.  Afterward it will depart for a two-day inaugural cruise.  Norwegian Epic will be the host venue for the 34th Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks event taking place on Sunday, July 4.  The event includes a national, one-hour, live entertainment broadcast on NBC-TV beginning at 9 p.m. ET.  Norwegian Epic arrives in Miami on Wednesday, July 7 where a welcome event will be held at Bicentennial Park from 2-4 pm.  For more information on the event, head to http://epic.ncl.com/epicmiami.  Inaugural festivities conclude with a two-day sailing on July 8.

Following the inaugural activities, Norwegian Epic will sail alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami from July 10 through April 30, 2011.   Ports of call on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary include Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas.  The Western Caribbean cruises visit Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; and Cozumel, Mexico.  The 2011 cruise season from May-October will have Norwegian Epic sailing a series of seven-day Western Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona.  When she returns to Miami on November 5, 2011, she will sail a series of seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruises through April 7, 2012.

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