On Saturday, Candice Glover will get to do what she's wanted to do for weeks: thank Beaufort County for supporting her on "American Idol."
After being named to the show's Top 3 on Thursday night, the St. Helena Island native will return to Beaufort for a hometown parade and concert on Saturday at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.
"I'd love to come home and see all the buzz people are talking about," Glover said in a phone interview last week. "I'm just happy ... to see what's going on and do the parade and concert and tell everybody I love and appreciate them."
But she's most excited about visiting with her six younger siblings whom she hasn't seen since leaving to compete on the show in February.
"When I see them, I'm going to act a fool," Glover said.
She's also missed the comforts of home, the comforts of family, and the comfort food of the Lowcounty.
"When I come home, I want my grandma to make me some macaroni and cheese. I want my mom to make me some tuna salad. And I want -- I don't care who makes it -- I just want some fried chicken," she said. "I really, really miss the soul food and sitting at the table with everybody and having that family dinner. That's probably going to be the first thing I do."
Her grandmother, Albertha Middleton, took care of Glover's younger siblings while their parents were in Hollywood for the show.
Middleton says the kids are looking forward to Glover's homecoming.
"Oh, you wouldn't believe it. Everybody is so excited," she said. "I can't talk about it too much because I get very emotional."
Glover's flight is scheduled to land tonight at 9 p.m. at Signature Flight Support, a private terminal at 1001 Davidson Drive, Suite 150, at the Savannah International Airport. Fans who want to greet Glover should arrive by 8 p.m.
"American Idol" does not pick up the $50,000 tab for a contestant's hometown visit.
To help offset the cost, the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce opened a "Candice Glover Community Celebration Fund." Donations can be made at any First Citizens Bank, the Beaufort Chamber office, any of the three Hobbit Hill Preschools, or at www.paypal.com to firstname.lastname@example.org.