Screaming fans greeted 29-year-old "American Idol" finalist Nick Fradiani as returned to his hometown of Guilford on Friday.
The town declared "Nick Fradiani Day" in honor of the conestant, who has made it to the top four in the popular singing competiton.
The day started with a homecoming at Guilford High School, Fradiani's alma mater. Fans and supporters flooded the high school gym, waving signs and wearing T-shirts bearing his name and picture.
Students at Guilford High had a half day in light of Fradiani's arrival. The singer surprised them with a short concert.
Fradiani, who previously competed with his band Beach Avenue on NBC's "America's Got Talent," said he never believed he would have made it this far on "Idol."
He left students with this message:
"High school, college... it flies by so, really, just cherish every moment. Cherish your friends and these experiences that you have because they’re really special," Fradiani said. "I’ve never forgotten mine and it’s a great thing, but honestly, thank you all so very much. I love you guys."
Meanwhile, in downtown Guilford, signs of support were plastered along storefronts as thousands of residents waited for Fradiani to parade through the streets.
Daniel Kerowski said Fradiani’s journey is an inspiring one.
"It’s really great to see that people starting as small as us can go on to do great things," said Kerowski.
After the parade, Fradiani held a live concert in Guilford's town green.