Summer Blast returns to Chilton County
Published 2:53 pm Thursday, July 20, 2023
By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor
One of the most anticipated summer events in Chilton County each year is here as Summer Blast 2023 makes its return on July 21-22. Both nights of performances will be held in the Chilton County High School auditorium beginning at 7 p.m.
Blast from the Past is in its 31st year, and coordinator Sheri McKee is still pulling out all of the tricks to make the show as spectacular as ever. McKee and her husband, Ricki McKee, used to run the beauty pageant at CCHS, and during intermissions when the judges were out talking they would have entertainment on stage.
“We decided we liked the entertainment portions the best,” Sheri McKee said. “Once we did it for one year, it just kept going.”
Blast from the Past in the fall is just current Chilton County high school students, but the Summer Blast program brings back members of previous Blast from the Past shows. The former members team up with the current high school students to put on a performance.
Summer Blast got its start in 2001 when McKee ran into many former Blast performers who wanted to get back on the stage again. Thus, Summer Blast was born.
“It is a good mix of people and talent, and the vocal talent is just amazing when you go across 31 years,” McKee said. “To have a 15-year-old sing backup for a 40-year-old, both who are passionate about music … We mix young and older performers, and performers who would not mix if it was not for the program.”
Summer Blast 2023 will feature 25 current high school students, 15 former members of Blast who just graduated or are still in college and 15 “Across the Years” members from Blast shows as far back as the first one.
The performances in Summer Blast 2023 will feature music from old to new, such as “Whole Lotta Shakin” by Jerry Lee Lewis that came out in 1958, and “Baby One More Time” by Brittany Spears that came out in 1998.
“Musical variety is what we always strive for because we want to perform something everyone likes, and we want everyone to be exposed to other types of music,” McKee said. “They might like it more than they think. We will have some country, Frank Sinatra … Everyone who goes is exposed to a lot of different music, and I think that is really good.”
McKee said each show she always tries to show the performers that they can do something with excellence. By doing that, she hopes after that they will always want to strive for that feeling again in everything they do.
“To get that rush to be really good at something makes you want to be really good at everything,” McKee said. “That is what I always strive for … For them to see just how good they can be if they really work at it.”
Tickets for both nights of Summer Blast 2023 can be purchased at chiltonblast.booktix.net for $10.