published Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Chattanooga: Update on Lauren Alaina's local activities


by Adam Crisp
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    Lauren Alaina Suddeth performs "God Bless America" during the Chattanooga Lookouts vs. Tennessee Smokies baseball game Saturday in Chattanooga, Tenn. Suddeth signed baseballs and shirts for her fans and supporters after throwing the ceremonial first pitch of the game. Staff photo by Jenna Walker/Chattanooga Times Free Press

7:20 p.m. : Lauren Alaina is leaving the field now and the game is almost underway. Suddeth is expected to board a private jet flying back to California this evening.

7:15 p.m. : Lauren Alaina is singing "God Bless America" from home plate of the Lookouts field. Long sustained applause, cheers and whistles are echoing throughout the crowded stadium.

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    Lauren Alaina Suddeth throws one of the first pitches during the Chattanooga Lookouts vs. Tennessee Smokies baseball game Saturday evening at the AT&T Field in Chattanooga, Tenn. After throwing the pitch and signing autographs for her fans, Suddeth also sang "God Bless America" to her crowd of fans and supporters. Staff photo by Jenna Walker/Chattanooga Times Free Press

7:10 p.m.: Lauren Alaina is wearing a pink ball cap and a Lookouts jersey that says "Suddeth" on the back while signing autographs for fans.

7:10 p.m. : Lauren Alaina just threw the ceremonial first pitch. It went over the catcher's head, but the crowd still applauded.

7:05 p.m. : Several fans are lining the stands holding up posters as they wait for the first pitch to be thrown.

7:00 p.m.: The 'Idol' production crew is on the field as the teams warm up.

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    Hundreds of Lauren Alaina Suddeth's classmates, friends, and supporters wait for Suddeth to make her appearance at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., where Suddeth is a sophomore. Suddeth performed a song for the crowd after attending a parade down Battlefield Parkway. Staff photo by Jenna Walker/Chattanooga Times Free Press

6:20 p.m. : Lauren Alaina is now leaving the high school to throw out the first pitch at the Lookouts baseball game. She is being transported in a black SUV limousine escorted by a motorcade of police vehicles.

6:15 p.m. : Lauren Alaina performed Martina McBride’s “Anyway,” dedicating it to victims of the April 27 tornadoes.

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    Hundreds of friends, classmates, fans and supporters cheer as Lauren Alaina Suddeth rides down Battlefield Parkway Saturday in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., during a parade celebrating her success on the hit show, American Idol. Suddeth spent Saturday morning performing at Coolidge Park in Chattanooga, Tenn. After which, Suddeth performed a song for her fans at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. Staff photo by Jenna Walker/Chattanooga Times Free Press

6:10 p.m. : Laren Alaina is taking the stage at Lakeview Fort Oglethorpe High School to perform. State representative Jay Neal presented Suddeth with a house proclamation naming May 14th as "Lauren Alaina Day".

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    Lauren Alaina Suddeth signs the back of Courtney Widdows's shirt as Suddeth walks into Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School Saturday in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. Widdows, who turned 10 Saturday, was thrilled to receive Suddeth's autograph. Staff photo by Jenna Walker/Chattanooga Times Free Press

5:45 p.m. : Lauren Alaina is at the high school and the parade is over, but they are filming in the school now. Concert and Lookouts next.

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    Battlefield Parkway is lined with throngs of supporters waiting on Lauren Alaina's parade.
    Staff Photo by Adam Crisp/Chattanooga Times Free Press

4:34 p.m. : Battlefield Parkway is lined with throngs of supporters waiting on Lauren Alaina's parade. Several floats and cars are currently lined up near the Office Depot, but the parade has not started yet.

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    Lauren Alaina Suddeth in concert at Coolidge Park.
    Staff Photo by Allison Carter/Chattanooga Times Free Press

3:45 p.m. : Lauren Alaina just pulled up at Office Depot in Fort Oglethorpe. She will then have a another parade to Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. Film crews will record inside the school and then there will be a concert at the football field. School officials think she'll be on the field in an hour or so.

3:05 p.m. : The city estimates 10,000 people attended the concert. She only sang two songs because she was concerned about losing her voice.

2:46 p.m. : The concert is over. Lauren Alaina sang just two songs and signed autographs.

