Huntley homecoming canceled because, well, depends on who you ask

by | Mar 19, 2024 | ALLFFP, Arts and Entertainment, Events

Like the call and response of a wailing spiritual, Fredericksburg’s “Huntley Homecoming” is becoming a country music ballad all its own.  

After postponing its planned celebration of the singer, who recently won Season 24 of “The Voice,” the city announced Tuesday morning that Huntley’s rescheduled March 30 homecoming, which included a driving procession and “pep rally-style event” at Virginia Credit Union Stadium, has been canceled “due to Huntley’s schedule.” 

That explanation did not strike a chord with Huntley, who posted a video to Facebook hours later to offer his (seemingly contradictory) thoughts on the cancellation.  

“Hopefully this is the last video I have to make on this,” said the singer, whose full name is Michael Huntley. “I did not cancel Huntley Day because of my schedule. I didn’t change it thinking that something was more important… I changed it because there was really no reason for you guys to waste your time.” 

A phone call to Fredericksburg Economic Development and Tourism Director Bill Freehling seeking comment was not immediately returned Tuesday afternoon.

Huntley said that when the idea of a “Huntley Day” first came to his attention, he wasn’t particularly interested. However, once he saw the level of enthusiasm in the community, he envisioned a celebration that centered Fredericksburg.  

“I wanted local food trucks in the parking lot to come celebrate,” he said. “I wanted blow-up houses and activities for the kids to do. I would’ve rather played some music for you than stand up on a stage and say a few words.” 

Previously, Huntley canceled a planned March 1 VIP show at Virginia Credit Union Stadium in protest of what he considered overly expensive tickets. Proceeds from that show would’ve benefitted Loisann’s Hope House, a local charity that serves the homeless community.  

Instead, Huntley played a 90-minute free show at Billiken’s Smokehouse in downtown Fredericksburg that same night. He also encouraged fans to donate to Loisann’s Hope House.

The city “commends Huntley’s successes on his career achievements and his charitable efforts,” read its statement.

In the video he posted Tuesday, Huntley claimed that “there’s no drama,” and that he’s in the process of planning an event “that’s going to be huge and a way to celebrate this community, but [the March 30 event] did not feel like the right way to do it.  

“Hopefully this is the last time I have to do a video like this,” he said. 

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