'Scotty Fever' hits Garner

Posted May 11, 2011 4:55 p.m. EDT
Updated May 11, 2011 8:22 p.m. EDT

— "Scotty Fever" is sweeping Garner as Scotty McCreery, the homegrown country crooner, inches closer to the finals of "American Idol," with a hometown celebration at stake.

McCreery will sing as part of the top four finalists on "American Idol" on WRAZ Fox 50 Wednesday night. If he survives the vote, he'll be back in Garner Saturday for a concert and parade.

"He's the best. He's going to go all the way," said Stephanie Hall, who was at Nouveau Hair Salon in Garner Wednesday.

Salon owner Brenda Rogers said she has cut McCreery's hair since he was a young child.

"When I cut Scotty's hair, his ears were so big. He finally grew into his ears," she said.

Rogers is selling T-shirts of McCreery, with the proceeds going to some of his favorite activities, like Garner High School baseball.

Scotty Fever has also hit the Lowes Food store, where McCreery used to work as a cashier.

"It's crazy right now at the store," store manager Terry Mascaro said.

At his last shift in February, McCreery was already a big name. The line for checkout lane 3, where he was working, stretched all the way to the back of the store, Mascaro recalled.

"When the customers realized who he was, nobody wanted to go in anyone else's lane," Mascaro said.

The stores is now filled with a life-sized cardboard cutout of McCreery and signs and posters urging, "Vote for Scotty."

If enough "American Idol" viewers do vote for him Wednesday, McCreery will return on Saturday. Accompanied by a show camera crew, he'll be the star of a parade and concert in Lake Benson Park, expected to draw up to 30,000 people.

"We're going to all be cheering for Scotty. He's going all the way," Hall declared.