May 16, 2012 7:05 PM by Chris Welty
Wednesday night, Calcasieu Parish native Joshua Ledet will hit the stage hoping his talent will carry him into the final week of American Idol.
Now, his hometown is reaping the benefits.
"He said I'm going to audition till I win the show, and he's doing it!!"
Joshua Ledet's success on American Idol is no surprise for former classmate Samuel Owens. He works at a snowball stand in Westlake and they're cashing in on Josh's new fame.
"Children are so inspired by him and I think that's awesome. They want a taste of Josh," said Owens.
Restaurants in the area are bringing in unexpected cash when the idol hopeful rolled through Saturday.
"There was a lot of people from Texas, Baton Rouge coming out to see Josh. It was really nice," said McDonald's Shift Manager Alexandria Allen.
In all, more than ten thousand people packed into Westlake this weekend creating what some call "Hurricane Josh."
"The Burton Coliseum was a sold out event. It sold out in 56 minutes," said Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Center Marketing Director Megan Hartman.
They even had to open up a special viewing station at the Convention Center to handle all the people who wanted to take part in Joshua's day. Everyone we spoke to agrees no matter whether Josh wins Idol, he's put Westlake on the map.
"You really don't hear about Westlake. It's just a little rink-a-dink town and our little high school and stuff," said Allen.