Kree Harrison makes appearance in SETX

Fans of Kree Harrison from all over Southeast Texas arrived Saturday morning at the Wesley United Methodist Church in Woodville to greet her as she exited the limousine.

The fans donned Kree T-Shirts and held up signs while chanting, ‘We Love Kree!” She smiled broadly as she walked by and saw the signs welcoming her home. She would later say, she instantly felt the love from the fans. She also commented the signs which were “amazing.”

Initially, the press conference was for the press only, but in the end, city and American Idol officials allowed fans to come inside. Fans of all ages rushed inside like a swarm of bees anxiously taking the remaining seats.

Harrison was greeted by the mayor of Woodville, Ben Bythewood, at the podium.

“It feels good to be home,” she said to the crowd.

She added she would hug as many people as possible before leaving.

“This process is so fast and intense,” she said of her schedule for the weekend. “But, it’s the cherry on top.”

Harrison said it is the fast paced lifestyle of being on American Idol which is “difficult” but feels in the end it will all be worth it. Harrison not only has the gruelling time crunch on her practices before the next show, but also makes public appearances. Going to a children’s hospital was one of her favorite things to do outside of performing.

When asked if it was everything she ever dreamed of, she replied, it is a lot more than she ever thought.

“To be able to do this for the rest of my life would be like living a dream,” she said.

Some of the younger fans requested a photo with the rising star. One young girl presented her with a multi-colored beaded necklace which Harrison put around her neck.

Harrison saw many old friends and a teacher, Miss Hanes, she once knew while attending a Woodville school. She also attended Bridge City schools before making her way to Nashville.

Harrison began performing at an early age and becoming a music star was always on her mind. She began performing when she was three years old. As a young girl, she performed at the Jasper Lion’s Club rodeo and area ball parks singing the National Anthem.

Harrision went on to sing on The Rosie O’Donnell Show at eight years old and returned three more times after then. Lyric Street Records caught wind of this young talent and signed her at the age of 12. But it was short lived and due to creative differences she ended her relationship with the label.

Harrison was 14 years old when she wrote her first song, “Bring Me Sunshine.”

“It’s such a big step in your life to do something like this,” Harrison said.

Harrison has made her mark on American Idol’s twelfth season and the singer is one of three contestants left. No matter where her career takes her, it seems like she has definitely left a good impression on her fans. The singer is arguably one of the most popular contestants left on the “Idol” stage.

One of her biggest moments on American Idol, according to Harrison, was when she connected to the lyrics of the song, “See You Again.”

Harrison also stated she had the most amazing family. Her sister and grandmother, Beverly Mire, were in attendance. Mire said she is “so proud” of Kree and hopes the fans will continue to vote for her so she can win.

Following the press conference, the streets were lined with fans eager to see her during the parade. Joette Webb, of Orange, drove to Woodville for the parade and just make a “day of it.”

Webb said she knows Mire who is a “a sweet spirited lady” and wanted to show her support. She added, she thought  ‘Kree sings from her soul.”

The wait for the parade was a long one since it began more than an hour late. But, during the wait, fans entertained themselves talking of how they knew Harrison or their favorite American Idol moment.

The parade began with the typical bands and cheerleaders from area schools. Other organizations making an appearance in the parade were the local boy and girl scouts in addition to members of the Alabama Coushatta tribes.  The excitement continued to build up to moment when Harrision finally appeared sitting in the back of a convertible. She smiled and waved as the car slowly passed the cheering crowd.

During the afternoon she attended a rodeo before performing at Ford Park that evening. Once again she was met with cheering fans. She sang her heart out belting out songs from popular artists such as the Beatles and Aretha Franklin.  She sang about five songs before making her exit.

American Idol airs 7 p.m. Wednesdays on Fox with the results of the voting being 7 p.m. Thursdays.

Kree Harrison, 22, greets her fans Saturday in Woodville. The streets were lined with people showing their support for the American Idol contestant. RECORD PHOTO: Nicole Gibbs.