‘American Idol’ Star HunterGirl Celebrates 4th of July as Part of Midnight Parade in Gatlinburg: PHOTOS

by Leanne Stahulak

“American Idol” star HunterGirl celebrated the Fourth of July in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, yesterday as the Grand Marshall of the city’s Midnight Parade.

The parade kicks off on the night of July 3, getting underway as the clock strikes midnight for July 4. HunterGirl, who grew up in Tennessee, shared with fans after the parade how exciting it was to be personally invited to participate by the city of Gatlinburg.

“Thank you so much to @visitgatlinburg for an incredible night at the Fourth of July Midnight Parade. I had so much fun!” the “American Idol” star captioned her post. “I have been coming to Gatlinburg since I was a little girl, and it was so special getting to be a part of this. Happy Fourth of July!”

Ever since “American Idol” wrapped in mid-May, HunterGirl has stayed busy. The runner-up quickly made herself at home in the Nashville music scene, performing on stage with Jimmie Allen and rubbing shoulders with Lainey Wilson at CMA Fest. She’s also stayed in touch with her “Idol” family, including winner Noah Thompson and third-place star Leah Marlene.

HunterGirl has a huge career in country music ahead of her, and we can’t wait to see what she produces in the years to come. Already her single, “Red Bird,” has charted well on iTunes in the U.S. Earlier this year, she talked to TV Insider about her future plans.

“I want to put out new music. I want to go out on tour, to sing songs,” the “American Idol” star told the outlet. She also wants to “say thank you to everyone who supported me through this entire year. I want to hear my song on the radio. I would love to play the Opry one day. Doing all these things I’ve dreamed of my entire life.”

‘American Idol’ Star HunterGirl Talks Getting Out of Her Comfort Zone

Getting up on stage as a musician is no easy feat. “America Idol” star HunterGirl might have done it quite a few times at this point, but the nerves stay with her each and every time.

“I think if I ever go on a stage where I’m not afraid… it will never be a day that I’m here,” HunterGirl said in Sadie Robertson’s latest podcast. “I think fear is just showing you what matters in a way. In some points in your life, you’re like, ‘Okay, if I’m nervous and I’m scared and I’m going out of my comfort zone, this means a lot to me.”

She later added, “I want to do a good job. I want to put my best foot forward. And if I have to go through fear [first]… it just feels so empowering afterward. You’re just like, ‘Oh my gosh, I did that. There were so many things in my head that told me that I would never make it through that but I did it anyway.’”

HunterGirl tackled lots of those fears during her time on “American Idol” this season. She told Sadie earlier, “Courage is knowing you’re scared and doing it anyway.”

Here’s to HunterGirl continuing to act courageously. We can’t wait to see where she goes next.