LAUREL HILL — Chloe Channell, a 14-year-old “America’s Got Talent” quarter-finalist from Pensacola, headlines the Oct. 3 Laurel Hill Hobo Festival.
The event — which features children’s activities, a silent auction, live entertainment, arts and crafts and lots of local food, including Triple B Festival-award-winning Pigstickers BBQ — runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Gene Clary Park. Admission is free.
Chloe, one of the featured performers, started singing around the same time she started talking. By age 7, she was a full-time member of The Sawmill Band at the Chumuckla Farmer’s Opry. Backed by a Nashville band, she recorded her first CD at age 8.
She impressed judges three years later during the eighth season of NBC's "America's Got Talent."
“I actually had to remind myself that you are only 11 years old,” Melanie Brown, also known as Scary Spice, said after Chloe sang “All-American Girl." “Girl, you can sing. You can really sing.”
Joining Chloe in the Hobo Festival's lineup is Tim Richey, a guitarist with the Destin-based The Mulligans, who started playing the instrument at age 8 after seeing The Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
In solo gigs, his covers of songs by The Eagles, Jimmy Buffet, James Taylor, John Denver and other legends of rock, country and folk display his versatility.
Other performances include the Laurel Hill School Chorus and The McVays — siblings Jeremy, Micah and Garrett — the musically inclined grandchildren of Laurel Hill's the Rev. Mike McVay, who appears at community events dressed as the town’s Hobo mascot.