Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
A homecoming concert and celebration will be held this Saturday for Kree Harrison, American Idol contestant and Southeast Texas native. Maybe.
Mayor Ben Bythewood of Woodville, the hometown of Kree Harrison, spoke at a press conference Tuesday afternoon at Ford Park in Beaumont to announce plans for a free "homecoming concert" celebrating Kree's success on the hit television show, American Idol.
"Kree is a talented Southeast Texan and I know people all over Southeast Texas are rooting for her," Bythewood said. "We want the public to be able to celebrate Kree's success with a free concert this Saturday."
Harrison is currently one of the four remaining contestants on American Idol, which will air on Fox TV tonight and Thursday. One contestant will be eliminated, so, to make Saturday's event a reality, Bythewood said people need to vote for Harrison.
"This homecoming celebration is all contingent on Kree making it to the Top 3 on American Idol," Bythewood continued. "So, everyone needs to vote. If she doesn't make it, then this event doesn't happen."
Saturday's concert will begin at 3:30 p.m., inside Ford Arena in Beaumont. The event is free of charge but patrons must have a ticket to enter. Ticket distribution details will be announced following Thursday's results on American Idol. Details will be available at www.fordpark.com.
The doors to Ford Arena open at 2:30 p.m., Saturday. Texas Backroad will open the show, followed by Orange County resident Britt Godwin. Harrison will take the stage at 6 p.m. with the event concluding at 7 p.m. American Idol film crews will be on site as well.
A press conference will be held at 8 a.m., Saturday, at the Wesley Center at Woodville United Methodist Church, 515 Walt Davis Drive in Woodville, which will feature and question and answer session with Harrison.
At 10 a.m., Saturday, a parade will be held on the streets of Woodville honoring Harrison's success. The parade route will start at Kelly Street and conclude at Charlton Street.
Britt Godwin is looking forward to being part of Saturday's celebration of Harrison, but also for another reason. He gets to pay tribute to a friend and country music legend, George Jones.
"I got the call to be part of this, and I'm so honored to be part of this event celebrating another talented Southeast Texan," Goodwin explained. "We have so many amazing musicians who have come from this are and Kree is another in that long line. I'm excited for another reason and that's because I get to pay tribute to my dear friend, George Jones."
Godwin will perform a set of George Jones material in honor of the recently deceased country music star during Saturday's show. It has extra special meaning for him.
"I've known George (Jones) and Nancy for a long time," Godwin added. "I used to work for George, from 1986 to 1988, at Jones Country. I really got to know him and we became good friends. I'm so honored to get to pay tribute to my friend. They could have asked a lot of other people who are more talented, but I promise it wouldn't mean as much to them."
Bythewood, along with Godwin and Ford Park, want to make Saturday's planned homecoming celebration a reality, but, in order to do that, fans of Kree Harrison will have to make their votes count.
"We're excited about partnering with Ford Park to put on this event and to celebrate Kree's success," Bythewood said. "Every person can make this happen by voting for Kree on American Idol."