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Indio celebrates Abi Carter with parade, concert, Key to the City presentation as she heads to American Idol finale

Indio native Abi Carter is heading to the American Idol finale and the city of Indio celebrated her on Tuesday as part of the "Hometown Visit."

“It has been so amazing and so humbling. I've never felt so close to my community than I do right now,” Abi said.

Check Out: Community reflects on Indio's own Abi Carter journey to American Idol finale

The atmosphere was electrifying as Abi returned home for the very first time since leaving for American Idol. 

The Indio native made it into the top three of the show, earning the coveted chance to shoot an episode in the very same town she was raised in, next door to Palm Springs where she got her start busking.

“When I first started playing on the street fair, my biggest dream was that an owner of a restaurant might see me and hire me to play at the restaurant. And that, to me was success as a musician and as an artist. So I would never have thought that something like this would be happening,” Abi said.

Learn More About Abi's Local Journey, From VillageFest to American Idol

The city hosted a grand welcome for Abi which included both a parade and concert.

But before the festivities got underway, Abi was handed a key to the city of Indio and was also named the official mayor.

It's a moment Abi said was something she never dreamed would happen.

“This is the most this is the most loved that I've ever felt in my entire life. And I do get emotional at every turn and every person that I look at that I see that came all the way out here just to support me. For one person. It feels so amazing,” Abi said.

Abi also took the moment to give back, handing a $20,000 check to an organization near to her heart,  "Tools for Tomorrow." 

Cheer squads and bands from local school districts marched Abi down city streets, as thousands of fans lined the sidewalks to catch a glimpse of the star. 

Many people coming from around the U.S. to see her in person.

“We've seen her from the very first audition to now, every week. We're watching faithfully, and we're getting all our friends, everyone, that we can get in contact to vote for her,” said Becky Zamudio, a fan.

“She just sounds like an angel. I remember we used to hear her when she was baby at church and just she seemed like a little angel,” said Silvia Mariscal, a fan.

Along the parade route, an emotional Abi waved at fans. Taking a second to soak up the special moment, tears filling her eyes.

The American Idol contestant ended the night with a blessing from a local tribe and a 45-minute concert where she sang songs like "What Was I Made For," "Hello," and "I Dreamed a Dream." 

Abi's family, cheering her on the entire time from the front row. Abi shared a special moment with her mother, bringing her on stage to sing a song with together. Abi told the crowd her mom is her inspiration and her reason for singing. 

She also debuted her new single, “This Isn’t Over”, which is available for pre-order.

Abi said she was thankful for all of the support from the Coachella Valley and that her "Hometown Visit" was a night she will never forget.

“Any message to the folks of the city of India to the Coachella Valley. For any little girls out there looking at you on TV wanting to be like you one day," News Channel 3's Tori King asked Abi.

Abi answered, "Yes, I would just say do it. Anything that you want to do, you should do it because life is too short not to take those risks."

The finale of American Idol will air Sunday at 5:00 PM on News Channel 3. We're teaming up with Jackalope Ranch in Indio to host a watch party. Come cheer on Abi with the Coachella Valley!

And don't forget to vote for her to win it all. Go to on Sunday to vote.

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