Updated: Bowersox whirlwind tour of NWOWritten by Kristen Criswell | | firstname.lastname@example.org
America Idol finalist Crystal Bowersox spent her day in Northwest Ohio “just trying to take it in,” she said.
The Elliston, Ohio, resident was continually greeted with adoring fans as she went from parades to concerts to singing the national anthem at the Mud Hens game.
Ottawa County officials declared May 14 as “Crystal Bowersox Day,” which was fitting as the Elliston, Ohio, native performed her hometown tour as a Top 3 contestant on “American Idol.”
Prior to her performance in Levis Square, in Downtown Toledo, she appeared in a parade led by Mayor Mike Bell, as well as Toledo School for the Arts (TSA) students and members of Diabetes Youth Services of the Greater Toledo Area. Bowersox attended TSA.
“It was really hectic, but really cool,” said Miriam Taylor, eighth grader at TSA, of being in the parade with Bowersox.
Appearing on stage, Bowersox told the audience of several thousand, “I’m just trying to take it in.” She waved to those who had gathered on rooftops and in parking garages to hear her sing.
A diabetic, Bowersox shouted, “Diabetics in the house!” and asked everyone to support the local juvenile diabetes organization.
At Levis, Bowersox performed “Holy Toledo,” a composition of her own, and “Hand in My Pocket” by Alanis Morissette. During her performance, Muddy and Mudonna danced behind her.
Afterward, Bowersox made two media-free appearances; one at Papa’s Tavern and one at her family’s home in Elliston. She visited with old friends and families in private.
At the Ottawa County Fairgrounds, some “Bowerstock” attendees waited outside in the blazing sun for Bowersox for more than five hours.
Peg Wilbur, of Genoa, received a speeding ticket on the way to the fairgrounds.
“We came to see Crystal. We vote for her lots, just the other night, I voted 73 times,” she said.
Ron Hanny and Nancy Nigh, of Findlay, arrived at the fairgrounds at 12:30 p.m. to see Bowersox perform.
“We wanted to support her. We like ‘American Idol’ and she’s from Ohio so we support her,” Hanny said.
Bowerstock attendees were excited to hear four songs by Bowersox and her former bass guitarist Frankie May.
Bowersox showcased “Bobby McGee,” “Holy Toledo” and “Hand in my Pocket” and then asked the crowd to choose a cover or original song for her final performance. The crowd screamed “original,” which led to Bowersox shouting, “yay, yay,” throwing her fist into the air.
The singer chose her personal favorite, “Speak Now,” a song she wrote as she was leaving Chicago to return to Toledo, she said.
In addition to her performances, Bowersox received many accolades throughout the day, including keys to Elliston and the City of Toledo. Bowersox also made an appearance at an AT&T store where she received a text from “American Idol” judge Ellen DeGeneres telling her she will sing “Maybe I’m Amazed,” by Paul McCartney, on the May 18 show.
At the Mud Hens game, Bowersox sang the national anthem with her son Tony in one arm. The singer also threw the first pitch to Mud Hen Jeff Frazier, who is a huge Idol fan.
At each appearance Bowersox reminded Northwest Ohioans that if it was up to her she’d be the winner of “American Idol,” but it’s up to them and they have to vote.
Visit the Toledo Free Press Facebook page for more pictures and videos from Bowersox’s visit to Northwest Ohio.