Fans of 'Idol' finalist Glover attend Beaufort concert in droves

emoody@beaufortgazette.comMay 4, 2013 

Nothing -- not wind, not rain, not crowds, not long waits -- tempered the enthusiasm of many Beaufort residents and other Candice Glover fans who filled downtown streets for a chance to see and hear their Idol.

"I feel like she's living my dream, so I'm behind her 100 percent," said Robin Heyward, who drove from Jacksonville, Fla., with fellow Beaufort-native Sharon Doe, to see the concert. They stood at the barrier around the stage for hours, waiting to see Glover perform.

Saturday's events -- a parade and a community concert, which overlapped with the city's annual A Taste of Beaufort festival -- attracted more than 10,000 people, according to an estimate by the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Heyward, a singer herself, couldn't audition for "American Idol" when it started because she was too old. Instead, she's throwing all of her support behind a hometown girl and soliciting votes every week through Facebook.

Were there to be an award for the longest wait for Glover, it perhaps would go to the Guillot sisters of Beaufort -- Susan, 18, and Ashley, 11 -- who arrived at 11:30 a.m., an hour and a half before volunteers had even started assembling the stage. They stayed through the morning and afternoon rain.

"We have always supported Candice, and we waited to be up front," Susan Guillot said. "It's been entertaining, just watching everything happen. Everyone looked at us like we were crazy."

But the wait was worth it, they agreed.

Tentative plans had been discussed for weeks, but Glover's placement in the Top 3 late Thursday still threw the city into a preparation tizzy.

Street closures were mapped, security planned, promotional materials printed and Taste of Beaufort events shifted to accommodate the parade and concert. The Glover events kept people coming into the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park hours after the festival officially ended at 5 p.m., and at least one vendor, Sea Eagle Market, continued serving food until 9 p.m.

Not everything went as planned, as the stage's position was shifted to face down Bay Street instead of Charles Street. Several street closures started early, and the parade route changed just as it was getting underway. City of Beaufort Police Chief Matt Clancy reported no major emergencies or any arrests during the parade or concert.

And the snafus mattered little to the excited crowd, which crowded into the Beaufort Downtown Marina and city streets to watch the performance.

"To be completely honest, I didn't even know this many people lived here," Glover said to the cheering audience. "You all are amazing."

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.

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