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Local Youth Places Third At Iowa State Fair

By Staff | Aug 30, 2016

A PROFICIENT WHISTLER – Joe Mader has been whistling since he was four years. This year he entered the youth whistling contest at the Iowa State Fair and finished third out of 10 fellow whistlers.

Local area youth Joe Mader of West Bend is considered a celebrity. The 13-year-old placed third in the Ages 5 16 division of whistling at the 2016 Iowa State Fair. The competition was held on Thursday, Aug. 18, in Pioneer Hall at the fairgrounds in Des Moines.

Mader began whistling when he was four-years old and was taught by his Grandma Mader. According to him, he does not do much practicing just whistles at various times songs that he has recently heard or from his favorite movies.

“I whistle probably three hours a day,” Mader said.

Mader and his family had gone to the Iowa State Fair this year to take in the sights and enjoy some time away and they just happened to be there on Thursday, Aug. 18. This is the day when the Singers, Whistlers and Yodelers compete against each other to find out who is the best in the state.

“I didn’t really want to be in the competition at first. A five year old, I can’t remember his name, told me he was going to do it and so should I. So I did,” Mader said.

Mader competed in the Whistling Contest in the 5-16 year old division against 10 other youths in front over 200 people in Pioneer Hall on the Iowa State Fair Grounds. Mader whistled “The Medallion Calls,” the theme song from Pirates of the Caribbean and came away with Third Place.

Unfortunately, the contest is strictly for the Iowa State Fair, nothing at a national level. Mader is planning on entering the contest again next year.

When asked if he had any advice for someone learning to whistle, Mader had this to say, “It’s not how hard you blow, it’s the shape of your lips and just keep trying.”

Joe Mader is in seventh grade at West Bend/Mallard Schools.