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Plant City Observer Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018 2 months ago

'PFFT! You were gone'

A special Hee Haw show is coming to Plant City to raise money for a local church.
by: Breanne Williams Staff Writer

Kornfield Kounty is coming to Plant City’s Eastside Baptist Church on Sept. 4 with a “stompin’ good time” of a show.

A special cast will bring the beloved Hee Haw variety show to life in a dinner performance fundraiser that is raising money to help the church purchase a new van, which shuttles everyone from the children to the senior citizens that call Eastside home.

“I think it’s really going to be good and funny and Plant City doesn’t really have anything like this,” Hazel Smith, senior adult director, said.

This is one of the few events hosted by Eastside that is open to the entire community. Tickets are $8 and include both a country-style potluck dinner and the performance.

Hee Haw was a television variety show that ran for 26 seasons. Hosted by Buck Owens and Roy Clark, the show essentially was a country-fied, family-friendly version of Saturday Night Live. The skits revolved around “corn pone humor” and would feature scenes like a cornfield, Lulu’s truck stop, a giant haystack and rural classrooms.

Clark, Owens, Roy Acuff, Gordie Tapp, Junior Samples, Grandpa Jones, Minnie Pearl, David “Stringbean” Akeman, Don Harron, Lulu Roman, Archie Campbell, Misty Rowe and more brought witty and often slapstick humor to the screens while wearing over-exaggerated hillbilly garb and chewing the cud about the hilarious antics their neighbors and friends got up to in Kornfield Kounty.

The actors from Eastside are going to be revamping the cherished characters, donning the classic costumes and putting their spin on the often quoted jokes. Smith is playing Minnie Pearl and Edith Nelson is playing Grandpa Jones. Nelson said the group often does things like this together and she thinks the audience is going to have a lot of fun Tuesday night.

“We have a live band too that’s going to work with us,” Nelson said. “I think they’re going to get a lot of fun and laughter out of this event. We have fun and I think the audience will too. Plus they’ll have good food.”

She said they are hoping to have a nice turnout so they can raise funds for the van. Their current van is “very old” and she said many of the senior citizens it serves have trouble stepping in and out of the vehicle. Though it is simply one small amenity, she said it serves the entire church.

The show starts at 6 p.m. and with both it and dinner Smith said she thinks it should be done by 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased either at the church or by calling Smith at 813-752-8631. It is held at the family center at Eastside, 1318 E. Calhoun St., and Smith said the cast will be in costume so the attendees are welcome to either come in their normal garb or dress up as well.

“It’s just going to be a fun night,” Smith said. “Hee Haw, it’s just funny. It brings back memories of when we all used to watch it. It’s funny and it’s unique and I think everyone is going to have a great time.”


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