Entertainment, Feature

Karaoke party has Swifties celebrating all things Taylor Swift

Homewood Public Library’s Taylor Swift Karaoke event had the crowd ready to share all the music and fun that makes them Swifties.

The event Dec. 2 was open to all Swifties, devoted fans of Taylor Swift, for an enchanted evening of making friendship bracelets, deciding which favorite T-Swift song to karaoke to, and forming side talks on what era undoubtedly is the best.

“Fearless,” said 8-year-old Daphne Elslager. “Fearless (the re-recorded Taylor’s Version, that is) is my favorite. She’s so kind, and she’s not afraid to do the right thing,” added the third grader at High Point Elementary, who attended the event with cousins.  “I have loved Taylor Swift my whole life.”

On stage at the Homewood Public LIbrary Taylor Swift karaoke event were, from left, Alexandrea Lorts, Penelope Herrman, Liliana
Lorts and Daphne Elslager, performing “Fearless.” (Nuha Abdessalam photos/H-F Chronicle) 

Taylor Swift is a global pop star who’s won 12 Grammy Awards, and made a name for herself with her international hits “Blank Space,” “Love Story,” and “Anti-Hero.” She began her career in the music industry at the age of 14 as a country artist. Her first big hit, “Tim McGraw,” opened up countless country music doors for her giving Swift the chance to perform with music stars such as Faith Hill, Keith Urban and Tim McGraw himself.

Swift has spent the last 19 years in the spotlight, selling out stadiums and creating 10 albums. Her most current success is her recent Eras Tour-inspired film, which became the highest-grossing concert in history, making $123.5 million in the first three days of its debut in October.

At the karaoke party, all attendees believed Taylor Swift to be inspiring, uplifting and relatable. Nine-year-old Penelope Herrman, who has been a fan since “forever,” described her passion as a Swiftie as “easy.” 

“It isn’t hard loving her music and lyrics, she helps build my confidence. It’s why I cut my bangs like her,” said Herrman. 

Swifties were found near the snack and beverage station or by the photo booth, strutting around the library to showcase their Taylor Swift-inspired outfits, including bracelets, glitter and fedora hats. 

Seven-year-old Alexandra Lorts could not hold her excitement while crafting friendship bracelets.  “I love her style and how she makes me feel the rhythm and beats of her songs, and her smile is so nice!”  

Teagan Meeks, left, and Addie Zawaski spend time making friendship bracelets at the Taylor Swift karaoke event Dec. 2
at the Homewood Public Library. 

Leaving a concert with over 50 friendship bracelets may be unusual for most, but it isn’t for Swifties. Fans spend countless hours making unique, fun bracelets to exchange with fellow Swifties at her concert to encourage a community-like response and encourage others to know they aren’t alone. This newly made tradition comes from one of Taylor Swift’s songs, “You’re on Your Own, Kid,” from her latest album, “Midnights,” where she sings, “Make the friendship bracelets, take a moment, and taste it.” 

Eighth grader Teegan Meeks of James Hart School in Homewood described the Swift’s song “Miss Americana” as “raw” and “emotional.” “She turns hate into something beautiful and empowers her fans.” 

Violinist and pianist Addie Zawaski, who also attends James Hart School, enjoys playing the pop star’s songs by ear. 

“It’s a challenge. I love challenges but find them meaningful because of Taylor’s message.” Zawaski, like others in the room, says the singer “validates our emotions, our experiences, that makes her relatable because of her honesty.”

Ashley Sander, program coordinator at Homewood Public Library, was thrilled with the turnout. “It’s our first Taylor Swift Karaoke. Having a specific artist/theme encouraged all these Swifties to come out, and we’re so pleased and look forward to future event planning.” 

As Taylor Swift has brought stadiums of people together, Homewood’s Public Library event helped continue the same message from the musician’s lyrics: Be the best version of themselves, a fearless version. 

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