Former 'American Idol' star Lazaro drops in at Naples City Hall

Former 'American Idol' contestant Lazaro Arbos arrived home April 16, 2013, and, the next day, stopped by at Naples City Hall to received a key to the city and a declaration naming the day after him.

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Former "American Idol" contestant Lazaro Arbos arrived home April 16, 2013, and, the next day, stopped by at Naples City Hall to received a key to the city and a declaration naming the day after him.

American Idol live tour

The American Idol Live concert tour dates were announced Wednesday. The 40-show tour launches June 29 in St. Louis, wrapping up in Nashville, Tenn., on Aug. 31. Florida dates are Aug. 1 in Orlando at Amway Center and Aug. 2 in Miami at AmericanAirlines Arena.

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— Former "American Idol" contestant Lazaro Arbos arrived home Tuesday night after months of competition.

Among his first stops was a Naples City Council meeting Wednesday afternoon where he received a key to the city and a declaration naming the day after him.

“This is more nerve-wracking than being on the show,” Arbos told the dozens gathered for the brief presentation.

Born in Cuba and raised in Naples, Arbos was a favorite on the reality show where he was known for a halting speech impediment that vanishes when he sings.

Vice Mayor Gary Price presented Arbos with the key. Price’s 18-year-old son Garrett has autism and meeting Arbos had special meaning for him.

“It’s such an inspiration,” said Price, who watched the show all season with his family. Golden Gate Estates resident Sandy Lamboy rushed over to City Hall on Wednesday afternoon when she read about Arbos’ appearance in a Facebook post.

“I was kind of on-guard today because I knew he was home,” she said.

Lamboy, 63, grabbed a hug from Arbos and had him autograph the only paper she had on her: a Publix shopping list. She said it was his courage that made her a fan.

“I love him,” she said.

City officials milled about during a lunch break Wednesday, snapping their own photos with Arbos who wore a neon green shirt, brown leather pants and tiger-striped shoes. He smiled and shook hands, even planting a kiss on one fan’s cheek for a picture.

“Coming home has been wonderful,” he said. “I wanted to get some rest before the tour and before I have to go back.”

Each year, the show’s final 10 contestants go on a worldwide concert tour together. Arbos said the stops include Hong Kong. He also said he’s in talks with Fox television about appearing on one of their shows in the future, though he couldn’t specify which.

Among onlookers at City Hall were Arbos’ former employers: Jason and Jennifer Gibson, owners of Rita’s Italian Ice, a shop in Naples.

Arbos spent last summer scooping custard for the Gibsons who said they knew from the first time they met him, that his talents would take him far.

“We can’t wait to see where he goes,” Jennifer Gibson said.

Both agreed Arbos won’t likely return to the ice cream industry.

“I don’t think we can afford him at this point,” Jason Gibson joked.

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