Justin Bieber fever rising at Md. State Fairgrounds
Sunday, September 5, 2010; 1:21 PM
Thousands of fans bedecked in everything from colorful Justin Bieber outfits to pajamas lined up at the gates of the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium early Sunday morning to lock in a good spot for the pop star's sold-out concert tonight.
Fans at the front of the line said they had arrived about 11 p.m. Saturday to camp out for the best general admission seats, and by 8 a.m. traffic snarled as a line of people snaked along roadways, and wrapped for miles around the fairgrounds.
Gates opened 8 a.m. so fans could be issued wristbands of various colors, with specific times for when they could later enter the concert area.
Fairgrounds workers said they had never seen anything like the turnout they saw Sunday morning. Joe Robel, who has worked at several public events and at the state fair for six years, said there were at least 1,000 people when he arrived at the fairgrounds at 7:15 a.m.
"Not even at Preakness [Stakes] have I seen something like this," said Robel, who has worked at Pimlico Race Course for the middle leg of the Triple Crown. "I don't think anybody anticipated this kind of crowd, but we'll get them all in and everybody will be happy."
The excitement was already in full swing and squeals could be heard throughout the line of Bieber fans, as parents and young fans geared up to see the YouTube phenom turned pop star take a Maryland stage.
"It's our first concert and we're going to see our favorite, so we're really lucky" said Joya Grillo, 13, who traveled from Bowie with a group of friends to secure tickets before heading back home to make T-shirts and posters. "We've wanted him to come to this area."
Kristi Lee, who brought the girls from Bowie, said she was in awe at the early-morning lines. "It's crazy," Lee said. "I know he's popular ¿ but wow," Lee said.
Conversations among waiting groups of fans varied from the songs they anticipated hearing, to the best way to get past security to touch Bieber and maybe even get a marriage proposal from the pop star. Some playfully argued which of Bieber's assets -- his voice or his hair -- was most attractive. The songs, "One Less Lonely Girl," and "Baby" were among the most highly anticipated for concertgoers.
Many fans admitted that when they heard Bieber would be coming to the fairgrounds, their fanaticism bubbled over.
"I started crying," said Allie Teminovich,14, as she and her friend, Carly Waters, 14, stood in line bundled under blankets in the cool, morning weather. "When I get bored, I go onto YouTube and watch Justin Bieber."
"That's all we did last night," Carly quipped.