WATCH: Erin and Ben Napier Help Save a Struggling Small Town in First Look at New HGTV Show
In an exclusive sneak peek of their new show Home Town Takeover (premiering May 2), the HGTV stars make the trek from Laurel, Mississippi, to the small town that has fallen on hard times.
"Leaving sweet little old Laurel," Erin says in the clip above as the pair cruise out of the town where they've become famous restoring historic homes and breathing new life into their community over five seasons of their hit show Home Town.
"Heading to sweet home Alabama," Ben adds.
The town of Wetumpka, home to 8,278 residents, was selected as the recipient of the giant makeover from 5,000 submissions highlighting over 2,600 American towns and announced last July. It has struggled to thrive in recent years. Businesses have shuttered, young people have been choosing to leave, and the town has been impacted by everything from highway diversions to natural disasters.
The six-episode special event series follows the married designer and woodworker, who share daughter Helen, 3, as they tackle twelve major renovations of homes and businesses, including restaurants, shops, public spaces, and a new farmers' market.
"It's too bad that small towns are so often undervalued because you can live a beautiful life in them," Erin said in a press release. "People really want to believe in a bright future in the place where they live, but rebuilding a town is no small feat. It takes every member of that community using their gifts and skills coming together to make a difference."
In the sneak peek, Ben and Erin visit their first client, a local clothing boutique called Tapp 18. "My shop is on the verge of closing," the owner explains.
"We know the struggle. It's scary," says Erin, who opened several small storefronts in Laurel, even before finding HGTV fame.
Home Town Takeover will shine a spotlight on many new faces in Wetumpka, but it will also feature some familiar ones. Celebrity guests who will be lending a hand on the series include Sheryl Crow, whose song "Every Day Is a Winding Road" features in the preview; and a handful of HGTV favorites: Tamara Day, Ty Pennington, Mina Starsiak Hawk, Jasmine Roth and more.
WATCH THIS: Erin and Ben Napier Open Up About Their Relationship: "She's Still My Dream Girl"
But fans don't have to wait until May to get a taste of the show. A digital series, Road to Takeover, premieres April 25 on HGTV's Facebook, IGTV and website. Starting May 3, an after-show will also drop each Monday, with host Jason Pickens chatting with Erin and Ben.
"Home Town Takeover will inspire small towns across America because it will show them the impact that neighbors, local leaders and a few friends working together can have on their community," said HGTV president Jane Latman in the release "We've seen the power of that in Laurel and we want to spark that same change in more small towns."
Home Town Takeover premieres May 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV and is available to stream the same day on Discovery+
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