Santa Cruz, CA. James Durbin’s rock ‘n’ roll Cinderella story had a happy ending under a sunny sky on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Saturday. In what has turned out to be a rallying force in Santa Cruz and for many around the world Durbin’s rising star made an appearance in our hometown thanks to the efforts of Beach Boardwalk and city officials.
Thousands waited and just as the weather cleared, his parade rounded the corner rolling triumphantly down Beach Street.
Proudly wearing a leather vest emblazoned with big red letters reading, “Give Metal a Chance,” James greeted his admirers with a big wave and a smile.
James and his fiancée Heidi climbed aboard a lifeguard truck for a second parade across the sand where fans got an up-close look at their Idol as he made his way to the bandstand.
For his final song James belted out the Journey favorite “Don’t Stop Believing” driving the crowd into a frenzy of cheers.
Durbin’s star has risen over unlikely odds bringing the world an entertainer who delivers a good show and inspires all to follow our bliss in spite of our challenges.
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Original Durbin Day press release . . . . .
American Idol Makes Rare Exception to Allow James Durbin to Return Home
SANTA CRUZ, Calif.: In an unexpected turn of events, James Durbin will be returning to Santa Cruz this Saturday, May 14 for a homecoming celebration. Some details of the day are still tentative, but the primary activities—a visit to the Louden Nelson Center, a procession to the beach, and a concert at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk—will go on as planned.
“Originally, American Idol indicated that Durbin’s return to Santa Cruz for Durbin Day depended on him making it to the final three because of obligations to the show,” said Kris Reyes, community relations director for the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. “After the results last night, we made a strong appeal to the show that he be allowed to attend his Santa Cruz homecoming as planned. Idol ultimately agreed,” he said.
The entire Santa Cruz community including organizers at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, city of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County Conference & Visitors Council and the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce were united in their strong support and admiration for Durbin’s accomplishments.
“Our community is extremely proud of James, ” said Santa Cruz Mayor Ryan Coonerty. “And we’re excited that American Idol made this exception to allow him to return home to a big Santa Cruz welcome,” he said.
Durbin’s connection to Santa Cruz has been felt worldwide. This morning, calls and emails flooded into the Santa Cruz County Conference & Visitors Council, Santa Cruz City Hall, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce offices from Durbin fans as far away as Singapore who were disappointed with last night’s results.
“We are pleased that fans, both locally and from far away, will have the chance to celebrate with us tomorrow during James’ visit to Santa Cruz,” said Maggie Ivy, Santa Cruz County Conference & Visitors Council CEO.
Schedule of Events for Saturday, May 14
2:30-3:15 p.m. Press Event with James Durbin at Louden Nelson Center
3:15-4:15 p.m. Kids Rally at Louden Nelson Center
4:30–5 p.m. Walking Procession to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
5 p.m. Durbin joins the White Album Ensemble for three songs (White Album Ensemble starts playing at 4 p.m.)