The Blue Crew broke out in “Olé Olé,” a tune popularized by fans in soccer stadiums.
It was clear the number of McCreery fans in Garner has grown since the first viewing party in late February when only about 30 residents came out to cheer on the hometown hero.
The crowd of nearly 1,500 was total justification of all the hard work the Parks and Recreation staff put in over the past several months.
“Phenomenal – phenomenal is the word,” Parks and Recreation Director Sonya Shaw said.
And it was a sight with bleachers nearly completely full, seats on the gym floor filled and a crowded standing room area in the back.
“It’s awesome,” Garner Parks and Recreation Marketing and Special Events Supervisor Joy Lytle said.
Shock and awe moment
The announcement that Lauren Alaina Suddeth was through to the next round came with cheers, but Scotty’s fans grew quiet when Seacrest announced that Haley Reinhart also could take a seat in one of the golden chairs. It left McCreery and Santa Cruz, Calif.’s favorite rocker, 22-year-old James Durbin.
For many, the announcement was shocking.
Tiffany Preciado of Clayton said she expected the top three to include Lauren, James and, of course, Scotty.
Wednesday evening, Preciado, Danielle Hobbs and Dawn Day all spent the allotted two hours after the show voting for McCreery by phone and computer. They felt invested in McCreery’s shot for the win.
Now, they are ready for his return on Saturday.
Garner – a great team
Plans are set for a motorcade down Aversboro Road and a concert at Lake Benson Park for Saturday. Shaw said her team has been working on this for nearly a month, talking with American Idol producers and representatives of Conway, Ark., the hometown of Idol season eight winner Kris Allen.
GMHS’s resource officers and one other officer will be McCreery’s detail for the weekend. They have been deputized by Sheriff Donnie Harrison so they can go all over Wake County with McCreery. But are they ready for screaming tweens?
“We do work here at the high school, so we’re used to working with teenagers,” GMHS Resource Officer Guy White said.
He said he might be a little star struck because he hasn’t met McCreery in person. Resource Officer Derrick McCarter said McCreery is a good student and a great kid. He doesn’t have run-ins with the officers on campus.
GMHS Principal Drew Cook is just one of many that are so proud of McCreery’s accomplishments both on stage and in the classroom this year.
“It’s good to see something nice happen to such a good kid,” Cook said. “I’m tickled for him.”
The GMHS junior may be taking on tough competition on the Idol stage, but he’s more worried about the AP English exam coming up in a couple of weeks.
“It just shows you what kind of parents and what kind of family he comes from.”
He’s still very much dedicated to his studies. McCreery continues to take his Garner courses, communicating with his teachers electronically and working with a teacher in California for a few hours a day.
The big event
Want to be a part of Scotty’s hometown tour? Parade and concertgoers must arrive at Lake Benson Park no later than noon on Saturday, May 14. Buffaloe Road will be closed to through traffic from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the day’s festivities.
Lake Benson Park opens to the public at 10 a.m. and shuttles will run from Bryan Farm from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The parade lineup begins at noon on Buffaloe Road and the motorcade begins at 2 p.m. It will be followed by a concert from 3 to 4 p.m.
Garner expects a similar crowd to the July 4 annual celebration, between 20 and 30,000. The event will run rain or shine.
McCreery is expected for a tentative autograph signing at Lowe’s Foods on Aversboro Road at 1 p.m. and later in the day, he will throw out the first pitch at the N.C. State University baseball game.
Stay tuned to the Garner News for more updates on Scotty’s hometown tour because his schedule is subject to change.