HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - By Jessica Bowman – email
HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Michael Grimm performed Friday night in his hometown. The Waveland native became a millionaire when he won America's Got Talent and he's using that new found fame to boost tourism in Hancock County.
Guitarists rocked out as thousands of fans anticipated Michael Grimm hitting the stage. While many ticket holders were local, some Grimm fans traveled the distance to see him.
Teresa Williams said, "Yes, I drove. I started last night about seven o'clock, and here we are."
Decked out in Grimm gear, including the infamous hat, Teresa Williams drove more than 1,000 miles from Chicago to see the singer she adores.
"He is so sweet. He is such a genuine person. He is absolutely wonderful. I mean he is adorable," said Williams.
Merchandise flew off the shelves as fans supported the Waveland native. But they were also supporting Hancock County since BP money paid for the show in hopes of boosting tourism.
Beth Carriere said, "This is the finale of the Hancock County, Mississippi production for the grant money. They have underwritten up to $310,000 for tonight's event."
Beth Carriere with the Hancock County Tourism Bureau said more than 3,000 people filled the bleachers, half of which were tourists.
"We are probably at the highest occupancy that we have been in years, and we know for a fact there is overflow in Harrison County, as well," said Carriere.
While the business side of the concert was booming so was support for local musician Michael Grimm.
Williams said, "I'm just really looking forward to seeing the real him without the production, the real Michael Grimm out there."
Saturday night Marc Broussard will be performing along with headliner Country music super-star Martina McBride.