The cult of Honey Boo Boo: As hundreds wait in line for meet-and-greet, the burgeoning industry surrounding seven-year-old reality star
Alana Thompson has been hailed 'The Redneck Messiah' following the success of TLC series Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
22:42 GMT, 9 October 2012
Honey Boo Boo's self-proclaimed redneck family appear to be navigating the lucrative meet-and-greet industry.
Six hundred fans lined up in Douglas, Georgia, this Saturday, as the seven-year-old child star, otherwise known as Alana Thompson, and her mother June Shannon, made a public appearance outside of their hit TLC show.
the past two weeks they have hosted four events of this kind, each more successful than the last, with some going as far as to hail the young star 'the redneck Messiah'.
Meet-and-greet industry: Alana Thompson, and her mother June Shannon, have started making public appearances outside of their hit TLC show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
Commenting on Saturday's meeting TMZ read:
'Rednecks flocked from far and wide in Georgia over the weekend – just
to catch a fleeting glimpse of America's miraculous golden child Honey
A booking agent from TLC refused to comment on how much money the TV stars are making for each meet-and-greet, The Mail previously revealed how celebrities often charge hundreds, if not thousands of dollars for such sessions.
However Ms Shannon has stated that the events have helped raise funds for charity. Yesterday she informed fans via Facebook that 'we reached our personal goal this weekend with raising $1000 for the anti bullying campaign.'
Most of the money was raised through sales of T-shirts by The Brand-UR, baring the strap-line 'Boo Boo, Scare Away Bullying'.
Main attraction: 600 Honey Boo Boo fans lined up for their second meet-and-greet session
Roll up, roll up: Alana and her mother met with fans for four hours on Saturday
While the boutique Lucy Lu's in
Douglas, Georgia also used the Honey Boo Boo appearance to collect money
for breast cancer awareness, selling $15 shirts printed with the words 'No pigs allowed Honey Boo Boo child'.
As well as endorsing a range of Honey
Boo Boo-themed merchandise, Ms Shannon and Alana signed autographs and posed
for pictures with fans.
The mother-of-four has been enthusiastic about the events, exclaiming on the Honey Boo Boo Facebook fan page: 'Woohoo just left one first meet and greet in Douglas 600 ppl came out.'
Those who have been involved in
organising the Honey Boo Boo meet-and-greets have also noted that the response
from fans has been overwhelming.
Tickets for the Global Championship Wrestling, held in
Pell City, Alabama last weekend, sold out after it was announced he TLC characters would be putting in an appearance.
Maddog Dan Sawyer, who was behind the wrestling event, told AL.com: 'They
are just reality TV superstars… They are more popular than Jersey
Shore and the Kardashians. That’s pretty amazing to me.
Product endorsement: Honey Boo Boo promotes one of the charity shirts sold by The Brand UR
'This is the first public appearance she has made outside her reality show. They’ve never done anything like this before,'
The family are now
gearing up for similar events in Los Angeles, but Ms Shannon said that the meetings will be shorter, as Alana was 'exhausted' after her four-hour appearance on Saturday.
Good cause: Lucy Lu's Boutique in Douglas, Georgia also used the Honey Boo Boo appearance to collect money for breast cancer awareness, selling $15 shirts printed with the words 'No pigs allowed Honey Boo Boo child'
She told fans: 'Well
headed home alana after 2 meet and greet will NEVER do 2 in one day
cause she was exhausted… When she is tired she
The stars of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo have remained guarded about their earnings.
TMZ previously reported that TLC boosted the family's wage from approximately
$5,000 per episode, to a sky-high $20,000 after seeing the success of
It added that TLC also offered to cover a number of
additional expenses for the family, including a driver and bodyguard
figure for Sugar Bear who was hospitalised recently after a 'mud-boggin'
The site also reports that the network wanted to help the
clan relocate to a larger and more secure home, but June declined the
offer as she likes to decorate the property over the holidays for the