features - hunter hayes and emily z
WHS Students Meet Hunter Hayes at Frederick Fair

by Emily Goins           

Junior, Emily Zimmerman received the surprise of a lifetime when she found out that she would be meeting one of her favorite artists, Hunter Hayes.

Zimmerman has been through a lot in her life. “It was two weeks before my 8th birthday when I found out I had cancer,” said Zimmerman. It came as a surprise and she fought it for almost three years. She has been cancer free for five years now. I found out about how much she loved Hayes and I wanted to do something amazing for her. Something she would remember forever. This was it.

For those who haven’t heard of him, he is one of the hottest up and coming country artists. Some of his songs include his number one singles “Wanted,” “I Want Crazy,” and “Somebody’s Heartbreak.” He recently released an Encore version of his self-titled album and just began his tour sponsored by CMT. “My favorite song is Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me,” said Zimmerman. This show was part of the Great Frederick Fair, his second time in Frederick. Last year he performed for the Patty Pollatos Fundraiser, bringing in more money than artists of years past.

I waited patiently for the confirmation that I would be taking Zimmerman back to meet Hunter for about a month. It wasn’t until the night before the show that I found out that I had gotten the meet and greets. Wanting to surprise her and make it special, I made a poster that said, “I am meeting Hunter Hayes tonight,” and took it out to her. I handed it to her asking if I could take a picture of her holding it. She held it and smiled, but had yet to actually read it. She then turned it around and read it looking very puzzled. “What?” Zimmerman said. I then explained everything to her and her face lit up with happiness. “I’m shaking I’m so excited,” said Zimmerman.

Later that night was the concert. As usual Hayes rocked it. The crowd sang along to every song. The whole place was just full of as much energy as security would actually allow. New rules at the Fair have fans staying seated with no dancing allowed. “I really liked his performance of Where We Left Off,” said Zimmerman. The meet and greets followed the concert. We stood in line waiting to be taken back. “All I kept thinking was I’m going to pass out! What if I don’t remember my name!” said Zimmerman. I had to laugh….As long as I knew MY name, I knew we were good. Our turn arrived and we approached Hayes. He turned with a giant smile on his face, stuck out his hand and said “Hi. I’m Hunter,”

I turned to see Zimmerman smiling from ear to ear. Though time was limited, we stood and spoke with him for a bit and took a few pictures. As we walked away Zimmerman turned and said “He complimented me on my sneakers!” You could tell by the look on her face that she was on cloud nine. “When you told me I was going to meet him I was crying and shaking and even pinching myself. I was so excited,” said Zimmerman. I knew once she said that, that it was a night I would always remember. I will never forget being able to share my good fortune that night with Emily. I’ve had numerous chances to meet Hunter but this one, this one tops the charts! Special thanks to my friends at WFRE for making this happen!