Clay Walker Returning to Vidor for Homecoming Honor


A country superstar will return to his officially music-friendly hometown in southeast Texas this week for a special honor.

Audiences will have the chance to see an award-winning country music artist clay walker, who is currently on tour, off stage. He will be seen saluting from a Homecoming parade float on Friday with his family as this year’s Grand Marshal.

“He’s so excited to be home,” Vidor City manager Robbie Hood told The Enterprise on Monday. “He’s like a kid in the candy store right now, he can’t wait until Friday to get here.”

After the parade, Walker plans to perform the national anthem at Vidor High School’s homecoming football game.

“It means so much to us,” Hood said. “Everyone, when you grow up and stuff like that, and become a celebrity, you get pulled in so many directions. It’s so nice to have someone of his stature and the things he’s done come back and want to come home. It means so much to the community.

The parade, which is led by volunteers, will begin at 2 p.m. The parade route will begin at Fillmore Street, continue on Main Street and end at East Railroad.

Roads near Main Street will be blocked before and during the event. The deadline to participate in the parade has passed.

The Homecoming game starts at 7:00 p.m. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. The parade and game are open to the public, including those outside of Vior.

The parade is free, but tickets must be purchased to watch the football game. Vidor will host the Livingston Lions.

“And normally they sell out quickly,” Hood said.

Walker was born in Beaumont in 1969. He lived in Vidor with his father, who gave him his guitar at age 9, and graduated from Vidor High School in 1986.

He worked at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company factory and played shows in the area, such as Beaumont’s Neon Armadillo before his rise to fame after he was discovered in 1992 by James Stroud, a record producer who was also president of Warner Music Group’s subsidiary, Giant. Records, according to city information.

Since then, he has won several awards and released numerous albums, including his new release From Texas to Tennessee.

“In a storied career studded with hit singles, platinum albums, and countless honors and acclaim, perhaps the connection between timeless country themes and the music news of the moment has always been there,” according to information from Clay Walker’s website. “Many of the country fans behind the nearly 20 million video streams and on demand of his latest single ‘Need A Bar Sometimes’ – which may also be part of his 750,000 TikTok followers – are completely unaware of Walker’s story. Discovered in a Beaumont bar area of ​​famed producer and Giant Records executive James Stroud (Toby Keith, Tracy Lawrence, Tim McGraw, Kenny Rogers), Walker was in his twenties when he began churning out a series of hits at Success.”, “Dreaming with Open Eyes,” “This Woman and That Man,” “Hypnotizing the Moon,” “Rumored,” “So What,” “I Can’t Sleep,” and “She Won’t Be Alone “. Long.” Her self-titled debut album skyrocketed to platinum status, the first of four to cross the million-selling mark. Racking up over 30 singles and 11 No. 1s was not without its challenges, however.

Born and raised in the Houston area, Walker said in the statement that he considers himself “in the line of George Strait and Clint Black,” but his first producer had other ideas.

“James Stroud pushed me more towards the pop sounds that I struggled with. What he was saying, and I think he was right, was, ‘Clay, you’ve got gears that are going to excite people if you let it’. I was young – 23 – and I wasn’t really satisfied with that. But now I’m in a perfect position in music, in life, and I really feel that the public s is about appreciating the music that makes those connections,” Walker said.

Walker is one of many musical artists with roots in southeast Texas, including Vidor, who was quickly designated a Texas Music Office-certified “music-friendly community” last year.

Hood said there are fewer than 40 certified “Music-Friendly” communities in Texas. Yet the small town community has produced some big names in music history.

“It means so much because that’s where the music started – George Jones, Tracy Byrd, Clay Walker,” Hood said. “We’ve got a musical track record that’s probably about 40 stars, and it’s in a city of less than 10,000 people that we have that kind of musical talent. It doesn’t stop there, it’s about all genres of music, and it’s important to us – since being designated as a music-friendly designation – to capture that musical essence that we have here and to promote the arts.

This year’s parade is “Big Buc Goes to Nashville,” Hood said.

The Chamber of Commerce built a float for Walker, whom Hood met about 10 months ago in Galveston through Joe Carter, Walker’s former road manager. Carter also directed Tracy Byrd.

The topic of a Music Friendly community and a conversation about football during the three-hour visit eventually led to a collaboration with Vidor City, Vidor Chamber of Commerce, Vidor Music Friendly Office and Vidor Independent School District. Hood said “team effort” led to the decision to honor Walker.

“It was a perfect marriage,” Hood said. “I very seriously doubt that there will be many artists of any genre who have the honor of coming back and singing the national anthem or anything to do with their hometown school, so this is pretty cool.”

There are over 100 entries in the parade this year, which is the highest number of entries the city has had in the last decade. Hood thought the increase could be a combination of two main factors.

“A big part of it is Clay coming home — a hometown boy coming home,” Hood said of the entries. “He actually played football on this pitch and wore number 22. He and his family are all going to be on a float and all will be wearing the number 22 shirt in the parade and probably in the game as well.”

Hood thought the COVID-19 pandemic could also be a growth factor for this year’s event.

“Everyone is starting to come out of the COVID situation, and I think people just want to get back to normal – I think both play a big role, in my opinion,” added Hood.

[email protected]


About Author

Comments are closed.