By Helena Rodriguez
Katrina Elam may not be a household name yet, but she is being poised to become the next Faith Hill or Reba McEntire.
She is also poised to headline the welcome home celebration for Cannon Air Force Base troops on Saturday at Greene Acres Park.
The 19-year-old recording artist and three-time Oklahoma Opry Entertainer of the Year winner will take the stage at 5 p.m.
Other live entertainment is planned throughout the day following the 1 p.m. parade which begins at Grand and Main Streets. Entertainment acts include Pegasus, which is the Air Force Band of the Rockies, Clovis Commmunity Band, the Clovis High School Patrotic Ensemble, trick roper Wild Bill Cathey and a performance by Miss New Mexico Rana Jones.
In addition, Carol Mitchell will sing “The National Anthem” with the Kids Patriotic Choir of Clovis, and Steve Rooney and Duffy Moon, owners of Rooney-Moon Broadcasting, will serve as hosts.
Family activities for the family will include air games, a water play area, a working dog show from Cannon, an obstacle course and a local talent showcase. There will also be food vendors.
The “Salute to Our Troops” celebration is being held in honor of Air Force personnel who served in the recent war in Iraq and overseas.
According to Jason Davis, entertainment director for the welcome home celebration, Katrina Elam was a highly recommended performer.
“I’ve seen her in concert and she was amazing,” Davis said. “Wherever she goes, she gets standing ovations.”
Katrina is currently getting a great deal of national airplay with her single, “Drop Dead Gorgeous.” Other songs by Katrina being played are “Unbreakable” and “Your Heart.”
Moon said, “None of Katrina’s songs have made the music charts yet. At this point, she is kind of an up-and-coming protege of Vince Gill and Reba McEntire. She has opened for them and sung duets with them.”
“It’s one of those deals where everyone says Katrina is going to be the next thing in country and we’re lucky to get her before she blows up,” Moon added.
Saturday’s welcome home event is free and open to the public.