VIDEO: Vicksburg enters HGTV’s Hometown Takeover Contest

Published 10:06 am Saturday, February 8, 2020

Thanks to a group of Vicksburg residents, the Red Carpet City may soon see itself on television.

A group of community leaders and residents got together about three weeks ago to create and submit a video application to be chosen as the location of a new six-episode special on HGTV airing in 2021 called “Home Town Takeover.”

After hearing about the opportunity to get Vicksburg on the show from her friend, fellow Vicksburg resident and HGTV fan Launo Moore, Porchfest organizer Elizabeth Nelson sent an email to a group of potential volunteers asking for their help in creating the video and submitting the application.

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Nelson said the large group of volunteers quickly jumped on board and made putting the application and video together in such a short amount of time possible.

“It was a lot of fun to just get to apply,” Nelson said. “Of course, we want to win. Everyone did an amazing job in a really short time. It was such a team effort.”

The show will be a spin-off of the popular HGTV series “Home Town,” where hosts Ben and Erin Napier restore southern homes in their hometown of Laurel.

“Home Town” has been renewed for two seasons, and according to, the six-episode special of “Home Town Takeover” is a way for the couple to help bring another community back to life.

In order to be considered for “Home Town Takeover,” towns must have a population of 40,000 or less. Applicants were encouraged to showcase what makes their town “special, fascinating, historic or unique  — including distinctive features like vintage period architecture, special destinations or a classic main street.”

The Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce, city of Vicksburg, Vicksburg Main Street and Visit Vicksburg, among others, were also involved in making the application possible.

The children featured in the video are James “Thomas” Kilroy III, Maya Diaz and Aliana Simone Williams. Maya served as the video’s narrator.

Vicksburg residents who featured potential projects in the video included Linda Fondren with the Catfish Row Museum; Rachel and Grant Berryman, who are renovating a craftsman cottage and were recently approved to adopt their first child; Cliff and Melissa Geter, who are renovating the “Sweet House” while Melissa is deployed in Afghanistan; Hannah and Joey Bonelli, who are renovating the “Big Blue House” on Drummond; Dennis Coulter, Allen Derivaux and Marcus Allen.

Additional volunteers who helped make the application possible include President & CEO of the Vicksburg Warren County Partnership Pablo Diaz, who created the storyline for the video and the narrative; Natalia Ocasio and Larry Walker, who led the photography and film production team; Marcus Dufour, film production team; Laura Beth Strickland, Kim Hopkins, Ashley Hoeft, Mary Jane Wooten, Harley Caldwell, Launo Moore, Kathryn Loyocano, Missy Arnold and Kelle Barfield.

Information as to when the winners will be announced has not yet been released.

About Catherine Hadaway

Catherine Hadaway, as The Vicksburg Post’s publisher, oversees the business operations of the newspaper. She is a native of Tuscaloosa, Ala. and is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis where she earned bachelor’s degrees in Business and Religion. She is a Director of Boone Newsmedia, Inc., the family company that owns The Post. Catherine comes from a long line of newspaper publishers, starting with her grandfather, Buford Boone, who served as publisher of The Tuscaloosa News and earned journalism's highest honor when he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for his editorial titled "What a Price for Peace." Catherine is a member of The Rotary Club of Vicksburg, Junior Auxiliary of Vicksburg, The Heritage Guild, The Sampler Antique Club and The Vicksburg Warren County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Executive Committee.

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