"American Idol" finalist Syesha Mercado has arrived in Bradenton for a mini-party along the downtown waterfront, kicking off a flurry of appearances in the Manatee-Sarasota area for the hometown girl.
Mercado arrived about 11 a.m. in a black stretch limousine, accompanied by Manatee County Sheriff's deputies.
Government officials will be reading proclamations honoring Mercado, who is one of three surviving contestants in the televised talent competition, and Mayor Wayne Poston is set to give her a key to the city. Fans gathered along Barrcarotta Boulevard are hopeful Mercado will also sing them a song.
After the downtown performance, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office will escort her to the AT&T store in the 4700 block of Cortez Road for an appearance. AT&T is a sponsor of the "American Idol" show.
Later today, Mercado will make apperances at Booker High School in Sarasota, her high school alma mater, and at the Ringling Museum of Art, where she is scheduled to perform.
And tonight, she is scheduled to sing the national anthem at the Tampa Bay Rays game at Tropicana Field.
Your Bradenton Herald crew will keep you posted.