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    A crowd gathers on Frazier Ave. and the Walnut Street Bridge for Lauren Alaina Suddeth, the American Idol Contestant to parade to Coolidge Park.
    Photo by Matt Fields-Johnson

2:34 p.m. : Lauren Alaina takes the stage to huge applause in front of dozens of cameras. Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefiled gives a key to the city. A 15-year-old girl from Rochester, N.Y., gives her a portrait.

1:45 p.m. : Lauren Alaina will throw out the first pitch at the Lookouts game tonight and possibly sing "God Bless America." Lookouts sold 800 tickets in an hour after that was announced. Game is at 7 p.m.

1:36 p.m. : The parades are taking longer than expected. "We're on TV time," organizers say. The day's footage will be boiled down to four minutes for the next American Idol.

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    Dawnitza Colaluca and Kim Motter hold a sign Saturday at Coolidge Park supporting Lauren Alaina Suddeth, a contestant on American Idol. The two go to college in Eerie, Penn.
    Staff Photo by Allison Carter/Chattanooga Times Free Press

1:15 p.m. : Lauren Alaina is being led across the Walnut Street Bridge by the Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe and Soddy-Daisy high school marching bands. She will then have a short parade on the Northshore followed by the big performance in the park.

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    Tammy Salmond , Hope Salmond , and Stephanie Childree , decide which color shirt they should buy to support Lauren Alaina Suddeth, a contestant on American Idol, Saturday at Coolidge Park. They came from Charleston, Tenn. to see Suddeth perform.
    Staff Photo by Allison Carter/Chattanooga Times Free Press

12:57 p.m. : The crowd may have to wait just a bit to hear Lauren Alaina perform. Organizers say she has been delayed meeting with tornado victims.

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    Carrie Cook, an art teacher at Ooltewah High School, draws a portrait of Lauren Alaina Suddeth Saturday at Coolidge Park. She decided to draw the photograph to pass time before Suddeth's performance.

12:30 p.m. : We are told Lauren Alaina is "two songs away" from Chattanooga. Probably means she won't perform until after 1 p.m. Coolidge Park is packed from the Tennessee River to the fountain, but there is still room for more spectators.

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    Students at Fireball Music, the same vocal school Lauren Alaina attended, are seated in a special VIP area in front of the Coolidge Park stage.
    Staff Photo by Adam Crisp/Chattanooga Times Free Press

11:53 a.m. : Students at Fireball Music, the same vocal school Lauren Alaina attended, are seated in a special VIP area in front of the Coolidge Park stage.

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    Staff Photo by Adam Crisp/Chattanooga Times Free Press

11:26 a.m. : Lauren Alaina will ride in a convertible along the Walnut Street Bridge and then parade along Frazier Avenue before her concert, according to event emcee Russell Bean.

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    Staff Photo by Adam Crisp/Chattanooga Times Free Press

10:54 a.m. : Lauren Alaina is supposed to perform five songs today. Organizers say she will sing the following pieces: Anyway, Flat on the Floor, Turn up the Radio, The Climb and Unchained Melody.

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    Karen Alaine, the Chattanooga vocal coach for Lauren Alaina, has taken the stage to warm up the crowd. Alaine operates Fireball Music in Hixson.
    Staff Photo by Adam Crisp/Chattanooga Times Free Press

10:50 a.m. : Karen Alaine, the Chattanooga vocal coach for Lauren Alaina, has taken the stage to warm up the crowd. Alaine operates Fireball Music in Hixson.

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    Lauren Alaina's close friend, Maranda Pace, is selling T-shirts to fly family to future American Idol performances. Excess funds will go to tornado relief. Shorts are $20. They have 400.
    Staff Photo by Adam Crisp/Chattanooga Times Free Press

10:04 a.m. : Lauren Alaina's close friend, Maranda Pace, is selling T-shirts to fly family to future American Idol performances. Excess funds will go to tornado relief. Shirts are $20. They have 400.

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    Crowd gathering this morning for the Lauren Alaina Suddeth event at Coolidge Park.
    Staff Photo by Adam Crisp/Chattanooga Times Free Press

9:43 a.m. : The crowd at Coolidge Park started forming before 8 a.m. today. Already the area just in front of the stage is filling.

about Adam Crisp...

Adam Crisp covers education issues for the Times Free Press. He joined the paper's staff in 2007 and initially covered crime, public safety, courts and general assignment topics. Prior to Chattanooga, Crisp was a crime reporter at the Savannah Morning News and has been a reporter and editor at community newspapers in southeast Georgia. In college, he led his student paper to a first-place general excellence award from the Georgia College Press Association. He earned ...

