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Louisburg Whistles a Happy Tune

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LOUISBURG — Lots of folks were whistling happy tuneshere this weekend, and even more were listening. Puckers were plentifulat this, the International Grand Whistling Championship at the 24th annualInternational Whistlers' Convention and Music Festival.

Contestants are all ages, and they make their way to this rural NorthCarolina town from various countries.

Participants puckered up to perform in popular music, classical ordrama divisions.

This year's second place winner in the women's division is from Quebec,Canada.

A nurse, Madeleine Delisle says she initially took up whistling as achild so she could make friends with the birds. Today she citeswhistling's therapeutic value. As an asthmatic, she believes thatpracticing her whistling also improves lung capacity.

Another winner, Mike Cooney, is also Canadian. He said he wanted totake a more active role in music other than just listening to a stereo.So he opted for whistling.

Cooney acknowledged that becoming a world-class whistler is notaccomplished overnight. He spent months perfecting his pucker andwetting his whistle.

To help mark the event, the governor declared this Happy Whistlers'Week. Presumably, he just had to sign the official proclamation -- notwhistle it.

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