'Idol' finalist Glover emotional during downtown Beaufort parade

emoody@beaufortgazette.comMay 4, 2013 

Fans and admirers started lining up an hour before the 5 p.m. parade for "American Idol" finalist Candice Glover was set to start, congregating mostly by Newcastle Street -- a turning point in the parade route.

Organizers rushed to line up the participants, including Gov. Nikki Haley, who flew into the Beaufort County Airport for the events and was running behind schedule. At 5:20 p.m., the parade began.

Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling led the vehicles, driving a moped decorated with the now-ubiquitous white and blue "Beaufort Idol" signs that have cropped up around town.

The Beaufort High School marching band and cheerleaders followed, then a truck and employees from Waste Pro USA Inc., where Glover's father works, and Hobbit Hill Preschool.

Glover's Technical College of the Lowcountry professor Shana Hirsch and classmates came next, then step-dancers from St. Helena Elementary School, members of Scottsville Baptist Church, Family Slide Dancers and Haley.

Finally, there was Glover, who rode in a red Ford Mustang with her immediate family. She was smiling, wiping away tears and waving to the crowd as she traversed Bay Street.

At the George Elliott House, her car stopped, and she disembarked to start preparing for the 7 p.m. concert.

The parade route was changed to go down North Street instead of Craven Street, cutting one turn in the route. But most of the floats and vehicles ended up not finishing the parade route after Glover left to get ready for the next phase of her whirlwind hometown visit.

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