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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 19, 2018

Maddie Poppe set for free concert in Cedar Rapids amid national tour

New ‘American Idol’ from Iowa is confirmed to appear at Market After Dark
By Diana Nollen, The Gazette | May 23, 2018
Photo by: Eric McCandless/ABC Caleb Lee Hutchinson, left, and Maddie Poppe perform together on Monday night’s finale of “American Idol.” Hutchinson announced during the show that the two finalists have been dating.

CEDAR RAPIDS — Thrust into the national spotlight with summer concerts from coast to coast, newly minted “American Idol” Maddie Poppe will return to her native Iowa briefly in August to perform at the Market After Dark in downtown Cedar Rapids.

The 6:30 p.m. Aug. 25 concert is free to attend.

“We always knew we were going to have her, but of course, when someone wins ‘American Idol,’ you’re unsure if they’re actually going to show up to their previously booked gig. But we did confirm with them that she’s going to be there,” said Melissa McCarville, communications manager for the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, which organizes the already popular nighttime edition of the Cedar Rapids Farmers Market.

“Now that we have that confirmation, we do need to look at readjusting, potentially, the venue a little bit — at least where the stage is, if nothing else,” McCarville said. “We’re still working on that. We’ve got a lot of calls to make, a lot of logistics to hash out, and we’re going to get working on that as soon as we get this first farmers market up and going this Saturday.”

Poppe, of Clarksville, became a seemingly overnight sensation Monday night when she was named winner of this season’s “Idol” on ABC, awarded a recording contract and $250,000.

But she had been booked for the Cedar Rapids event in February, “prior to our knowledge that she was attempting to try out on ‘American Idol,’” McCarville said.

That February booking turned out to be fortuitous, but actually was years in the making.

“Our events planner, Jenn Draper, had received her demo tape three or four years ago, and we’ve been trying to work her into the entertainment mix for a while but it hadn’t worked out until this year,” McCarville said. “And we’re very grateful it did,”

Initial contacts were made through Poppe’s father, Trent Poppe of Clarksville, a Butler County town 23 miles northwest of Cedar Falls.

“We’ve been communicating with her dad throughout this whole thing, because it was through her dad that we booked her. We’ve been sending him messages and telling him how much we’re cheering for Maddie, and how excited we are for her,” McCarville said. “It was just until recently that he had to move us over to ‘Idol’s’ booking agent, because she got into the Top Three and was going to go on the (‘American Idol Live!’) tour. They were great to work with.”

The Cedar Rapids date falls conveniently between an Aug. 24 concert in Sioux Falls, S.D., and an Aug. 27 appearance at the Oregon State Fair in Salem on the tour.

Poppe’s return to Iowa this summer will not be the only time that the roads of reality television lead to Cedar Rapids.

U.S. Olympic skater Adam Rippon, who won “Dancing with the Stars” earlier Monday night, is one of the celebrity speakers for the newbo evolve festival the first weekend of August.

Kelly Clarkson, the first “American Idol” winner in 2002 and a judge on NBC’s “The Voice” competition, will headline the newbo evolve stage Aug. 3.

She’s followed Aug. 4 by Maroon 5, led by the singing of fellow “Voice” judge Adam Levine.

Add to the mix scheduled to appear at newbo evolve festival three others who gained acclaim on reality TV shows:

l Christian Siriano, a fashion designer who won the fourth season of “Project Runway;”

l Clint Harp, a carpenter who regularly appears on “Fixer Upper;”

l And Carson Kressley, a style expert and fashion designer who starred in “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”

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