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Contributed photo Skilly and Duff took first place in the Minnesota Irish Fair's annual "Irish Idol" competition in St. Paul on August 7. The group includes Mikko Cowdery, Bruce Kelly, Annie O'Flynn and Sami Steidl. Chuck Wencl and Terry Kennedy also perform with the group but were unable to attend the contest.

Skilly and Duff take top honors in competition

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Skilly and Duff, a group of four area musicians, took first place in the Minnesota Irish Fair's annual "Irish Idol" competition in St. Paul on August 7.

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The musical group was one of six acts from around the state that competed, with the judges unanimous in their decision.

Skilly and Duff includes Mikko Cowdery of Osakis, Bruce Kelly and Annie O'Flynn of Elbow Lake, and Sami Steidl of Carlos.

Terry Kennedy and Chuck Wencl also perform with the group but were unable to attend the competition.

Skilly and Duff performs as a trio, quartet, quintet or sextet, depending on who is available. They play regularly at Carlos Creek Winery in Alexandria, at parties, community events, conventions, festivals and fairs.

They will perform as a trio at the Douglas and Stevens County fairs. In September, Cowdery, Kelly and O'Flynn will spend a few weeks in Ireland playing music, celebrating their heritage and scouting out some new songs, according to Cowdery.

The group will also present the annual St. Paddy's Day for Snowbirds United Way fundraising show on October 17 at the Alexandria Area Arts Association Theatre in Alexandria.

They also produce an annual St. Paddy's Day show in March.

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