As America begins to get back to normal amid a devastating COVID-19 pandemic , it appears that American Idol Hometown Visits are back on the table. The Hometown visit is a major staple of American Idol. That’s when the Top 3 or 4 contestants head back to their hometowns for a huge celebration, along with a film crew in tow. The footage is often extremely emotional. Last year, the pandemic cut the visits, as well as live in studio episodes.
But now, the Daily Herald out of Chicago, Illinois reports that Top 5 contestant, Grace Kinster’s hometown, Crystal Lake, is in the planning stages of a visit, in case she makes it further in the competition.
Crystal Lake planning a parade and concert
In the works so far is a Hometown Parade that is set to happen in downtown Crystal Lake later this month, reports the Herald. A concert would also take place at the Crystal Lake Central High School’s football field, RedTail Golf Course in Lakewood or McHenry County Fairgrounds in Woodstock.
The show’s producers will choose the best concert venue, according to a supplement attached to the agenda for Crystal Lake’s meeting Tuesday (May 11). Both Crystal Lake and Lakewood approved the events at recent meetings.
If Grace makes the Top 3, determined during the Top 5 performance episode airing Sunday May 16, the parade would take place either Tuesday, May 18, or Wednesday, May 19, in downtown Crystal Lake, according to city documents.
The parade would not be typical, with tons of floats etc, city staff noted. The only other participants, besides the Grace’s car and film crew vehicles, would be Crystal Lake Central High School’s cheerleaders, Tiger Buddies and band. I’ve attended two hometown celebrations, and the parades are smaller than they look on TV. The parade described here sounds pretty typical, actually.
“The goal is to provide an opportunity for as many residents as possible to have a socially distanced space to view the parade and provide a wonderful backdrop to the filming of this celebration to be aired on national television,” city staff said in the agenda supplement.
Scientists have determined, at this point, that outside activities are safe as long as people stay socially distanced. I expect producers will plan all celebrations outdoors, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.