BLOOMINGTON NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — An endless amount of support filled the streets, businesses, and schools in Bloomington-Normal, Monday.
“I was comparing it to the enthusiasm of a sports team, it has brought everyone together,” said Garlic Press co-owner, Sarah McManus.
It’s for the “American Idol” finalist, Leah Marlene, who advanced to the top three on Sunday.
“So we scream and my whole family jumps up out of our seats, we scream, we’re doing high-fives the phones are ringing all over the place,” said McManus.
In celebration, co-owners of the Garlic Press, Sarah McManus, and Pam Locksin made Marlene her very own popcorn line named Leah’s Music Mix. They said sales have been so crazy that they had to stop online orders.
“As soon as we opened the door, the phones started ringing. We have been running a lot,” said Locksin.
“It’s been quite fun,” said McManus.
The idea was spurred by students at Normal West High School, where Marlene also attended school.
“There’s a fan club at normal west of the kids, and they came in to help determine exactly what the mix would be,” said McManus.
Rilee Edwards is one of those students. On Monday evening, she decorated the windows for Marlene’s big visit.
“It feels great, we have like a local celebrity,” said Edwards.
Hannah Gaff also decorated on Monday. She said Marlene’s journey has truly been an inspiration to her and the whole community.
“There was this little girl at the viewing party yesterday who memorized the song “The Wisher to the Well” and sang it for us there. I know she is inspiring so many people already,” said Gaff.
Marlene will greet fans during a parade along East Beaufort street starting at 6 p.m. The concert will occur at the intersection of North Street and Uptown Circle at about 7:30 p.m.