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World of talent at center

The seventh annual World Championships of Performing Arts kicked off

Sunday at the Hilton Burbank Airport and Convention Center with a

colorful opening-night parade reminiscent of the Olympics. About 150

representatives from more than 40 countries marched into the


convention center carrying the flags of their respective nations.

Competition in variety arts, instrumental, dance, modeling, acting,

comedy and vocal categories started Monday and continues through

today, with participants showcasing their skills in 90-second


performances. Band competition began Tuesday and continued through

Thursday. Finalists in each category were announced Thursday, and the

awards ceremonies were held Friday. A two-hour closing ceremony

begins at 7:30 tonight, followed by a reception honoring all the

contestants. For individual competition show times and tickets, call