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NorthChatter said...

So basically...some people waited for over 6 hours at Coolidge Park...Frazier Avenue was shut down for over 3 hours (much to the chagrin of many local merchants), because the "show" started 2 hours late ...all for a 10 minute parade and 12 minute concert consisting of two songs. This better look GREAT on TV (all 30-60 seconds of it).

I wonder how much money the city spent on all of this?

(and this is not meant an assault on the girl singing...more power to her...hope she wins the whole thing)

May 14, 2011 at 5:24 p.m.
pokesallet said...

Must have been orginized by the same people that shut most of Hixson down for 4 hours cousing traffic problems and no telling how much loss of revenue to local business. All so they could pull a horse and buggy down Hixson Pike for that officer that got killed. Im all for honoring those that deserve it but It could be planned a little better so that the road closures arent longer than they have to be. A few officers could get the streets cleared in no time with nothing more than a phone call from her motorcade saying "hey well be there in about 15 minutes".

May 14, 2011 at 7:05 p.m.
gaangel3306 said...

I am very upset.I waited for almost 4 hours at LFO to hear her sing just 1 song?You have got to be kidding me.Most of her time was spent in chattanooga ,signing autograps, an at least they got to hear 2 songs.I thought georgia was her home town.She didnt even spend anytime with the ringgold victims of disaster .Sorry but she lost many votes over all this.Also who ever organized this needs a diff job.

May 14, 2011 at 8:03 p.m.
dt4c said...

Good grief, what a bunch of whiners. She did what she was told to do. Lose some votes? Why? She has limited time and she is being led around like a little puppy. I think she is great and did the best that she could under the circumstances.

May 14, 2011 at 10:19 p.m.
manchild said...

Who cares! She's still fat and over sings!

May 14, 2011 at 10:56 p.m.
tmiles721 said...

to all of you who have nothing but negative things to say.if you were in her shoes it would have been the same situation she is 16 years old and did an awesome job on the schedule she had- which was chosen for her and ran by the fox producers. My family and I woke up at 5:00 am and drove 2 hours (with six kids) and arrived at coolidge park at 8:00am and sat there for 6 hours waiting for her and would do it all over again she is a wonderful person and was so happy to be home. I have no complaints of waiting or no complaints of how many songs was sung my kids really wanted her autograph and picture made with her we got neither but we left ther happy just to be part of the experience, we had a great time and enjoyed what we got to see of her. We did get to give her high 5 as she was leaving in the limo....the kids were thrilled with that. Thanks for everything Rossville and Chattanooga we had a great day met many new people at the park and we hope Lauren has a wonderful career in her future she deserves it. So everyone that has a bad comment needs to be reminded GOD LOVES EVERYONE, she doesn't deserve to be riduculed for things that were out of her control She will always love her hometown and its people.

May 15, 2011 at 12:10 a.m.
Ironhorse said...

What a bunch of cry babies! So what if she was late? Not any fault of hers. If anybody is not going to vote for her just because of that needs to have their head examined. We are on the verge of having a local girl become a major superstar celebrity. Whatever money the city spent on this event is a bargain compared to the publicity that we are receiving. By the way I'm so proud of our mayor Ron Littlefield..........on national television yesterday he forgets what state Chattanooga is in. "Chattanooga, GA"????????????????????????

May 15, 2011 at 9:24 a.m.
mella_yella said...

Ironhorse: "By the way I'm so proud of our mayor Ron Littlefield..........on national television yesterday he forgets what state Chattanooga is in. "Chattanooga, GA"????????????????????????"


Maybe that little slip by the mayor wasn't an accident after all? Chattanooga may just break away from Tennessee and become a part of Georgia? Believe it or not, but when I first moved to Chattanooga many many years ago, most all of the advertising mail I received was address to Chattanooga, Ga.? You do know, don't you, Georgia was never paid for the most southern part of Chattanooga. Yes, the most southern parts of south Chattanooga bordering Georgia actually belonged to the state of Georgia at one time. They were once unincorporated areas Ga, I believe, that grabbed up by TN.

As to the rest of you complaining. Give the girl a BREAK! She was trying to be everywhere at once yesterday.Everyone wanted a piece of her. It's not her fault. If she'd turned down any of the offers the same ones bashing her now would have been calling her a snob for not showing up. GET A LIFE!

May 15, 2011 at 7:57 p.m.
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