Reality TV parades through Surry
By Frederic Lee
SURRY — It seems that no section of the United States is free from the ever-expanding influence of glitzy reality television.
Not even rural Surry County.
Members of the cast of “The Real Housewives of Potomac” visited the county Oct. 25, since one of the cast members, Karen Huger (formerly Wooden) hails from Surry.
Huger was part of the Surry County High School’s homecoming parade as a camera crew captured every moment. From a convertible, she handed out candy to young residents, hugged old friends and waved to the crowds.
Fellow cast members Ashley Darby and Gizelle Bryant were also part of Surry County’s homecoming parade, walking and dancing along with the high school’s marching band.
The parade also featured Surry County high school’s homecoming court, the Surry Martial Arts Club, candidates for Surry County sheriff, Board of Supervisors and School Board elections and other school and civic groups.
According to county staff, the cast members also filmed on the Jamestown-Scotland ferry on its trip across the James River and ate at the Surry Seafood Company, located on Grays Creek. Surry County Administrator Jonathan Lynn emphasized that it was important for county staff that the county was portrayed in a positive light.
The Real Housewives of Potomac kicked off in 2016 and details the various exploits of high-society women — often wives and mothers — living in the wealthy locality. According to data from the U.S. Census, the median household income in Potomac was $187,568 between 2013 and 2017.
The show’s happenings revolve around the friendship dynamics between cast members. Topics often include their families, business ventures and romantic entanglements, with group dinners and parties often diminishing into loud, dramatic spats between the ladies.
“Karen Wooden (Huger) at the time was a member of the Technology Students Association that I was one of the sponsors of and she was a very good student at Surry High, so it’s good to have her come back and represent Surry County,” said Board of Supervisors member Kenneth Holmes, who used to be a technology instructor at the high school.
Bacon’s Castle District Supervisor Judy Lyttle said that Huger had been in her daughter’s class years ago.
On tips for success, Huger said — in a written message relayed by a publicist— to never accept no for an answer, and that when one door closes knock on another one until one opens.