Friday, October 31, 2008

'Idol Mania' comes to Sarasota (again)

Believe it or not, it will be just a couple more months before "American Idol" is back on the air again for season eight. But if you simply can't wait that long for an Idol fix, a few Idol folks are cooking up a special event just for you right in Sarasota.

We found out that "Idol Mania Live" is kicking off its brand new national tour at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota Dec. 6, presenting nine top finalists from various seasons of "American Idol." To make things official, Blake Lewis will announce details about the tour around 5:30 p.m. Saturday (tomorrow) on the stage of the Sarasota Blues Fest, we were told by Idol handlers via e-mail.

Here's a run down of who will be at the "Idol Mania Live" kick-off concert:
Blake Lewis - season 6
Diana DeGarmo - season 3
Ricky Smith - season 2
Vonzell Solomon - season 4
Mikalah Gordon - season 4
Melissa McGhee - season 5
Gina Glocksen - season 6
Justin Guarini - season 1
Chikezie Eze - season 7

Gates open at 11 a.m. Dec. 6. There will be face painting, balloons and other surprises for the kids. At noon, there will be karaoke contests and the Idols will perform a few hours later at a soon to be determined time, said Michael Gold of Celebrity Events Group, who is handling the family-friendly tour.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children ages 10 and under. They go on sale Sunday via Ticketmaster. The official "Idol Mania Live" Web site,, will be launching later on today, Gold said.

For tickets, call Ticketmaster starting Sunday at (813) 287-8844 or visit This concert, right in our backyard, is one die-hard Idol fans shouldn't miss.

- January Holmes

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