Chapel Hart to headline Natchez Balloon Festival

Published 3:41 pm Friday, July 5, 2024

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NATCHEZ — Natchez Chapel Hart fans will be thrilled to learn that the band will return for the 2024 Natchez Balloon Festival as the headlining act, Alderman Curtis Moroney announced Thursday during July 4 activities on the bluff.

Chapel Hart, a country music vocal group from Poplarville, rose to stardom after its debut on the 17th season of America’s Got Talent in 2022.

After wowing judges with their original song inspired by Dolly Parton, “You Can Have Him Jolene,” judges granted the second group Golden Buzzer in show history allowing the singers to advance immediately to the second round of the competition. They advanced to the final round and were eliminated in the fifth-place position.

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It was before the show aired that the group was scheduled to perform in Natchez and their success came as a pleasant surprise to festival organizers and generated more excitement for the festival.

Thursday, October 17, before the balloon festival, Live@Five at the Natchez bandstand will include live music and a couple of balloons standing for an evening glow if the weather allows.

Then on Friday, October 18, the balloon festival kicks off right down the street at Rosalie with “The Chee-Weez,” described by Moroney, a long-time festival volunteer, as a “fun party” tribute band. According to their website, the Chee-Weez got its start in 1997 as a garage band in New Orleans with a disco tribute act and later added classic rock, ‘80s hair metal, a “dash of Bon Jovi and a pinch of Journey into the mix.”

Their ever-expanding stage show includes video walls, lights, lasers, pyrotechnics and off-the-cuff antics — so their audience will never know what to expect but can expect to be entertained.

Then on Saturday at noon, hailing from Natchez and other parts of south Mississippi, is The Lincoln Outfit followed by Taj Farrant, a 2019 star of Australia’s Got Talent who blew judges away with his guitar playing skills at 9 years old, Moroney said.

“He is spectacular, and man can this guy play,” he said.

Following Farrant will be “The Heartshakers,” Nashville’s premiere Tom Petty tribute band that has shared stages with Carrie Underwood, LeAnn Rimes and Amy Grant among other big stars in the industry.

After that is another guitarist who got his start as a child prodigy, Eric Gales of Memphis, Tennessee. He is known for blues rock and was taught in the styles of Jimi Hendrix, Albert King, B.B. King and others.

Chapel Hart will wrap up the Balloon Festival as the final music act before Sunday morning activities. More details on the 2024 Natchez Balloon Festival are to come at