Laine Hardy Day

Laine Hardy, the 18-year-old singer who won Season 17 of American Idol, will be among a slew of performers who will take the stage in Washington, D.C., for PBS’ annual “A Capitol Fourth” celebration.

DENHAM SPRINGS -- Seventeen shows. Fourteen states. More than 10,000 miles from coast to coast. One nation-wide tour.

And it starts in Denham Springs.

American Idol winner and Livingston Parish native Laine Hardy will kick off his first headlining tour since winning the nationally-televised singing competition when he returns home for the “Laine Hardy Homecoming Bash” on Saturday, Sept. 28.

The outdoor concert at North Park in Denham Springs will feature a plethora of local performers, highlighted by Hardy’s set that will cap off the full day of music.

Local radio personality Scott Innes, who is organizing the event, expects a big crowd in what will be the largest concert ever put on at North Park. People as far as New Mexico, Texas, Idaho, Indiana, Colorado, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida, and Maine have purchased tickets, not to mention Hardy’s legion of fans from his home state.

“It’s gonna be big,” Innes said.

The homecoming bash will be Hardy’s first performance at North Park since he performed in Innes’ Bayou Idol when he was 16.

Still a relatively new singer at the time, Hardy rocked the stage by performing Stevie Ray Vaughan’s hit song “Pride and Joy,” entertaining the crowd with his raspy voice and skilled guitar playing that eventually made him the 17th American Idol and the first from Louisiana.

In Bayou Idol, Hardy impressed the panel of judges — which included country music star Jamie O’Neal — enough to earn a second-place finish, but much has changed since then.

This weekend, Hardy will return to Livingston Parish as a 19-year-old superstar who has a record deal with Hollywood Records, is currently working on his debut album, and is getting ready for his first nation-wide tour, one that will take him across the country over a two-month period.

“Laine has really put Livingston Parish on the map,” Innes said. “We have some great talent here, and now people are taking notice.”

Gates for the all-day concert open at 9 a.m., with music set to start at 1 p.m. Other performers scheduled to take the stage are Chase Tyler, Kendall Shaffer, LeRoux, and Parish County Line.

Tickets are $30 each if purchased in advance at www.etix.com and $50 at the gate. Children 3 years old and younger get in free, Innes said.

Innes said those who purchased a parking pass must enter the park on Eden Church Road, while all others are instructed to enter from Lockhart Road. The stage will be located on the north end of the soccer field.

There will also be a tent for the elderly and people with disabilities on a first-come, first-serve basis. Innes also encourages people to bring their own lawn chairs, but ice chests are not allowed.

In addition, vendors will be on hand selling fair food and drinks, along with special selections from Big Mike’s Sports Bar & Grill and OPoke.

For more information, visit the “Cajun Country Jam” page on Facebook.

Lineup for Laine Hardy Homecoming Bash

Gates open - 9 a.m.

Chase Tyler Band - 1 p.m.

LeRoux - 3 p.m.

Kendall Shaffer - 5 p.m.

Parish County Line - 7 p.m.

Laine Hardy - 8:30 p.m.

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