Throughout her journey on the winding road of an entertainment career, Valleyfair’s Entertainment Manager, Justine Bergevin, made a few pit stops before finally calling the park home.
Sitting in the back row of an ensemble during her 6th-grade performance of Fiddler on the Roof, Justine Bergevin knew she wanted to spend her life on stage performing and entertaining. In an effort to fulfill that dream, Justine performed in musicals throughout middle and high school.
After her freshman year of college at Millikin University, Justine attended a casting call in Illinois in hopes to land an performing gig for the summer. Valleyfair’s Entertainment Team was at the same casting call and picked Justine out of the crowd.
She spent that first summer belting classic songs on many of Valleyfair’s stages and making friends with her fellow entertainers. Summer came to an end, as all summers do, and Justine had to return to Illinois to finish her education.
After graduating from Millikin, Justine packed up her bags and knew exactly what city she was going to call home - Minneapolis. “I’ve always loved Minneapolis,” Justine said, “I fell in love with the park and the state and knew that I had to go back.”
Justine spent multiple summers at Valleyfair performing with her friends while enjoying roller coaster rides and days in the lazy river on her days off. She was promoted to an entertainment team lead where she picked up leadership skills that would later launch her cruise ship and tour careers.
Although Valleyfair held a special spot in her heart, Justine wanted to be a part of more than one entertainment adventure before settling down. She began her traveling career working on touring shows and cruise ships.
One of her most memorable roles was as a singer in the Cirque Dreams Christmas show. “I did a tour with Cirque and that was a lot of fun,” Justine said, “I was an angel at the top of a Christmas tree and I would just sing songs as acrobats flew through the air in front of me.”
Justine also took a few different assignments on cruise ships. One may not think of a cruise ship as a large spectacle show but Justine will assure you that she performed on moving set pieces with pyrotechnics showering stages in gigantic spectacular costumes.
Justine plans to take the entertainment scene at Valleyfair to a new level in 2018. Although not being a native Minnesotan herself, she wants to make the park’s entertainment as quirky and fun as the state she now calls home.
“I’m trying to make things more quirky and interactive,” Justine said, “I’m bringing back a lot of the live music that we’ve lost over the last few years. I also want to add more variety to the park.”
Valleyfair’s 2018 season will feature a dog show, live musicians, an acapella group, interactive games and activities, a marching band, and hosts who you can play trivia with or challenge to a karaoke showdown. Not to mention, multiple PEANUTS™ events every day.
“You come to Valleyfair one day this summer and see a wide variety of entertainment and then come back a week later and have a totally new entertainment experience,” Justine said.
Justine links her success as a performer to the training she received at Valleyfair. “I learned how to protect my voice and body by doing so many different shows,” Justine said, “It is a great thing for high school and college students to learn if they want to go on to sing or dance in national tours, or cruise ships, or even on Broadway.”
Valleyfair has the opportunities to train young performers and help them grow to be strong entertainers in their future careers. “It’s a lot of work to be an entertainer at Valleyfair, but it is a great start for any entertainment career,” Justine said.
Lifelong friends are another one of the reasons that Justine loves Valleyfair. “I have so many friends that I met at Valleyfair,” Justine said, “They become more like family plus it’s hard to turn down being able to go ride roller coasters on your time off.”
Her favorite ride is the Renegade, and her favorite food is the Valleyfair cheese curds - and in her words, they are better than the state fairs.