Garner preps for possible 'Idol' visit

Posted May 6, 2011
Updated May 9, 2011

— The Town of Garner is preparing for a possible hometown visit from "American Idol" finalist Scotty McCreery. 

"Our town is excited. It's the buzz everywhere you go," said Beth Hunnicutt, who directs music at the Garner First Baptist Church, where McCreery sings.

McCreery, 17, a student at Garner Magnet High School, advanced this week to the top four contestants in this season's singing competition with performances of Montgomery Gentry’s "Gone" and Elvis Presley’s "Always on My Mind."

If he survives next week's vote, McCreery and an "American Idol" camera crew will be headed to Garner, where a concert and parade in his honor will be held next weekend.

Garner gung-ho for singer Scotty Garner gung-ho for singer Scotty

"It's happening so fast. We've got to spruce up a little bit," Mayor Ronnie Williams said Friday.

Williams said crews are cutting the grass at Lake Benson Park, at 921 Buffaloe Road,  in preparation for a concert that could attract up to 30,000 fans.

"I hope they come with an empty gas tank, and I hope they come hungry, so they'll spend some money in Garner while they're here," Williams said.

The town has budgeted $51,000 for the celebration and is working to secure some corporate sponsors to help assist with the cost, Williams said.

The mayor advised fans to plan to arrive at the park no later than noon on Saturday. Pets, tents and coolers will not be allowed.

To prepare for the celebration, Williams said he has been talking to officials in Albemarle about their experience when local Kellie Pickler appeared on "Idol." Pickler finished sixth during season five of the show.

Even if McCreery doesn't make it to the final three contestants, Williams said he thinks the town will see a positive economic impact.

For now, Garner residents are happy just cheering him on.

"(It's just an) unbelievable opportunity he's been given. We're so proud of him, and he's making the most of it," Hunnicutt said.

If McCreery is voted out next week, the concert will not be held.


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  • rhowerton May 9, 2011


  • gwbrowni May 9, 2011

    That's right, they like Scotty, the camera likes Durbin, command performance, All I need is a Miracle and good luck

  • gwbrowni May 9, 2011

    Won't he tie that James Durbin kid from NoCal where entertainment is in there dna; the camera likes Durbin? He should've done the Nielson tune tho he's likeable just as he is.

  • goodnessgracious May 9, 2011

    Is it me, or does Major Williams come off a little "money hungry"? I understand the economy, etc. but can he at least be proud of SCOTTY and not just look at it as a money opportunity?! He makes Garner seem desperate and greedy!!

    Maybe he should get some public relations advice from ConcernedNC12 below!

    We are proud of you Scotty!! Way to go!

  • Garnerwolf1 May 9, 2011

    Tell Greg to hold off on the predicted rain!

  • rware003 May 9, 2011

    Nobody should split votes this week. Only vote hard for Scotty. Lauren's fans will get her thru easily with the scare they just had. Scotty's fans might be a little overconfident and not work as hard. Shock boots always come in the Top 4 week. Don't let it be Scotty!!! Text if you can. It's the best way to vote.

  • delilahk2000 May 6, 2011


  • amyrn May 6, 2011

    I haven't figured out how Haley keeps making it through......I vote for Scotty and I have also been voting for Lauren (just not quite as much) to hopefully keep her in the contest. I'm betting will support Haley now that Jacob is gone.

  • ConcernedNC12 May 6, 2011

    It's great to see teenagers doing positive things and getting an opportunity so young in life. In my opinion this year's idol talent has been the best ever and so many talented teenagers - it's unbelievable. Haley and Lauren have grown a great deal during the competition and James can really rock the house - but I've been voting for our ultra talented hometown boy - Scotty! Just pure talent and so unassuming. Get Garner polished up and let's all turn out to give Scotty a HUGE welcome home!

  • TheDude abides... May 6, 2011

    If he gets voted off next week...pig'll fly!!!

    Voting for this guy is sooo frappin hard!!! TAKES FOREVER!!!

    Thats one of the main reasons we vote. The difficulty in getting thru tells us how the votes are going.

    We vote for 3 every week ( until this most recent episode) and Scotty's is by FAR the HARDEST to get thru! NEAR REDICULOUS!!!